What I Wish I Could Say To My Mother

What I Wish I Could Say To My Mother

Thank you & I'm sorry.
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I know our relationship isn't the best now and hasn't been for awhile, but I also remember the days I didn't want to leave your side. I remember having a nightmare and climbing into your bed. When I was little, I never wanted to spend the night at a friends house because you weren't going to be there. I didn't want you to be alone.

You were always there to make me macaroni and cheese and kiss my stuffed animals goodnight when you were tucking me in. No matter the fever, nausea or strep throat, you were always there with ginger ale and a damp washcloth.

I wish we could have had one of those mother daughters dates at least once. The one where you get your nails done and maybe lunch. I wish you wouldn't have let me do every single thing I wanted. Truth is, I know I wouldn't have liked it at the time, but you would have saved me a lot of regret and heartache. At the same time though, thank you for always trusting me to make good decisions.

Then I grew up and I started to need you less, but I didn't mean that as a bad thing. You just raised me to be able to take care of myself. Now that I am an adult, I know I don't always help ease the tension and I can add fuel to the fire. I'm sure you think I try to pick fights with you and that I'm a bitch, and yes, I can be. I'm not perfect and I shouldn't expect you to be either.

I want to apologize for the plate I made you for Mother's Day one year. I'm not sorry I made it, you deserved it, and you were so sweet displaying it with pride because your daughter painted it just for you. I want to apologize for years later completely destroying it with a hammer on the kitchen floor because we were fighting about something. 10 years later, I don't even remember what we were fighting about, but I remember vindictively breaking that plate and I still regret it.

I am sorry that you feel like you can't tell me things sometimes, and don't say you don't do that because I know you do. It hurts me to know that you're not honest with me all the time, and no, eluding the truth isn't lying, but it's not being truly honest either. I am sorry if you think that if you are honest with me I will just get angry, and I can't always promise that won't happen. However, not telling me just makes things worse.

It leaves me wondering how can I distance myself even more without losing you. I already moved 650 miles away and we don't talk all of the time. How much further can I go? I have tried to convince myself that I won't care and that I won't get upset, but I can't. It's not who I am and it's not who you raised me to be.

The more I love you, want better for you, and try to help that, it seems you love me less. Maybe I need to work on how I express that and make it kinder, but maybe instead of shutting down on me, you could open up, listen and maybe just maybe something will help.

I hope we can love one another because we want to, not because you have too.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Dumas

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Blocking Toxic Family Members Can Be Just What You Needed

It isn't an easy choice but it can be the most rewarding.

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I haven't written for the Odyssey in quite some time due to this large issue in my life that I feel some people may also need to hear. Watching your parents go through a divorce can be difficult in itself, but what about having to remove one of your parents from your life at the same time? It's something I don't think many people could imagine doing. However, sometimes you are forced into the position between choosing what is best for your mental health or what is expected of you. For me, I realized that I needed to put myself first.

I realized that I am my own person. How I present myself and how I act and what I choose to believe in is how the world perceives me. I was faced with a parent who did not let me be who I am. The way I thought had to be in line with theirs. What I openly spoke about had to be in line with that parent's thoughts. This also, in turn, meant I had to revolve how I was perceived to the world around that parent's family. I had to abide by these societal norms and do what someone else expected of me. I realized that was ludicrous.

This parent was also abusive. They were toxic and manipulative and I could not stand idly by and just take that from them while also trying to become an independent young adult. I was forced to sit and watch one of my parents transform into someone I didn't recognize anymore. I had to watch them ignore any kind of reality checks and continue to feign innocence. I watched one of my parents mentally manipulate people I once called family into believing lies. I kept my head down and shut my mouth and kept taking the abuse. Now I'm at a point where I can confidently say that I am no longer afraid.

I was forced to cut ties with a parent that raised me, cared for me, attended school functions, fixed toys, bought me my first phone. I was forced to chuck out priceless memories for my own sanity. I could not sit idly by and allow myself to endure one more second of lies or abuse. I had to stand up for myself for once in my life and I blocked most of my family. I blocked cousins, aunts, uncles, and godparents. I changed my phone number that I had since 6th grade. I gave no warning and disappeared from my family's lives. Do I have regrets? No. I would do it again if I had to because I am so much stronger than sitting there and taking it.

I will have one less parent at my college graduation, which I am fighting so hard to achieve. I will have one less parent at my wedding. My future children will have one less grandparent. I mope in these thoughts but then I have to remember the other side of things. I will not have an unsupportive parent at my graduation and instead will have those that were there every step of the way. I will lack someone who was toxic at my wedding. My future children will never have to face the same abusive, toxic situations that my parent put me through. It was a difficult decision to make but one that I know in my heart is worthwhile.

Cutting a family member out of your life is difficult enough but cutting a parent is unimaginable. However, no one deserves to go through abusive situations. It shouldn't matter who the person is; if someone is treating you less than you deserve to be treated, they have no use being in your life. You should always be your first priority. You should never have to endure something for the sake of others. I am here to tell you that you are more than that and that cutting out a family member could actually be the best thing for you, even if it's incredibly difficult. I did it and I'm still here. It made me realize who my real family was, and there will never be enough thank you's in the world to show my mother just how much I appreciate her.

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