Yes. You read that correctly. I use the term parents loosely. I grew up watching all the other kids around me with at least one parent who cared. I got to watch the other kids parents get them on and off the bus, take them to dances and events, cheer them on at sporting events, always smiling and laughing. The whole nine.
You guys were so caught up in yourselves that you didn't notice anything going on with me...good or bad. I don't remember you happily going to my soccer games, no one showed up for my academic awards ceremonies, I was by myself all 17 times I won an award or medal for soccer. No one noticed when I was starving myself or went missing. Nothing.
Instead of taking care of the life you made, one of you found a new and improved family while the other found a bottle. You found time to go to church and get sympathy above all else though. Who doesn't feel sorry for the struggling single mom or the dad who never gets to see his kids? The part you never mentioned was that you chose not to see your child and the other chose to drink all day instead of do something like take care of your kids. You played the victims well for years. The real victim was the 6 year old girl who was molested for years and it went unnoticed. The real victim was the 10 year old girl who was screamed at day in and day out, who was told how she was a mistake, who was forced to put her things in trash bags so she could be dropped off somewhere else. The real victim was the 14 year old who would rather run away than go back to a drunk abusive mother. Or what about the girl who sat by the phone every Wednesday and Saturday waiting for you to call and say you were on your way like you promised you would. No one knows about the girl who had her piggy bank and trust funds stolen by her drunk mother.
As the years go by, you learn to get used to the no shows, the screaming, the neglect, and you adapt. You go through the phase where you try to use drugs,
alcohol, and/or other people to help.
Eventually you realize it doesn't. You do what you have to do to get better in a healthy way and you then begin to move on and grow. The one thing that you never get used to though, is the feeling of neglect. You always wonder how different you would be if you weren't neglected not by just one parent, but by two. It never goes away. No matter how hard you try.
This isn't a letter to tell you how much you're hated. This is a letter to say thank you. If you wouldn't have done all those things and continuously pushed me to the side, I never would have learned to fend for myself. I wouldn't be as strong as I am today. I wouldn't have found the woman I call my mother now. I wouldn't have the family that I have now. So thank you for making me raise me. Thank you for showing me how strong I am. Thank you for showing me that life isn't all it's cracked up to be. You don't always get to live the "ideal family life". And that's fine. That's what makes everyone different. So thank you for making me different. Thank you for showing me that I will always be able to take care of me.
An open letter to the absent parents