*Before anyone judges me for making this extremely public, walk a mile in my shoes let alone live my entire life from birth to present. I've thought about this for long enough before being brave enough to post it. THEN come back and apologize.*
Open this link and read it from start to finish. And then read it again, only slower now, and hang on every. single. word. And because I know you completely lack empathy and are hard-headed except when it suits you, personally, print it out. Keep a copy in your wallet, your car, your briefcase, on that bulletin board in your office... Hell, keep a copy of it on your night table if you have to.
I mean, only if you want to remain a part of MY life and my husband's and our children's lives, that is.
And DEFINITELY read it again before you ever DARE send me a letter like the one I received from you earlier this month. It took me a week to even read it; I'm so fucked-up from the pain of my childhood that YOU had a great deal in contributing to that that's how long it took me to even open the envelope. And then when I actually did have the nerve to read the letter inside? The bottom dropped out of me once again, at 41 years old, so fast and so hard that I nearly killed myself. Again. Nearly killed myself, AGAIN, which I have been trying to do since I was about eight years old and have not seriously tried last since we lived in Virginia.
I'd post that letter here and pick it apart, line by line, except that it's already been destroyed by the paper shredder. You upset so much that my husband and children came running from the sound of my shrieking. My husband is angry. My children is angry. One of my kids is super-sensitive and extremely empathetic and knows my story so well, that I am now concerned for his/her own safety as much as my family is about mine.
I am shaking and crying now as I type this, and my mind is starting to want to fly off in 75 different directions, from the pain you caused me with that letter.
To put it lightly, you do not GET it. You do not understand me. You do not know me. And you clearly do not care, either.
Do you think for one moment that I have not TRIED to have a job? I know I am smart; you don't have to tell me that. Having been accepted to the Ph.D. program I wanted at 17 and getting my MENSA card at 22, I do not need your assurances any longer.
Do you think for one moment that I have not TRIED to get better? To be better? To do more, and be more, than what I am? I was a go-getter, a high achiever, a mover and a shaker in my youth. I have a doting husband and three kids who love me now, so of course I want to be the best I can for them. And for myself.
But not for you. Not anymore.
You asserted in your letter that if I would just do what you did and put a little physical separation, a little distance, between myself and my whatever-your-Christian Science-cult has brainwashed you into believing is wrong with me, then I should mentally be able to do the same, and all would be well. I should be just fine. You know, more like you.
But I'm not like you. Thank the merciful heavens I am Not. Like. You, because then I might be on the prowl for Husband #6 - or is it 7 now; I can no longer count - with kids and grand-kids all over the country who would really rather not have anything to do with me. (That last bit obviously doesn't bother you that much, though, does it? After all, you abandoned your first kid from Wife #1 for, you claim, Wife #2; beat the shit out of your second kid and saw her get emancipated at 16; and again abandoned your last kid - that would be me - at 17, alone with HER in Baldwinsville, while you forged a new life for yourself in South Carolina. Congratulations, you're a selfish douche!)
I am also not a racist, bigoted pig, like you are. (I'll bet that white hood is a lot easier to wear in SC than it was in NY.) I don't rail against all the Jewish people who ruined my life in NYC and are now ruining my visits to South Florida. Or "all the Mexicans." Or all the old people, or all the young people, or all the pick-a-color people, or all the Catholics, or all the "harmless" non-denominational people (you remember calling our church that? Harmless), or all the Muslims, or all the poor people, or all the super-wealthy people, or anyone in between who isn't a WASP like you. Don't forget they probably should not have health insurance, either, because then they also might not believe the cult propaganda you fed my mother and may actually go to the doctor when they're sick and dying at 33 and have two young kids to care for at home.
I'm thinking you're not much liking social media at present, what with all the #MeToo stuff you're having to encounter. That probably really grinds your lecherous teeth together. Put I don't really want to dip my toe into that fun pond of water right now.
Anyway, here's the thing: you want me to separate myself from the source of the problem so that I can begin to heal? Okay. We've tried this before, but I'm game to try it again for shits and giggles. Don't call me, don't text me, don't pop up on my Messenger and, if you have two tiny brain cells left to wave at each other across that massive void where your shining personality crawled out of, DON'T send me another letter like that.
Here are your walking papers. Go. And don't look for women near Idaho to hit up while you're supposed to be visiting us like last time, okay? That's just annoying, and you won't have anywhere to stay at our house.
There. I already feel better.
Wait. Except that I don't.
Picture me like a sandcastle built close to the shore, a beautiful cheery thing, except that at an age too young to understand death, some big jerk kid like you comes along and suddenly kicks that sandcastle all over the beach. And then, while the sand is still wet, still devastated from that major blow, the big jerk kid invites a bunch more jerk kids over and proceeds to poke holes in the sand, kick it around, pee on it, throw it at each other, and just laaaugh and laaaaugh at this sport. Imagine, though, that somehow this sandcastle was made of some very precious sand and, after this ten-year-long party finally ended, it was able to slowly, grain by grain, put itself back together again.
Only, the blueprints had been destroyed, and the castle no longer knew how it existed long before. Something still beautiful but a lot less cheery formed in its place. Eventually curtains were put up and shades were drawn, so the rebuilding process could be attempted while no one was looking.
And then imagine, just as it grew a little taller and a little sturdier than it had been the first time, this fully grown big jerk came along and destroyed it all over again. This time, the sandcastle, now 26, fully understood the permanence of that death, and the big jerk yelled at it, "Well, maybe you just weren't put together right!" (Remember that? I do.)
By that point, all the pieces of the blueprint had been washed away, and the only remembrance of the original was from a few Polaroids left behind. You could still imagine what the sand castle was like, and try to build a new one that looked like it, but it was never going to be the same structure inside again. It was too late. All that damage had already been done and could never be undone. Not even by the big letter-writing jerk himself. Not ever until the magic sand faded away and no longer needed to put itself back together again, because time was up.
We're not at that point right now, I hope. Not yet. I still have some rebuilding to do inside before I'm ready to meet my Maker, and I really don't want you to knock me down again. It hurts too damned much.