You’ve never asked me to talk, really talk to you about what’s been going on with me. We’ve never been the close mother daughter duo that frequents malls and nail salons, with inside jokes or vacation plans and girls nights out. Something between us is broken. Something deep and vital to the life of any relationship.
I remember you telling me once that we would just never have that sort of relationship because that’s just who you are or who I am. Maybe you were right but I’m also hoping that you were wrong and that there’s still time for us.
The past year has been a deeply intense and painful one but I feel like I’m finally stepping out of the shadows and back into myself.
When Fadaka left the suicide note on my kitchen counter and walked off with a bottle of pills, it was the most scared I’d ever been in my life. I checked her into a rehab facility and came home to cry on my kitchen floor. I felt so lonely and in the weeks that followed my loneliness grew and so did this voice in the back of my head. The voice told me how much of a failure I was, how disgusting I was, and how worthless I was. It was so loud. I could have sworn that someone was whispering it in my ears.
(Lol by now I’m sure you’re thinking of Grandpa’s schizophrenia but don’t worry- it’s not that)
Days and weeks went by and I couldn’t ignore the voice telling me not to eat even though I was hungry, berating me for speaking too loud, for being so fat and disgusting. And then I hit a week where I ate less than 400 calories a day. And 4 days where I ate almost nothing at all. The voice was so proud of me for not eating. The voice urged me to remember how awful I am; and kept asking what use I really served.
This was not normal. I told myself it couldn’t possibly be normal. How many people really hate themselves that much? I knew I couldn’t survive much longer as I was going so I called a therapist.
I started going to therapy in June of last year. It’s been a year now and it’s amazing how much better I feel. When I first started seeing her we talked about why I felt the way I do about myself. All those diets, exercise plans, books about manners, comments about wishing you had another daughter were still there growing weeds into my soul. So many weeds. Weeds of self hatred that blossomed into self deprication, depression, anxiety and a warped sense of self and reality.
Now I know you didn’t intentionally water those vicious plants but weighing me in the dining room and crying when you saw the number didn’t plant seeds of self confidence or self love in my mind. You once said that it was silly to think someone would love me as I am or that I had plenty of fat to live off of so I didn’t need a snack. Those comments, that I doubt you remember, became my inner dialogue and inner storyteller.
We never talked about so many of the things that happened between us and I really thought that I was okay, that I didn’t feel upset or angry but I wasn’t okay. I had so many memories that were still actively hurting me that I spent a month having nightmares and crying almost every day. You said a lot of things that hurt me very deeply and I feel like you already know that; but it feels often like you are more focused on just moving on completely rather than discussing the issue and letting me have a voice. Sort of like this past mother’s day, you were hurt so you wrote me a letter and then haven’t really spoken to me since. Why not ask me out to lunch to clear it up and talk it out? Why not increase your outreach? I wasn’t angry at you at all but you just assumed that I was without even really speaking to me. It sort of seems like you don’t really care to listen as much as you want to be heard.
I know you were hurt that I didn’t do anything for mother’s day this year. I’m sorry you felt hurt by my silence but I just wasn’t ready to wish you a happy Mothers day and I didn’t want to do it out of obligation.
Do you remember the mother’s day that fell directly in the middle of the month where you stopped speaking to me? Do you remember that I still bought you a gift that year? It was a fancy Lavander soap. Do you remember afterwards telling me that I must not appreciate you based on the gift I bought for you? We never talked about that. You wrote me a letter about why you were ignoring me but I never got to talk about it.
What about the year that you locked Kirt and I outside and then in the bathroom for 3 hours, spanking us over a pizza crust? I still made you breakfast in bed that year. We never talked about it.
What about the year when, after I moved out, you screamed at me that I was never to cross the threshold of your house again. We still went out for brunch that year but we never talked about it.
For a super long time I never talked about anything. If I was feeling sad or stressed or angry. I never talked about it. If something upset me. I didn’t talk about it. But now, that has caught up with me. And rushing Fadaka to the emergency room caused my cup to run over. I can’t not talk about things anymore.
I wish that things had been different between us.
I’m not writing this letter to make you feel bad or sad or guilty but because it’s my truth and I deserve a time to talk just as much as you.
I am valuable and loved.
I know this must be a lot for you to read and understand. I hope that you’re able to receive these words with the intent for which I sent them; to clear out the neglected and overrun gardenbed of our relationship and turn the soil so that in the future flowers of magnificent beauty may be planted there.
I’m ready to get started when you are.