Subject: open letter to my parents
From: your daughter
Date: 4 Jan 2019
I still remember it, I really do. No matter how many times you pull your hair out over my forgetfulness, I remember walking to the supermarket with both your hands in mine. I remember the gentle laughs and encouraging smiles you shared with me as you left me on my first day of school. I don't want to feel like the bad guy. That's why I hold on to the things that matter and never let go, so no one tells me I didn't care enough to even try. But now when I recall those memories it feels like a punch in the stomach. If only you knew that I locked the bathroom door and cried whenever you criticized me. If only you knew that the countless hours I poured into looking for counseling chat hotlines that didn't cost a penny. If only you knew how isolated I feel, knowing that how much I try, it feels like no one is willing to listen. I'm sitting in bed wiping the tears from my eyes and knocking my head against my knees, racking my brain for answers. Aren't parents supposed to love their kids? Where did I go wrong? Why don't you love me anymore? I'm not going to hurt myself like I did when I was younger. It was bad decision I deeply regret. I can't stand to be looked at with such disappointment. I'm going to do better. But doing better is really hard when the people you love don't have your back. Doing better is hard when the people you love don't know what you're up against. Doing better is hard when the people you love don't even care. If I even told you though, would you throw me into the endless abyss of isolation like you do whenever I break and open up? Would you cut me off from everything that matters? Would you be mad at me for my declining grades and the bags under my eyes that I get from staying up late looking for these answers? I don't know. I won't know until I have enough courage to tell you, and if I did tell you, would you even care? I miss you reading me poems at bedtime. I miss the commercial jingles we'd recite whenever the blared on our television screens. I miss the hugs and the "how was your day?"'s that I received like clockwork when you got home from work. I want to tell you more than anything else in the world that I want you back, but the shadow of doubt and the sickness in the pit of my stomach tell me otherwise.