Day 150: Mother F-ing letter Part 4 - What I Want from You Now (Major Trigger Warning)
Dear Pandy's friends, today I wrote the last section of the letter to my mom: "This is what I want from you now."
Before I share this last installment, I want to thank AngelFriend from the bottom of my heart for the time you spent with me yesterday. I spilled my guts for several hours; and you listened so lovingly. You shared your heart and your pain as well. Our conversation yesterday was an inflection point for me. By that I mean my perspective shifted fundamentally. I had been looking through a magnifying glass turned over the wrong way. You helped me turn it over the right way.
Perhaps a magnifying glass isn't quite the visual I want. This is better, I think: you helped me out from under the water. I have been in the water holding my breath all this time, all these years. I brought my head above water with you and it was a sunny, warm day. I felt cherished; and I felt I matter to you. At times, as you expressed your feelings toward me I felt pain, the pain of being rescued from near death. Max (MacGyver) wrote a metaphor for this that is very powerful to me:
Because of the hunger for love it is like offering a feast to a near-skeleton fresh from a concentration camp. Don't make me smell food. Take it away, please. I've lived without even the thought of food and have been slowly wasting away, but surviving. Please don't make me smell food. My body could not take the disappointment, of getting geared up to eat and then finding nothing. The shock of that broken promise would be the end of me.
I hope the meaning is clear. For a moment (well, or a few moments) it was painful to hear you tell me how you feel about me. But, then the words sunk in and I heard my own feelings break through my armor in response.
I have you in my heart, AngelFriend.
Writing this letter has been more exhausting and painful to me than I'm sure it has been for you to read, or it would have been for you to read if you had. Nonetheless, my main thesis is still true. What matters is my need to speak my truth. Your feelings and preferences matter not one iota, which is every bit as much as I mattered to you when I was child.
My initial reaction to this section of the letter, "What I want from you now," is: FUCKING NOTHING. GO DIE IN A HOLE YOU BITCH!
I can't imagine wanting anything from you. When I was a child I wanted your nurturing and affection. I wanted your attention. I wanted your approval. I wanted your time. I wanted you to be proud of me. Well, not any more. The idea of you touching me or talking with me about my needs, my feelings, my pain is utterly disgusting to me. It's like laying at the bottom of a dumpster licking the fetid surface.
There are people in my life who love me, who genuinely love me, with tenderness, affection, kindness, and compassion. They have time for me and even want to spend time with me. Can you imagine that?! I'll bet you can't think of any reason anyone would want to sit with me, listen to me, hold my hand, give me a hug, and tell me they love me! I'll bet it seems weak and pitiful to you that I would want that and allow it. You know what? Not only do I want that, I need it and it feels really good! You don't know this, but love is an incredible, wonderful, glorious thing to receive. And, although you cannot love me, other people can. And it makes me profoundly, indescribably happy. I am feeling this for the first time in my life and you can't take it away from me by shaming me.
So, what do I want from you? I can only answer by imagining the most hypothetical of circumstances: as if I would accept anything from you at all (which I won't), as if you would consider for a millisecond providing anything I want, and as if we would ever reach the point a conversation of any substance could ever happen between us. None of these things are possible on the planet Earth. Not on our solar system, not in this galaxy, and not in this time line. I will have to imagine another universe, a parallel dimension in which you give a fuck; and I am willing to share the slightest bit of myself with you.
The only thing I can imagine in these hypothetical circumstances I might really, honestly want, is a genuine and complete apology. I know you don't know what that involves, so I'm going to tell you:
- Start by stating you are sorry and what you are sorry for (this must include your accountability). This will be a fucking LONG list. And, when you state the things you did wrong, you are not allowed to give excuses or place blame on anyone else! Here are a few examples to get you started:
- I'm so very sorry, Intrepid, for letting your step-father sexually abuse you.
- I'm sorry for giving you to him.
- I'm sorry for letting him take pictures of you.
- I'm sorry I didn't hold you as a baby.
- I'm sorry I put you in the box and left you to cry for hours on end.
- I'm sorry I force fed you foods you are allergic to.
- I'm sorry I allowed your step-father to beat your siblings.
- I'm sorry I blamed you for my alcoholism.
- I'm sorry I shamed, mocked, and treated you with contempt all of your life.
- I'm sorry I didn't love you.
- [fill in the blank] you'll need at least 90 more lines, many 990 more lines to get through everything for which you owe me an apology.
- State the harm done to me by the things for which you are apologizing.
- I know this caused you to lose your ability to feel your emotions.
- I know what I did made it so you are unable to allow people to touch you in a safe, nurturing way.
- etc., etc.
- State you will never do such things again, or allow such things to happen again.
- I know I can't take back the things I did, or undo the harm it has done to you, but I promise you I will do better. I won't do anything like that ever again.
- Offer to make amends
- I want to make amends for what I did and did not do. I don't know quite how to do that because everything was so harmful to you. Here are a few ideas I have. Of course, it is up to you if you want to accept anything from me. Whatever I provide to you has no price tag. It is owed to you.
- I will admit all of this to your brothers and the rest of the family and tell them you have been telling the truth.
- I will spend every day for the rest of my life apologizing and not expecting your forgiveness.
- I will pay your student loans from college.
- I will pay for your counseling bills, from the past and the present.
- I will pay for the healthcare you have received, or will receive in the future, as a result of neglect and avoidance of doctors.
I am no longer your cross to bear. And I refuse to bear the cross of your abuse and neglect any longer. I have risen into a world in which I am loved.
So, I guess when I think about reality, and not hypotheticals, there is only one thing I truly do want from you.
I want you to fuck off!