me:Why is everyone so…Gay? It’s becoming a trend and it’s… Angering. I’m not upset if you’re gay, no. Just that it’s a little hard to tell those who actually are to those who are just doing what everyone else is. Which can be really mean
It’s taken me a couple days to think what I wanted to say to you because your letter cut through me. I knew the moment I read your letter that I needed to say something to you because I’ve lived your pain and I needed someone to say something to me when it felt like it was too heavy a burden to carry inside. I don’t know if what I want to say to you is the right thing; I don’t think there is a “right thing” in this case. I do know that I want you to hear what I have to say.
Our society and our culture teaches us that our parent or parents are supposed to be these pillars of our lives. They’ll hold us up, support us, and be there for us as long as they live. We’re never told that they can make mistakes because, as a small child, our minds can’t handle the concept that our parents, transcendent and angelic, are human. We’re told, in literature and media, that a key point in growing up is the realization that our parents are human and can make mistakes. Nothing, though, tells us that they can be fundamentally BAD. Some children learn that through overt physical and sexual abuse but others fall into a niche that can be much more harmful. A place where it looks like a parent is doing things properly and good for all intents and purposes but is failing their child on an emotional level. That’s where you are and it’s a type of abuse that leaves no visible scars but can mark you for the rest of your life.
My parents failed me in this way and it’s taken me into my thirties just to realize that failure on their part. I was so confused. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong to be treated so emotionally … wrong. I could only conclude that it was me. I ruined my academic career, hit the bottle hard on my 21st birthday and never looked back, was homeless for the first time at 22, and for the second time at 24. I’ve only just now been sober for a year (after being sober but relapsing a couple years back) and there are huge holes in my twenties that I’ll never get back. People constantly tell me that I wasn’t abused. That hurts, too.
…I’m rambling because there’s no easy way to dig through 32 years of abuse and find the silver lining. What I want to say to you is this: NONE OF THIS IS YOUR FAULT. You are, without me even needing to meet you and confirm this first hand, are wonderful, beautiful treasure of a daughter who will NEVER be perfect and THAT’S OKAY because perfection is impossible. In your situation, the hardest thing to realize is that YOUR PARENT CAN BE A FAILURE AS A PARENT WITHOUT LEAVING A MARK ON YOU. That does not mean you are a failure as yourself: you’re not.
I’m not going to say any trite platitudes to you (“it gets better”, etc) because, even if they’re true and some of them kind of are, none of them take away the pain of what you’re going through. Really hear this part, though, because I needed to hear it when I was where you are: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Your pain is a valid thing and will be with you all your life but you will meet people, good, wonderful people, who will help you bear that burden without taking advantage of you. When you lash out, their hand will be there to catch yours. When you can’t stand, they’ll get right down next to you and help you up. It will never be easy but it will be surmountable. Don’t give up. Please, don’t give up, please.
From a message in a bottle that you flung out into the ocean of the internet, know that there is one person out there who will NEVER stop rooting for you and NEVER forget you.