I know I’m not the only kid that ever did this: blind with childhood rage at some imagined or perhaps very real infraction, scribbling the token “I hate you, Mommy!” letter in purple crayon and stuffing it into the dog’s collar for eventual delivery. I would imagine that pretty much every kid has felt that white hot rage at their parents at some point.
What makes me different than most of those kids, is that they got over it. There came a time when these letters were delivered, laughed at quietly, and the parent pulls the kid onto their lap and they work it out. Not me. If my parents ever acknowledged my attempt to communicate, it was to mock me for it, beat whatever resembled independent thought and emotion out of me, and carried on their asinine behavior with no regard to the way I felt at all. Ever.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had this feeling buried beneath all other emotions. I hate them. I hate my parents. I feel ashamed for it, writing it out invokes the crayon and infantile dismissal all over again. But, the longer I tried to deny it, the harder the rage pushed forward. I’m 33, and by no means as well adjusted as I’d like to be, but still an adult. I’m an adult who hates, yes, hates her parents.
The reasons why I feel this way are long and complicated, at times, quite difficult to explain. The alcohol played a factor, but there’s underlying mental illness that cannot be explained away by substance abuse. For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt this nearly irrepressible need to get away from my parents, more so than the usual youthful rebellion. In some part of my brain stem, I know they are fundamentally bad, dangerous and evil.
They affect me deeply, in practically every aspect of my life. It has been my adulthood’s primary goal to get to the root of these feelings and find a way to cope. I had hoped this journey would lead me to a closer relationship with my parents, but in seeking healing, I’ve found only how deep the vein goes. It’s much worse than I thought.
It is because I could not un-feel this hatred for them that I began to distance myself from them. When we would see each other for visits, a dark side of me would come out. I would lash out verbally, the vitriol pooling in my blood and unable to be contained. It would be obvious to everyone around us how I felt, except to my oblivious parents, of course. For them, like always, my feelings were locked into their perpetual blind spot, which just made things worse.
Eventually, I chose estrangement as a protective measure for all parties. Not that they would understand it, but this was actually an act of mercy. I wanted to spare them the viciousness that I could not contain. It would never be perceived as that, though, and in the weeks, months and years that followed, I was inundated by unwanted communication which both negated my boundaries and disregarded my own right to be left alone.
I managed, somehow, to keep my pregnancy and son’s birth a secret until he was almost ten months old. I realized then that this was the easy part, and silence was only a temporary measure. As I had posted previously, my mother refused to take this information lightly, sending unwanted mail to my son, slandering me on Facebook to any mutual acquaintance who would listen. The first was refused and returned to sender, the second arrived yesterday. By that time, I was blind with rage.
I’m not proud of myself, exactly. I tore my desk apart looking for a blank card without a cheerful subject matter. I found one that a charity had sent, a mountain landscape with a blank interior. I grabbed a pen, and stabbed out the angry words I could no longer hold back.
I called her by her first name, not mom. She was no longer entitled to the role. I started by saying, Stop! That what she was doing only made me hate her more. That she was not permitted to have access to my son. That her gifts were not wanted, would not be accepted and would be returned, donated or destroyed. I told her that hated her for her abuse, and that I would contact an attorney and the police if she didn’t stop. I didn’t sign it, just put my first initial. I sent it immediately, without a return address.
I realize I broke a lot of rules of “no contact,” but I just don’t care anymore. I wanted to get this done before I had a chance to change my mind. I didn’t keep a copy, nor did I sit and think about what to write. I just opened up and let it rip. And, I honestly don’t know if it will make any difference at all. If anything, it might make things worse. I just don’t know.