Subject: if you could please read this...
You are my son and I love you dearly. I know I have made mistakes and for that I am so sorry. I am so sorry for the pain it must have caused. As you know, i carry regret about all that. I have tried hard to make ammends and will always be willing to start talking again about whatever is important to you about the past if it would move us closer together. I do want to hear what you feel and would always be open to a letter, a phone call or even a meeting with the therapist that we had tried to do.
I really want you to be happy,happy with [your wife], happy in your life, and I know you do not want to have a relationship with me. It's heartbreaking as your parent, to not be able to see you and your family. At the same time, if you believe it is in your best interest, then i respect that. You must have good reason and i accept that. I want you to know that the door will be open for the rest of your life if you change your mind.
All my love,
Right then. I was surprised when I saw the email in my work inbox - obviously I had not expected this. After reading this once over, I was admittedly sad. I wanted to believe what my mother was saying was true during the first read and very nearly did. But then I read it a second time, and a third, and that feeling began to dissipate rather quickly.
Some things I noticed straight away:
1. she apologized for her wrong-doings but she called them "mistakes". Her actions and behaviors were not mistakes as they were done intentionally. They were purposefully harmful transgressions. Now, I am not asserting that the apology was genuine, nor am I accepting her apology. It is vague, which indicates to me that she is saying what she thinks I want to hear. She has not directly apologized for causing me pain, or my wife pain, or even my family pain. It's just too general, what she said.
2. She said that she's been trying hard to make amends. Well that's just plain untrue. She's not been trying hard, nor has she even been trying. I've not seen these efforts of amending.
3. She sent an email to my work address. Is it really that hard to send a personal email to a personal address? I guess so.
4. I've already expressed to her how I felt - it was in a letter that I read to her then handed over to her. For her to say that she'd love to hear how I feel is just crazy talk. What makes her think that her saying that she's open to my feelings now will make me want to regurgitate everything I've already told her? Read the letter! It's all there!
5. While I do hold a sentiment of "don't want" when it comes to a relationship with my mother, there's also a very large "can't have" sentiment and this is the result of my mother's behaviors and her choices that refuses to take responsibility for. Well fully anyway. It's true that I don't want a relationship with her but it's because of her actions. It's also true that I attempted to have a relationship with her and gave her an outline of what I needed from her in order to have a relationship with her. She chose not to use that guide.
6. My mother has put all of the responsibility of our relationship on me. How is that fair? Where is her response to the lengthy letter I wrote? There was never any mention of that...ever.
7. The "good reason" for choosing not to go no contact was explained succinctly in both the first letter and the second one.
8. My mother mentioned that it was heartbreaking to not be able to see me. I think what's more important is the fact that we don't have a relationship at all. That she's made some very poor choices that's led to the current state of affairs. She should have said that it's heartbreaking to know that she caused her own heartbreak. But that's all in the category of "shouldda, couldda, wouldda".
All in all, I'm unimpressed by her "effort" to reach out to me. It didn't seem like she put anything into writing this. At least my father spent a little more time on his letter, though his didn't say anything worthwhile either.