There used to be a time when you made me feel loved and wanted.
I couldn't wait to come home after school knowing that you'd be waiting for me along with all of my favorite snacks, ready to give me a big hug and ask me how my day went. I used to sit in your lap while you helped me read my chapter books. You used to show up to things.
You used to get to know my friends. You used to encourage me. But you're not that person anymore. I watched as your addiction consumed you and turned you into a monster. Your loving words turned into hateful actions. I watched as you became angry at the world until your substances were the only thing that mattered anymore. Nothing was good enough for you, and nothing could save you... not even me.
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It took me a long time to realize what was even going on. I was old enough to know that drugs were bad, but still young enough that I had no idea what they looked like or how a person may act while taking them. I didn't know that when you locked yourself in your room with strangers you were getting high, or that it wasn't normal for people to sleep for twenty hours at a time.
I used to think that maybe if I had asked other adults more questions I would have figured it out sooner and you could have gotten help. I used to think that if maybe my sister and I didn't fight as much, or if I didn't complain every time you told me to do something, that maybe you wouldn't have been so stressed out all the time. But the truth is, it wasn't my fault. It wasn't my sister's fault.
This was all on you.
I didn't ask for a parent that was forced to enroll in various rehab programs, but that's what I got. I didn't ask for the letters you sent while you were in and out of jail, but I still read them all. I didn't want to explain to my friends' parents why your name was always in the paper, but I did it regardless.
All I ever actually wanted was for you to pick me for once in your life, but you couldn't do that.
When the going got tough, you just cowered away, too scared to confront your own demons. You had everyone else to blame, but you never took a second to think about what you were doing to us, no matter how much I begged and pleaded.
You ripped our family apart. You fucked me up.
What is a child to do when the one person in the whole world that is supposed to teach them love and affection hits them, tells them they're worthless, and leaves them to fend for themselves?
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I promised myself several years ago that I would never become you. I would never let any kind of substance consume my life. I wouldn't lie, steal, and manipulate to get my way. I wouldn't become a “parent" to my children only when it's convenient for me. I would make something of myself.
It makes my blood boil to see you take credit for how I turned out. “I'm so proud of my baby. Raising you is the greatest thing I've ever done." Complete bullshit. You were never around to raise me. Any ounce of success I've tasted hasn't come from you or your guidance. If anything, you've only been a living demonstration of everything I shouldn't be.I got to where I am today with absolutely no help from you. You don't get to come into my life now that I'm an adult and take all the credit. You don't get to try to dictate what I can and can't do as if you have some kind of authority on my decisions. You had your chance to raise me and be a part of my life, but you blew it. I don't owe you a single thing.