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You’ve read my words on this blog and I’ve tried to explain the anger from my side, but I still have received no real apology or any comfort from the idea that you may be remorseful.
Did you know that in three instances the way I found out you were going back to prison was from teachers’ and classmates’ snide remarks at school?
Did you know that I got a blanket from the DCFS worker the day that we were taken from you and I clenched that blanket and cried nearly every night for months? And the only reason the monthly streak of crying out for you ended was because I gave up the hope that I would ever even see you again?
Did you know that sometimes I’d wonder if your death would comfort me so I’d have closure that you were okay instead of wondering if you were out on the streets?
Did you know that the first time I ever saw your mugshot was when I Googled my name in my freshman computers class?
Did you know that every basketball game I played in I scanned the gymnasium hoping that you’d be there? You never were.
Did you know that it’s because of you that my first tendency when experiencing trauma is to get so angry I want to punch a wall? I held so much anger for the greater part of my life that I still have a hard time finding the healthy way to release it?
Did you know I held a handful of pills in eighth grade because I didn’t want to feel the pain anymore?
Did you know I cut my wrist with a broken razor blade just so I could feel pain that was physical instead of emotional?
Did you know? Or did you just not care?
I have a hard time talking about my mom.
Sometimes when I’m with friends I just want to sit and talk and talk about all of the good, the bad, and in-between.
Tonight I found myself spewing random memories and feelings at some of the friends in my unit and I noticed when I said something that I hadn’t ever before found the right words to describe how I feel.
You know, sometimes you just word vomit and as you’re explaining something, the words just fall into the right pattern. I was explaining how the relationship with my mom is really hard and I found myself saying
“It’s not that I’m actively angry at her. I don’t put any energy into my feelings toward her. It’s more that I’m passive aggressively angry at her.”
I don’t even know if that really makes sense to people that haven’t ever experienced what I have when it comes to having an estranged relationship with their mom.
But what I mainly mean is that… I’m really, truly not actively angry anymore. I’m no longer looking for reasons to be upset and I don’t spend much time thinking about what I could have done differently. I understand that addiction has underlying explanations and I understand that none of those reasons are a result of something that a child does. I was seven years old when DCFS took my sister and I from our mother, and though it felt like it was my fault at that time, I now understand that there are multitudes of reasons why it happened.
And none of those reasons were because of something I did.
I know that I was innocent in the matter and I’ve accepted that it’s part of my past that I can’t change, even though I so desperately wish things were different. Of course part of me wishes I could have done anything to make matters different, but that is just simply not the case.
So I guess the best way to describe my feelings is that I’m not actively putting any energy into being angry. Of course I still feel sad and upset, but I’m more passive aggressive towards the situation than I ever have been in my entire life. There were days in my junior high years when I punched walls with anger and cried myself to sleep – and I’m not saying I still don’t have hard days accepting what my life is – I’m just no longer wasting any energy on hating my mom for everything that she wasn’t. I’m no longer wishing I could have been better for her. I’m no longer feeling like the reality of our relationship was at the mercy of my own hands.
I was a child and she was wrapped up in addiction.
And that’s all there is to it. No more. No less.
I’m not sure a part of me will ever be un-angry.
I think about how many years I have missed out with my mom and it makes me angry.
I think about how many times she has blamed me for her drug use, addiction, and relapse and it makes me angry. There are no words to give a heartbroken daughter that will provide her with comfort or normalcy. I will always be the girl that carries the baggage and burden of my mother on my shoulders. I will never escape this pain. It will not go away.
And that makes me angry.
I’m angry that I’ve always been expected to just accept things the way that they are. I’ve gone out of my way to keep the hope that one day she will take responsibility for the wreckage she has caused. But she never will, and that makes me angry.
Someday I will have to explain all of this to my daughter in a way that doesn’t make her hate my mom as much as I do. It has never been my goal to influence hate from others. I’m only telling my truth the way I have perceived it. Perhaps the way I see it is harsh, but that’s what anger will do to you.
I make no apology for trying to repair what she broke.
I make no apology for being blunt about how I feel.
I make no apology for finding an outlet for all of these feelings. Putting this pain into my writing is what helps me heal. It helps me make sense of my story. It helps me comfort others that feel the same way. And let me tell you, I am far from alone.
And the fact that my situation is far from rare makes me angry.
So today and tomorrow and the day after that, I will be angry.