I had a dream the other night that my mother and her posse came rolling up to a campsite (I think it was a campsite?) I was staying at. I remember being vehemently angry at their invasion and went so far as start yelling at my mother that she shouldn't be there and how could she do that. I remember not much else, but the feeling of being invaded - perhaps some sort of subconscious mirror of how I'm really or perhaps ought to be feeling - was pervasive.
I had a thought that I wanted to write something candid to my FOO, not send it of course, but just for myself. Damn near impossible to be candid with that lot, isn't it. But it might go something like:
Were you surprised? Surprised that I would end up thinking for myself some day instead of how you wanted me to? Or how how you taught me to never think? It's no wonder why I never really felt like I would amount to anything or why I felt that I didn't have a place in this world.
Not that I would end my life, indeed, you taught me how to not have enough motivation for that, and that you needed me too much. You needed me to fulfill your obligatory duties of emotional support giver, trample rug, emotional spouse, and all around do-what-you-wanter. How then is a boy supposed to find his way, find himself, when he's not given the tools to do so?
No no, don't give me any of that "we did the best we could" nonsense. You were too busy lying, cheating, and stealing to have a look inward. I wonder if there is an "inward" to see though. I wonder, what would you see? An all-consuming blackness perhaps? A false sense of self and "I'm a good person". You give only to expect double in return. You give with stipulations. You give with conditions. Yeah, you do.
Sometimes it's tough trying to figure out what to say since I'm really just figuring myself out now. I always knew something wasn't right. I've never really felt close to any of you, and in fact, I barely knew most of you. Names, phone numbers, emails, faces, addresses. That's about it. Backstories, childhood memories, fears, likes, dislikes - where was all that? Did you even care to find that out about yourselves? My guess is probably not, so it makes sense why you did not instill that sort of sentiment in me. Surround yourself with enough people, and that should suffice, is that it?
You faked being a family pretty well to the untrained eye.
Look, they're all smiling, they must be happy.
Look they all live under the same roof, they must be happy.
Look, they have loads of people, probably friends, surrounding them, they must be happy.
I presented to you my needs - why do you just dismiss them? Perhaps asking a question like this to you is like drawing blood from a stone, but I still needed to ask. Did you care at all? I believe these questions originate from the Little Boy Me that you have so quickly and silently crushed since pre-birth I would guess. Yes, pre-birth. I'm sure you didn't want me, especially given the circumstances of my conception. So why then, would you put any effort in raising me? You wouldn't, that's the answer.
Years of lies, deception, subjugation, role-reversals, I give-you take. I suppose it all would come back around eventually...or didn't you expect that. It gives me great pleasure and great pain to say goodbye.
No, I'm not doing this to hurt you, nor because I'm spiteful, and don't you dare blame this on my wife. Well you already have, I suppose. You know, in the beginning of all this, I actually had some hope for you, Mother and Father. A child-like naivete, that my parents can't possibly treat their son this way. How could they? Why would they? I pulled away for my own safety and your fangs really came out then, attempting to sink your teeth into everything that I created or wanted to create.
I will not forgive and forget. I will not rely on faith forced on me. I will not live like nothing happened. I will not live in your shadow, in your shoes, nor in your likeness, though unfortunately I have inherited some of the latter already. I will not be part of a family system that strives for that perfect appearance without considering what's underneath.
You have lost a son, a nephew, a cousin, a friend, an ally, a sibling, a decent man, but my guess is, you're too consumed with slander and yourselves to consider that.
I deserve better. I've always deserved better. It just took me two decades to figure that out.
What now? Don't know but I've got a life to live, separate from yours. Better than yours.
A Man You Thought You Knew