Burn After Bleeding: A Letter To My Mom

I’m trying to stay mad at you because it will keep me from crying. But anger has always just been a precursor to sadness for me.

You dug deep into my family and I, so I owe you nothing in terms of keeping this whole thing between us…

You hurt my feelings but don’t worry, I’ll get over it. Years of back handed compliments about my appearance, slips and slights were enough to prepare me for the day I wasn’t enough. Not enough to make you happy or keep you on my side the next time your anger roared its ugly head.

I have a new family now.

My boyfriend and I are “happy with less” and as callously as you intended the comment to be, I took it as a compliment. We are happy with our three kids in our apartment. We’re happy with the way we make ends meet enough to keep our family alive, well and on the up and up. Our life isn’t glorious but we aren’t necessarily “traitor trash” either. He works hard, all day long and I work nights so that we can save up money. So that we don’t need “food stamps” to get by… Another jab from you.

It hurts the most when I realize how far you’re willing to take things. I offered you time to think, time to yourself to figure out your next move before you jumped hastily into what I knew you would say next anyways. I asked you not to burn the bridge, I warned you that this time I wouldn’t help rebuild it. The blatant attack on me was clear and you tried to make it seem different. You brought me into an argument that didn’t concern me and I offered you the time and space to see that. You didn’t.

You told me to have a nice life.
You said you’d miss me.
You said you’d miss my kids…

I told you that you’re the one who taught me how to shut people out. Years of you shutting out your side of the family and keeping them from us was enough to teach me that family doesn’t always have to stay. I regrouped with them when I was old enough to decide and maybe my kids will offer you the same. But the years you steal from them between now and then will forever be a burden on your soul. I’ve met my match in you and I cannot stay and fight for this relationship. I can’t hold my tongue and put my feelings on the back burner again when you come crawling back two weeks from now with an attitude like nothing ever happened. Like you didn’t try to make me decide between my boyfriends family and you. Like you didn’t say I was heading for a trailer and food stamps because we think what little we have is enough.

Enough is enough for us.
Which is better than “nothing’s ever enough.”

I learned yesterday what the quote “blood is thicker than water” really meant. That the blood of the coven is thicker than the water of the womb. So the relationships you build are stronger than those you are born into. I’m lucky to have what I have.

I hope your ego can step aside long enough for you to make the necessary apologies.

Until then, as you put it to me, have a good life.

I’ll miss you.

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