An Open Letter to the Mom I Finally Recognize

Subject: An Open Letter to the Mom I Finally Recognize
From: Andrea Waraksa
Date: 20 Mar 2019

I’m so glad you’ve finally found yourself again. Put the missing pieces of your mind back together, letting the crazy diminish after years of being on a mental “vacation.” I’m glad you’re back because I missed you, I missed the mom that did cartwheels down the soccer field after I scored the goals required usually winning us the game. I missed the mom who wore those god awful, themed vests to parties at school to show her support and excitement for her daughters. I missed the mom who felt like my mom and not my rebellious teenage daughter. I know you’re probably confused with what I’m saying, you were and remain oblivious to what was going on so I’m going to try and explain.
The car accident really took its toll on your mind, bruising parts of you that we all loved stripping you of memories we all hold near and dear. The accident changed you, the divorce was worse. You and dad weren’t ever meant to be, you knew that when you married him and he knew it too. However, when you decided to call it quits officially, it broke you. It took everything you had to keep it together that it got to the point where you weren’t anymore, you stopped being responsible, stopped caring for your daughters, distanced yourself in an attempt to cope with the trauma of it all. You also searched for comfort and love that you didn’t have for yourself in others. Unfortunately, most of them didn’t care and preyed on your vulnerability, Mike is a good example of that. Mike was awful to you in ways that I know and ways I can only imagine, yet you stayed, and he beat you down day after day, diminishing what little self-worth you had left.
When you broke up with Mike I thought that the coast was clear, you stood up for us and yourself in a way I never thought you would. You were so strong in that moment, but that moment was fleeting and quickly your sanity left along with Mike and his alcoholism. Mike was gone from our house, I thought it would quickly go back to being our sanctuary, that wasn’t the case. Mike left and so did you. Can I ask where you went? Why you left us there alone for hours or days? What was so important that you couldn’t come back to your children? We needed you mom. Meghan needed you. Grace needed you. I needed you.
I remember sleeping in your bed because you slept on the couch whenever you got in, I left the light on for you. Do you remember that? Meghan would wait up on the couch until sleep overtook her at the beginning of it all. I would carry her to your bed and crawl in with her so she didn’t wake up scared. That doesn’t seem like a lot, something I could handle with ease; why did it break me then? I would stay up and cry in your bathroom until my eyes were so sore it hurt to keep them open. Maybe it wasn’t tucking her in at night. Maybe it was telling her you were at Amy’s or some other friends because she was concerned and those lies seemed to calm her. Maybe it was helping Grace and Meghan with their homework as they screamed at me because they wanted your help. Or maybe it was buying groceries for them with the paychecks I earned because you didn’t go shopping and I wanted life to seem normal for them. You know what, maybe it was cleaning the house, doing the laundry, cooking every meal, driving them around, while working and going to school AND trying to keep up my friendships. I think it was probably you screaming at me about being ungrateful and lazy every time you came home because you were the only one who did anything. That must be it.
I missed you mom, just ask dad. He sat and held me when I cried about it night after night trying to reassure me that you did love me and that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I had every reason to hate you while this was going on but I didn’t I just worked harder to get you to say you loved me. I was angry for a little bit, I got over it eventually because it hit me that I can’t be mad at a person who no longer exists. That person is gone now and I hope it’s for good I don’t want to see her again.
I know you’re probably confused as to why I wrote this but it’s just to say welcome back. I missed you. I’m glad you’re home.

Your Daughter.