I woke up at 6am this morning and lay in bed next to B, composing letters to my mother in my head.
B thinks this is a bridge burning time. He thinks this is another ploy, similar to that of my dad, my brother and my cousin over the past few weeks, to try and convince me to not marry him, but that my mom might not go through with it. He thinks that I have tried the diplomatic approach long enough, and I need to lay all my cards on the table and tell my mother what I really think, bad with the good (and it's especially bad at this point).
My friends think I shouldn't be too harsh and burn bridges, because some day my mom will come around, and even if she doesn't, being harsh will just obscure my message.
I'm still not sure what I think. What I do know is that my mother is an incredibly stubborn woman, and that I think she will stick to this, despite everyone's assurances that she will 'come around' when we have kids or after we are married and she can't change my mind anymore. I also know that if this is the last communication I have with my mother, I want it to count- I want to say to tell her all about everything I have resented her for all these years, and also all the things I remember best about her, and also all the things I think she is doing wrong in this situation. I also am afraid of coming off childish, and being dismissed as childish becuase of my anger, and therefore my message not going across.
Anyways, here are a few of the things I've been thinking about all day, that may or may not make it into whatever letter I eventually send my mother.
ETA: This is the final version of the letter that I sent to my mother earlier this afternoon, the previous draft has been deleted
We haven't had a relationship in years, so at this point telling me you aren't officially going to talk to me anymore seems to be merely reaffirming something that was already true.
The one regret I have about our relationship is that we never got to know each other as adults. I have longed for the close relationship I see my friends having with their mothers, where they are able to have frank discussions about life, they can talk as they would to a close friend, be guaranteed that their mother will be supportive of them, and are able to have these discussions without judgment.
In recent years I have attempted to make this relationship I want into a reality, by being more open about my life when talking to you. However, I have been met with nothing but disapproval whenever I have revealed anything personal about myself to you, and so our relationship has devolved to the point where we are complete strangers. The way you reacted to anything I did that went outside your notion of the way things SHOULD BE made it impossible to share anything personal with you. All you were focused on was the way YOU wanted me to act, not what was best for me, what made me happy, or what was important to me.
I see now that my desire to have a close personal honest relationship with you is similar to your desire to have a daughter who is religious. It's based on a person who doesn't exist. You can no more be close and warm to me than I could be a religious person. I'm not even sure if you are capable of being a close and warm person. I have not felt loved by you for many many years, and all I have felt was your constant disapproval. I feel your decision to cut off anyone who makes different choices than you is selfish and childish. I never agreed with the way you treated R and D when they stopped being religious, as I felt you just threw away your long relationships with them like yesterday's garbage. And now you are doing the same to me.
I appreciate you trying to understand my situation by reflecting on your own life when you get married. In one respect I do think the metaphor is apt- when you compare my situation to your situation with your parents. I know you have made some arbitrary distinction between the two situations, but to me that distinction is exactly that- arbitrary. You have never even met B, despite my numerous attempts to set up a meeting between you two, and yet judge him based only on his heritage. I have seen you become more and more like your own mother over the years, bitter and sarcastic and very judgmental of anyone the least bit different from you, and I guess now that transformation is complete, since you are treating me exactly the way she treated you. But somehow it's 'different' because I crossed over a different line drawn in the sand.
When I was a kid and hanging out with friends that you didn't like, you always told me that I should be loyal to my family because "blood is thicker than water". It seems that this sentiment only works one way. You have denied me, your own blood, your oldest child and only daughter, because I do not live life as you do. You are so intent on living your life in a tiny box with blinders on that you can't bear to have a relationship with me. You try to pin this on me by saying that I am "divorcing the family" with my decision, but this decision is entirely yours. I have no problem continuing a relationship with you, as long as you acknowledge B's existence and treat us with the respect and courtesy you would treat any other relative you don't like that much. If you can't bear to do that, that is your choice, and I respect that. But I hope you can acknowledge that it is YOUR choice to cut off this relationship.
I have wasted countless hours being angry and resentful towards you for the ways you have tried to control me and force me to live a life I don't want to live. All I feel now is pity for you, since you feel that your beliefs are incompatible with having a relationship with me. What a sad choice for you to have felt you had to make.
But I want to thank you as well. Throughout my life you and Abba have tried to force me to live my life the way you want me to live it. Throughout it all, I did what I felt was right. I now know that whatever you can throw at me, it will always be worth it to me to live my life the way I want. Even now that you have told me we can no longer have a relationship, I still don't have a single regret about my decisions. Thank you for showing that to me.
As I have done countless times before, I again extend an open invitation for you to meet up with me and B, at any time and place of your choosing. Until then,