How can you say you have so many regrets about the past and yet not understand why you and I are not best friends? How can you say I have hurt you more than my sister, the problematic child? Because I don’t embrace you with open arms? Because I don’t come to you? Revere you, respect you? Need you? Why should I? You have never been there for me when it counted.
How can you continually turn your back on some of your children and then in the blink of an eye expect people to feel sorry for you because they have built their lives without you? You have never, ever put us first when it was necessary.
Yes, I’ve been hurt, deeply, by other people in my life, but I really do not think there is anything as raw, unmendable or tragic as being hurt—betrayed—by your parents. Parents are supposed to be your champions, your protectors, your safety net when everything else in the world is wrong. Parents are supposed to be a source of strength and love and good.
You say you can’t be a proper grandmother to my children because you don’t have a good relationship with me. You want what your mother had. You want to be the center of your family, the matriarch. You want to be loved but you have never wanted to put the work into it. You expect too much.
You cannot ignore his alcoholism for decades—all the years of my childhood—and expect that now I should feel sorry for you that he drinks. This is nothing new. This is the life you made us live as a child so why shouldn’t it be good enough for you to live now? You cannot really think that my 13-year-old self was ok after he molested me and you did nothing. Really? After I told you, I didn’t bring it up again for years—and you thought my silence meant I was ok with it? And then, as an adult when I questioned YOU about it you said I should talk to him? And you really, truly cannot understand why we are not best friends?
You cannot ignore my children for 12 years and then say it is my fault that you don’t have a relationship with them. You cannot favor your other grandchildren and think mine don’t see it. So, don’t be sad that my children are not affectionate to you or that they don’t really even care much about you. You brought it on yourself, and it is not because I don’t call you or email you. It is because you are a selfish, wretched woman who is getting older, realizing her regrets and mistakes and wallowing in it. Always blaming someone else, always making excuses. You are pathetic.
And I suppose it could be different if all of the problems were in the past, but they aren’t. You are always worried about appearances and what other people will think of you and you lie. You want to judge me because of how much time I spent with my grandmother before she died, the same woman who lived two miles from you and you and he rarely visited unless you needed money. You want to judge me for so many things yet you gave up your right, years ago, to matter to me.
I hate that despite all of this, despite the fact that I’ve worked so hard to push being a daughter into the furthest corner of my mind, that I still am a daughter. And, while the healthy side of me knows that distancing myself, at least emotionally, from you is necessary, I have guilt and wonder how I am ever supposed to forgive you. I don’t know if I can. And sometimes this hate and anger and sadness overwhelms me and I hate that it is because of you, I hate that I’ve given you that power over me. I can stomp it down sometimes. There will always be that question of why though. Why weren’t you the parent you should have been? Why didn’t you take care of us the way you should have? Why? Why could you be there and take care of our sister when she needed you but not us when we needed you?