We Were Friends, A letter to my mother
The image of you crying at the airport as I boarded the flight to Los Angeles all those years ago still comes back to me in moments of self sabotage. That image is put up in the center of mind, blocking out all other thoughts as if to say, “look what you did, save her, save her.” My throat wells up and my heart sinks and all I want to do is go back in time and hold you. I want you to know how much I loved you, how much I still love you. Despite my silence with you in the past 4 months, despite my seething anger, I do recognize that your betrayal does not count as the sum of our whole relationship. There were too many moments of love between us for that to be true.
Maybe you need to make me evil in your mind in order to live with what you have done. Maybe I was a bit evil in my last interaction with you. Maybe you deserved it.
You always said we would never be friends. “I am your mother, I am not your friend.” But I still don’t agree with that sentiment. We were friends. There were so many moments of roaring laughter between us, so much sharing of intimate thoughts and feelings, so much encouragement to keep being strong. We helped each other, we saw the best in each other, we were friends.
I remember knowing we were friends when I was a little girl and would wake up with a fever at night. I would wake you and without complaint or a hint of annoyance you would come and be with me in my bed. That big brass bed that matched my dad’s preference towards ornate and gaudy furniture. To this day I think he still has no idea that his interior decorating style isn’t exactly sought after. But then…what narcissist recognizes their own delusions? We would stay up together until dawn talking just like girlfriends. I don’t remember much of the content of our conversation, only the feeling that I was having fun and never wanted the night with you to end.
Those years of pulling away from you in my 20’s I have always held a deep guilt over. I had to do it, there was no way I could live as your little girl anymore. The two of you would have been happy to keep me locked in your realm of reality for the rest of your lives. To keep me a child, and dependent on both of you emotionally and financially. It is only within the last three years of my life that I finally identify myself as a grown woman. That was something the two of you would fail to recognize throughout our entire story together. You never recognized that I was not your possession and that I was not born to be a servant and a slave to all of your fears and insecurities.
Sometimes I imagine that you will call me when I least expect it and we will have a moment that is akin to those we see in movies and TV. Those moments when two people forgive each other and create a new chapter of their story together. But that’s all hogwash. If you ever rediscover the morality of being a mother and a friend to me, if you ever realize that you would rather love me than betray me… If you find yourself calling me in that moment, don’t expect an apology from me. I do not seek or want your forgiveness. I did nothing but grow up and become an adult with my own thoughts and beliefs. In some ways, you did nothing to mold the woman inside of me, you did not raise me to be an adult.
These days of silence between us are confusing for me. Some days I feel proud of my commitment to not allow emotional abuse to be a part of my life and my children’s lives. Other days I question my decision as I recall the beautiful moments between us that appear in my mind. They are imprinted scenes that will never go away. I had a mother who loved me and never made me question that. I still don’t question it, I know that you do. What I don’t know is if my children, my husband, and myself are safe from slander and lies that you have chosen to believe and act upon.
I hope that we will not die from this life without another intimate moment between us. I accept that this may happen and there is nothing further for me to do. I’ve realized that I love you dearly and that I am no longer responsible for your happiness. Sometimes I envision you in the living room of that great big house that my father designed with it’s ridiculously gaudy decor and his large self portrait hanging over the fireplace. I envision you realizing that you are more than he has ever allowed you to believe. I envision you taking a stand and living your last years in the way you were always meant to. I envision you living wild and brave.