May 10 2015
You’ll never get this letter, except in my head, because you’re long dead. But there’s a lot I’ve got to say to you now, so I’m going to say it here.
I wish to the gods I could muster the anger I should feel against you. You were a shitty mom. By the time you had me you were tired of kids and just gave up. D & K still accuse me of being spoiled, but that was never it, was it? You just couldn’t be bothered to give me any guidance.
AND DON’T YOU DARE COME OUT WITH THE SHIT ‘BUT YOU NEVER WOULD TALK TO ME’. Because it’s YOU who told me that I’d be locked up forever if I ever let anyone know what went on inside my head. So FUCK OFF! You can’t tell me something like that and then expect me to open up to you. You were cruel, mom. Cruel in almost everything you did. Why did you have to hurt me so much? Why did you have to scrub my hair so hard it felt like my scalp was going to bleed? Why did you braid my hair so tight it pulled my skin and hurt? Why did you NEVER step in as a mom when you should have? You sucked, and on this Mother’s Day I’m telling you just that: YOU SUCKED AS A MOTHER. YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAD CHILDREN.
Most importantly, how DARE you leave me in the charge of K? She was and still is a mean witch and she’s always taken it out on me. I used to think I needed to protect you and Dad from what she was. I covered up a lot, and didn’t say anything when I should have. If you have a low opinion of me, your opinion of K should be three times as low because that’s where she’s at. I remember once when our CO cousins were in town. You, me, K and cousin S went shopping one day. You were trying on a new coat and K and S were laughing. You asked me if they were laughing at you and I lied. I said no, but they were. They thought you looked ridiculous trying on new coats with your fat stomach. But you just left me in this person’s care: a sister only 4 years older than me who was so fucking jealous of me that she took it out on me every day, in every way. She was one of the worst bullies I ever had to live through, and it was all due to your impeccable fucking care that it happened.
And why? Because you’re selfish, mother. Your career was more fucking important than anything else. What did you think would happen with your little experiment? Oh, gee. Let’s see what happens to kids when Mom is on call – she may have to leave in the middle of dinner, or the middle of the night, or the middle of Christmas celebrations because her JOB IS MORE IMPORTANT TO HER THAN HER KIDS. Fuck you. I’ll tell you what happened, bitch. You raised three maladjusted individuals. Let’s tally it up, shall we:
1. All three of us are substance abusers. Alcohol and drugs, mom. Maybe you never used street drugs but you sure as hell made sure to over medicate us at every turn.
2. You son has been married three times now; all previous marriages dissolved due to his infidelity. He has embraced a low brow life, living in strip clubs and bars even tho he once had a decent IQ. My guess is he fees pretty shitty about himself, considering what I’ve seen on the outside.
3. Your eldest daughter has been married twice; the first one beat her up. She is verging on the morbidly obese, and despite her attention to small things like doing her nails or hair, I suspect she also feel pretty shitty about herself – after all, how good CAN you feel about yourself with an extra 200 pounds on you?
4. Then there’s me. I’m guessing I’m manic depressive, and considering my background with you it’s been pretty fucking hard to deal with. I’m very upfront about feeling shitty about myself. I’ve been in abusive relationships before. I’m suicidal. And I have a very hard time talking about my feelings thanks to your words in my early childhood.
Not a great bunch of kids, hey? I suspect D is suicidal as well, by the way. Despite your years of medical training you were always fucking blind when it came to your kids, so I’ll tell you ALL of what I see. Not only is D suicidal, he’s also damned angry at you – which he’s suppressed. I also suspect he’s always been in love with me, which has been damaging, demeaning, and horrible for him to deal with. K was one of my original cocaine dealers, her and her first husband. She never told you that, did she? And I kept quiet when all of you jumped all over me for my coke use. K stole all the antiques you left in Dad’s house after you died. K’s been quite a thorn in my side. She even sent out a message to all your siblings about what a horrible person I was, that I was a drug addict and crazy. Real nice stuff: and you raised this person. She’s a thief, a liar, and a real bitch.
As for me, I don’t have female friends. Remember Leanne? I’m sure you do. My only real female friend, maybe ever. I can’t get close to women. I don’t trust them, thanks to you. I won’t even see a female counselor because it kicks in all the programming you set in me. When I’m in the company of a woman I suddenly have to live up to something that I’m not. I can’t relax and be myself with them. And I can’t relate to them. Your stories of childbirth gone wrong at the dinner table turned me off to having kids forever. I’m not a mother, I’m no one’s wife or lover. I’ve nothing in common with most women, and I don’t even know how to really talk to them.
Finally, let’s talk about my rheumatoid arthritis. I’ll never know why you didn’t take me to a doctor way back when my hands first started to show signs of the disease. The fact is you didn’t, and I chalk that up to one more example of you not caring and of being a terrible mother. You taught me to ignore it, and the upshot of that is the disease got way out of control and I’ve spent several years living between my bed and a chair and only being able to get around with help. You shouldn’t be surprised: you yourself ignored your cancer for a long time. I guess I grew up to be more like you than I ever wanted to be.
And I NEVER wanted to be like you, mom. Never. Looking back, you probably needed counseling yourself. Your life was imbalanced: you concentrated on your career and your husband, leaving nothing for anything else. You never ate right or exercised – and by the way, it’s your bad health habits that scared me into early exercise and diet programs because I never wanted to look like you. You were fat and out of shape. I remember being less than 10 and asking you to get on the floor to play with me. You said you couldn’t get down on the floor. You were less than 50, mom. I’m almost 50 now and I can still get up and down from the floor, still can sit cross legged, still can walk for a long distance. In fact, other than the fact that you were an early working mother, you were no role model at all. You were not a role model of beauty; you never took care of yourself nor wore makeup well, nor dressed well. You were not a role model of health. You were not a social role model; I rarely saw you in social situations and when I did I was always off the side and not actively involved. You were not a role model for self confidence: I remember Dad always saying you were working for too little money, that no one at your job valued you.
You must have been screwed up to do what you did in life. I’m guessing it was stuff relating to your childhood, since all of your siblings’ families show the same tendencies: despite grandma & grandpa having six kids, those six kids didn’t have more than four kids, and of all the grandchildren, only three have had their own children. In other words, very few of the grandchildren of have reproduced. In my mind, this points to a real family problem that’s just filtered down through the generations. If we all loved our family so much, we’d be having more kids ourselves. But we don’t because the family line is fucked up. Your side of the family has a history of mental illness. Let’s face it: cousin M, who held his family at gunpoint when he was only 14 or 15, was mentally ill despite the fact that no one in the family would use those words. I’m not the only grandchild who suffers from depression, either. Cousin D shared with me his fight with depression. And alcohol and drug use/abuse is a common theme among us as well.
I guess I expected you to know better. You were the one in the family with medical training, and we all took your opinions to heart. And you were my mom. I thought you knew everything. I didn’t think you were a real person with problems of your own. You never showed me that side. Maybe if you had things would be different, but that’s a moot point: I have to deal with what I’ve got.
And it’s hard, mom. It’s hard because I’m angry at you, and I feel sorry for you, and I love you and want your approval all at the same time. I can’t feel one clear emotion when I think about you; it’s all too jumbled up. I was actually kind of happy when you died, because some part of me felt like I’d be free. And I have been, to a large extent. But you’ve always occupied that corner chair in my mind. I think it’s time I give you your walking papers.