Open Letter to My Family

Dear Sister and Family,

It seems I must reiterate the reason I am distancing myself from you because I keep getting messages from you that seem threatening, bullying, and guilt tripping–the exact reasons I am pushing you away. I have left the door open for when you choose to treat me differently and do the right thing. When you say “… I will only say a few things and be completely done with you,” I’m left with the impression that anything I say in response will fall on deaf ears. And so, I’ve been inspired to blog my response. I know it’s a bit dramatic and airing dirty laundry, but I would like to use this context to say a few things to anyone who ever knew me. I wish to use this platform to call myself out on the way I’ve treated others and sincerely apologize.

“1.you will live to regret this. Promise.”

I wonder if you’re aware how threatening you sound. Tone aside, no, I don’t enjoy pushing my family away. Far from it. However, having no “blood” family is better than being abused by them. Yes, threatening, bullying, and guilt tripping are abusive and no one should have to put up with it.

“2. You’re right, you don’t fit in with us because you have never tried and always caused the drama (despite your warped reality, you are dripping drama)”

Are you really telling me that I have to TRY to fit into my own family? I knew this all along, but for you to put it down in black and white is both disappointing and relieving. I’m disappointed because the myth I was suppose to believe all these years is an obvious lie. “Blood is thicker than water,” “family sticks together,” “unconditional love” are nothing more than propaganda used for your own benefit. I feel immense relief because I’m not the only one who sees this as our family dynamic.

About the drama. You are absolutely right. I am not perfect. I never was, nor will I ever be. Yes, I caused a lot of drama. Even worse, I bullied, threatened, and guilt tripped a lot of people just like you all did to me. I loath the person I was: the person I twisted myself into being to TRY to fit in with you. I was sad, angry and lonely. Of course I caused a lot of drama.

To everyone I ever bullied, I owe you the most sincere apology from the bottom of my heart. You did not deserve my cruelty. I was cold, judgmental, and an overall mean-spirited person. There are a few people I know of who got mad and when they did, I acted like a victim. I wish I had the understanding then that what was being done to me was WRONG and not the norm. I hurt so many people with the only language I ever knew and I’ve lost so many friends because of it. I am so sorry. I strive to work on myself in order to be less of a drama-queen. If there is anyone out there who needs to be angry with me to get those feelings off your chest, please contact me. I will listen with remorse and I will not defend.

“3.the 3 of us get along just fine and have grown closer in response to your shunning. You will never get back the time you are wasting and you will never have the relationship we all do because we are sticking together and growing out of our hurt from you.”

I’m glad you are growing closer together. No, I will never get this time back, but with the way you choose to treat me, I would not trade this time in for the world. Life is too short to suffer abuse of any kind.

“4.who do you get along with? Anyone? Any family? Any long term friends? Maybe working on relationships rather than being a victim to tiny little offenses will help maintain relationships with valuable human beings who are not perfect. You seem as though you are looking for perfect people.”

You are absolutely right again. I find it difficult to get along with anyone. I’ve had a tendency to be judgmental, mean, condescending, authoritative, and cruel. I’m working on changing myself, though, and I will not let my bad behavior continue, nor will I allow myself to be a victim of it any longer.

There is some ugly truth to your mirror that I’m looking for perfect people. That would be the judgmental attitude we share. Remember how you said in your #2 bullet point how I don’t fit in because I never tried? Isn’t that saying that I have to be perfect in order to be accepted by you? I have tried my whole life to be accepted and I turned myself into an ugly, awkward, and uncomfortable-in-my-own-skin kind of person. The only life I have ever know is one of rejection. Of course I’m going to reject everyone around me. This is not to excuse my behavior, though! I am seeing the person I was and I am striving every day to change. Not to impress you or the family, but to be a better person for me. I want a better life for my daughter. I want to be comfortable in my own skin. I want to be a person who can easily manage challenges instead of whining about them and acting like a victim. I want to live a clean and ethical life for myself and everyone around me.

“5.kc deserves better. The end. I’m done hurting over you. KC will find us one day and we will be here for her. Can’t say the same about you.”

First of all, let’s be honest. When you say “I’m done hurting over you” you sound over dramatic. I don’t remember a time when you ever displayed anything besides judgment and contempt for me. Even my friends thought you seemed like a snob (to put it lightly). The last time we may have been close was when we were 8 and 10. You sound so manipulative and petty.

But yes, I agree. My sweet Kathryn deserves better. I wish she had a mother who just KNEW how to be a good mother. I wish healthy behavior came easy to me. When I see “me” come out in her it scares me. But when I see the drama-queen come out, I’m so grateful that I know what I know and that I can give her the help that was never given to me. I (with the help of my team) can teach her to live a healthy, ethical life. If the day ever comes when she wants to know more about where her mother came from, I look to you to welcome her.

My door is still open for when you choose to treat me better and do the right thing.

Published by Val Smith

Artist, writer, dreamer.

2 thoughts on “Open Letter to My Family

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