Hey sweet family. I realized after a lot of warm fuzzy thoughts about our wonderful holiday time together that the most meaningful experience for me personally was how generous you kids were to each other. You picked thoughtful, kind, fun gifts for each other and you played silly made up games and puzzles with graceful rivalry and all of that was extraordinarily special.
I realized how much we truly love each other as a family and that all of our years together have meant more than you three just growing up from infancy to adulthood. Each of you is such a unique, gifted, loving person in your own right and you should be really proud of yourselves for being just really good and decent people.
I couldn’t be more proud and even though I can’t and wouldn’t try to take credit, the fact is you are my greatest legacy and obviously the primary reason God put me on this Earth. I love all of you so much, and I thank God for Daddy, for being my life partner in bringing you all into this world. Nothing will ever come between us, our special family, and I’m eternally grateful for that.
The darkness has plagued me for so long and these questions are constantly bouncing around in my damaged brain. I thought it was time to put pen to paper and try to sort them out. Primarily speaking, they are and will remain rhetorical.
Who knows the depth of my suffering?
Who truly understands their part and responsibility in it?
Who can accurately describe what their mistakes did to my psyche?
Who has been there for me from the beginning?
Who has comprehended my losses throughout my life and taken any ownership?
Who can differentiate between the inherited mental illness vs. the things that happened to me that exacerbated the detrimental effects?
Who intellectually knows that if I’d not experienced so much trauma in my youth that the clinical depression could have been much better managed, perhaps even eradicated?
Who chooses to blame others to assuage their own guilt?
Who understands that these traumas will never go away?
Who realizes that their behavior today only makes things worse?
Who realizes that saying you love me is insulting?
Who accepts that I’m never going to be good enough for you?
Who knows that I did my best and it was all for nothing?
Who believes me when I say I have tried everything to help myself?
Why do you get to be happy and content while I suffer?
Why was I born?
Who thinks my husband and children treat me as a worthy wife and mother?
Who thinks there is any chance for me?
Who has convinced themself that I am my own worst enemy?
Who is my “Person”?
Who is just plain sick and tired of my self-pity? Besides myself?
Who thinks they know what’s best for me if I would just listen and take their advice?
Who would choose to live like this?
Who would choose to live with me like this?
When will you stop judging me?
When, exactly, did you give up on me?
Who wishes I would just go away unless I conform to your standards of who you think I should be?
Who knows the definition of compassion? Who practices it in its purest way?
Who has ever made me a priority?
Who has ever genuinely tried to help me? Who even knows how?
Why did I spend my whole life and untold amounts of time and money simultaneously trying to be the best daughter, sister, niece, wife, mother, employee, volunteer, friend, while also trying to heal myself through every avenue available to me?
Why did I fail?
Who thinks they know any of the answers? I know I do.
I need to tell you what I’ve been feeling in recent weeks: All day yesterday, hunkered down after 10 inches of snow blanketed my town, I felt really true to myself for a change. I relaxed, read an entire book, ate what I wanted, enjoyed the peaceful company of my daughter and my dog hanging out, and just felt good about myself. When I’m trying to do everything “right” and constantly taking the high road while I’m being beaten down by my family and my ex-friends (and it feels like no one stands up for me or stands by me or chooses me), it doesn’t seem to matter or make any difference to anyone how hard I try to do the “acceptable” thing. I’m tired of trying and I feel like no one is trying as hard as I am because they believe they are not at fault for anything and take no ownership. It’s just so easy to blame me for everything. I’m just going to stop working so hard to please everyone else and just be myself instead-be comfortable in my own skin instead of beating myself up for never being good enough.
When I was good enough for everyone else I wasn’t being good to myself and that’s how I got to this desolate place and then everyone failed me and judged me and gave up on me. I did my job superbly in my career and my marriage and raising our children and running our household and being a good and loyal friend and family member, but that’s all been completed now and in my loss and pain I’m not comforted or treated compassionately but rather I’ve fallen from grace in everyone’s eyes because I’m no longer relevant or needed and when that caused me pain and deterioration all of you gave up on me and deserted me. I’m just ready to give up on this exhausting facade; it’s too much and I’m not ever going to be good enough again.
I believe everything is fine with my youngest daughter still living at home until she leaves for college next August. I hope she doesn’t end up disappointed with me and judging me like everyone else but I’m not giving up on her. I’ve never given up on any of my children. They have always been my top priority and they know it. I believe I still have some value to my youngest daughter and her choices while she’s still under our care but once she leaves, I just want to go away and never come back. I want to start a completely new life. I know you’ll never understand that but the woman you think you know or thought you knew just doesn’t exist anymore-too much damage has happened, too much pain.
Sadly I don’t feel confident that any of you are ever going to be able to move forward with me as I am today so I have to move on without you because I can’t keep up this pretense that I’m ever going to be who you want and need and expect me to be and therefore you will not be able to love me like you once did. No fault of yours but I wish you had it in you to accept me and love me like you used to. It’s my opinion that you don’t possess the emotional capacity to broaden your horizons beyond your original life plan and I just don’t fit into it anymore. Any love we had for each other is based on the past, (if it ever existed at all), not the future and I’ll never be fully convinced that you loved me like you claimed to or that you can accept me as I am.
My life has been full of pain and it’s not going away. It’s only exacerbated by the constant loss that I feel and will continue to experience for the rest of my life. I’ve really tried so hard to save my family but I need to save myself and be who I am and live in that comfort zone alone instead of walking on eggshells and feeling judged and betrayed. Losing the respect of so many of you including my children is just more than I’m willing to live out my days with.
I hope it’s not too late for you all to remember me when you truly loved and respected me instead of seeing me as an ultimate failure and passing judgement on me. I need to be with people who are flawed like I am, not seemingly perfect people like you. (And how ironic that a lot of my influence played a big role into making some of you better people than I am myself.) Many of you have disappointed me by letting your disdain overshadow your appreciation and gratefulness simply because I’ve gone through some overwhelmingly difficult years for very valid reasons, but no one could be bothered to give some deep thought as to why that was happening; it was just convenient and easier and frankly cowardly to blame it on my “condition”. Shame on you for putting me through this and making it worse instead of genuinely trying to help me. Disrespecting me, judging me, blaming me, and believing all the answers lie in medication or hospitalization or clinical trials has been one big cop-out and your influence on others has been very damaging. Stop defining me in that way. Stop it now, once and for all. It’s clouding your vision and disallowing you to see me in so many other real ways and accepting what good I have to offer. I won’t tolerate it any longer. If you simply cannot do that then please untether me and let me go. Please.
I’ve had a lot of time to think about this and process it and I know some of you will be dismissive and just roll your eyes at what you firmly believe is my distorted attitude but maybe you should dig a little deeper into yourself and search for your ownership in all of this. I’m a lot stronger than you may remember, since I’ve been kicked while I’m down and I’ve experienced a lot of clarity over these past months and as hard as I try, and want to hope for our future, it just keeps fading away as I become more self-aware, especially with intense and frequent therapy. I genuinely miss the wonderful, fulfilling and happy years we had and wish I could magically have all that positivity back. I gave so much to make a happy life for all of us and it all made me very content and full of confidence. Having to deal with watching all that end and not matter anymore is so incredibly sad for me. My whole life has been a roller coaster of self-confidence built on my own personal success with no help or support from anyone, followed by disappointment in eventually not being good enough for anyone to keep me around once I’ve outlived my usefulness, and I generally see it coming before anyone else does so I fall into self-sabotage, making it easier for others to push me out of their lives, blaming me for everything. I just have to look forward and make my own way, alone as always, and I will succeed because I always do.