Dear Mom,

The last year has been so hard for me.

But, you wouldn’t know.

You know that I have struggled with anxiety and depression. I confessed this to you, bawling, in a moment of weakness when I felt broken…hoping, hoping, that you could help fix me. You told me women in our family are tough. We don’t let anxiety win…we are better than that.

You never told me that it was just okay.As I have journeyed the last year, I realized that I have never really felt like it is enough to be just me. It was either not enough for you, or I thought I was better than you, remember? (I think your favorite phrase was always, “Well, somebody sure thinks her shit doesn’t stink.)

You know that I’ve had this struggle, but you have no idea how deep of a struggle it has been. You don’t know that I have climbed a mountain, and finally reached the top, arms open in victory, realizing that I am enough.

No…what you know is that I talk to you less. I don’t call. I don’t make time for you. That you must be a bad mother because none of your children love you. (These are your words, not any of ours.)

Do you want to know what know?

I know that, over the last year, I have felt the greatest amount of grief as I realized how poor our relationship is.

I know that, over and over again, I have given you the benefit of the doubt, hoping that you could just be the mom that I needed.

I know that, over and over again, I have been continually disappointed.

I have had to realize–the moms that other people talk about–the ones who help after their daughter has a baby, who hold their daughter when she cries, who celebrate all of her victories and empathize with her in all of her disappointments–that mom? That mom isn’t you.

And, it never will be.

The frustrating part for me, I think, is that I continue to be surprised at your behavior. I have grown…I have found myself, though I still have lots of growing and finding to do, and yet, I still expect more from you.

And I still feel disappointed when you do not meet these expectations.

The great thing about this year is that I have learned I have to let go. I have to build my own family and find my own happiness. Months ago, this seemed ludicrous and impossible.

Today, it is already taking shape. I have found a community of friends and supporters. It required some vulnerability.

It required me to just be me.

And that is so better for me.

So much.

I am still sad. I am still grieving. I have love and I have support. But, there are still days where I wish I could call you and just cry, just get a freakin’ hug, just get what I need.

But I can’t. And that—that is hard.

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