Archive for March, 2010

How to Save a Life

I’m forced to fake

A smile, a laugh, every day of my life

Dear Mom and Dad,

You trained me well… you should be proud of me. I’m good at hiding how I feel, and maintaining a brave face for the world. I’m good at pretending things don’t matter, and denying any pain. I’m there for others to lean on, even when it hurts. I’ll keep a stiff upper lip, even if I’m breaking apart on the inside. Of course, you never saw me fall apart, did you? No, I was good at hiding that.

So here I am… You’ve raised a daughter who is broken on the inside, but perfect on the outside. Or at least close to perfect. We all know that I didn’t *quite* reach your standards. And we all know that I never would. They were always a hair out of reach. You could sit there and continue to tell me to strive toward perfection. You held up all sorts of examples of people I should try to be like, and I found my own, because of you.

It’s okay, though, because you don’t have to see me like I am now. You don’t have to experience my dark side. You never have to see the black. You can deny that it exists, and when you can’t do that, you can turn your back on me. It makes your life easy. Anything you like about me, you can congratulate yourselves for, and anything you don’t like, well, that was me not obeying you like I should.

But that’s an upside to having lots of kids. You’ve got more chances to do better. You screwed up with me, you’ve left me to work myself out on my own… well, fine. Just don’t make the same mistakes with my siblings. You’ve seen me, and even if you don’t want to admit it, you know I’m not as okay as I pretend. Don’t bring the same fate upon your other children. You brought them into the world, you have a responsibility to protect them, even if that means protecting them from yourselves.

I don’t hate you. Yes, there’s bitterness, yes, there’s resentment, and yes, there’s pain. You don’t see how much it killed me to play “Mommy 2″… you don’t understand why there are a million other things I’d rather do than become a mom now. You dumped on me, because it was my responsibility to help you out… which you interpreted as do your job for you. Come on, mom… an eleven year old can’t play mommy. Or a twelve, or thirteen, or fourteen year old. I was so young, you should’ve known better than to lean on me.

Just don’t do this to the others, please? It’s too late to fix me now, just… don’t ruin the others? It’s too late to undo the damage already done, but you can stop it from going further. Don’t lose your children because you were too stubborn to realize you were wrong. Deny what you’ve done all you want, as long as you stop. I may have hated playing mom to my younger siblings, but I would do it again a thousand times over if I could protect them from what I went through. Just… love them, and really love them… please? Not for me, not for you, but for them.

..and every heartache makes [me] stronger…

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