I thought about entitling this letter Mommie Dearest… Partly because it’s a little sentimental, and partly because- well…
I remember being a child, and your (even I knew at the time) unhealthy obsession with this movie and Sybil. You were so adamant that you loved these movies because you believed they lined up with your childhood and you could relate.
I remember you filing my storytime hours with how awful your childhood had been, and I was so lucky that I was spared such horrors.I knew (and deeply loved) my grandparents, so this wasn’t really something i believed. I also remember you wanting nothing to do with me; bad mouthing me to my childhood friends so they would like you more than me; and telling me my coloring was the “shittiest thing” you’d ever seen, because I colored Porky Pig blue; and the incredibly degree of lies you told me always. Straight up BS to get me to nap, or stay out of your hair. I learned, very early on, how crappy it felt to be lied to, lied about and abandoned. I feel like I should say a resounding thanks, mom, as sarcastically as possible. But then again, what healthy goodness can come from that?
We don’t speak now. I’ve dropped a few cards in the mail to you and sent you flowers once. I thought of putting pen to paper and sending you this letter, but assuming you could actually comprehend it- it would serve no greater good purpose either. Long gone are those spring and summer days when you pounded into my head what a worthless and unlovable piece of shit I was, until I finally gave in and felt that very thing. The days are gone, but this very gesture on your part paved the way for my marriage to crumble and my life to fall apart. While I feel you greatly contributed to this reality I currently reside in, I don’t hold you totally responsible. You were merely a player in what has been referred to as the perfect storm. Now, Chw blames you. He believes if you hadn’t have been coming to Michigan, we would still be ok and together. I guess I view it as irrelevant. It’s irrelevant because we will never know, and blaming you takes the responsibility off of us.
One of the last conversations we had, at the house, before you fell and everything changed for the worse- was asking you to stop trying to turn everyone against me. I remember literally begging you to stop. That I loved you and was trying to help you, and asking you why that was your life’s mission. Well, Mom… Happy Mother’s Day. My marriage is in the toilet, my husband wants nothing to do with me and I rank less than yesterday’s garbage. My youngest tried to take her own life and everything is as screwed up as humanly possible. I gift this to you because I know that it would bring you so much joy. And part of me has always empathized with you. It must have been frustrating to put out for a man who really only wanted to force that out of your little girl instead. When I look at my life reflectively I see that you have always treated me like the Other woman. Your disdain. My husband grew to treat me similarly while we all still lived under the same roof. You would have loved knowing that. i’m sorry I hadn’t shared that with you. I was so busy trying to salvage my life and not want to kill myself every morning when I woke up. My depression was out of control, you may remember. Or, you may not, because you only ever wanted me to worry about your narcissistic drama. You ridiculed me for seeing a counselor, which in hindsight was exactly what I needed- just not that particular counselor- but that wasn’t your point. Your point was that counseling was only for stupid people who were insane. On that note, I wonder how you may have benefited from therapy, when you were younger. What would have been different for me, for you, for us?
I fell last week. A woman in a family lineage of fallers, you would have loved that too. You would have criticized my shoes and told me I looked like a fat whore and then you would have loved that I fell. I don’t care except that it is very sad that my psyche’s number one response every time something bad happens is My mom would have loved this. Today when my husband shouted Fuck You Bitch at me and I was so taken a back, I realized you would have loved that maybe most of all. At least next to the fact that my life is painfully alone. You would love it all. Every ugly moment of it, and I have never expected any less of you. Every ounce of self doubt, worthlessness and heartache is rooted to you. It would be impossible for me to ever have any value to you, and i’m ok with that.
I’m spending mothers day without any of my kids. It’s my first one alone. All of the holidays in the last months have been living nightmares and I’ll likely never want to celebrate any of them again. I can’t help but feel like you, with your hatred of any type of celebration. Maybe I am you. Just like you. Maybe I am an evil woman and I just can’t see it, like you never could. Maybe my husband wised up and got out just in time. I’ve thought these things a lot over the past 6 months. I have questioned often “what is so bad about me that I am disposable?” And no one will answer. If you had ever asked me something similar, I’m not sure I would have told you the truth either.
Happy mother’s day, mom. Maybe, like I believed I had, you felt like you were doing your best. Maybe you truly believed the lies you crafted about your horror filled childhood. Maybe you were so desperate to matter to someone that you actually gave my innocent childhood horrors. Maybe, despite an upbringing balanced out with other mother figures, because you were incapable, I ended up becoming just like you… I hope you get a day filled with love from someone. I hope that, if you truly feel you did your best, that you are rewarded for that somehow. I wish you peace and love…