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To My Parents

March 5, 2014

To My Parents,

 

I want to start off with I know you love me. You’ve always loved me and you’ve done the best for me that you can to the best you know how.

I love you for that. I truly do.

Right now we’re going through a hard time. Part of that is my fault. I made a choice that is hard for you to deal with. That’s ok. I’m sure my future children will do the same to me.

God forbid if one of my future daughters ends up being a republican or something.

But in the last month two things happened that I want to talk to you about.

The first thing happened our last therapy session way back at the end of January.  It was a difficult session. We talked more. We went to lunch after. I asked that we do that. I asked that no matter how hard therapy is that we sit down and eat together. After we ate, after we arrived at my house again before you left you handed me a photo.

This photo was taken maybe 4 or 5 years ago. It’s a photo of me and my horse. The horse we had to put to sleep this November because she would have died this winter. She was 30 years old and couldn’t keep weight any more. All of us cried. I held her halter when the vet plunged the needle. I glared daggers at the vet’s assistant who offered to hold her for me. I barely bit my tongue and kept quiet instead of snapping that no idiot stranger was going to dare hold my horse and he could just back the fuck off- thank you very much.

You handed me this picture- sepia taken years ago. I’m smiling in a jean jacket, I don’t have my glasses on- probably lost them again. It’s fall if I remember correctly. I see a happy picture of me and a horse I considered family. A horse I was closer too than many people. I was happy- even if it was bitter sweet- when you handed this to me.

Than you said something. One sentence. A handful of words. I don’t think you knew what you were doing but you did it.

“That’s the girl we know you are, that’s the daughter we know is still there.”

Fifteen words. Twenty six letters twisted and combined in 15 different ways- strung together to make a sentence. A sentence that destroyed the bittersweet joy of seeing this framed 8×10 in my hands.

You don’t see how I can still be the daughter you raised.

I am a strong woman of principles, I fight for what I believe is right, I stand up for myself, I see what needs to be done and I do it, I know myself and my dreams and I know I can reach them.

That’s the daughter you see in the picture and that’s the daughter you should still see when you sit across from me at the dinner table. Because she is the daughter you raised.

The second incident occurred just the other week. January was a hard month. It was cold, it was stormy and my income took a huge hit. Almost cut in half. Life came into the picture. I had extra expenses. February I was sick for a while, I couldn’t work, my savings were being used. Money was tight.

I called you. We talked. I mentioned I might need a tiny bit of help financially. You jumped down my throat. You told me that if my job wasn’t paying the bills I should find another job- a different job. A job that you approved of.

You said this in ignorance. If you’d taken time to think you’d realize how much you don’t know. You didn’t ask what my budget was, what my gross income had been for the month- if a different job would cover everything I need. My basic bills- rent, food and fuel.

It wouldn’t- just so you know. Not with out me sacrificing my education. Something I wont do.

Now had you said that you were not comfortable helping me while I dance I would have understood. I wouldn’t have held it against you.

You’d be standing by your principles- even when it sucked- something you taught me.

You could have said that you couldn’t talk about it. That would be setting your limits- expressing your boundaries. Something you gave me the confidence and strength to do in my own life.

Instead you shamed me for making choices that were right for me.

That you cannot do.

You act like you’ve lost a daughter, lost a child you could be proud of. I’m still here. I’m still that child.

Daddy you said your proudest moment of me was when I got in a fistfight in 4th grade. Some boys were making fun of another boy and I stood up for him. I got into a fight for something I believed in. I’m still fighting in that same way.

The daughter you knew, the girl you were proud of is still in me, the woman you see today. I am her and she is me. You gave me the tools to build myself into this person I am proud to be. You were parents I’m proud to have.

You might not agree with my choices, you don’t have to.

You might not be comfortable with my choices, you don’t have to be.

You might not be proud of my choices, that’s ok too.

You can be proud of my dreams and hate the method I choose to reach them.

But they are my choices and you do have to respect them.

Just as the daughter you raised respects yours.

 

Love,

 

Your Daughter.

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13 Comments
  1. This is beautifully expressed and heartbreaking. But you are strong and focused, and you know your mind. Hopefully your parents will come to admire that and take pride in it. Because they raised a strong, brave, principled woman. xo

    • Thank you so much. I know that they are coming from a loving place but the problem is that place is full of ignorance. It’s their right to set their boundaries but they also need to respect mine.

      You are a great friend and thank you for the comment 🙂

  2. Aphrodite permalink

    Right from the heart…

  3. This must’ve been very hard to write. Well done you.

  4. You are so talented at writing and expressing yourself!!

  5. Brian permalink

    Ma’am, I don’t know how I ended up on your blog, but it was an honor to read this. Brought a tear to my eyes because of the heartfelt emotions behind it. I hope that none of my children feel they have to write this. Thank you for making me a slightly better person because of reading this.

    • Thank you for leaving one of the most heartfelt comments I’ve been honored to receive. I hope you will come back to read again and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

      • Brian permalink

        Yes, ma’am, I will keep checking the blog out. I love your writing style. Hope to comment again 🙂

  6. I had the same experience two weeks ago with my family. Honestly a mother will never understand or want to. Hold down your house and your life n Don’t beat yourself up. God bless

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