Dear mom and dad,
I’m so grateful for everything you have given me. Food, clothing, shelter, and the loving memories of riding bikes, fishing, laughing, and camping. I sometimes wonder, however, if you realize that there are other memories tied the two of you, ones that aren’t so very happy, and more often than not are sad and tied with tears. While you two have made me into the strong, intelligent, driven, kind, and caring person I am today, you have also left me with fears that I’ve only just beginning to face and even realize I have.
Fears based on the relationship that the two of you struggle to keep alive. The fights, the tears, the yelling, the manipulation, and the rage that tangles the two of you in an awful tangle has ensnared both of your daughters. It has affected us in many ways, some which are different but many which as similar. As I’ve grown up, lived away from home and learned more about the lives of others, I’ve found that I have so many reservations and fears about love, relationships, and marriage that I sometimes feel paralyzed by fear. With every passing day, I am better able to face and admit my fears, but every time I return home I lose that improvement. Going home sends me backwards, back into a place that is faithless, hopeless, and dark.
Still, as the days pass and I come closer to graduation, and I prepare for my future, I hope you know that I do see you in it. The way you see me in the future is also different from what I see, however, and I feel like you only hear every third word I say when it comes to my future plans. I say I don’t think I can live at home right now, you hear I can love at home. Mom, you specifically know all of my reasons, and they reach so far back into when I was growing as a teenager, and yet you still grow angry and cry with despair that you don’t understand why I insist on not wanting to live at home.
It hurts, when you don’t listen. The pain and guilt I feel for telling you, both of you, the same words over and over and you never taking them in to account has created a chasm in my heart that aches every time I think about it. It disrupts my sleep, my focus, and my ability to be the skilled and competent teacher I am becoming. More than anything else, it disrupts my idea of who I am as a human being.
As I struggle to finish my studies here, and I search for jobs and am invited to interviews, I want you to know that I carry you in my thoughts. I acknowledge that my decision to not come home and stay home is stubborn, that some day I may look back and feel foolish, but right now it’s the path I’m choosing.
You always have been, and forever will be, in my heart and in my love,
Your eldest daughter