Most of the time it doesn't bother me that we've gone this long barely knowing anything about each other, but then I see other friends with their parents, and I long for a relationship I've never had.

I used to be pretty bitter towards you. The fighting, the lack of communication, the distance between us - it seemed so infuriating that I (we) had to continuously deal with it, but now I'm just exhausted. It's a cycle of bad habits formed into a routine I don't think we'll ever be capable of changing.

I feel bad that you're missing out on me. When I was younger, I tried to do well in school, so you would say that you were proud of me, but I realized I should be doing it for myself. So I am. When I texted you to tell you about how I made the dean's list in college, you didn't respond. I kept the email for myself.

When I moved into my dorm my first year of college, you weren't in town. You texted me and asked when I was going to visit, and I told you I had moved. You came to visit...once. I think you even stayed for an hour or two.

If you ever wanted to know me, I guess I would tell you these things about myself:

*I write. I write poetry, short stories, and articles for EMU Odyssey. I love writing more than anything else.

*My favorite color is orange.

*I have a kick-ass taste in music. I love bluegrass and classic rock. My favorite bands are The Avett Brothers, Parsonsfield, Wild Rivers, Greta Van Fleet, and Fleetwood Mac.

*I'm tough, and I'm smart, and most importantly - I'm damn proud of myself. I'm outgoing, and I say what I want when I want. I stick up for others and myself. I do fantastic in school. I work a minimum of two jobs while going to school full-time, and I'll always strive to be the best version of myself possible.

*I want a family that will stick around.

A relationship to you might include visiting a few times a year, and gifts during Christmas, and maybe that's the only relationship you're capable of, but I needed more than that. I needed you to be excited for me. I needed you to be proud of me. I just needed you to be there.

It hurts when I see you, and you talk about your other kids and their life accomplishments and their current struggles while I try to fill you in on my life. Why aren't you capable of listening to me? Why do the other kids come first? Do you talk about me like you talk about them? Sometimes I think I'll never know how you actually feel about me. I guess it doesn't matter.

Sometimes I feel as if I should do more to pursue an actual relationship with you, but do you know how exhausting and sad it is for a nineteen-year-old to piggyback an entire life with a parent their whole life? I didn't bring you into this world. I didn't choose you as my parent - but you did choose to have me. I can't carry a relationship that's never existed, and I'm too tired of being disappointed to try anymore.

I like to think one day work and your new family won't come first. I like to think one day you'll ask about my life with genuine interest. I like to think one day we will find a bond that was somehow hiding between cracks of arguments and two-sided disappointment, but until then I want you to know I'm doing just fine, and if I were you, I'd be so damn proud.