Here I am going to say all the things I always wanted to tell you, but I either didn’t or you twisted what I said or you just didn’t care.
I spent my whole life trying to prove to you I was good. smart. responsible. caring. I tried sooo hard to earn your love, your affection. Every day I lived in fear of you, of your words, of your tone of voice. Of your hands. You terrorized me, every single day. All I wanted was for you to not despise me. I don’t know what I ever did to you that you felt you had to make me a perfect automaton who never had their own thoughts or actions. I don’t know what I could have done for you to feel the need to instill fear and terror in my mind when I was only 3 years old. I remember so clearly trying to stand in the corner by the door without moving or taking my nose off the corner. You made me stand there all day, because I would always squirm or wiggle inadvertantly, so you made me stay longer each time that happened.
I always knew you hated me. And I knew it was a secret that only I shared with you. It was so confusing that when others were present, you actually seemed nice, even interested in me. When I was still little, I didn’t understand this; I thought that somehow I had done the right things, acted the right way, finally made you see what a good, nice, smart, responsible girl we were. And then, I would do the same things the next time to told me to do something, only this time, you would bend over and put your face in mine. It was always so angry, so ugly and distorted, it scared me to see it so close. I wanted to squeeze my eyes so tightly shut to make you stop. But I was too afraid even to do that. I knew if you saw my eyes close, you would just make it worse, scarier, more threatening. So I held my eyes open in front of that face you made, and became perfectly still, because I knew if I showed any weakness you would only have more fuel for your white hot burning hate. Then you started yelling, when you knew you had me paralyzed, unable to move or speak. I was your captive and you tortured and toyed with me like a boy pulling wings off flies, or burning ants with magnifying glasses. For so so long, I thought I was somehow incapable of doing anything properly. I thought I was useless, clumsy, and basically I didn’t trust anything I thought or did, and was afraid to try anything I didn’t already know how to do. You did this me, mother. You made me doubt every single thing about myself. Now in my 40’s I am finally beginning believe in myself, to trust myself, for the first time ever. Why did you have to punish me-for just being your daughter? Why did you have to give me pain instead of love? And why did you have to enjoy my suffering so so much?
For years I thought you must love me, because you said it sometimes, without being mean. And because when others were around you treated me like you loved me. And so I thought that your hatefulness was really you being demanding, tough on me, but because you loved me and wanted me to do things right, and know how to act. I thought for so many years that if I could figure out how to do things right, what answer to give you when, that I would finally get you to stop hating me. This was probably the most cruel torture you could have done. I believed I actually had a chance to make you not hate me (I gave up on getting you to love me by the time I was in high school) You had by then made me doubt every single thing about myself, and also made me loathe every part of me, because I couldn’t ever do anything right according to you. By the time I was a teenager, I didn’t even care if I got your love or affection or attention. I just wanted to stop hurting for once. Just once, I wanted to live in a safe place where I didn’t need to walk on eggshells, and wonder with my every word and every action if you would attack me again.
By the time I was 14 I had been raped. Then I loathed myself even more. I started drinking, partying, and became too promiscuous. You didn’t care. You didn’t talk to me. You didn’t validate me. You didn’t show affection, except if you call screaming, shrieking, tirades of my worthlessness and uselessness love. Oh, and the occasional punch, slam or smack. All the things I did, were all because I knew I was nothing. Because you made me believe that. Because you made me break into parts. Because you are so inhuman and hate yourself more than anything but can’t accept it, you brutalized your own daughter from birth. Instead of building me up, supporting my dreams and goals, you took every chance to rip me to shreds. You may have broke me, but you didn’t kill me, didn’t eradicate me. I managed despite your efforts to have 2 wonderful kids, to finish college, and to do a job I loved for many years taking care of others.
You don’t own me anymore. You don’t even know me any more. The person I am now was born from your hate, and from the others that came to help me survive you. We have gone through the crucible and come out stronger. We are joined now to make us successful, working together to be strong and stable. Kicking me out at 17, punishing me and my kids when my husband left me and I had no income or home, and wrapping it all up with the things you said to me the day I had to send my kids away from me, out of state, to their father, are unforgivable. And the irony is that I forgave it all, up until the very last thing. The day I lost my kids and sent them away, you said the cruellest, hurtfullest, nastiest, unforgivable things. You (and oh yes, your mother was there chiming in too) told me with glee in your eye how I deserved to lose my kids, how I was a failure as a mother, how if it was up to you you would tell the courts and judges and anyone else how unfit I was and should never see them again. You said in that cutting, snarky, voice with a smirk on your lips, how I would never be welcome to even your spare bed. How I should go and crawl into the gutter that suits me so well and never come back out, because that’s what I have always been–nothing more than gutter trash.
You stole from me every single chance to believe in myself, to have confidence and courage just to make yourself feel good by turning your self hatred onto me. I am not your punching bag anymore. You do not own me anymore. I have claimed ownership of myself. And I choose not to surround myself with abusers any longer. So after 5 years, you have written to me twice in the last 2 months. You think you can get in touch after saying those things to me? You think 5 years is gonna erase your pure and unadulterated glee at telling me I am nothing but trash? You think now that I have been rid of you for 5 years and have finally found myself, have started to discover who I really am, and am actually starting to like the real me, you think that NOW I’m gonna let you back in my life? When would that ever in any situation ever, ever happen? For the first time in my life, I am finally safe. My home is finally safe. I do not live in constant fear of the next attack. I will never let you in again. You and other abusers have taken up enough of my life. I will never allow myself to be hurt again. I will never forgive you for denying me what every child should have, unconditional love and support.
In the end, all that self loathing and hatred and anger that you turned onto me for 36 years, has backfired. You thought if you focused your pain on someone else, like me, that you wouldn’t feel so awful. Well, now I’m done, and you have only you to live with, with all that anger and self hatred, until you die. The only person you can hurt now is you. And even if you fool someone into being your friend or husband (again), it will be short lived since it will end just like all the other marriages and friendships–with them leaving you because you are so hurtful and vile.
And I am a good person. And I am responsible. And I am a good mother–a very good mother. I guess its just who I am.