Since my blog is the reason my parents haven’t talked to me in over half a year, it seems only right that I would post the letter I’ve written to my mother this day.
I know it has been a long time since we’ve talked, but honestly, I haven’t known what to say. The last time we spoke, you were concerned about my mental health, but would take no responsibility for the reason I am the way I am. I read the letter you sent me, and Aunt Bonnie and Gramma have mentioned just a few things you guys have discussed in conversation concerning me, and I realize a lot of my feelings toward you and dad are because of things that happened long ago, but they did happen, and helped to shape who I am, whether you want to admit or not.
I know that you planned me. I know that you both gave me everything you could as I was growing up. You showed me how to have faith in God, and I always do and will, despite the fact that dad thinks I’m “fallen so far from the Lord.” Believe me, my faith is the only thing that kept me from killing myself when I was a teenager, or doing something worse.
I appreciate that you loved me so growing up, and did what you thought was best for me, which is why I refrained from telling you both about my blog. I respected you enough to shield you from the things that would have caused you pain or sadness, but I realize now that not being straightforward with you wasn’t honest, so I will be honest in this letter.
I know that you and dad both felt you made mistakes with the past relationships you had. Which is maybe why it was that your three older children felt mistreated or unloved. I can understand why my sister would have been jealous of me, because I know the pressures felt by being the “good child”. I understand why you felt you had to keep me distanced from my brother, though I don’t agree with it. I am blessed to have a brother who loves me so unconditionally, because his is a love I have never felt from another human in my life. He really is my best friend, and I understand his depression.
I have no children of my own, and that’s an whole other issue, but I know that a child is supposed to be the MOST important thing in a person’s life, other than God. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with the way they live their lives, or approve of them in any way, but I know that you are supposed to love your child(ren) unto the ends of the earth and back, and in such a way that they feel loved, and feel good enough, and feel that they can tell you anything.
I know I was a child long ago, and the things that happened then shouldn’t be of any consequence now, but I think of my childhood every day. You tell me I was planned, but clearly you and dad did not discuss my raising to the extent that you discussed my existence, because I remember many many times when dad disciplined me with pieces of wood that splintered and broke with the force of his rage, while you pretended he was not taking his anger out on me instead of you. I remember when you both found condoms in my room, and dad literally threw them in my face and told me that “no one would ever want me again” since I was no longer a virgin. I don’t have to have a kid to know I would never, ever stand by and allow anyone to say such a thing to my child, even if it was my husband, and even if I did agree with him.
I mentioned that I contemplated suicide when I was a teen. Perhaps depression is a hereditary thing, and maybe I have it, but I can tell you that ever night when I thought about it, it was because I wasn’t allowed to do much as a teen. I don’t mean being allowed to go out and party and kiss boys and get into trouble; dad was sooo concerned about the state of my virginity that he took me out of school, and wouldn’t allow me to stay at my friend’s house because she had a brother who had friends. I will tell you, you two raised me well enough to guard my body from those who would defile it until I was definitely old enough to know the consequences of my decisions. In fact, when dad was so worried about my sex life, I was innocent enough to tell Jeremy I might never want to have sex. I was with him for a year and a half before we ever had a physical relationship, and that was after I had already left home. (I know you both think I dated him before that, but you are so wrong.) This is what I have learned: sex does not make a person who they are, and virginity or the lack thereof should not make another person treat that person like a non-human. Dad has treated me that way.
That was long ago, and you’re right- it doesn’t matter now. But I have learned that while I can forgive someone for such things, I see no reason to include such people in my life. You are my mother, and I will always love you, and I understand that you think dad is the love of your life. Maybe he is, but I know from experience that he does not treat you like a queen as a husband should, and does not treat you like his most precious gift, which you are. Do you want to know why he and I don’t get along? Because I am just as stubborn as he is, and I refuse to accept the way he treats you. He demeans you in front of people, and there is no call for that, because you are the sweetest woman I have ever known. You deserve to be near your family if you want to be, and you deserve respect from your husband. If you think you have that, then as I said before- I am glad for you. But I see the way he treats you when you both come to visit, which is why I no longer wanted to have contact with him years ago.
I love. Love is everything to me, and love given to me is reciprocated ten-thousandfold. I love my extended family, because they have shown me love always, even when they might not have agreed with me, and have always hoped that I achieve my dreams. Dad, my father, has never even been interested in what my dreams were, unless they had everything to do with God. Dreams and goals can still include God without having to be such things as missionaries and pastor’s wives. God has given me a talent for writing, and music, and painting; what I do with it is my choice, which is also something God has given to me, as he has to us all.
I love this world that God has placed me in, and I love the gay people who are in it, because God created them too, and made so many of them amazingly flamboyant and beautiful. I love all kinds of music, because God gave men the ability to write such things. I love my beloved, my Rockstar, because he is a good father and he has the talent that God gave him to be able to play the guitar without knowing how to read music, and has given him the passion and the patience to deal with and try to understand my fucked-up self, even though he doesn’t understand my sadness at all. I love that God placed me in a church that is my family’s church, and put so many people there that appreciate my talent, even if it is a church that dad doesn’t approve of for no reason at all. I have received more love from the Methodist Church in 7 years than I ever received in every Baptist church we attended as I was growing up. There is no evil in that.
Concerning my blog: when I started it, I knew not what I was going to do with it, but I knew I wanted to hone my writing skills. Through the comments and the readers I’ve received since I’ve had it, I have been able to understand myself better, and I my confidence in my talent has grown considerably. I know not that if I ever finish writing any of the many books I have started writing, people will read them, and enjoy doing so. I am more honest in my blog about my experiences than I ever have been in real life, and that has made me be more honest in real life. Sometimes, though, the truth does hurt, as I’m sure most of this letter does. This too, is not an evil thing.
I am going to stop writing this letter now, because I have said enough, I think. I am sorry if I have cause you heartache in the past months, and I hope you can forgive me. I love you, mommy, and I just want you to accept me, flaws and all.