To You, From Me

Dear You, 

Your mind has been really unsettling lately.  I find that you are trying to be more positive but it is a very slow process.  You are not working nearly as hard enough as you should be, in turn, no one is benefiting from you small attempt to do a little more than nothing.  That is very annoying to you, to me, to all parties involved, honestly.  

You are so unhappy with the way you look, these past 6 months, your raging lunatic attitude is really hindering and hiding all the best things about your life and the things you have.  What the heck are you doing?  You are so mad and disappointed about this weight gain but you eat like it’s your “last supper”.  Duh!  Get a grip.  Okay, okay, so your 5 days in to your Weight Watchers diet and yes, you are feeling more motivated but you still crave such terrible food and you are thinking “how many points can I get away with today?”  Horrible.  That shouldn’t be the main focus, but vanity will get you, if you’re me.

I really have nothing else to really be upset about.  I, of course would like a raise or promotion or a bonus or something already.  Living paycheck to paycheck, worrying and calculating every purchase is an anxiety enabler.  One can only pretend, it’s nothing to get that pair of shoes when inside they are sweating, wondering if that purchase will take money away from the next upcoming bill.  And there is always another bill creeping up behind you.

You are disappointing to me and I am disappointing to you.  I have picked up an ugly deadly sin.  Envy.  And envy looks hideous on any one who wears it.  It is a very shitty feeling to have and even harder to admit that you have it.  I am human though and susceptible to all things at one point or another.  I can’t make one excuse for envy though.  There is anything that can come of it besides consistent negativity and self loathing.  Who wants to be that person?  And better yet, who wants to around that person?  You know that feeling when you aren’t happy with yourself, how you look, how you feel in your own skin and the frustrating fact that you can’t blame ANYONE in the world but yourself so instead of taking the blame, you want what someone else has and you hate that they possess it.  You can even love that person, but you hate everything they possess only because it is a threat to you.  Instead of being happy for that person, any person, you want them to feel as miserable as you EVEN though, it’s not really in your character to really feel this way.  Envy is a sickness, it seeps in and it is something you need to identify and destroy at the first sight of it or it manifest.  That can be a scary reality if it is not caught and killed off.

So, does this mean you are a terrible person because you let envy in?  I’d like to think that if you are away of the issue, then you can work towards a process of making it go away.  If you were just envious and doing hurtful things and were unaware of the damage you were causing then I would hold you way more accountable for those actions.  But you a harboring the envy because you that it is wrong but it is seeping through in your actions unknowingly and that is way the issue lies.  That is where there is a big problem.  There is a big lack of gratitude and gratitude should be one of the first things you have towards everything in your life.

So, I am disappointed in you.  You have given in to the temptation of envy.  Envy feels good for no one.  At what point, do you change your character?  Through experience, through interaction or through pure selfishness?  At the end of the day envy, is not thinking of what others have but more thinking of what you do not have.  That is selfish.  Selfish is something you never want to be and something you worked so hard at not being.  Where do you stand now?  Sixteen days before your 28th year and what do you have to show for it?  An envious, overweight, unattractive woman?  Self-hatred and loathing and without any appreciation for all that has been achieved in those years?  It is shameful that even when you think you are making progress, you are actually jumping a few steps back.  

Wake up and stop saying that you are going to reevaluate your life over and over but do nothing.  Your words and your actions do not mean anything because nothing has come from it.

What are YOU doing?  How much more time will YOU waste?  Time is irrelevant but how much of YOU will you waste until the day it expires?  Stop talking and start doing, please.  I am begging you.

WAKE UP. The sun has risen.

Me


To Mother, Letter 5

Dear Mother,

As much as pain may be perceived as weakness, in its raw setting, I find it holds strength when someone just admits the hurting is there.  How many years am I going to let go by, without letting go?  Do I love the excuse?  You have given me the greatest excuse to be sad, to hurt, to choose the wrong people, to keep my guard up and to let my guard down.  I think.

You are pushed way back in my mind, but you keep showing your face.  You have cursed me with dreams.  You are a distorted image of someone I used to know and someone I have created when I no longer knew you.  Woe is me.  An adult, sad because mommy didn’t love me let alone enough to at least stick around for the formative years.

How many times will I have to love someone and then have them ripped away from me?  Raw love.  You are the first person, but not the last.  How could I have even let that happen a second time?  Yet it happened again, I believed something that didn’t exist.  I loved something I couldn’t keep and it was taken from me.  The feeling is all too familiar.

You have no idea, the effects your actions have had.  You only know your feelings, your perception.  You do not know mine.  Until you take responsibility for what has happened and come to me with the apology not for the sorrow you feel but for the emptiness you have left in me, you will never know me.

My life is on pause for 13 years.  I have learned nothing.  I can admit my faults, my mistakes and my errors, something I did not learn from you but took from your examples.  I am a tree stump, I am not going to pretend that things are perfect or put on a show for all to see that although you failed, I prevailed.  I may have succeeded far more than you ever could but mentally, I am broken.  I have yet to change that path.  I am trying, but it is so hard.

I am still fighting to let go.  I need to fight harder.

Lee


Short Post Note To Love

I never realized how much faith I put into you until you disappointed me. You were supposed to be true to me and you have only led me on to believe in a fictitious concept that is meant to destroy the mind and soul. Weary old I, have no hope in you any longer. You have me sitting scorned and broken, as a flame dances over what is left of me. I continue to provide the wood to your fire and I enable you to burn.


To My Nonna

Dear Nonna,

I never ever got a chance to tell you what you meant to me.  I wanted to visit you when I found out your children had placed you in a home but I didn’t know of the response I would get from you or anyone and then you passed on.  It is always easier for me to start at the beginning.  I remember when my parents would leave me with you and papa for a few hours when they needed a sitter every once in a while.  Remember how Papa would take me in the basement of the apartment building and he had his trains set up and it was like his little world that he shared with me.  My favorite was having the Prosciutto being homemade and the dry sausage too!

On a deeper level, you weren’t very affectionate but you gave hugs sometimes, but I really made the initiative to hug you and I never minded.  Even as a little girl, I could see the sadness in your eyes, you worked  so hard and you didn’t ever feel loved.  That’s why I always said I love you to you when no one else did and it was nice that you said it back.  I meant it too.  Your life from what I observed was very difficult, I know that Papa was not a good man, husband or father.  It is a shame, he was a good Papa to me for a little while though, I will be honest about that.

You used to make the BEST linguine with baby clams in a white sauce.  It is still my favorite and you used to add cut up tomatoes in it, I never liked tomatoes and still don’t; only in my clam sauce.  I make it just like you do and even made my grandma (dad’s mom) make it that way for me only.  [She does it but she doesn’t really want to.]

I remember you used to make the homemade cavedelle’s too.  I tried it and I did a really good job, I would like to think, you would have been proud of me.

I miss those chucks of prosciutto or capicola that you used to get from the pork stores and we all would cut thick pieces of it and drink Pepsi.  And I would chew on the skin for days. Ha ha.  Papa always made fun of me because I would say “Cabigool” instead of capicola.  I can’t eat like that anymore though, I would blow up like a balloon from all the salt and oil.

You didn’t really know too much English and you would get so mad when I didn’t understand what you were saying, all I knew was, “aspetta minuta” translates to wait a minute, because I was usually asking you a question and when you did try to translate and couldn’t find the word you would say, “Cuomo se diche”, “What’s the word?”

We used to come over your house every Saturday or Sunday to hang out and eat dinner.  We used to have Christmas Eve with you and papa every year.  You made the best lobster tails and calamari in the sauce ever.  You always made linguine, that is probably why I always choose that when I am making pasta plus my dad liked it a lot too.

I think if I had more time with you, things would have been different with us and I would have shown you the attention that everyone else neglected to show you.  I know you remember the holidays when my father, brother and I visited you in the hospital and your own children didn’t come.  I know you must have felt so alone.  Now that I am older and an adult, I wish I could have a conversation with you and understand how you felt as a person, not as a mother, wife or nonna. I always saw the sadness in your eyes and you struggled your whole life and had nothing to show for it, even your children disappointed you in one way or another.

I am sure you had your faults and weren’t perfect but you deserved a chance and I really don’t believe that you were ever given a chance to shine.  I mean you left school in the 3rd grade to go to work in Italy, you didn’t even know when your birthday was so you celebrated it on your mother’s birthday.  I think I remember meeting your mother once, she had really long hair and was little.  Which reminds me your hair never went gray and it always so thick! I wish I would have inherited that!

Anyway, I guess I didn’t really know you well enough at all because up until about 13, I was young and after Antoinette left, that was that.  You did try to talk her out of her sporadic behaviour and you did take the bus to Staten Island to do so.  I was there for that and you passed out in my house because you just couldn’t understand what was happening to your daughter.  I hope that you missed me.  I hoped that whatever type of relationship that did exist between us was real.

I dream about you sometimes and all the words I never said.

Ti Amo Nonna,

Lee


To Me From You II

Dear Me,

It has been a few weeks, since I wrote  last.  I noticed in that time, how often you change your views and your mind about what is going on around you.  You been keeping yourself occupied but you must know that a band-aid doesn’t heal the wound it only disguises it as being better until the glue wears off.

I know you are confused but you aren’t trying nearly as hard as you should to clear your head.  You are still not reaching the goals that you have made for yourself.  You feel like trying to find your purpose may be a waste of time but you are wrong.  You are just getting lazy.  Stop being so lazy!  Get off your bottom and get what you deserve.  You are waiting around for something to happen and it won’t.  I can promise you that.

You want to feel more useful than get involved in something.  Take what is yours.  There are amble amounts of opportunity in this world.  You look at all the rich, young and famous and you ask yourself why not me?  Because you work, go home and sleep to do it all over again the next day.  What opportunities lie in that?  It is stressful to watch and frustrating because nothing holds you back.  It is not your location, it’s not your lack of knowledge or talent, it is merely your ambition and your drive that is holding you back.  Figure it out, damn it!

I’m frustrated and you’re frustrated and we can’t have this.  I know you want more.  I know that you want to have a good life with your partner.  I know that being financially secure and being able to provide a low stress environment for you and him are what you want more than anything this world has to offer.  Please find a way and make it happen.  I know your patience is low but you have to keep at and don’t give up.  You can see what you want the most in your future but because you don’t have it right now, you are slowly backing down and may even give up, if I don’t talk you out of it.

I know it can be done.  I know that this is just a stepping stone in your life.  There are so many things that can happen if you just open the door to opportunities.

Try for you, try for me, try for us…

You


To Mother, Letter 4

Dear Mother,

You said that no one would ever love me.  You told me God would punish me.  I am not sure what I actually did to you.  Was it because you hurt me and I couldn’t accept the fact that you tore up my family?  That any sense of security had been lost because you made decisions that benefited your behalf.

You told so many people, lies.  They wrote me letters, they came up to me in local stores, telling me that I should speak to you, that I was wrong.  You left out the part, when I sat in the court room and you fiddled your boyfriend’s ear and laughed while I watched.  I stared at you and you didn’t come over to me once.  You didn’t look at me.  You were giggling with your support group and I was there supporting my father.  You didn’t come near me.  You didn’t fight for me or your son.  Yet, I was the one being harassed by your friends as if I had done something wrong.  I am sorry but I seemed to have missed something.  Were you there?  I know I saw you but it seems odd.  You had people send messages me on social networks pretending to be in my college classes just to get information from me or approach me in the past, then tell me what a good woman you were and how I need to talk to you because your upset.  I didn’t need that.  I didn’t need lies being spread about me.  You put the blame on me countless times and to this day, I still can’t see how.  I have the letters and the messages you sent me, saying that the blame is on me.  That you won’t take responsibility for not having any type of relationship with me and that I need to get over it.

You told your only daughter, your flesh and blood, that no one will ever love me.  I can get over it, but I can not forget that.  Tell me please, is that what makes you a good person?  Is that the person, they all have come to know and love?  Or are you still hiding behind the curtain?  Well isn’t this a horse of a different color.

The letters you send to my brother, he doesn’t even read, I do.  He can’t even be bothered but I want to know what state of mind you are in so I look.  And the most recent one was ridiculous.  It shows that you have not grown in the last 11 years and that this is a losing battle.  I am not sure if you will ever wake up and I am not sure if I will ever get closure.  There is still more time but as for now, nothing has really changed.  And I can’t say I am surprised anymore.

Someone loves me, I am just glad it isn’t you.

Lee


To Mother, Letter 3

Dear Mother,

I know I cannot blame you for everything I feel.  I am well aware that I need to take ownership of the things that I do or have done.  But I can’t ignore, the events that you were involved in, setting a tone for the rest of my life.

I am an adult now, I am passed the stage of anger, hate or any feelings associated with that.  I don’t need to hate you or be angry at you for the simple reason that it doesn’t satisfy me, justify my feelings or undo all that has been done.  I am not sure what it is I actually do feel because I don’t think it is sadness.  It is more of a constant anxiety that refuses to let up.

Unfortunately, as many years that can pass, I can’t forget who you are.  I can’t go on with my life as if you never existed.  For the sole reason, that without you unfortunately, I would not be me.  My soul would be made up and constructed differently.  My life may not have even been given a chance.

I am just confused about what I feel.  I know that the turn of events have jaded how I live on a daily basis.  Small ounces of nothings, make me crazy.  Anxiety attacks for no reason.  Separation anxiety, sleeping disorders, years and decades of nightmares, not being able to trust ANYONE and without an inkling of exaggeration, unable to feel happiness.  My relationships suffer in every way.  I have no self.  My focus is to be one up and a step ahead, I am guessing because it was complete shock losing you.  I wasn’t prepared.  Now I am forever preparing for the worst to come and I am missing out on now.  I can’t allow myself to enjoy my life.  And even though I am aware of all of this, I am having the most difficult time overcoming it all.

You think you can justify your being content by telling everyone I hate you.  I deny you.  I refuse you and any type of relationship.  You think that you can justify the act of abandonment with your own feelings of sorrow and guilt.  That, I can tell you may work for you and your surroundings but it will never erase the damage you have done to me.  How can you even assume how I feel?  The last time you knew me I was 14 years old and at that time you barely knew yourself.  Is that fair for you to assume how I am feeling at any moment in your life towards you when I haven’t had nearly enough interactions with you to determine that?

I can’t deny the disappointment I have for not having a mother yet having one that lives and breathes a separate life.  I had to go through the hardest years of a young girls life with no womanly influence.  My dad, your first ex husband, did the best he possibly could but you already knew that he would since you left him no choice but to raise us and closed the door to any opportunity to have a relationship with me or your son.  You missed my teenage years, you missed my questions about dating, sex, teaching me to have self-esteem and respect for myself, showing me it was okay to be who I was.  I was forced to learn on my own and make many mistakes.  Mistakes that I live with, not you.  You think that one moment in your life, you made a mistake but it is over now.  The reason why it lives on, is because it shaped me as a person, how I interact with people of any gender and how I cope with everyday life.

You couldn’t even appreciate having a daughter and treating me like your mother never treated you.  You could have broken the cycle.  You were disappointed in your mother for being weak-minded and distant because she didn’t know any better.  You could have learned from that and strive to do better.  Just like I plan to do, if I can ever trust myself to have a child.  The fear of repeating history is stronger now than ever before.   And tell me, how can you justify how I feel to benefit you in any way?  Please tell me.  Your actions impacted my life in more ways than you will ever be able to imagine.  I am tired of living with this yet I can’t let go until I get BETTER.  And believe me I am working on getting better.  I am trying every path and every outlet and I will continue until I get it right.

You told me no one will love me.  Why do I believe you?

Lee


To My Daddy

Dear Daddy,

I don’t think there is anyone in this world that I love more than you.  You would never even suspect that because of how emotionally awkward I am around you.  You drive me crazy but everyone says it is because we are so much alike.  I’d like to think that would be the only reason why we disagree about certain things.

When we fight we fight big but when we laugh, we laugh even bigger.  We can always crack each other up no matter where we are.  The best is when it is the three of us, you, Lou and I.  I am pretty sure we can laugh for hours and hours.   Those are my favorite moments, when we are making fun of EVERYONE else.

You are an exceptional person.  Besides the fatherly annoying things you do and say, that still holds true regardless.  You have your ways don’t get me wrong and I would never tell you any of this face to face because your ego is already through the roof, haha.  But you really have proven that there are selfless people.  I think it is so ironic that I could be a product of the most selfish person and the most selfless person that I have ever known.  I wonder what that actually makes me.  I know there’s a “self” in there definitely.

In my eyes, you sacrificed your youth (30s-40s) to raise your two kids without a break.  I never seen a man or a person dedicate his life to make sure his kids were financially, emotionally and even somehow maternally provided for.  You worked full-time, kept up the house, made sure we were in school, had curfews, rules, boundaries and were healthy.  There wasn’t a moment where you weren’t there for me or Lou.  You definitely define, “Father”.  Not just because you are mine.  Because you really did everything you could to make an unfortunate situation better.  Even if some things were just out of your control, you always did your best.

You are and were never bitter.  That is definitely where we differ.  You are more accepting of what comes at you whereas I am not.  That is a quality I wish I had and hope to get someday.  We definitely all have our faults but we are still a family.  And when push comes to shove, I know your there and you know I am there.

I remember how hard it was to trust anyone, when your wife abandoned us.  You kept at it though.  You never gave up, even now, you never give up on me.  Underneath it all, your still just a dude, who had some kids, but you took it seriously.  You made your family your life before us, with us and as we have grown.

I know you feel like you may not get the appreciation that you deserve but it is there.   None of us are great at showing it.  We usually like to tell every one else how great the other is, like it is a secret.  Just a habit we all picked up.  Great!  I am doing it right now!  I digress.

I definitely have taken you for granted on many occasions, from adolescence and from the turn of events in my early teenage years.  It was and even still is hard, to respond emotionally and affectionately because I guess I still haven’t gotten the past out of my system.  I’m working on it, Da!!!!!

Recently, though we have been having better conversations and I feel like you are even more supportive of my goals and ideas than before.  I guess, maybe I am finally reaching that level where we are both adults, and I am not longer just a kid and her dad.  I don’t know what it is really but I am not going to question it.  I like the way it is going.

I love you.

Lee


To Mother, Letter 2

Dear Mother,

I used to dream about you every night after you left.  I would always want to hurt you and it was always the same dream.  As I got older, the dreams became less but they still occurred.  Only then, I would dream that things were fine and we were a family and that you were normal.  Until mid dream, my subconscious would remember all the pain you caused and I would lash out at you and go crazy.  Sometimes I think those were worse because it was constantly replaying how were there and then you were gone.

When you left, I was 14 years old.  The few weeks before your departure was hell.  You were a completely different person.  You were no longer a mom but just an individual that I once knew.  Your actions were drastic and so uncharacteristic of you.  You put me in unfit positions for your own self gain and even now you still don’t realize how wrong it was.  I will give you the examples that back this up.

You used to make me lie to my dad for you.  You would take me along with you to hang out at a friend’s house but you would make me tell my dad we were browsing at the mall.  Your friend had been a mutual friend of you and my dad’s and she had been recently widowed.  I had known her children since I was born which wasn’t a big deal when we went there.  But on one occasion specifically,  the children had already gone to the movies and for whatever reason I was not invited.  We went over to their house and you had instructed me to go upstairs and that I could use the phone to call my at the time boyfriend and talk on the phone for however long I wanted.  When I came down, to my surprise two men were there that I had never seen before and even then I thought they were sleazy looking but I had no say in the matter.  I was polite.  You threatened me not to tell my dad about this.  This kind of behavior got worse and worse.  The more you wanted to hang out, the more you would use me as an excuse to get out and which of course led to me being threaten to lie to my dad.

At this point, American Online 3.0 had been the biggest thing to hit America.  The internet.  I remember the feeling I got the first time I made a screen name and an instant message popped up.  It was so weird to actually see someone communicating through a screen but I digress.  You began to use the internet, email and instant message for hours and made dates at certain times to do so.  No one was allowed to be anywhere near you while you did whatever you were doing online.  That is when the phone began to ring once and if I answered, hang up and ring again.  You would immediately pick up and it was only for you.  One time I couldn’t take that you were on the computer so much, because I couldn’t even talk to you at all at this point.  You were so consumed with this other life, that I had begged my dad to get rid of the internet and he wanted to also.  He saw the changes but he didn’t know the extent.  You and I had a fight on night and I had a half a day from school the next day.  I remember being so scared to come home.  I came home and you told me if I would have went against you and told my dad, that you would have taken every thing away from me, phone privileges, seeing my friends, seeing my boyfriend and having any kind of life at 14.  I had to submit to you and say that I would never have down that.  I had so much anxiety coming home everyday because I never knew what would happen next.

I didn’t know you at all anymore which led me to believe maybe I had never known you at all.  You will never know how much that confused me.   I came from you and I had, by default put all my trust in you, you were my mom.  You went from telling me as a little girl to always have a conscience, to know right from wrong to these brilliant words of wisdom when I was 14 years old, “If your going to have sex, make sure the guy uses a condom.”  What was I to think of that?  That’s the wisdom I remember you giving me in my first year of high school and entering a whole new world of relationships and hormones and everything else that occurs during those teenage years.  Do you think that was appropriate?  You taught me to use other people, to lie at the expense of others and for self gain and that sex was appropriate if I was being safe at any age.

I am not sure what I have to gain by writing this letter, I am sure that you will deny these fact to the day you die, but I remember every detail and it has shaped me unfortunately while you live your life guilt free and in denial.  This letter is not meant to throw accusations at you and re hash, it really is to show you on paper how your actions may have affected a young girl and sent her on a path of emotional destruction.  I know I have to own my own mistakes and not use you for the blame but I would like to think you left a helpful hand in my influence.

Second of many letters to come, mother.  Maybe this is how I will finally be able to let go.

Lee


To Mother, Letter 1

Dear Mother,

Let me first say, I can’t believe it has been 11 years.  There are so many things I want to say to you and now that I realized I can write them in a letter, I am at a loss for words.  I can remember the day you left almost exactly as it had happened.  I know I need to let go.  I can try to put into words all the emotions I went through leading up to that day. Let me go to back to what I can remember before the fallout.

I remember as a little girl, you pretended you were my best friend.  You used to love the way I sang and you used to push me to sing at school.  I remember the first time I ever sang on stage.  I was 10 years old, in fourth grade and our class was having a talent show.  I was going to perform a dance number with a friend but at the last-minute she backed out.  The whole time you wanted me to sing, “I will always love you” the one that Whitney Houston sang in The Bodyguard.   We loved that movie, I think.  So I asked my teacher and I surprised you and sang in front of the whole school.  For you.  You didn’t even want custody of you kids nearly four years later.

I can remember so many things in my past but the memories I have with you are seldom and faded.  I remember in junior high school, a friend at the time, Ali wanted to plan a surprise birthday party for me and I found out about it but was so excited.  You told her, you didn’t want to have it.  I remember being so upset and so angry.  Why didn’t you want my friend to plan something that made me feel special?  I had never had a surprise party before.  No one ever thought to do something like that for me before then.  Why did you take that away from me?

I don’t remember a lot of hugs.  I don’t remember a lot of affection.  I do remember going shopping with you in Novelli’s Pork Store and telling you, “I love you” and you telling me, ” You don’t have to tell me every five minutes, I know that you love me.”  I was probably about 7-9 years old.  I was so embarrassed.  That hurt.

You used to smoke a lot.  You never bit your nails.  You always had your make up down and you slept with it on.  You never put your hair in a pony tail or did anything different to it except when you permed it, then it was just down and curly.  It was always blonde and you were either really fat or really thin but never in between.

I never saw you and my dad very affectionate towards each other.  Any time my dad would come near you, you seemed like you didn’t want to be bothered.  You always talked about how difficult he was and how he loved my brother more than he loved me.  You told me when I was little that you were going to leave him when I was 18.

You never worked, you cooked poorly and you talked on the phone a lot.  You were never really bright, so you could never really help me with my homework unless it was something crafty.  You even asked me to buy you a pack of cigarettes when I was like 8 and even I had to tell you that they wouldn’t sell them to me.

I guess this letter was just some words of reflection.  I haven’t tried to remember you in a very long time.  My next letter may  not be so easy to read but we will see.

Lee


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