Dear mom and dad
You asked me where you went wrong as parents, so here it is: you never should have had a second child. I was an angelic, happy two-year-old, the center of attention. Bringing a more attention-worthy being into the world screwed things up. Except that twenty-five years later, that person ended up being my favorite in all the world, so maybe that's not it.
Sticking me in therapy when I was 10 for having anger issues? Or was that actually good parenting? I see so many kids who don't know any other way to deal with the uncontrollables of life, and I think they need outside help. But maybe because I was forced to go. Maybe because we had to sit in a circle with the therapist and talk about the way we communicated--or didn't--maybe that's why now talking about feelings with you feels like something I need to run away from. And on that note, it was definitely the family meetings we were forced to have. Ugh. I am never doing those with my kids.Maybe it's because on more than one occasion, dad read my mail and my journal. I had a boyfriend do that once, and I wanted to kill him. (I should have.) So why was I the teensiest bit relieved whenever dad would do it and confront me about whatever problems he read? Because then I didn't have to be the one to break up with my crazy-ass boyfriend, and another time, he hooked me up to the best therapist I've ever had. Listen, I don't condone reading your kid's private stuff. But, well, I'm glad for what came out of it.
Maybe it's because you didn't support me after I graduated from college. Oh sure, you packed up my things and drove me to Chicago. Then you stayed with me for a week, showing me how to get around the city, setting me up with a bank account. But where was the money after that? Oh right. Then I got a job. And a second job. And I found an apartment and friends, and it was pretty exciting being able to say, "I did this."
I don't know. Where did it all go wrong? Is it me? Why do I feel like I'm 16 all over again when I have to talk about the way I feel about you? Why is it so hard to say "I love you" in person, but easy on the phone? Why do I feel like you'll laugh if I cry in front of you? I know you won't. Maybe you were right on that therapy tip.