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Dear Mom and Dad…number 2

February 14, 2009

Today is Valentine’s Day. I truly hope that you are happy with each other and are celebrating. I know that we are…both happy and celebrating. ***** has shown me what true unconditional love is…or at least about as close as you can get to it, being human.

I really hope, too, that…someday…you can come to terms with all that you have done. No, I don’t think any parent is perfect. I certainly know that I am not. But I am not talking about the mistakes. I am talking about the abuse. Both of you abused both of us. Yes, I do know about her, too.

One of the things I am talking about is the disciplining in anger. Of course, whenever I would bring stuff like that up to you, mom, you would go dramatic on me and jump to the  extreme “I was a horrible mom” thing, followed by some comment. Well, I never said that about you…YOU did…and if that is what you really think of yourself, then don’t you owe us an apology?

There is something, mom, in between the extreme of perfect parent and horrible parent, but you never seemed able to go there.  I think you did that extreme horrible parent thing because you knew my instant reaction would be to try and explain what I really meant…to comfort you and protect you from feeling badly about yourself. (Yes, I learned those lessons well.)  I think you wanted me to feel sorry for you feeling so badly (although I question whether or not you truly did feel badly) and I think you were trying to divert the conversation onto bunny trails  so that we would never get to any real dialog. Just like all of my growing up years, it was all about you…protecting your image and your feelings. How sad it must have been for you to grow up into adulthood feeling so insecure that you needed to have perfect children. Yes, I remember how important image was…but that is something I will save for another letter.

I am saddened that your insecurities would not allow you to see the truth about who you are…both the good and the bad. How freeing it is to not have to hide our faults and to be able to see our good qualities. It would be nice to be able to have a real dialog with you. someday.  I won’t play that game again. I won’t go back to trying to explain everything I say because you persist in taking things wrongly. I won’t go back to always trying to bring you to the middle ground. The last real conversation we had I held your feet to the truth. I refused to back down, but I am not out to wrestle with you.

You can’t have it both ways. If you really were a horrible parent, then don’t expect me to act like nothing happened. Don’t expect me to just forgive without a real acknowledgment of what you have done and without an apology. So far, the only thing I have gotten from you is ducks and dodges and extreme reactions. How about an adult dialog? You know…the kind where I can tell you what hurt and why and you can accept that and apologize and ask forgiveness? And you can tell me what hurt and why and I can accept that and apologize and ask forgiveness? The kind of dialog where we can talk about our perceptions and give each other the chance to explain when things were not what they appeared to be?

Tell me, mom…is there any hope of having that kind of dialog? Or are things today the same with you as they were before? I will keep praying, mom. I don’t hate you…never did. But yes, there are times when I did not like you and I hated the things you were doing to me.

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