It’s Breaking My Heart
I think we are going to have to agree to disagree. We don’t and never will see life the same way. I did something different with my pain and scars than you did. I opened up my heart wider to the world and started seeking understanding. It may not be your way, but it has served me better than huddling in a corner in denial, hiding from the shadows that are painted permanently on my mind.
I cannot talk to you without you getting defensive and vice-versa. It boils down to this. Whether you realize it or not, whether you will admit it or not you are harder on me than my two sisters. I don’t hold that against you because I realize the reason now. I have been the stubborn one, the one who has to touch the heat and get burned to understand it fully; the kid to push hands away and toddle off, the one who lops off her training wheels and would rather wreck it than take it easy. I’ve always been the one whose spirit had to soar. You cannot cage me no matter how hard you have tried. I am not and will not be the tame one, it isn’t in my nature. I was built a warrior from the moment at 7 when I realized I had to protect us from our step-father. It was that moment in time that changed me. I was never a child again after that.
You have ever been caught up in your own suffering and then you covered it with this holy fervor that keeps you from talking to me honestly. You think that if you pray over something (just pray and don’t act) that it will keep things smooth. I would come to you as a teenager with a problem and you would tell me to go read my bible and pray. I am not a woman of words only, I have to put action behind it or I am just another fool in the world spouting nonsense. I am not saying it isn’t powerful to pray, I’m saying that you cannot sit idle and mouth it – you have to put it into action as well.
You don’t know me. You don’t know what moves me, what motivates me. Do you know what my favorite color is? Do you know what songs make me cry? Do you know what I whisper to myself in the darkness at night? The thing is you never will. We dwell in different levels. You on a way more shallow base than I. I took a good hard look at the dark depths of the water and dove in to explore, you on the other hand are content with your glass bottom boat.
It doesn’t mean you are bad, it doesn’t mean I am better – we are simply two totally different people and unless we understand and admit that we will never be able to speak to one another. I wasn’t trying to pin you to the wall with your “sins” you asked me and I told you that I did know what moments were game changer for me and our relationship. YOU pushed, you insisted even after I told you it would be an ugly mess. You acted like my pain was no big deal simply because it was past history. And you always do that. You couldn’t even say you were sorry……you started yelling about how you NEVER bring up the past. Really? Then why have you thrown in my face that you helped the kiddos have Christmas when I was a broke single parent? I would have never accepted anything had I known it came with strings.
Did you know that I KNEW there was no Santa by the time I was 6? I bet you didn’t. But when you get tired of eating PBJ for weeks on end and there are only 3 presents under the tree….well I saw more than you think I did. I also quit gymnastics because I overheard you talking to Linda about how expensive it was and I told you I did’t want to do it anymore. I knew we struggled way more than you told us. Did you know that S and I slept back to back in our rooms so that when the yelling and fighting and hitting started we felt safer? We had each other’s backs and faced both directions so that we knew what was going on. We heard every word, felt every slap and heard every tear you ever shed over it.
You didn’t protect us, we protected each other and all we learned was that our mother wasn’t going to be truthful with us, that we couldn’t trust you and we couldn’t talk to you. For some reason to you admitting failure doesn’t make you stronger, you think it is weakness. Well I have taken it all and made it into something strong and beautiful and telling me that it isn’t true that I am just sensitive is a mortal insult as far as I am concerned. We say we resented you keep us from Dad and that it hurt us growing up and you tell us “No we didn’t”. I’m not sure where your personal denial leaked over into denial about our feelings. You don’t get to tell me how I feel and in return I can’t tell you how to respond and act.
So here we are. I hurt you worse than before and you hurt me worse than ever. Where do we go from here? I don’t know all the details but I do know that for the sake of the relationship I have to keep it casual. There will be no more talk of feeling, there will be no more talk of past hurts. I am officially done. Kaput. Fini. This is my line in the sand. You will either respect this line or it will be the last you see and hear from me.
I am under no illusions that I fit in with this family. I am under no illusions about how they see and judge me. I hear and see more than you will ever know. But I also know that I am going to be okay. I will mourn the loss of what I wish there was but no longer resent it. It is only tearing me apart and in the end it will be better for me to let this go.
I don’t want to have to separate me and the kids from y’all permanently. But know that I will not stand for them to grow up with half-truths and lies. I will not allow my hurt to hurt them. And most of all, I will continue to explain things to my kids, to talk to them honestly when they overhear a conversation (though I think the whole damn mountain heard it last night.). There will be no dark shadows for them to fear. And they will know that no matter what, no matter how they feel or think – it is okay to come to me and talk to me.
I love you mom. I just can’t be friends with you…….much as I wish it were different.