So many words, thoughts and feelings swirling inside of me, but I don’t know where to start. I guess the simple and easy way would be to just be me, and get to the root of it all and expand from there.
When I was little, all through my teens and well into my 20s, I completely idolized you. I told numerous people, that when I got old, if I could be half the woman my mother is, then I’ll be good in life. Sometimes I wish I could go back to that feeling. That the divide between us now, wasn’t there and that we could have the kind of relationship I dreamed of us having. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out that way. As neither one of us, was our true selves during that entire time frame. Having an abusive father, was something that I had to battle and fight through. You had to fight through having an abusive husband. I know that there are very likely things that I don’t know about the extent of what you went through. I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry that he hurt you. I’m sorry that he hurt J and I too. I know it’s not my apology to make, but I just wanted to tell you that.
During my therapy, when dealing with what he did to me, we didn’t just talk about him, we talked about my entire childhood. What changed my entire perception of everything, was three questions that the therapist asked me. 1.Why didn’t your mom take you and your sister and leave, when things were bad. 2.What did your mother do, to help you with dealing with what was going on. 3.How did your mother react, when your father would treat you that way.
These questions primarily revolved around my childhood, not when I was older. When I considered her questions and thought of answers to them, it ignited the already sizzling embers inside of me. It was what started my looking at things from a different perspective, than what I had before. The embers….. they were put there only a few months earlier. I will admit, I was not the biggest fan at first of you dating R and how seemingly overnight, EVERYTHING changed. We’ve already talked about this, but there is one part of it all, that I have not discussed with you. At the time, I couldn’t pin point why you dating him bothered me, and I was struggling with why it did. I know now why and have shared this with you. During one of our talks on the phone about it, you said something and said it in a way/tone that you had never spoken to me in before. You asked if I was jealous, because you had a boyfriend and I didn’t. That hurt. No, that fucking gutted me. I understand that my issues with you and him in the beginning likely hurt you. Maybe that was your way of returning the hurt. I’m really not sure. But still, that was one thing I never EVER thought that I would hear come out of your mouth. I think I already knew then, that things were different, or at least were going to be; and they only got worse from there.
When I had my breakdown, it was quite simply just that. I broke. You and J had found your own ways to deal with what had happened. I hadn’t and it affected me in ways that it didn’t affect either of you. I don’t begrudge either of you that. We all had to heal. We all had to find ways to move past and move on. It just turned out that my moving on took and continues to take a lot more work. Before you moved west, the three of us, me, you and J, had a very in depth conversation on your deck. Once again, three things happened in that conversation, that bothered me at that time and continue to bother me to this day. The first, was when I did ask you why you never took J and I and left. Your answer was, “that is my single biggest regret”. An answer that I appreciate in theory, but rationally, didn’t actually answer my question. The second, was when I fully opened myself up to the two of you, for what was likely the first time ever, and was brutally honest. I told you that I had dark places inside of me. I had voices in my head, his voice, his words, that continued to haunt me on a daily basis. Your response to this, was to look me dead in the eye and say “I don’t understand and I can’t relate to that, I can’t help you”. Gutted for the second time. I didn’t need you to understand. I didn’t need you to relate to it. I needed you to just be there. To listen when I needed someone to listen, to just let the shit out. The third, was when I admitted that the reason I stayed home for so long, until I was 24, was to protect you. To keep the bulk of his anger off you and put it on me. You frowned and scoffed at the notion of it. Driving home after that, I was enraged. I was so unbelievably mad. I actually had to pull over and calm down. I sat in the Sobeys parking lot on Ellerslie Road and sobbed.
Compounding all of this, was your constant criticism and judgment of my looks. I should style my hair different, I should wear wore makeup, my gut is sticking out too far, I have a double chin, I weigh more than you do. And my personal favourite, if you look good on the outside you automatically feel good on the inside. Those things were able to work for you. That was how you coped, how you handled it and how you stayed sane. I’m beyond glad that it worked for you. Honestly and sincerely; and I in no way judge that it did work for you. However, people are different. People handle things differently and see things in different ways. That does not make one right and the other wrong. It just makes them different. I did not think or feel in that way. I’m only just now, starting to appreciate getting girly and having cute hair and wearing make up and looking good on the outside. Not because of the way other people see me. Not because it automatically makes me feel good on the inside. But because I fixed my insides first. I knew that about myself. I knew that that’s how I needed to go about it and told you that numerous times. But you always responded with the same thing…..
Now, here I am. On the other side of it all. Lighter mentally, emotionally and physically. I still have shit to work through and I continue to work on it. It’s been 4 years and while I’m not 100% healed, I’m 75% there. You see me for the first time in 15 months. Better. Happier. Having lost 100 pounds of weight. And you say nothing. NOTHING. You get out of the car, hug me and say it’s good to see you. The first thing out of R’s mouth was, you look great, give me a hug. And THAT meant the world to me. But the one person, I needed to hear say it. Wanted to hear say it, the most. Didn’t say one fucking word about it. But, did have the sense to ask me how much I weighed now.
I won’t deny that for basic things and assistance, you have been there. And I do appreciate that. And I am grateful for the help. In all the things where I needed you the most. Where your daughter needed her mother, unfortunately, you have not been there and it’s cut me incredibly deep. It hurts. It’s agonizing. The week leading up to your arrival, I was so badly stressed and filled with anxiety over it, it made me physically ill. I don’t know how to act, what to say, or how to be in your presence. I feel awkward and out of place. Equally, I know that I have hurt you and that the strain of our relationship affects you too. I don’t know where to go from here. I only know that I can’t keep being angry anymore. It takes too much out of me.
As your daughter, I love you. As a human being….. I cannot allow you to hurt me any longer. Where we go from here and where we end up, I really don’t know. Only time and a lot of healing will tell. Right now, that is what I need, time. The time to find a way to actually be your daughter again. If that day comes, I will greet you again, with arms wide open.