Hello toxic boundaries of my youth,
For years, you’ve attempted to communicate with me with no luck, but today, I answer all of your responses for good. This letter alone may give you some sick psychological satisfaction that I finally broke the barrier and responded to your harassing messages, but let this be a reminder that this will be the last you ever hear from me.
I’ve sat on writing this for a while because I never wanted to give you the satisfaction of getting a response from me, but through inspiration and guidance, I have decided I needed to face this demon to be able to move on with my life in a pure way. You may think I owe it to you to give you some sort of contact since you biologically brought me into this world, but if my travels outside of that hometown have taught me anything, it is that I don’t owe anything to things that don’t bring me joy or help me grow.
To help others understand my resentment, I must take us all back to the beginning, to where I became your problem. I wasn’t initially the problem, though, was I? I used to love spending time with you and helping you with your Mary Kay business, but at some point, you started to hate me and blame me for all your problems. At some time in my youth, you pointed the finger at me for all your failures and broken dreams and for a while, I accepted I was to blame. You gave me two sisters that I should have loved and grew to bond with and we should’ve stuck by each other through thick and thin, but you took joy out of pitting us against each other and being the mediator we all ran to when we were hurt by the other. As a child, I never understood how toxic that was, but in hindsight, it’s all clear. My heart has hurt for my sisters and the years we lost being so angry and spiteful towards each other when we could’ve grown together and used our turmoil as strength to push each other to be better than the circumstances you gave us. Then again, you gave us few circumstances to grow because it was exactly how you were able to control us for so long. But for how long would that control last? You knew at some point the law wouldn’t be on your side of control and we would be able to be our own people, away from you. I think that’s what you feared most. You wanted us to be so scared of the outside world, that we could only find solace with you.
I wonder if you ever acknowledged how unhealthy that was. You were lucky we grew up in a small town for the most part where it was much easier to maintain your control. Looking back, my heart breaks for the years I lost with my sisters for you pitting us against each other so you could be the one we ran to for comfort. I hope now, they realize how unhealthy that was and that they don’t pass that behavior on to their children. You were never ready to be a mother, not really. Normally, I’m against the government sticking their nose in family business, but for every time I hoped the government would come in and save me, you manipulated every government worker like a little toy. For me, as well as many other children in this country, the government failed us. The government left us to grow up in not only physically abusive homes, but also psychologically. How many times did Child Protective Services step in and you manipulated your way out of it? For a long time, I resonated with the book, “A Child Called “It,” because it felt like someone could understand what I was going through. Although, you never tried to kill me with bleach, you did try to minimize me in other ways.
I love Texas and will until the day I die, but that small town you raised me in, was unjust to say the least. To allow a woman who beat her child in front of witnesses have her case dismissed and me live with a record the rest of my life is the least of the problems. That town, including the judge and its cops, were more crooked than the scripts we see of bad cops on tv shows. Law enforcement was supposed to make everyone feel safe, yet, due to your manipulation and the law enforcement’s power trip, I felt more alone. You beat me with a wire hanger and got away with it after being reported by your own mother.
I was molested by your landlord’s husband and to save your government assisted housing, I was left a victim without justice. I’m sure that doesn’t even haunt you at night when you go to bed, but it used to haunt me. The face that my own mother would rather keep her apartment that was paid for by the government because you didn’t feel like working, told the sheriff’s office that I lied about being violated, is more haunting than it all. A mother. The one thing a child should count on to be in its corner had abandoned ship and I was left not only psychologically damaged, but even more alone than ever. Yet, you were so easy to defend your other daughter that lied about being raped because she didn’t want you to to think less of her. You spent our entire childhood controlling who we loved, befriended, and who could benefit you, but you never considered how it would leave you in the end. You spent my whole childhood manipulating those around you to get what you wanted, including pinning me and my sisters against each other, with the illusion that you would never lose control.
It started with the oldest of your daughters wanting to find acceptance with religion, and that you condemned and called reported to the police on until she was left with no choice but to be home with you and the rest of us. Then again, that is what you wanted all along. What you didn’t realize was that was the first dig of a wedge in a long history of what would come. For years growing up, there was abuse, but it never seemed to have a root to the problem, until we were able to mentally mature to put the pieces together.
The oldest, could’ve been pure and kind by devoting herself to the religion she loved, but you molested that into something so dark and painful, that the church had no legal way of helping her, and she had no choice but to retreat home. She could’ve gone to a prestigious music school, but you manipulated her into not being so far from home, until you drove her to joining the military. I am not condemning the military in any way, I am merely stating that my sister had so many opportunities to follow dreams and passions she had, that she felt she had no way out, but to join the military. That way, she was away from the reach of you. That alone should’ve given you a wake-up call, but it didn’t. Instead, it sent you into abuse-overdrive.
The middle was always your favorite. There was nothing she could do, including making false rape claims and risking people going to jail all because she didn’t want you to think less of her. What’s sad is that’s what you mad pushed her to. She wanted to go out and party with her friends, but as soon as she was caught for being out so late, she knew she was cornered. She knew her options were to face your wrath or let those guys, and she’d rather guys go to jail than you hate her. With her, you had won your ultimate goal. But it never ended there, did it?
People started to ask questions and since it’s a small town, people could easily put the dots together themselves, but that wasn’t enough for you, was it? Suddenly, I was the blunt end of your blame again. In your mind, I had told everyone where she was secluding herself to and the report she made and I was the villain. You didn’t care about the boys she lied about raping her, you only had hate towards me because she made you think I told everyone everything. But that’s thing thing about secrets, isn’t it? It can on’t be kept if all parties but one, are dead. To be honest, that last night I spent in that shithole that hard-working tax-payers paid for, I thought that was the night I wasn’t gong to survive another one of your attacks. You always had routine lash-outs, but the look in your eyes that time and the weight in the blows, I genuinely thought I wasn’t going to make it past that night. I guess I should be lucky that an old friend was there to witness the events I had claimed for years, because the cops showed up shortly after. Of course, your favorite child was there to vouch for your abuse, despite the welts and marks on me and the witness’s statement, but that didn’t really matter because you already had the police force under your thumb. I was sent to Juve, and your charges of domestic abuse were dismissed. I still remember hearing the police officer say, “What we know is she tried grabbing your arms to keep you from hitting her.” and you immediately cut in saying, “Well, she could’ve taken it. Since she didn’t that’s cause for abuse.” The fact that you saw so little in my existence that I was merely there to be your punching back was a brutal reminder that you would never be the mother that society kept promising you’d be. For years, I had hoped that maybe one day, you’d stop the abuse and be better, but this was that final wake-up call.
Sitting in the back of the police car, I was reminded of all the times you should’ve stopped the abuse, but never did. For you, it was your drug and a quick fix for all your problems. As your child, I was your punching bag for all the bad things in your life, but what you never realized is that while you thought you were beating all the hope and joy out of me, you were instead, giving me a will to carry on. With every ounce of physical and psychological abuse, you fed my fuel and desire that one day, I’d be free of your chains and the pain you forced upon me, and I wouldn’t have to hurt again. Only after you abandoning me after being molested and you abusing me, was I one step closer to that freedom. Sitting in that cop car, I thought my life was over, but hindsight, that was the first break of hope the universe had given me. My grandmother wanted no part of the situation and she made that clear when she picked me up of the detention center, and to be honest, I don’t blame her. Her life was fine and quiet until you came back after losing your job and boyfriend. Now, she had to deal with an angry, jaded teenager after she just recently gotten you and your kids to leave her house after mooching for far too long. You may not remember, but I do. I recall you literally sleeping your life away in your mother’s home while she and you father had to struggle to not only live their lives, but now support you and your three children that just showed up. To be honest, I don’t blame her for being resentful. You took a rock and smashed it through her calm life and wrecked it until it was in shambles.
Once my probation was over, I was kicked out. Honestly, I wasn’t surprised. After being abused and choked by my grandfather for the lies you kept whispering into his ear, I had no choice but to leave anyways. My grandmother was faced with a decision to either report what my grandfather had done because of you or kick me out. I can understand now that he path of least resistance was to rid herself of me. What didn’t even surprise me was that you were telling your own father that I was doing drugs and called me a slut, which he called me in that moment that he had his hand around my neck as I was trying to leave for cross country practice. At that point, I had become acclimated to the abuse that I wasn’t even surprised by it. I was shocked that he would put his hands on me, but looking back, I guess I shouldn’t have been since he started the same verbal abuse you were so iconic for.
This letter is an incredibly understated summary of every illegal thing you did in my childhood, but I wanted to skim over some of the important events that led me to where I am today. This is where the double-edged sword comes in.
On one hand, I was incredibly resilient and adaptable because of everything you put me through, but on the other side, I was so desperate to be loved that I accepted less than I deserved because I was so damaged by you. For so long and many trials, I accepted people into my life that were only there to use me in one way or another because I was so underdeveloped with love from my childhood, that I thought making unrealistic sacrifices in my adulthood would compensate for it. What I learned with 2 divorces and a lot of lost friendships later was that I can’t fill the void you dug with other people, I can only fill it with me. That’s where the only good part of my experience with you comes in. I learned that I deserve more than people using me for their temporary fixes as long as the memories are good. I deserve people who care about me for me and love me no matter how I evolve as a person and all these years later, I’ve learned that. I’ve made friends and lost them, them made more and kept some. I’ve found love and lost it and felt more heartbreak than I ever dreamed of, but it was all worth it to find love that made all the pain not hurt anymore. It took exploring who I am and what I want down to my soul to find how I can be happy after all the pain and finding love in all of that. Not just with people, but in places and memories.
What your lifestyle has taught me is that I shouldn’t fear being a parent out of fear that I’ll turn into you, because you’ve given me a How-To guide of what not to do to raise a loving family. I like to think I turned out okay, despite my hiccups along the road, but I has found love in friends, a man, and in myself. I have finally learned to love life after all the pain, and in spite of it; in spite of you.
This may give you some sick psychological gratification that you’re on my mind after all these years, but this letter is a fond farewell to a life I never want to return to or recall. For all the physical and psychological damage from over the years, this is your youngest signing out. ✌️