Tuesday, September 29, 2009

so many questions

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?


Anonymous said...

Wow. Well said, CK.

Sweet T

Kristin.... said...

Oh my. I'm so sorry.
Sending you hugs.

justsomethoughts... said...

excellent. pure. hard. sharp.

Penny said...

I can totally empathise with you here, although the situations are not the same. My parents are fuck ups and at 32 I am still upset about it, and wonder why they had to be like that, and why they can't love us like "normal" parents...It is hard having my own kid and knowing I would NEVER do the things they did, and then wondering how could they have done it in the first place?

cheatymoon said...

Good for you for writing it.

IB said...

Dude! That rocked. That's some harsh shit right there, but probably (unfortunately) well deserved. I admire your courage in writing it and in posting it.

I'm tired after reading it, you must be wiped out.

Anonymous said...

This is your bro - Can we give her this letter, or even give a link to the other family members who think they are so great for a read? I want to kick some ASS - Watch out SATURDAY - asses will fly

Not Your Aunt B said...

You're never going to get an answer from her that is good enough or will dissolve away any pain the past has caused. It is more about wanting her to have ACTED better versus giving an excuse for it now.

To hell with forgiveness in the la-dee-da sense of forgive and forget and start fresh and be BFFs forever...better to look at things with perspective and make them neutral so it doesn't negatively affect you. Not an easy thing to do. Your past & your mom will always affect you- they are a part of you- but let it be for something good- it has made you a better person and an outstanding mom to your own kids and family.

I wish you had the mom that you are.

creative kerfuffle said...

thanks, to all of you, for the support/comments. this post has been in my head for quite awhile and i needed to get it out.
bro--NO, this is not to be sent to anyone or her : )

Ali said...

Wow. That was a moving and actually quite chilling post for me to read. I almost could have written it myself. Well done to you for making decisions to protect your kids from the crap. I am glad that I have done the same in my own life. Screw what anyone expects of me, I'll do what's best for my little family.

Antoinette Meaterson said...

Good for you. I hope it doesn't get to her, but in the same respect, it needs to be said.


Astarte said...

I'm so glad for you that you were able to say all of that. It took some serious cohones to write all that down and push 'publish'! I don't know if it ever gets easier, or makes any more sense, or gets any less scary. Hang on.

Pseudo said...

Getting it out is such a good first step. Sorry I'm late, been a very neglectful blog friend these days.

My mom is 82 and just, if not more, dysfunctional than ever. I have always been envious of friends who have good relationships with their mothers. It wasn't until I moved to Hawaii, 3,000 miles across the ocean that I felt the peace of not being in her presense. I call her once a week, but my therapist says I can never make a home for my mom. She calls my mom a "toxic" personality...

I hope yoo begin to feel better soon. forgiveness does not mean forgetting, it just means getting past the negative thoughts and moving on.

the Mayor said...

I hope God makes it up to you that you had parents who didn't make you feel valued (to put it mildly).

Then when they hurt your children the pain is double.

I trust you are a sane parent who does not feed their children the line, "Grandma really does love you she just doesn't know how to show it.""You must love....they are your..."

Kids know (at a certain age of course). We had a similar set of problems with my father in law and we validated our kids feelings and helped them to have healthy expectations and responses.
Our problem was not as severe as yours, but I hope this helps.