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.