It’s no secret that I have a pretty shitty relationship with my family. I’ve done much better at venting about them over this past year, but I decided to write my parents one more olive branch, to give them one more opportunity to be decent human beings. They won’t take it. I know that. Writing them one final time before 2015 begins felt right and now I can fully wash my hands clean of their bullshit. I won’t be blogging about them or discussing them from here on out because they (in all likelihood) will not have a role in my life going forward.
Unless they actually reply of course, which I sincerely doubt. And if they do I can all but guarantee it won’t include the overdue and very-necessary apology.
For the record, here’s what I wrote:
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Well, I’ll admit you have both surprised me.
I sent a letter well before I moved back to California. In it I very clearly stated a desire for peace and proposed group counseling under the recommendation of my therapist to work out our differences. It was also fully endorsed and encouraged by our family, including Grandma. The best way to work out problems is by talking them out. That’s a fact.
Good parents care. Good parents give a shit. Good parents communicate. Actually, forget the term “good parents”. That’s just what good PEOPLE do.
I’m not really writing to convince you of anything because my point isn’t a matter of opinion. The fact is, neither of you have ever admitted any fault at any time over the course of our entire relationship. I wish that was an exaggeration, but I truly cannot recall one instance of you two admitting any fault… which is pretty scary if you think about it.
Dad, you have never once admitted stealing from me or for the years of physical (albeit irregular) abuse that you put me through. The time you smacked me repeatedly, paused, and shouted, “WHY CAN’T YOU BE A GOOD SON?” because I had criticized mom’s cooking one night. I replied, “I can’t be your son if I’m in pieces!” And what did you do? You continued to strike me. Another time I was taking a shower and you hit my chest so hard with an open palm that the beads of water made an imprint into my skin and mom had to put ice on it to ease the swelling. Or how about the time you smacked me so hard that I fell off my bed and you continued beating me as I lay on the floor, covering my face? Mom said, “Stop, that’s your son!” and you said “Shut up, bitch!” and shoved her away. And continued to beat me. And who can forget when you tackled me to the ground because you claimed you saw a “look in my eye” that suggested I might do “something”? I have never struck a human being in my life nor given any indication that I would, yet that was your excuse. I could go on but it’s not worth reminding you further of things YOU ALREADY KNOW.
You could have acknowledged all of this, apologized, and we’d have an opportunity to move forward. Instead you have denied that these things even took place. Do you think I can ever forget these things? Do you expect me to just tuck this shit into some dark part of my brain and pretend everything that happened was okay? It’s amazing that I’m even writing you at all after what you’ve done. Perhaps you justify it in your head because you put food on the table, helped provide for college, etc. But none of the good you did erases the fact that serious, bad shit happened. And the bad, at bare minimum, needs to be acknowledged. You can’t fix a problem by ignoring a problem.
Do you know how helpful that money would have been when I spent 7-months living on couches or on the streets? Do you know how much time I could have saved with even that seemingly small financial boost? Do you know how close I came to suicide because of the dire straits that setback put me in? Danielle knew how close because I told her as much in the summer and I’d be pretty surprised if my only sibling didn’t tell either of you that her only sibling was contemplating suicide. Yet still… silence? Unbelievable. And if for some reason she didn’t pass that information along, then shame on her for being equally callous.
You’re both always right and I’m always wrong and that’s just the way you both see things and probably always will. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s a deep-rooted denial that’s lasted for so long that you’ve come to believe your own fiction. That wouldn’t be psychologically unprecedented. You’d rather pretend things didn’t happen rather than face them. I can only speculate, of course, due to your lack of communication. I’d like to think you are still both capable of admitting your share of the blame, but history suggests that this isn’t likely to happen.
I have little hope for a future relationship with either of you, but once again I’m not closing the door even though I really should at this point. If neither of you can ever develop enough humility to take ownership for your contributions to the way things have unraveled then our current situation will continue to the grave. That’s not what I want.
If that’s what you want, so be it. It will truly confirm once and for all that neither of you give a damn. If that’s not what you want, swallow your pride, show some humility, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
I have made it a New Year’s Resolution not to initiate contact with either of you again since this has become such a one-sided effort. It’s simply not healthy for me to continue the painful pattern of reaching out to those who mistreated me and receiving further mistreatment in return. I’ve done everything I can on my end. It’s time one or both of you stepped up.
The next step is yours.– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
If you are reading this and you are an extended family member, show some maturity and restraint and DO NOT pass it along to my parents. I have mailed it to them via snail mail and if you run off and turn this into a big convoluted soap opera you’ll hinder any chances of a positive resolution. They’ll consider this an attack, make it about themselves, and blah blah blah. I only posted it on my blog because I wanted a public record of the attempt. It provided me solace to know that it’s out there, that I did the right thing… enough so that it reversed the very powerful urge I had to kill myself earlier tonight. You don’t have to understand. Just listen. If you actually have concerns, try something many of you haven’t done and contact ME directly rather than talk behind my back. (Obviously this doesn’t apply to all of you). Thank you in advance. Here’s to a much more enjoyable 2015.