There are so many things I want to say to you right now. I’ve kept these things inside me for twelve years now, in hopes that someday, you and I would be okay. Now, I realize that we will never be okay. No matter how hard I try, we will not be okay. I’m sure you don’t give two shits about how I feel, but just in case you do, here are just a few of the reasons why when I graduate, I will never, ever come back to you.
First things first, that little quarrel we had in the living room this morning? Yeah. That was just fantastic. I truly wish that I had recorded it, I would have loved to play it back for you someday just so you would finally realize how stupid and hypocritical those arguments of yours were. You were absolutely furious because I mentioned that for Mother’s Day, Lucas and I planned on taking my mom to see The Avengers. There is one situation in which you being upset about that would be okay, and that is if you were sad because you wouldn’t have the chance to spend Mother’s Day with us. We are your husband’s children, after all. And in case you were unaware, that makes us your children. But no, that is not what happened. Instead, you decided to scream about how it’s unfair to “always be making plans without my dad” and “never think about my dad” and all this crap about how I “only love my mom” that made absolutely no sense. And to make it even better, you said all of that in front of my dad. How so very kind of you.
Then you went into your little screaming fit about how I never make an effort. Oh. My God. Silly me, that’s not how I remember things. When was the last time you and I went out to breakfast together? Oh jeez, I don’t know, maybe ten years ago? It certainly wasn’t because I didn’t make an effort – it was because one Sunday morning, I got all dressed and ready to go, and you just decided that rather than keep up our Sunday tradition of going out for bagels, you’d rather sit on the couch and do nothing. When was the last time you called me? Hmm, let’s see. Never. You don’t know any of my friends’ names, you don’t know anything about my boyfriend. You don’t know my favorite color, you don’t know my favorite class, you don’t know anything. Why? Because you make absolutely no effort whatsoever to learn. You had so many opportunities to change the relationship between us, and you never took any of them. This. Is. Your. Fault.
And if you were talking about me not making an effort with my dad, that’s another story. I do make an effort, and that effort is bigger than any effort you guys have made. Whenever I call, my dad is at work, and he doesn’t pick up the phone. And when he calls back, you know who he talks to? My brother. Not me. If I answer the phone, he asks me to give the phone to my brother. I send my dad emails and texts. I invite him to my band events. It is not my fault that those weekends don’t work out for him – I MADE AN EFFORT. Even when I know he is busy, I invite him, just so he knows that I care. This letter is not about him, but let me point out that he cancels weekends with me when I’m halfway to his house, he goes hunting on the weekends that I am with him. During summers, he works. When he’s not working, he’s on vacation with you. Not us. So don’t you dare tell me that I don’t make an effort. I’ve done everything I can do, the rest is not my job. That job belongs to a parent. So if you two want the effort to be made, you two need to grow up and make it.
I could feel my brother squirming in his chair when you were yelling – he noticed how completely absurd this argument was, and he told me later that it took everything he had not to get up and walk away. He was angry. First he was angry because of your comment about my mom “giving him hell” if he and my dad see the movie, then he was angry at you for screeching at me when I defended my mom and told you not to talk about her that way, then he almost exploded when you talked about us not making an effort. He is on my side, and I know for a fact that if you asked him, he would admit it.
Read this. I found this post on Facebook this morning. I will leave out the stepdaughter’s name for security purposes, but please, ?take a look. This is how a real stepmother acts: “18 years ago today a beautiful, smart, faithful, caring and amazing person was born – 11 years ago today her daddy asked me to marry him and I’ve had the great honor of being [stepdaughter]‘s stepmom. [Stepdaughter], you have blessed my life beyond words and I thank God every day for you. You are a beautiful soul and my life is richer because I share it with you.”
I have NEVER heard anything close to that come out of your mouth. You don’t thank God for me. You don’t think of me as a blessing, you think of me as a burden, and you sure do make that clear. You have never called me beautiful, certainly not amazing, and the only time that you told me I was smart was when you were calling me a smart-ass. No wait, I take that back. You did tell me I was smart, just a few weeks ago. And that would have been great, that would have actually been one of the few good memories of you that I could take with me, had it not been followed by you telling me to go to college far away, and then arguing with me when I made the horrible mistake of mentioning that I might not have enough money to go to college across the country.
You want to know what kind of memories I will have of you? When I think of you, I will not think of you telling me that I’m smart, no. I will think of you saying things like I mentioned in the above paragraph, the naïve, hypocritical arguments you always made that developed from absolutely nothing. I will think of the way that you talked about my mom, like she was some piece of rotten garbage, when in reality, you are the garbage – she actually makes an effort to be a mother. You’d think that after growing up with a mother who was never a true mother to you, you would learn from that and maybe, just maybe, treat me differently. But no. You don’t. You never have, and you never will.
I will think of the way that my two beautiful nieces ran up to me crying one day, because you were venting to them about how you “cannot wait” until I go to college “far away” so you “don’t have to see me anymore.” We sat against the outside of your house crying for over an hour – they cried at the thought of me going away and never coming back, while I cried because I finally realized that you did not love me. You did not think of me as a daughter – again, I was just a burden. And that was confirmed on the day that we went to the grocery store, and as I was leaving, the cashier said, “Your daughter is adorable, she looks just like you!” and you responded not with a “thank you,” not with a polite “isn’t she?” or “doesn’t she?” – but instead with a too-loud “She is NOT my daughter,” while you grabbed the bags and stormed out of the store. But back to the whole college thing. I hope you know that in a little over a year, your wishes will be granted. I won’t come back. I hope you know that the only reason I spend my weekends here at all is because of my brother. And my father. Not you. Because of you, I do not want to come back.
Oh, and you know what else I will never forget? The two situations that made me realize that I was no longer my daddy’s favorite girl. I was being replaced. First, when my dad was getting dinner ready, and he yelled, “Honey, what do you want to drink?” Thinking he meant me, I told him that I wanted milk, to which you jumped in and responded with a nasty, “He is NOT talking to you, I am ‘honey’ now. I would like a glass of wine, baby.” Second, there was the conversation that made me question whether or not my mother and father – my true parents – actually did love me as much as they said they did. That conversation made me feel absolutely wonderful, just as I’m sure you intended. Here is an exact copy of the email I sent to my father on December 1, 2006.
When DeAnna and I were going to Kohl’s we were talking in the car about what Lucas and I wanted for Christmas or something. Then she’s like, “OK, Meagan, can I tell you something?” I said yeah, and she told me that I didn’t have to look at her while she’s talking cuz it might be a little embarrassing. So I looked away. Then she asked, “Ya know how your dad and I are always all kissy and making out and stuff? Well, just so you know, the number one person in your life is not your parents, and especially not your children, but the person you marry.” Then she went on and on about how your kids grow up and wont be with you cuz they move away and your husband is around you more and will be for the rest of your life and all that. And how of course you love your kids, but everyone loves their husband/ wife more.
OK. I have no idea why or how the heck that came into her head right then and there, but it did. Honestly, I have no idea why she would even tell me that or what she was trying to tell me or what point she was trying to make, but it was really weird. And kinda uncomfortable.
Is what she said about everyone loving who they marry more than your kids true?
OK, so, um, email me back as soon as you can.
Now let me tell you about the response to that e-mail. He did not answer my question, but instead suggested that he, you, and I sit down next time I visited to have a “family discussion,” a little heart-to-heart about what that conversation really meant. Then, after a week and a half of worrying about that conversation, you know what I got as a response? Nothing. We sat down in your room, he explained why we were talking, and you denied everything. You never admitted that you said those things to me, and, of course, he believed you. I don’t even care if he believes you or not. Who do you think you are, telling a little eleven-year-old girl that her parents don’t love her? Why would you do that? So I asked him, “Daddy, who do you love more, me or her?” His response: “Well, I don’t think you understand that the love one feels for a spouse is very different than the love one feels for a child..” But that didn’t answer my question, so I asked again, “Who do you love most?” He never responded. He just sat there staring at me, until I realized that the answer I was used to hearing (my mommy’s response, “You, of course! That’s not even a question, Meg.”) would never come out of his mouth. You replaced me. I was his girl, and you replaced me. My mom came after me on his list of favorites, and you replaced her. Now, you are his everything. And I will never forgive you for that.
You can live happily ever after with my dad all you want, you can feel free to be my “stepmother” forever.
But I hope you’re proud of the fact that I will NEVER think of you as a mother.
You, honey, are a bitch.