Burning the bridge, and looking forward.

I had a bad mother.

A really bad one.  And my entire life has been affected by it, and my daughter’s has been as well.

You know how “they” tell you not to burn bridges?  Sometimes they need to be burned.  This one does.

So this evening, before I send my daughter off with her father for his weekend with her, she will sit on my lap and I will write a final email to my mother.  I will tell her that I have been treating my young daughter as she treated me at that age, and that I am stopping the cycle that she brought me into.  That because of her teaching me as I grew that my body and mind were not mine to be respected, I went through some bad things that I will tell her about.  Not in detail, not rubbing it in, but bald statements of fact, unsoftened by allegory or allusion.  I will tell her that as of now, tonight, she has no more hold over me.  My childhood things I regard as long gone; my personal and family medical history will remain a mystery past what I remember for myself, as her versions cannot be trusted and change with the telling; and the dangling carrot of being beneficiary when she dies is now moot, she can list us or not but it no longer matters.

After tonight I will not have a mother.

And then I will have an evening with my son, and make some popcorn and drink some beer and read because I have a ton of new books thanks to some good friends, and tomorrow I will maybe wash my hair again so that it smells freshly of sweet oranges, and wear either jeans and boots and t-shirt or my green sundress and sandals, and go walking in DC with an Irish firefighter and make him feel wanted and adored and accept him making me feel beautiful and amazing.

And then Sunday I will meet a charming older man at the Workhouse in Lorton, VA and we’ll walk on the grounds and talk about whatever amuses us and I’ll probably go off about what I want to do with Wardenclyffe if I ever get my hands on it, and he will be charmed in turn and think that I am amazing and I will smile at him and we’ll drink iced coffee and look at the grounds and marvel at how art and beauty can peacefully be where there was once only punishment and incarceration.

And then I will come back to the house and play with my son, and fix dinner, and change my daughter’s bedding, and when she comes home tuck her into bed and sing to her and sit with her until she falls asleep.  And I will brush a curl out of her sleeping face, and stroke her cheek, and I will thank every power in the Universe and out of it that I have her for a daughter and my little boy for a son.

And we’ll live happily ever after.  Even if I have to move the Universe to make it happen.

Because that’s what I do.


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5 responses to “Burning the bridge, and looking forward.”

  1. Lori says :

    Sometimes in life we have to do things that are unappealing or looked at strangely by others. May you have the strength you need to perservere through this.

    • answeringbeforecoffee says :

      Thank you. It’s been a long time coming — two decades at least. I’ve almost done it several times before, but hesitated. Then she showed up in my words and actions, and my children deserve better. No child deserves what I went through.

  2. Allison Silver says :

    I hope you got the closure you needed.

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