This is the most difficult of the unsent letters I am writing as I let go of the past and take steps forward. I’m not sure if the words will really even come. Mom, I miss you. I miss you more than I am willing to admit. The problem is – I miss the mother you used to be, before all the family drama. I don’t know the mother you are now, don’t know how to even talk to you. Most of the time I feel like we are strangers anymore.
I remember you, mom, and the relationship we used to have. You and I were the closet of anyone in the family. I think it was because I was the youngest and you always said you knew me best because of that. But that’s what gets me – you knew me best – and yet you somehow let others change how you see me; you let my sisters warp your mind to believe that I had turned into something I’m not.
I think that the hardest thing for me, besides all the unanswered questions and endless confusion, has been feeling like I let you down even though I know I didn’t do anything wrong! I didn’t do anything to deserve it. I know your mind has been slipping a little and that just makes me feel even worse.You may not even know what you did to me, how much you hurt me. In fact, you say that you don’t know. But there should have been a part of you that realized something wasn’t right, that realized that what you were hearing, what you were being led to believe, didn’t sound like me. Instead, you took it all in and not only believed it but acted on it.
Do you know how hard it was watching my sisters lie to you? I could easily have come to you as well and fought back and slammed them back, but would that have been fair to you? I never wanted you in the middle – that’s why I stepped back. I was thinking of you dammit! I guess my silence only made me guilty in your eyes. And that thought still crushes me to this day.
When you would call to inquire, I didn’t give you my side; I didn’t want to pull you in even deeper and I knew you wouldn’t believe me anyway. Anytime you called, it was only to yell at me – something you had never done my whole life. Do you know what that did to me? Do you now what that did to me when I was the one telling the truth? The mother I knew and loved was clearly gone. That one call when you asked me to fix it and I told you that it wasn’t me, that it was them – you yelled at me and told me that life is too short! Why tell me that, mom? Why not tell them? Why not tell the ones who were lying and creating all the turmoil? Why were you believing them and not me? Oh my god! It just hit me – you were once again protecting the abusers instead of the abused! How many times is that now, mom, four?
And then the call, the one where you insisted I said the cruelest thing – that I wanted you and dad to move away just so I didn’t have to take care of you anymore – not only have I never said that but I have never even thought it! No matter how many times I told you I never said that, you just kept telling me sternly and with conviction that I did, that you remember me doing it. I know it never happened but how do I fight that? I knew it was Sandy who said it to you and in your slipping mind you somehow remembered it as being me – but I wasn’t going to tell you that. How could I tell you, “You’re wrong, mom – it was Sandy and you are losing your mind.” I could never do that! All I could do was keep telling you that it wasn’t me but I could tell you didn’t believe me. You, my mother, my beloved mom, was gone and someone I didn’t recognize was left. You crushed me that day, mom, many days actually but that one in particular caused a searing pain deep inside of me that will never be healed. Having a parent turn on you is a pain that cannot be described with words.
And now, even as I am healing and moving forward, that pain is still with me and I don’t know what to do with it. There is no resolution. I am not going to tell you my side now – after all this time it would be pointless and with the state of your mind, who knows how the conversation would go. And knowing you, you would share it with my sisters like you always have. What I have had to learn is that I just need to let it go, and more importantly I can’t let myself believe about myself what you believe about me, what they believe about me. That would be the biggest tragedy.
After seeing each other at the wedding, we agreed to call each other more. I called you a couple weeks ago and you said you would call next but you haven’t thus far. I have this sadness in me, mom, and I miss our relationship so very much. I miss calling each other about anything and everything. I miss your support and encouragement. I miss when you believed in me. I know though that I will never have those things back – we are both different people now. You can’t let go of who you think I turned into (or your loss of memory) and I can’t let go of the pain of a mother turning on her daughter. I can’t let go of your protection of those who hurt me, who abused me. I can’t see that look in your eyes when you see me. All I see is pain, in your eyes and in mine.