October 6, 2004

letter to my mother.

*This clearly isn't the greatest writing, but I had a lot to get out and I think I finally did it.*

Dear mom,

To answer your question, yes I do miss you. I miss you all the time. But I miss the mom who used to remember everything and only had to be told once, and the mom who used to sit down at a restaurant with Dougie and I and eat chocolate cake with us. When I was still in school, I missed the mom who used to wake up with me in the morning and asked if I needed help getting ready. When John started staying at the house, as much as you donít realize it, I was forced to grow up a lot in a little amount of time. John, and everything involving John takes precedence over everything else in your life. There were many times where I would be sitting in my room bawling my eyes out and you would come up in my room and just start talking about John, like you didnít even notice I was crying. I hated my life, and whenever I tried to talk to you about it you used to come up with some reason why I shouldnít be sad.
You really donít understand how hard everything was on me during the divorce. I was really messed up, and very depressed. I had to put up with so much shit; I had to sit and listen to you and dad bash each other constantly. I felt very alone and ignored because dad and I were fighting at the time, and you were so pre-occupied with John. During Christmas when I was working almost 50 hours a week, and I had trouble getting up in the morning to go to school, instead of comforting me all you did was bitch because you had to get out of bed. When you and dad were together you would have been way more understanding and helpful to me.
I tried extremely hard to welcome John and to cope with everything going on, but that was difficult when I felt like you were never there and John was the only thing you cared about. I still feel that way. It seems like all you ever talk about is John, and a lot of the time youíre bitching about him. It just seems to me like youíre never happy. You always have time to go out with John, or go to his kids games, but if I ask you to come shopping with me youíre too busy. I finally just got fed up. I wasnít happy at home, and I think thatís really sad when I was so dead set against moving, and I wound up doing it any way because I was miserable there. I felt really unwanted and ignored. I was really on my own. I know you and dad are at each others throats all the time, but if it wasnít for dad Iíd be insane right now. Dad and I have grown a lot closer, we talk all the time about everything. He takes really good care of me, and itís not just because heís able to give me money all the time. Of course, thatís a plus, but itís not the reason Iím here. Iím here because dad makes me feel taken care of and wanted. I feel like he understood what I was going through more than you did. I also felt terrible because dad was all alone. Even though I wasnít living alone, I felt alone. I think dad and I had a lot to relate to through this whole ordeal and that brought us together. Plus, dad treats me like an adult. Iím allowed to do whatever I want, I come and go as I please. I wasnít really used to being disciplined that much after the divorce because I wasnít really paid that much attention. As long as I call dad and let him know where I am, and keep my grades up, Iím free. I still do chores, I clean this place all the time, and I donít just spend money out the ass, I budget.
I just donít think you understand....I donít think you realize you were doing anything wrong. You try having the best mom in the world who would do anything for you for 17 years, then she gets a new boyfriend and totally changes. You did change, a lot. I just got tired of it, so I left. I felt like I had no other choice. Everybody knew how unhappy I was. I think it was even worse because you felt like you did nothing wrong. I know I wasnít always right either, but Iím a kid, I have a lot of learning to do. I felt like I was the bigger person many times, and I tried to work things out. I just couldnít do it anymore. I really hate how all of this had to happen. I just feel like you have a whole other family now and theyíre more important. I think part of the reason Dougie has been so helpful lately is because he wants attention, and he realized being bad didnít work.
I understand our lives are different now. I just donít see why I had to lose my mom over it. I really hate how you moved everything out of my room and shipped it over here. You say how much you want me back, but thatís clearly portraying the wrong message. I donít think you should have touched my room at all, now I definitely donít want to come back. I walk in my room and itís like a strange place, itís not mine anymore. That really hurt me, and I think that was really immature. Iím not trying to pile all this on you, but honestly, do you ever think about what youíre doing? I feel like youíre alienating me. You took my pictures off the walls for Christ sakes. Itís like you donít even want a daughter anymore. I know if I ever left here dad wouldnít think about touching my room. Itís my place to come to for comfort when Iím here, and my room should have remained that way at your house. Thatís why dad was pissed off. How would you feel if I threw all of your things in garbage bags and shipped it to where you were? Youíd lose it. Youíre my mother...thatís not something youíre supposed to do. Iím sure your mom is spinning in her grave over it.
You need to put yourself in my shoes. Iím sorry if Iím coming of as demanding, but this is how I feel. Iíve felt this way for a long time, but I never bothered to tell you because you didnít listen. Thatís all you needed to do over the past year or so, listen. Iím sorry all this had to happen, Iíd take everything back if I could, the divorce too. Iím finally starting to be happy again, and I just felt like I needed to get this out. You can take whatever you want out of this letter...Iím just telling you how I feel. Iím not trying to be a bitch, but Iíve wanted to do this for a while. I donít resent John, and I donít resent you, I just resent what you did and didnít do. Itís over, it canít be changed now, but I just thought you needed to know. Instead of just reading this and denying everything, maybe try to think about it, think about why I feel this way. It might help.
Iíve tried to help you many times, especially with the eating disorder. You wonít help yourself and you wonít admit youíre doing something wrong. Youíre slowly killing yourself mom, and I just couldnít stand living in a house with somebody whoís destroying their body. You need to start eating real food, and take care of yourself. Iíve been right about practically everything up to this point, so why wonít you just listen to me. Iím not stupid, I know what Iím talking about.

I love you, mom. I just want you to get better, and I want my old mom back.

Posted by StormyKnight at October 6, 2004 1:57 PM

Thank you, dear. I'll have to pick the CD up.

To let everybody know, my mom has done a total 180 since this letter was sent. I think the healing process can begin. Finally.

Posted by: storm at October 12, 2004 3:39 AM

Stormy, Chris again... I just wanted to ask you if you've ever listened to Good Charlotte's song Emotionless. I bought one of their CDs a few days ago, and while I was listening to it I thought about you and this letter you wrote. The song is about a kid writing a letter to his father, so it's not an exact parallel or anything, but... I know that music always helps me deal with tough situations, and that maybe you'd get something more from it that I didn't, so I thought I'd mention it in case you want to take a look.

Posted by: ChrisU at October 10, 2004 9:17 PM

I am completly amazed by the courage you possess at the age of 18. You are such a strong person. I admire you for being able to deal with something so hard, so well. I can see how much you love your mother and want her to get better. I pray that she does. If you ever need anyone to listen or just sit with you, please let me know. I'd be more than happy to lend a shoulder. :)

Posted by: Melissa at October 10, 2004 9:50 AM

Thank you Dr. Jerz, Neha, and again Chris. It's really comforting to know I have people around me who, although I haven't known very long, care about my situation. Just know that I'm here for you as well. I know everybody has burdens to shoulder and if anybody can relate or understand it's me. I've been through a lot of crazy stuff at the ripe old age of 18...a lot of things many people probably never have to experience in their entire lives. Anytime you ever need anything, I'm here.

Posted by: stormy at October 9, 2004 2:46 AM

I'm going to agree with everything Chris and Dr. Jerz have said. I can understand your pain - while my parents aren't divorced, or even separated, they've been through many years of rough times, and I think my Dad completely forgot that he had two kids who had to listen to him thunder, night after night. As such, I'm much more closer to my Mother now, but my relationship with my Father is slowly deteriorating.

What I have learnt through all of my life is that most people are basically nice, and some of them honestly care. Chris is right - I hope you don't feel like you're ever alone. You have plenty of people around you who are willing to lend an ear or a shoulder - whatever it is that you need.

Posted by: Neha at October 8, 2004 4:06 PM

I can see an equal need here to express your pain and also your love for your mother. I hope she sees both sides of your letter, too.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 7, 2004 7:13 AM

Chris, thank you so much. I know this letter comes across as odd to most people since they don't know the story. I'll just say my mother was my best friend. People used to envy the relationship my mother and I had. When she started dating this guy(who is practically living at the house after 6 months), she completely forgot about me. That was a HUGE shock. I was messed up over it for a long time.I really just spit that letter out, there's not much style to it, just rambles, but I think it'll get my point across. Thanks again for being there, you're a sweetheart.

Posted by: Stormy at October 6, 2004 11:50 PM

Stormy, I don't claim to know a whole lot about divorce in general, let alone the effects it has had on your life in particular... But I think you've shown some real courage here, and it sounds like you did the same in the past, too.

It seems like you've had a lot on your mind, and dumping it all out in words like this is definitely a reasonable way of working with it. It's blatantly obvious just how much you care about your mom and the rest of your family.

If you've ever got something that you need to get off of your chest, though, you don't have to shoulder it alone so much. Don't hesitate to ask someone for help, even if that means just listening to your words, or if you don't know them too well; there are plenty of us out here who love to listen and are concerned about everyone, close friend or not.

Posted by: ChrisU at October 6, 2004 9:32 PM
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