Dear Mom

To my mom,
Karen at age 4
Dear Mom,
I know that I’m a few days late, and Mother’s Day has come and gone. But the day did bring you to mind. I feel obligated to wish you a happy mother’s day and so I am writing this letter. You left us almost a year and a half ago, and it felt bad, but not for long. The only time I cried, was the last time I saw you, lying there in that hospital bed.
Do I miss you? Mostly no, but there are moments when I still think, “I want to tell Mom about . . . oh, I can’t. But during my 50+ years on this earth, life was very unpleasant with both of you alive. I had moved away long before Dad passed, and I really cried at his funeral.
At your funeral, I sat right in front of you, with your sister, and my sister-in-law on either side. Your sister cried. I believe she was the only one; maybe she didn’t really know how you were. I also think that losing a sister would make me cry as well, but I only have brothers.
You made home, a scary place to be. I never knew, when I got up each day, if it was going to be good or bad. Oddly enough, I carried that fear away from home, both as a child, and even as an adult. While you were still here, you had control over me, because I allowed it. The act of saying ‘no’ wasn’t even my vocabulary. You taught me well.
Oddly enough, that part of you that I feared, still controls my life. I can’t tell the neighbor lady, “No, I just want to go home.” or maybe “No, I want to go by myself.”
You are present in almost all my relationships, both professional and personal. Thank you Mom for that gift, and I hope you had a Happy Mother’s Day.
Your only daughter,

6 thoughts on “Dear Mom

  1. It is said the worst thing you can do to a child is to take them away from their parents, maybe that’s true, however a child has no power, so who do they tell and will they be believed.

    The abuser just carries on, the victim has to live with this, and so few really think about that.

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  2. I think writing letters to our abusers is so important in the healing process. In my memoir, I write a letter to each of my parents. I had to wait until they died, but it was still healing. (The letters I wrote them before they were gone were met with much shunning and more denial and blaming by them. But writing the letters and sharing them with others was cathartic.) I’m glad you got to finally got to spell out the damage your mom did. It breaks my heart each time I read things like this. ❤

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      1. Thank you for sharing this, Karen. I found it interesting this line “I do love you, and I do not.” because when I wrote the letter to my mother in my book, I said something to the same effect, like “and when I’m not hating you, I’ll always love you.” It’s sad what they did to us. I’m glad to have someone who understands.

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