“I cut off my mother when I was in my early 20s. She was an addict and a neglectful parent. The last straw was her showing up wasted at sunrise, screaming at me about doing chores in a house she didn’t live in. She called the cops, claiming I was threatening to hit her.
It’s a long, stupid story and ended with me telling her, ‘You do this, and I’ll never speak to you again.’
She called my bluff, but I wasn’t bluffing. Well, maybe I was because earlier this year I asked a family member (who I was also estranged from but for very different reasons) for her email. I guess I just wanted to see if maybe she missed me? Maybe I could get closure? Maybe she changed? Maybe she was sorry? Maybe she got cleaned up and was back to singing, painting, reading, writing, and decoupaging the way she used to – the way she taught me before it all went downhill.
After a few emails back and forth over the past few months (some of which were poorly spelled, nonsensical, erratic, and well, just wrong factually speaking).
I bit the bullet and asked, ‘Are you still drinking?’
After a few days, I got a reply. No email body, just a subject line that said, ‘Yes.’
My soul wanted to cry, but my physical self couldn’t. Her only child, my only parent. She spent all the years we were apart fostering a relationship that mattered to her, her real love with her addictions. I’m currently 10 years older than she was when she had me. The same age she was when her addictions really took over.
I responded thanking her for her honesty, but that I couldn’t continue communication under these circumstances. She’s in her 60s now, and I can’t envision ever seeing her again. Honestly, I don’t know if I feel a lot, a reasonable amount, or nothing at all. I could write pages and pages and pages. It’s just messed up. It’s messed up and it’s sad that there’s nothing I can do for her. I can only heal myself.”