This is not about holding a grudge, this is about holding someone accountable for their actions. This is about taking a stand and no longer being a victim.
It’s Mothers day and I’m left sitting here feeling empty, feeling guilty for not writing or even sending a card. This is the first year that I haven’t at least picked up the phone to wish you a happy Mother’s day. It’s been months since we last even talked over the phone. I’ve just gotten to a point where I have to do what’s right for me because you never could..
I’ve wrestled with this letter for some time now. I just couldn’t bring myself to actually type these feelings out loud. I’m just so tired. I’m tired of feeling like I always have to be the bigger person, the peace keeper, the understanding ear, the victim. For years I have tried to understand why you do the things you do. I know you have issues with your own parents and upbringing that you apparently never learned from or learned how to rise above. This contributed to your years of alcoholism, your low self-esteem, and your inability to know whats right for yourself and your family. But one problem at a time.
I’ve tried for years to reach out to you about your constant smoking and drinking. You burn cigarettes like incense. You are the literal definition of a chain smoker. I can only imagine what my lungs look like after years of second hand smoking. You start drinking every morning before noon, hiding it in your coffee cup. You have done this for as long as I can remember. No matter how poor we were, you always made sure to have money for Salem Ultra Lights and Busch Pounders. As a child, it took me years to understand why I couldn’t talk to you when you weren’t sober. I had to learn to live without a coherent mother most of the time. That’s not something a child should have to learn. It’s a huge part of why I am the mess that I am today. I never feel like anyone is listening to me. I’m always under water screaming but no one can hear my cries. This is why I now have extreme panic attacks, anxiety, and stress migraines just to name a few.
Your taste in men was no better than your taste in beer and cigarettes. You managed to get out of one abusive relationship before I was even a year old. Then you put yourself right into another relationship that was equally terrible or worse. You always jokingly reminisce about your wedding day, saying, “I should have known it was a bad omen, walking down the isle in crutches…” This pattern of abuse went on for what seems like forever. The physical abuse, the verbal abuse, the sexual abuse. You really did nothing to stop him. All you could do was self medicate yourself to the point of passing out and forgetting. I hated him for what he was doing to us. I hated you for letting him do it to us. I even moved you 300 miles away at one point, to get a new start, and he quickly followed. You just let him right back in. I think that was the moment when you could have turned everything around. You were in a new city that you loved. You were free from the constant abuse. But you apparently didn’t know how to function in a world where you weren’t being controlled.
You always put yourself in one abusive situation after the next. The problem is that you were also abusing your children. I don’t know how I’ve gone this long without becoming an alcoholic or a drug addict. There were no positive role models around me for most of my life. I had no one to look to accept myself. Somehow I managed to be my own savior and big brother. I just knew this wasn’t how I wanted to be. People always ask me why I never drink and why I have never even smoked one cigarette in my life. I always say, “if you knew my family, you would know why.” The more I reflect on my past, I wonder if alcohol and drugs might have helped numb some of the pain, but then I look at how my brother turned out and I am reassured that I made the right choices.
I’m constantly in my head overthinking everything. I have become my own worst enemy. I have so much anger, so much frustration. I break things to release these explosive emotions. I hit myself to dull the mental pain. I obsess over other aspects of my life so I can, just possibly, go one night without having night terrors of what you and my fathers put me through. I wake up in the night throwing air punches at a man who isn’t even alive anymore. I thought, when I moved out at 16, I could get way from the abuse. It just follows you. It follows me everywhere I go. Even in death he is still fucking haunting me. You made this possible.
No amount of psychoanalysis has ever help calm this anger. I know why I’m mad. I know it wasn’t my fault. That doesn’t help. Bottles of numerous pill types and years of therapy sessions couldn’t take away the past. And that brings me to the present and where we are today. You have somehow managed to surround yourself with ignorant small minded people that have further corrupted your heart and mind and left your words bitter and sour. You used to at least teach us to be open minded and understanding of other people and different cultures. You helped us somewhat alleviate our pain through art as you did.
I thought it was you that instilled some type of worldly views in me but I just don’t know anymore. Now when I hear you talk, I don’t even know who you are. There is so much hatred in your words, ignorance and arrogance, racism and fear. The one and only way that you were ever supportive and understanding was about my being gay, but even that has it’s limitations. I know you still have a hard time fully understanding who I am. Well let me tell you who I am: I am someone who has gotten out. I am someone who has seen the world for what it truly is. I can now see you for who you truly are. I can see who I never want to become. You made this possible..
You always said, “I did the best I could for you kids”, and as an adult I’ve learned, maybe your best really wasn’t good enough.