Dear Mama

I started writing everything I wish I could say to my parents, and I figured I’d post it here because I know I’ll never be able to say it the way I want to. I know if I were to say it all, none of it would be received properly. But I need to get it out, so here it is. Please keep the hateful comments to yourself; this is hard for me to put out there.

Mom- Let it go. Seriously, let it go. You got divorced 22 years ago. Why are you still bitter? Maybe you haven’t gotten it yet, but talking shit about my father to me does nothing but make you look hateful. I was there; I know what he did to us and to me and I know firsthand what his life’s shortcomings are. Sure I was very young when you split but I heard the arguments and I remember very well how hostile that environment was. But guess what, I forgave and have continued to live my life. It’s about time you do the same.

When you talk mess about my father to me, how do you think that makes me feel? Did you forget that I’m his flesh and blood too? So when you talk about him, you’re indirectly talking bad about me. You get mad when I celebrate my Jamaican heritage with his family and my friends, but you knew he was fresh off the boat when you got with him. Sorry, I’m Jamaican. You made it that way. And as horrible as you make him sound, what does that say about you? You and you alone were the one to make the decision to marry him and lay down with him to create your children.

All that bitterness has aged you physically. I love you dearly, but all that anger is really unbecoming on you and it spreads throughout all of your other relationships. You can’t even relish the love of your husband because you’re too busy making him pay for what my father did. This man would walk to the end of the earth for you, but all you can do is act like nothing he does is good enough. What standard are you holding him to? If it’s perfection, you’d better stop and ask yourself what standard he holds you to. All he asks of you is that you love him back, but all you do is complain. Hell, if he’s home you complain; if he stays out too long you complain. Let your goddamned baggage go and be happy. Most women would twist themselves inside out to have what you have.

When you said, “You’re not going to let your father give you away are you? Why not have your step father do it. It would look better to me.”, it hurt like hell. The fact that you couldn’t understand why I was angry hurt even more.

I love you more than air and I appreciate all of the sacrifices you made for me, but something has got to give. I’m getting tired of seeing you bitter. I want to see you radiate happiness and I want to see your heart healed. But you can’t do that until you forgive–him and yourself. Pray about it.

Dad- This whole “I’m a victim” act has got to stop. You’re a grown ass man and need to take responsibility for the mess you’ve gotten yourself into. You sound like a whiny bitch when you say things like, “If your mother hadn’t been suffering with ‘project mentality’, then I would have been able to do big things and we could have been rich”. Seriously? Is she the only reason why you’re not on top of the Forbes list? If that’s the case, why didn’t you blow up after you left her hanging with young kids?

It was you who decided to get married a bunch of times and have a bunch of kids, not me. I’m sorry your current marriage isn’t working, but you even said before you married her that shit wasn’t right between the two of you. Nobody forced your ass down the aisle again. Nobody forced you to impregnate her. Nobody forced you to fuck your finances up. But you want it to be your other kids’ responsibility to take care of your mistakes. It’s UGLY that you started asking me for money before I was even old enough to have a job. It’s UGLY that you kept throwing “well your little half brother needs diapers” in my face as a reason for me to give you money. Again, nobody told you to impregnate that woman you married. That’s your responsibility. Man up. You told my older brother to man up and take care of me when you left our mother, so why the hell can’t you take your own advice and man up and take care of your seed? I honestly wanted to cuss you out when you told me that you won’t leave your current wife even though you basically hate her because you don’t want your young son to grow up in a broken home. Ummmm, hello sir. Did you forget about the kids you left behind in 1986? A broken home was okay for us but not okay for this other kid? Really, I’m not bitter. I’m just being real.

I’m glad you’ve decided to try and get your shit together and attempt to have a relationship with me. I really appreciate you understanding that you can’t make up for lost time. I even give you much respect for having the balls to apologize to me for ALL the shit you did to me and put me through over the years. However when you said you weren’t the best father to me because you were going through some shit made me want to black out. Don’t you think my mother was going through some shit raising us alone? Hell yeah she was, but she didn’t have the option to shirk her responsibility. And what exactly do you think I’ve been doing for the last 25 years? You guessed it—going through some shit. Without you. Even though I needed my dad more than anything. But don’t worry, my step-father was a good pinch hitter.

Both of you- Look, I realize you did the best you could. I’m not mad at that. What I’m mad at is the fact that you refuse to take any kind of responsibility for how we turned out. We ended up completely fucked up and stunted socially and emotionally. I’m in therapy now and the rest of us need therapy because of you. Both of you acted like children when we needed you to be adults. There is no reason why we should have had to raise grown ass people when it should have been the other way around. I resent having to be an adult with a steely calm and resolve by the age of 6. I resent that I’m trying now to figure out how to live and how to make sense of the emotions and twisted ass feelings I have about both of you. I’m angry as hell that my wedding has brought out the worst in both of you. GROW UP. Can you please just act civil toward each other for at least one day? Stop hating each other and love the fact that the children that you created are doing their best to live respectable lives.

I love you both even though I hate what you put us through. I pray for you every day to find some type of peace and some type of joy. I will always be here for you and will never turn my back on you, but you need to work on healing yourselves.


8 thoughts on “Dear Mama

  1. OMG. I’m working on a very similar post to my mother. I even had a girlfriend read it this week, because I’m having trouble pulling the thoughts together on paper. But then again, to spill them is probably better.

    The writing is therapeutic in itself. Posting it must feel even better.

    I really hope this helped you (and I’m glad you didn’t wait until you were 37, like I am. LOL).

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