I remember what it was like to live in a trailer park with a deadbeat, alcoholic, abusive, and lazy father and a mother who worked three jobs just to feed me. And I remember you, my mom, saving money so that we could afford a deal house. When he - my biological father- left, saying he found another woman, you told me you'd never let it happen again; you said you would keep me happy and safe forever.
Now years down the road, I'm huddled into a ball in my bedroom. I've cried so much that I can't cry anymore. I can't remember the last time you told me that you loved me, or even the last time you hugged me.
Every heartbreak has a story, though. You used to be my best friend. We would do everything together. When you weren't working you would pick me up from my grandmother's house and we would go do something: have a picnic at the park, go camping in the woods behind my house, go look in a store for things I might want to put on my Christmas list. But one night when I was six, you brought a man home from the bar and introduced him to me. He was mean when you weren't around. Around eight months later you were married to him again. You had already broken the promise you had made. It had only been three and a half years since you had told me you wouldn't let me hurt anymore.
I was eight when you told me I would have a little brother. While I still love him to death, I dreaded him at that time, and he wasn't even alive yet. Your husband told me that he would be "the better version of me," and that he would be the "second chance for you two to have a child that was worth something." I know that growing up in Alabama at that time, I was abnormal for not liking trucks and hunting and fishing and the army. So I'm sorry I wasn't like that for you. Honestly, I didnt even know you liked that kind of stuff. You didn't, until your husband came along.
I was nine when you told me I was getting "too meaty" and that I needed to stop eating so much. I started hiding my food, giving it too the dogs any chance I had. I would sit in my bed and force pressure on my stomach until I felt like I needed to throw up. I'm sorry you had to tell at me and call me a dumbass when you found out. I guess I was.
I was eleven when I came home and told you that people at school were calling me fat and ugly and that I should kill myself. You told me to just get over it and "cowgirl up." I haven't said a word to you about what people say about me or to me ever since. You didn't care enough when I was small and vulnerable, so you wouldn't care now.
I was thirteen when I lost my only friend I had - Chloe - and when my cousin called you and told you I cut myself. You came into my room and scolded me, saying I would go to hell and that I deserved to lose Chloe. You snatched my arm and looked at my scars before shaking your head and walking out, not saying anything about it every since.
I was fourteen when you took my phone and gave it to your husband. That's when you figured out I am bisexual. Your husband yelled at me and called me a disgrace and disgusting. You didn't talk to me for two weeks. Even after that, it took you three months to say anything to me other than "dinner's ready." That's also the same year I told you I wanted to die, and you watched as your husband said, "if you want to do bad, then just do I." You said nothing. You just observed. When I came home and told you I had a boyfriend, that's when you asked me if he was okay in the head, because he chose me out of everyone.
I was fifteen when your father sent me a text one thursday night asking me if I would let him "touch," and telling me that he gets hard when he thinks about me. I showed you the text the next morning, and I cried in your arms. Your husband went to defend me, but your father told him everything. That I'm bi, that I'm atheist. That didn't matter though, you already knew. But when he made things up, that's when you turned against me. Both you and your husband came home yelling, telling me that you were going to take me to the hospital to get me tested for STDs and get me an ultrasound. He had told you I was pregnant by my boyfriend. You both carried me and found out I wasn't pregnant and there were no signs I had been sexually active. Even then, you still didn't believe me. To this day, I hardly get to see my boyfriend because you think I'm a slut.
I was sixteen when I found out I'm transgender. I never told you, and I still haven't. I don't know when I will. Your husband ridiculed me for cutting my hair short, telling me I look like an ugly tranny, and you told me it just makes me look fatter than normal. You made comments about my binder, even though you didn't understand you said I was ugly and unattractive with a flat chest.
I'm seventeen now. I'm planning to move in with my boyfriend as soon as I turn eighteen so I can avoid any legal problems. I miss you and who you used to be. I don't think you'll even become you ever again. I'll never forget the promise you made to me when I was there, and I will never forget how much it hurts to know that that promise was just a meaningless jumble of words.
I'm becoming my own person. One day I'll be in college and having fun with my friends and spending time with a family who is better to me than you have been in years. One day I'll cross out the day on the calendar, exactly five years since we last talked.
I want you to realize that I will always love you. For the longest time, you were the most important person in my life. Though you have changed, for the worse, I can't ever forget how you used to be. You don't love me anymore, but that's okay. You are not you, and I can't say that it's completely your fault.
Maybe one day, years from now, you'll read this and know it was for you. Maybe you'll call me or text me, wanting so badly to make up.
But maybe you won't.