Angry letters I would write and send if not for recovery. I have anger, but it is not the boss of me. I let it teach me and then I get to practice taming it.
I experience little conscious memory of you, only of the raging in our house and you bringing home gifts of perfume or Brach’s Sour Ball Candies from your canteen at work. And that I resented you for making me different from others, in ways that couldn’t be masked-my name, my brown-ness, our weird food, my nose, our lack of traditional celebrations and trendy clothing. I recall with haunting clarity, the smell of your greasy pillow and that you rode a 10 speed and slaughtered Cornish hens in our home, ate lamb, rabbit, tongue, veal and calve’s kidney and liver—knowing it all broke my heart. Oh, and you enjoyed the beach. Aside from that, just fighting. Lots of fighting–but you were different from mom and sister. You always felt despair over screaming and being unreasonable or hurtful. You would often apologize. We are alike that way, the screaming and the apologizing. I am better about screaming and have learned what to and not to apologize for.
Sometimes months go by and I have not thought of you at all, because whatever there was between us that made us tear at each other, is too painful to recall.
Your contempt for me, from as far back as I can remember was terrifying. I wished I could have felt some sense of safety, nurturing, or confidence in your care. Between you, your punitive and judgmental mother, and my sister, there was little chance of me, ever getting to know or love myself. What did you expect to become of me? Did you think you could shame and banish me out of being someone so terribly inconvenient and with needs to which you could not relate? If so, you deserve an award for your efforts. Too bad, it did not work out well for anyone, except Jilan. She scored much positive attention and traction, from just not being ME.
The way you have touched and spoken to me is vile. Except for when you were being other Jilan, offering gifts and compliments, but even that was icky. Often you would ask what was wrong–but it was not in a compassionate way, it was in a scared probing way to see if I knew and understood what had been said or done. The thought of you touching my children makes me physically ill. The collective will of you and your mother, violates me as a daughter, sister, and mother of my children. The way you subtly smear and systematically alienate/pick off women (who dare to displease you–remember, you have bragged about this to me) in your life and work is repulsive. The arrangement you have with Randy makes my young sons feel conflict, angst, caught in the middle of things which they could have been spared. Shame on you. Yes you. For all of the stuff. You gossip and judge and shame others as if it is your calling. If it is, bravo. You are killing it, at those things. There is no zipcode, white suit, title, last name, or club that can fully conceal the truth of what you do and have done. Even having beautiful children is not proof of some level of goodness in you which nullifies the damage by your hand. Your Sisters in law,your cousins, Alison at your work, your aunt…. just to name a few. Patterns do not lie.
When we first met, I loved the part of you that was confused and pained by the things done to you by your sisters that paralleled my own experience. I thought together we would make something better. Do you recall how your father cautioned you about the affect your sisters would have on us? Do you recall how you were always having to choose between your sisters and me…except for the two years in which we were close with Kendall and therefore banished by the other two? Do you recall how your sisters ignored us and baby Will at Christmas entirely and when you called them out, they said, “what he is only a baby, like he will even remember” It was sad and really unsurprising when after years of promising to want something better for our family you said to me “I will never change. There is nothing wrong the the way my family or I do things.” I can see that when I was crying about the dynamic with my sister and mother, you related more to them than to me. No truer words were ever spoken than when you said you would never change. May be the only promise to have never been broken—never changing. Sad. What I find most challenging are the moods that parallel my sister’s. The days or weeks of non-malevolence followed by underhanded and disruptive antics for no reason at all. These times are marked by zero eye contact or acknowledgment when I have spoken, as you did in marriage. And, because you are my children’s father, I will never fully detail or address the specifics of your choices which put your ego and will ahead of our magnificent children.
There are some very relevant things that you should know, as co-parent. I am unable to share, because you consistently offer reminders, that you are not safe, unwilling to prioritize OUR family over yourself. You and I are raising beautiful boys and we both know full well that addiction is a real and present danger, for them. I do not understand how you knowingly, continually place them in situations that require them to disassociate or pretend. Oh wait, actually, I do understand–and it makes perfect sense.
If I thought they would make a difference, I might write letters which instead, say for the zillionth time how willing I am to work toward something better and to heal. But healing is for the broken and you cannot possibly be broken so no need for fixing. And pain is for the weak while anger is for the right. There is no where to go with this.Much Love,
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