When I started this blog, I just wanted to get out all of the negative things that had shattered my heart and soul as a kid. To let go of all of the child abuse and the poison. I didn’t know that it would start to repair the damage done. During the last several months of my absence, a new anger has grown. Just something else for me to recover from. It burns like the coals buried deep in a fire, never cooling. This new anger is for my mother and her lack of healthy parenting skills and it is also for my (now eighteen year old) sister Suzie. Before I get into details, I want to give a little background to what’s happened.
Part of the recovery process is to apologize/forgive or make amends for things that have happened. In this case, I wanted to send a letter to Suzie to make amends for not being a better sister, for not always having patience with her. Here is what I sent to her.
I have started this letter so many times over the years, but for whatever reason, I can never finish it. There was this one time that I was made to take you on a walk with me. I was angry because going for walks was the one way that I ran away from the hell that my life was. You were two or three years old and it was cold outside. We were both wearing our coats. I was walking too fast for your little legs to keep up. I was practically dragging you. We were walking down a random street and this woman yelled at me from her porch, telling me that I was making you walk to fast.
The thought running through my head when she made that comment was that she needed to mind her own business. What I should have done is realized that you were still just a baby and I was walking too fast. Ever since I’ve had my daughters I have had a deep-seated guilt about that day and several other things I never did or shouldn’t have done. I didn’t have the ability or the maturity to handle those situations like I would handle them now.
I should have been a better sister. I should have been more patient and protective of you. I am so sorry that I couldn’t be the big sister that you needed me to be. I have been trying to apologize for a long time, but saying that I’m sorry doesn’t seem to be enough.
After I moved out, Mom then had to deal with Jack A. without me as a buffer. When they split up, I don’t think she knew how to be by herself. She still had the responsibility of taking care of you. Though, I’m not sure how to classify what it was she was doing. ‘Being a mother’ doesn’t seem to fit the bill. She told me once that she kicked Jack A. out because she didn’t want you to have to grow up like I did. However, she went in the completely opposite direction. She didn’t give you the healthy form of structure and boundaries. She didn’t give you what you needed emotionally. Instead she bought you anything and everything that would keep you out of her hair. The second that you moved into my house at fifteen, mom was already starting to let go of her parental responsibilities.
When I started looking at everything from an objective point of view instead of an emotional one, Kim was relieved that she no longer had to be responsible. She didn’t want to have to come home after work if she didn’t want to because nobody was there for her to have to take care of.
Kim didn’t get to experience her ‘adult’ freedom for very long because she had gotten pregnant with me. When I moved out of hell from under her and Jack A., I was finally able to do what I wanted, how I wanted. I made my own mistakes and had to get out of them on my own. I didn’t have to answer to anybody (as long as I didn’t break the law). This is what I mean by ‘adult’ freedom.
Mom got pregnant with me and had to give up her freedom. When you moved in with me, mom suddenly got her freedom back. So she tried to ‘regain her youth’ so-to-speak. Now as we have both witnessed, she has completely let go of her parental responsibilities to both of us.
When your kids grow up, I think you should still be there for them. When my girls grow up, I will always be there in whatever capacity they need me to be. Kim was at the wedding when I got married. If the situation were different, and I was getting married tomorrow, I know that mom wouldn’t be reliable and I’m not sure that I would want her there. She wouldn’t be there for me to do all of the shopping and girlie things. In fact, she wasn’t there for me for that. She was just present for the wedding. WHEN we got married, you were still living with her so there was still a small sense of responsibility. When I went into labor with Aisha (first-born – girl) Kim drove me to the hospital. She did it because Conall had gone to work. Again, if that same thing were to happen today, Kim would be the last person that I would call for help. I would call an ambulance before calling her. When Clairy (second-born – girl) was born, you had already moved out of my house and in with your friend and her parents. Kim didn’t even come to the hospital. Her excuse was that she didn’t have the gas money and her car was broke down. I had arranged for a ride for her to and from so she could see her new granddaughter but she said NO. I will be there for Clairy and Aisha as their mother and their friend. When they grow up and get married, I will be there crying in the front row. When they have kids, I will be there with a ‘#1 Grandma’ shirt on.
Mom isn’t there for you or I. I told Conall (Husband) that I have stopped hoping that Kim will just one day be the mother that you and I have always wanted and needed. I told him that there isn’t an emoticon or single word to explain how I feel. I asked him, “How am I supposed to keep a relationship with my mother now that my hope has died?”
From today, I haven’t heard from her in a month. I wanted to see how long it would go before she would call me and give me the ‘I haven’t heard from you’ guilt trip. It used to take two to three days. So far, it has been a month. When you moved in with us, Conall and I tried to be what Kim should have been for your entire life. Again, I failed at what you needed me to be. I am sorry for that as well. I truly am. I am again without the words to explain. I feel that I owe you an explanation though. Kim told me once that I resented you because she was able to give you things that she couldn’t, wouldn’t, or didn’t give me. That has NEVER been true.
I have been angry at her. Very angry for more years than I would like to admit. Part of what I was angry about was that she wasn’t teaching you or being the parent she should have been for you to grow up as a well-adjusted and well-rounded young lady. Conall and I set standards that were too high for you to be able to reach. We were unreasonable in what we expected. I should have done things differently.
One thing I am worried about… I am worried that while you are reading this, your relationship has been damaged so much that you’re going to laugh and brush off what I’m trying to express. If I do get to the point that I CAN send this, know that I am sorry for how I handled things.
At one point, I tried to confront Kim about the anger that I have… I questioned her about why she let Jack A. do all of the things he did. These were questions that I thought I would never get the answers to. I am sure that, if it’s now, you will have your own guestions for her for the things she didn’t do as a parent. When I confronted her, she got very defensive. I wanted to know what was so wrong with me that she wouldn’t be the mother she should have been and done the things she should have done like protecting me from Jack A. I had to find the answers for myself. It has been a very long process and I’ve tried to give you some insight to part of the problems with who mom is. She has some severe emotional problems that have prevented her from doing all the things she should have done.
Kim would compare you to me all of the time and I would tell her not to. I would tell her that comparing you to me wasn’t fair to you because we are two different people. You don’t have to be like me and I’m sorry that I haven’t been the sister that you needed me to be.
That is the end of the letter. Due to the length of the things that I need to say, I’m going to have to post this in different parts. I will add more to this later.