Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Nostalgic Feb 2017
Dear Mom,

I wish you could see what everybody else sees. I wish you could see what I see, and feel what I feel. Because I want you understand me as well as I understand you. I know exactly what you’re going through, because that’s what I learn about in school. It’s textbook. I know all about the brain; its chemicals and hormones. I know about mental illness and I know about addiction. And that they're not a choice. I do understand that. But you don't understand how many times I’ve had to clean up after you. You don’t understand how many mornings I woke up hoping that maybe tonight would be different, but it wasn’t. You don’t understand why I don’t ever have friends over, or how many times I’ve been asked why I’m upset, and not known how to form an answer. You don’t understand how difficult it is for me to even fall asleep under the same roof as you. I don’t mean any of this in spite of you, I don't mean for any of it to hurt you, and I also don’t want to make things harder on you. And I think that’s what’s taken me so long to speak to you, because I want to protect you from hearing the honest truth from me. Because I know you've gone through a lot, I get that, or at least I try to. But I wish you could acknowledge that I’ve been through a lot too. I took the blame for you so many times. And a daughter should not ever have to deal with that. When there was any conflict in the family, I was always told that it’s my fault. It was because I was sick, or I was misbehaving, or I was impossible to deal with. And in all the conversations I’ve had about being upset or broken, whether it have been with a therapist or a friend, I could never get myself to blame you. I never threw you under the bus. I never told one counselor that I was sad because my mother is an unstable addict. I stepped up to the plate. I was the one that put work into making things better, I was the one that got the help that I didn’t even need. So, I hate to say this but, though it took me years to get the words out of my mouth; I blame you. I get that you're sick, that’s hard to deal with, but any decent person would have gotten help and put in the work before it was too late.
A daughter needs her mother. But you were absent. You are mean, yelling that I can go live somewhere else or make me feel bad for being upset with you. I can’t come to you about anything like other girls can because there’s no telling how you’re going to react. I don’t know what will set you off, nobody does. It wasn’t until I went to school that I got a little bit of peace. I don’t miss home. Because of you, I’m actually terrified every time I have to go. And hearing the other girls talk about how much they miss home and their parents makes me really jealous. I wish that I missed home that much. That I had a normal house to come back to and not have to fear what life is going to be like when I got there.
You are not a victim. I know that because I’ve seem people that are victims of addiction or mental illness. Victims care enough about their daughters that they work on it and get the help that they need. That was never you. All you ever did was blame other people for anything that was going wrong in your life. And again, I wish you could see what I see. I wish you could see the mistakes that you've made. Because if you did, you’d spend every waking moment fighting and trying to fix them. Sadly, you didn’t even have the decency to apologize.

I’ve been trying to find another way to deliver this to you for so long, and I know you want an answer or an explanation. The truth is, parenting is an imperfect art for anyone. Consequently, despite ones best efforts and even better intentions, cries for a parental or childhood “do-over’ are not uncommon. But, whether you relate to the mother in this letter or the daughter, “doing over” is not the answer. “Doing now” is. For mom, “doing now” means mustering the courage to take a step back and consider if the choices she's making to soothe her own hurts and needs are teaching her children how an adult deals with life. And I’m sorry that this probably isn’t what you want to hear but:
It is too late for you and me. Nothing is going to change, and at this point it’s because I wont let it. I wonder if you ever paused to consider the messages you were sending and the pain you were inflicting as you shuffled me out the door before you meet up with your neighborhood drinking buddy. Because, intended or not, the messages were clear; the drink is more important than your family. I wonder if you knew how many times I fantasized about you turning around, blasting through my door to say “I want to know how you're doing, about the girl who got away, about your fears. I want to listen to your heart and your poetry. And to learn what brings you joy and makes you sad. Today, instead of pushing you into the door, I want to go and watch you play volleyball, and find out what I can do to support you. Today, instead of spending the afternoon in a haze, I want to do what you want to do. Maybe we can see a movie or get pizza and ice cream. Maybe even go bowling. Or simply talk about whatever’s on your mind.”
The weird thing is, it’s not your face that I see in that picture. It’s always someone else. Because too much has been messed up by you that at this point, I don’t want things to get better. Even if you did change, I wouldn’t be able to forgive you. Because it will never be you in that picture.
I know, of course, that alcoholism is much more complicated than that—that what may have started out as a choice borne of you own became a disease that would require hard work to overcome. But, I also know that you had to be the one to take the first step, to decide that there was someone or something in your life more important to you than the next drink. You could have done the work Mom- used the courage and the toughness it took to survive all those wounds to embrace and rise above the scars they left behind. You could've run towards, rather than away from, the voids in your world and filled them with so many other things. And in the process, set an example for me—taught me that brokenness is only the beginning, the cocoon in which beauty resides and, if we will allow it, from which it ultimately emerges. But, instead, you made your daughter take the fall.

I still wonder why you never took that step, why you never even admitted that you are the problem. I gave you every chance to at least do that, right up to your last breath, and all you did was leave me wondering; Why couldn't you see that I was important enough. Why wasn't I important enough? A mom should be an example, someone that their daughter strives to be. But I knew that there was an issue when I figured out that I’m spending every day of my life trying to become the exact opposite of what you are.
This isn’t a letter to explain to you what you need to do to fix things, because things cannot be fixed.
You have a warped sense of reality. I have never met someone as delusional as you; it’s quite impressive, actually. You have the ability to make yourself the victim or the Saint in any situation. I have never had to worry about defending my character because honestly that’s the only thing you ever did teach me. You constantly dragged my name through the mud. I actually felt sick going to your friends houses because I could only imagine the things you'd said I had done. And I hope they realize that I’m not actually a bad kid. For years I stood around as you berated me. I let you make me out to be a monster. I let you tell me how much more you loved your friends kids and even destroy some of my friendships because of it.

I don’t know how, after all you've put me through, it’s a mystery to you why I finally cut you off. I had enough and I didn’t need your toxicity in my life. I don’t think you know how many times people say, “yeah, but it’s still your mom.” But I’ve learned to let that go. So no, I do not want to sit down and talk. You do not deserve my forgiveness nor do I think you'll ever change enough to be forgiven. I’ve grown up, and you only made that harder for me. You were continuously a problem in my past and I will not be stupid enough to let you be one in my future too.

So the answer to your question is; yes, I do hate you. I hate you because of the way you make me feel. I hate you because you’ve broken my trust too many times. I hate you because you use me for attention. I hate you because you take credit for my successes, and not my failures. I hate you because you are such a toxic person, and I don’t know if it’s the alcohol, or just the person you are. And I’m sorry that even when you do try to be kind, you get rejected by me. And I want you to know that that’s because the pain you inflicted on me caused me to feel sick to my stomach every time I look at you, because I can’t let go of this past and I never will. And I’m sorry.
And I hope that you can move on, and improve things in your life. But you need to understand that I am my own person, and I don’t need you. I’ve decided that being away from you is what builds me up, rather than tears me down. And I’m also sorry that this isn’t what you wanted to hear. But you’ve been asking me for an answer for a long time, and this is my honest answer. And you can blame whoever you want. You can blame me, you can blame anybody, that’s fine. Just know that the person I blame is you.
Nostalgic Mar 2016
I celebrate myself, and sing myself.
I have wept at the edge of the earth.
I have stared death in the face and turned away
when he offered me his fractured hand.
I dance at the top of the mountain,
wishing I could grab up the sunlight washing over my
battlefield face, and pour it in a bottle
to keep hidden away in the back of my closet.
I often stifle my better judgement and lay
control of myself at the feet of a captain who only means me harm; I jump ship into the hurricane waters
Which toss me and tumble me
and churn me around without letting me up for air.
You take your lungs for granted until there’s water inside of them. You take the light for granted until it’s dark
and cold
and you can’t tell which way leads back to the shore.
But I make it back every time.
My eyes adjust to the dark,
and I remember that I know how to swim.

I celebrate myself, and sing myself.
The morning light streams through the basement window and
kisses my cheek so softly I can hardly feel it. With one hand I trace my fingers over the shattered bits of
outer space floating around in my blue-green veins,
and use the other to cover the bruises
and scrapes on the tops of my knees.
I don’t play the piano but I will spend the whole day trying
if it will make you smile.
And you can keep all your skeletons in my closet;
You’ll still look the same to me darling.
Here, take my last two dollars,
only one of us can get a ticket for this bus ride home
and I want it to be you.
I’m used to sleeping in alleys,
and you’ve never been without a pillow to lay your head on. Every time I will want it to be you.

Past all the white noise and thunder claps echoing
around in my mind, there’s a calm,
for I know that after my heart gives out,
whether it’s tomorrow, or when I’m old and shaky and gray;
whether it’s in a burning overturned car, or in a quiet unfamiliar hospital bed, even though it didn’t feel like it at times,

I know this all really was for something.
I celebrate myself, and sing myself
because after all the shipwrecks, salt stains, empty water bottles littering the carpet,
after all of it,
I still make it back to the shore
every time.
Nostalgic Dec 2015
Darling I must say that I’m

            quite surprised to see you here.

     Not that it’s unlike you to show up unannounced,
and track mud throughout my living room,
     even though I just had the carpet redone.
But how can I yell at you while
                  you’re sitting here
          coughing up bits and pieces of        broken piano keys and tainted silver?

I would ask how they got inside you in the first place,

but I won’t

because I don’t think I would very much like the answer.

But you’re here, on my couch,

making a mess of things just like I taught you how,

and the kettle hasn’t begun to scream yet,
         so let’s talk.
That is what you came here to do isn’t it?

Well maybe I don’t want to talk.
        Did you ever even consider that?
Maybe I don’t want to think about January anymore.
                After all these years,
      after all these frost bitten cheeks and lost sunglasses and nails bitten down to the quick,
maybe I want to get out of this car.

                                   I don’t,
but I can’t very well tell you that now can I?
No, I can’t.

Don’t worry about the bruises on the wall or the shadow in the corner.
      You’re not.
You’re not even looking.

How are you?
Nice weather we’ve been having.

     Yeah maybe,
except the air is always so cold that there’s ice in my lungs and it
        never stops being Tuesday.
Don’t just look at me, say something. Or if you won’t, then at least  build a fire.
           No, I’ll do it.
Go lay down,
there’s a space in my bed next to Nostalgia that’s
      probably still warm.
            Just throw the book on the floor.
I can put it away if it means you’ll stay awhile.

Turn the heat down, turn the lights off
                  this is all just temporary.
      We don’t have to talk about the car crash or the window or what’s buried in that yard.
      Focus only on my skin now.
We can think about that night in the pool later,
         when you’ve gone home again and turned up the music so loud          that you can’t hear the gunshots.

I have to say that I’m quite
      and slightly offended by your
lack of attention to detail.
Don’t you remember
     when you were eight years old,
             all filled with soda pop and sidewalk chalk,

and you won that fish at the state fair for something silly
          like knocking over three milk bottles stacked on each other with
    four tries and a baseball.

Who the hell needs four tries for that?

But you won the fish and made it a home
           in a small glass bowl set on top            
                               of your nightstand.

Four days later while you were at school your mom discovered it floating belly up,
          flushed it down the toilet and rushed out of the house
      coming back twenty minutes later     with a fish similar enough to keep you from noticing
          that anything had changed at all.

Oh well,
     I’ll keep that in it’s wooden box at the back of my closet,
Let you keep your ignorance.
Let you keep your bliss.
    And I will sit quietly in the backseat
                   of your car while you drive,
and watch all the different girls
   get in and out of the passenger seat.

But I will never buckle my seatbelt,
     and always keep the door unlocked

just to see if it will scare you enough to turn around.
Nostalgic Sep 2015
I don’t want to hate daisies.
I love daisies.
I love daisies so much they might even be my favorite flower.
And I don’t want to hate daisies.

But I have to hate daisies.
I have to hate them because I was stupid enough to let myself fall before I looked at where I’d land.
And before I even got my eyes shut I was laying on the ground with a spinal fracture and bullet holes in my chest.

And I didn’t know how to continue living,
feeling the breeze, that would’ve given you tiny goosebumps, and made you fold your arms across your chest, whistle through your exit wounds. Hearing it whisper every time I hold my breath.

So I went and I broke the last promise I made. And I didn’t do it to hurt anyone.
And I didn’t do it because I had a choice.
I did it because I cant get the image of the layers of all the shades of green in your eyes out of my head. And how do you expect me to continue living knowing I’ll never feel the heat radiating off the trees burning in the forrest that was the symbol of happiness.

And I’ll never tell anyone this,
but before I ripped out every sane thought in my head that always put the cap back on,
I prayed that if there really is a God up there, that he would stay with me, and keep just a gasp of air in my lungs
so that I’d wake up.
And maybe you’d be there holding my hand and I’d get to see you smile at me one last time.

But God is just too good at his job I guess. Because I had swallowed those things an hour ago.
And I sat in peace, contemplating the probability of the existence of heaven and hell as I waited for the final words of the book to dissolve into my bloodstream. And to finally, print the all-too-predictable ending of the story in relaxed letters of black ink.

I will not be sorry that I don’t want to live in a world where I have to fall asleep in the cold air that has seemed to take place of ones lullabies played in their chest as they were wrapped in welcoming.

But God is too good at his job. Because the blackness I needed never came over me. And instead of feeling my broken heart slow to shallow beats, and my breaths become as slow as the seconds did in every moment that had been between me telling you I hated you and waiting for you to say it back,
I only felt nothing.

And I frowned at myself for being relieved at first.
Because in the morning when I lose the temporary escape from every cell in my body screaming for any touch that sleep will bring me, I know I will wish more than anything that my lungs had been idling for hours and that my body was as icy and stiff physically, as my every move will feel, having to function without feeling the air vibrations caused by my laugh.

When I first started writing this a half an hour ago, my intent was to express the unexpected paralysis and comfort that was flowing too quietly under my skin and how, while it was only temporary,
I almost felt okay.
I could barely feel the dull ache hanging in my ribcage, and I felt like maybe I would even genuinely smile again someday.

And I’d always loved gambling but I’m pushing my luck too far. And things are starting to come into focus again.

And I’m racking my brain desperately trying to come up with something I could do that would convince the universe to give me back the privilege of feeling my body temperature increase again.
But the only thing I am able to understand right now, is that I’m never going to be able to live a day in my life that I don’t wish I had spent feeling like this.
And that I hate daisies,
Because they remind me too much of you.
Nostalgic Sep 2015
Ever since he left
Angels keep appearing to me
and the iridescence of the snowflakes settled on their wings
never fails to entrance me.
And I'm a little bit drunk.
And while I admire the starkness of the white in which they're clothed,
And the brutal honesty
Of the contrast between them and me,
They fall to their knees begging me to answer what they were sent to ask.
And it's become my burden to send angels with skinned knees back to God with no answer of why he could no longer love me. And I suppose understanding would not make living without hearing you murmer constellations in your sleep any less painful, but not even God himself was prepared for this and I think I'm forgetting how to breathe.
Nostalgic Sep 2015
If there's one thing I've learned,
It's that love is real
And it does exist.
And you have no idea
What it is like
Until you're over your head in it.
And there's never really a specific moment
In which you fall in love with someone.
After a while, you just realize that
The way they squeal a little
When they laugh to hard,
Or how they jump out from behind a corner and scare you
And laugh hysterically because you screamed,
Even though they knew you would.
Or how their heartbeat sounds when they're holding you in your arms,
Are things that you can't imagine ever living without.

And if you ever felt that way with with another person,
It just wouldn't feel right.

And I love you.
Nostalgic Sep 2015
Just like not every time he breathes
A flower must bloom.

And you try so hard to convince yourself of this,
That you carve it into your own skin,
Deeper and deeper and deeper until
The words are physically engrained
In black letters on your abdomen.

Which all sounds sort of scary.
Especially to people who always
Double knot their shoelaces.

At 5:16 in the afternoon
On a Sunday, when there are at least
7 other things your mother would
Rather have you doing,
It is ok to admit that even though you
Said your biggest fear was spiders,
You are scared beyond compare;

Not of loving him,
Because loving him is the only thing you've ever done, that
hasn't made you feel like you're
desperately forcing puzzle pieces together
that do not fit,

But of your souls assimilating,
painting the most beautiful
piece of art that heaven ever saw,
And one day, watching him wake up,
feeling the light disappear from your smile as you reach for the love you used to see in his eyes,
And being stripped of every **** thing you thought you knew, as you realize it's no longer there.

And neither is he.
Next page