Okay, I Lied…

…I do have one more post in me before our wedding.  It’s not a particularly happy topic.  Over the past month or so, I’ve been fighting the urge to contact my mother.  I’ve written about her before, at length; our rocky relationship the basis for many a blog post.

In an effort to prevent me from doing something so epically stupid as to re-establish contact with my mother, Patrick had me write a letter to her and send it to him instead.

Before I share it, I want to share some valuable links that maybe other people can benefit from.  I’m not looking for pity.  I can only hope that if anyone sees themselves in this kind of situation, or knows of someone who is, that they will do something.

I have spent years trying to outrun the ghost that is my mother, along with her years of alcoholism and abuse.  It has cast a self-loathing shadow over so many things that I have done that, as an adult, there are many days I struggle to function on the most basic of emotional levels.

If you feel like this is something you relate to, please, reach out.  Talk to someone.  Remove yourself from the situation.  No one has the right to be abused.

If you abuse alcohol or find yourself giving into abusive tendencies, it’s never too late to help yourself.  Alcoholism and anger can happen to good people.  The people in your life love you; don’t push them away.

http://www.aa.org/ — Alcoholics Anonymous
http://www.preventchildabuse.org/index.shtml — Prevent Child Abuse America
http://www.ndvh.org/ — National Domestic Violence Hotline

***

Mom,

I wanted to wait until some time had past before contacting you.  This isn’t to attempt to rebuild our relationship, as I think you and I both know we are past that point.  There are some things I wanted to say, however, but I wanted to wait until the anger and hurt I have wasn’t so fresh.I have written and rewritten this letter so many times over the past few hours.  I’ve tried to be diplomatic.  I’ve tried thinking rationally.  I’ve tried to explain my feelings clearly.  I’m failing.  The reality is that the pain is still as fresh as the day I heard your first nasty voicemail telling me good luck with my life.The tragedy is that I do still love you, and that’s what makes this so hard.  There have been times over the past few months where I’ve considered reaching out, but every time I want to your harsh words replay in my head.  All the hateful things you said to me and to Patrick replay in my head like some vicious reoccuring flashback that I cannot turn off.  It’s so confusing to me that someone who claimed to love me and guilted me for so many years about your sacrifices and how much you adored your “one and only beautiful daughter” could hate me so much or think such nasty things about me.

And the thing that kills me is that even if I were able to get past my hurt over this and repair what we have, I know that this incident would just be another thing to guilt me about… and you would succeed in making me feel guilty.  And I would end up apologizing for everything, even though I honestly I have no idea what I did that caused this.  Even now there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t replay what happened in October around your birthday, trying to figure out what I did wrong.  I often find myself wondering if you ever think of me, or am I really that inconsequential?

I just don’t understand why you and Dad ever had me.  While I know I had some hand in the turmoil that has occurred over the years, in the end you guys were my family.  You were supposed to be there for me.  You have guilted me for the past eight years because when I moved in with Dad, I broke off contact.  Like you were the only victim in what happened.  You were a physically and verbally abusive parent who used me as a punching bag for years.  Most of my childhood memories revolve around you, your alcoholism, and making excuses as to why I was constantly missing school or never available for playdates.  (And in the end, kids my age just stopped inviting me to do anything.)  There were nights when I used to lay in bed, thinking that one night you’d come into my room, drunk, and you’d kill me.  I mean you came into my room drunk enough times, just to destroy my room or punish me for some unknown reason that I was scared of you.

Ugh so many memories are rushing back to me, and I want to scream at you and tell you all about them, as if it’ll drown out everything you say about this being my fault.  As if it will drown out the voices in my head telling me that this was all my fault and I brought everything on myself.  Locking me outside during a thunderstorm on our 12th floor balcony because I broke a full wine bottle.  Pretending on the metro that you didn’t know who I was, and I was just some crazy child following you, as a JOKE, to the point where I was reduced to tears.  Punching me in the stomach on a class trip to Cooper’s Cove because I wanted to partner with a classmate instead of you for some sort of activity.  Drunkenly passing out in the kitchen on the floor at least once a week.  Never working a day in your life that I can remember.

Even in light of all of those bad memories, I still find myself instinctively wanting to apologize to you, just so you’ll show me some affection.  How sick and twisted is that?  Even though I’m a grown woman, I still just want my mom.

I’m so angry because I feel like you robbed me of my childhood.  Because of you I had no friends.  I could never have anyone over.  And because I was always with you, you were my only “friend”, and all you did was hurt me.

And yet this is my fault.  You publicly tell people how I was such a god awful kid; how you had to deal with so much because I was a terror.  You actually said those things to Patrick a few times; enough that he mentioned it to me afterward, and noticed how visibly upset I was when you would say those things.  I’m the bad guy.  I’m the manic one.

There is so much hate in me, and I want to say it’s because of you, but it’s me.  I’ve allowed you to be this poison inside of me.  Sometimes I slip and say hurtful and nasty things to those I do care about, and I disgust myself because in those moments I remind myself of you.

I just don’t understand.  Why couldn’t you just love me?  I see pictures of us together when I was a baby, and you looked so happy with me.  What did I do?  What changed?

I’m getting married a week from Sunday, and you won’t be there.  I have to admit that there is a part of me that is relieved.  If you’re not at the wedding, I know that is something we can never come back from, and it’ll be something that keeps us apart forever.  I don’t want to ever crack when it comes to you.

What’s sad is that I want you to know that I still love you.  I don’t know why.  Your vile behavior has infected the very fiber of my being, to the point where it’s a battle every day to feel like I’m a person worthy of anything or anyone.  I feel guilty that you are alone and probably unhappy.  I wish so much that I could be there and things weren’t this way.  But I can’t.  If I were to be there, you’d kill me slowly.  You have drained so much from me over the past 27 years.

Heh, clearly, even months later I cannot seem to emotionally detach myself from any of this.  It hurts the same, if not moreso, as when this first happened last year.

I simultaneously wish you peace, and an immeasurable amount of agony… the latter of which I feel every second I am awake.

I don’t know how to end this.  I guess… I love you, mom.  Everything happens for a reason, and I hope one day I’ll be able to let you go.  Until then you’re just this ghost that haunts me.

Your daughter,
Elizabeth

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5 Responses to Okay, I Lied…

  1. Rachel says:

    I am so incredibly proud of you. You are so strong and so loved, despite her. Seriously, I’m so proud.

  2. zipcode says:

    What an amazing post. Never blame yourself for the monster that is alcohol that destroyed her.

    Best Wishes on your wedding day

  3. Rachel Rego says:

    I can’t even begin to imagine what you endured growing up. All that and you still became a brilliant and beautiful person. Your patience, strength and resilience is enviable.

    Hugs, Liz.

  4. Your letter brought tears to my eyes. My father is an alcoholic. The pain that alcoholism brings to families is indescribable, but you’ve come very close here. Best wishes to you.

  5. Nicole says:

    You are incredible.

    That’s really all I have to say, and well, I hope you believe it because it’s true.

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