Letter to Westlake Moms:
When I was little, I used to think that adults had it all together. Everyone older than me seemed so mature, so wise, so omniscient. It took me a long time to realize how lost some are. How some parents can be so cruel to those who don’t fit their standards. The “bad eggs”, the “wild ones”, the kids to steer their children away from. It confuses me, you see, because I was labeled as one of the bad kids. I was one of the kids that people knew as a negative influence on others, as a mess no one wanted to get into. I was a kid who was practically shunned from her community, who was gossiped about by middle aged mothers stuck reliving high school. Because I was the kid with an abusive father.
But I am more than my last name. And I am more than the negative, slanderous, hateful things he spews about me and to me.
I wish you could see that. I wish you could see me. The girl who is a huge dog person. Who likes the color green because it reminds her of evergreens. Who listens to Billy Joel’s “Vienna” when she’s down. I’m the girl who is infatuated by anything Harry Potter. I’m the girl who stops to pick up pennies on the street because it means someone in Heaven is thinking about her. I sing in the car, I love the smell of rain, and I can never say no to anything caramel.
Some days I think about leaving it all behind. But along with all these whispers I try desperately to ignore, along with all the judgement I have endured, and the contempt I have faced, I have grown up. And somewhere along this hellish road I’ve traveled, I have learned that blood does not make a family.
So when I sit alone in my room, and my mind becomes overwhelmed with the concepts of what people are saying, or I begin to brood on the words my father has spat at me, I stop and think about the obstacles I have overcome and the relationships I have built, and I hope that one day I will be seen not as a problem, but just as me.