I don't want to be perfect, just better...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

An Open Letter to the Woman Who Birthed Me

I am trying to convert myself from the person I am overweight and broke (not as broke as I was) but I also need to work on something else. I have an anger that I carry around with me. This anger is hatred that I have placed on the back burner of my life. It creeps to the surface every now and again and I tamp it back down. However, I know its there. I think the time has come for me to deal with it. 

My mother did not raise me from birth. The five years I did live with her were some of the worst of my entire life.

One of my sisters called the a couple of weeks ago to say that the women who birthed me and her husband were breaking up. They have been married close to twenty years. 

I really have no emotions over their breakup. 

My sister wanted us (three of the four siblings) to join together to write a letter to my mother that explains to her how her treatment of us in childhood has affected us. My stepfather 'advised' my sister on this...

I automatically assumed and probably correctly that my stepfather would use this 'letter' in court. I am not foolish or naive enough to believe that my stepfather has developed some type of affection and concern for my well being twenty plus years after he meet and married my mother.

However, the idea of a letter to my mother seemed like a good idea. 

I have tried to explain to her why I prefer the company of strangers, have a strong aversion to my own family, want to keep my children from her especially my daughter, Princess. How her favoritism of her children born in wedlock, which are her other three children has damaged me some way. How her blasé attitude toward me, my education, my aspirations and ambitions probably drove me to depression and to attempt suicide.

Mother Dearest,

You, Mother have not said one word in kindness to me in the last twenty five years. I remember the last time you told me you were proud of something I accomplished. I remember the last time you treated me nicely and the extravagant promises you made to me. They were all made the summer I left my grandmother to live with you.

Whenever I went to you for advice, you never believed in me and advised me onto the worst course of action. The action that required little effort (especially money or time) from you and large amounts of sacrifice from me.

I will never forget how you came home one day with that sphinx like smile on your face and told me an 'A & B' student to drop out of magnet school so that I could attend Job Corps. I realized later, this was an attempt to get me out of the house legally without you seeming cruel. 

Unfortunately, my sister's call reminded me of your cruelty. I had honestly dropped this from my memories until she used it as an example of the cruelty you used to exhibit toward me. When I was eleven, we were travelling from my stepfather's family home back to Louisiana. I needed to use the bathroom. You wouldn't allow my stepfather to stop the car for the next 100 miles, forcing me to hold it. I  eventually had an accident around mile 95. Instead of you being sorry, you spent the next few hundred miles to the house berating me for being a baby. Even the end of the trip, didn't end your rampage at me. You fussed that the rental car place charged a cleaning fee. You fussed about how immature I was for having an accident. I was so glad to retreat to school to be away from you.

I rarely made friends at school because how could I explain you. The few friends I did make I hated for you to meet them. I knew how you would compare me to them on things I could not or would not be competitive about. "Friend One gets straight A's. Why can't you get straight A's?" "Friend Two, has such nice hair why can't you have nice hair like her?" "Friend Three speaks three languages, why can't you speak three languages." "Friends Four smells nice, why don't you ever smell nice."

Friend One had one more 'A' than me.
Friend Two's mother was a hair dresser. Her mother owned a beauty salon. Friend Two got her hair done professionally in a shop every week.
Friend Three has a Korean mother and a Greek father. She learned from birth.

I was awkward for the five years I lived with you because I now realize no one spoke to me directly. You spoke at me, you spoke about me. You told other people to tell me the things you wanted me to know. "Sister, go tell Spendthrift that we are leaving in ten minutes and she needs to have finished the laundry, and the dishes, scoured the bathrooms and vacuumed the house if she wants to go." There was no need to have sister tell me - I was in the same room as you and sister. 

You made me feel like Cinderella but I never had any Fairy Godmother to give me a night of pleasure or introduce me to Prince Charming or let me escape the drudgery of my life with you.

I truly feel the only reason you ever wanted me to live with you was for my 'unskilled and free labor'.
I was there to cook and clean, watch your children, and be the punching bag for your anger. 

I won't touch on all that you have stolen from me - childhood, self esteem, money, property because in that accounting book of your mind you know the exact toll you have exacted from me. 

The one wish I have in life is that I could go back in time and never have lived with you. If I ever somehow magically get a genie to grant me a wish that is what I want. Although I can't see the future I can see the past and how that moment set me on a path of self loathing and hatred, lead me down a path of attention seeking and looking for validation in all the wrong places.

I know I am tougher and stronger for the time I put in with you but I'm not a Marine I don't need to be strong and tough, I just needed to be treated like a human.

I will leave you with your harshest words to me..."I wish I had borrowed the money for an abortion when I was pregnant with you." 

You made me wish I was never born. I stopped believing in God because almost every night I lived with you I prayed for escape. I don't fear death because if I am sentenced to hell I know I will survive because I survived living with you.


Your Estranged Daughter

1 comment:

  1. Umph. I came to your blog to see who you were since you put me on front street about my #FF... I think it was meant for me to stop by. I feel your pain. Your mom reminds me of mine in some instances not to mention that the first time I was called a bitch was by her when I was about 9 or 10. Yep. Crazy world. I'm glad you're using that negativity as an example of how not to treat your children.