I don’t remember when my feelings towards you shifted from pity to hate. It must have been hard, to raise a daughter who hates you. When I was born, you thought you could merge our worlds so that we would do everything together. We would be best friends, beautifully compatible like the salt and pepper you massaged onto the flavorless chicken you forced me to eat so that I would be taller than you were at 5’4. The truths you whispered in my ear when you thought I was asleep, through the cracks of bedtime rhymes.
Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.
I had every opportunity to do what you never could. Opportunity’s granted from you, as though you were a genie, ready to grant me my three wishes. Too bad they were never things I wished for.
The day I graduated from high school was a rainy day. An oddity in Southern California. The rain scared you, reminding you of the home you left behind at 18 years old.
The rain reminded me of a home I had never been too. A place, a foreign land I had begged you to take me every summer break. When I asked one too many times, your teasing smile shifted into something blank and void of expression. But I knew you well enough to know it was masquerading fear.
I used to feel sorry for you. The day you turned 18, you left and didn’t look back. You didn’t talk to your parents or your sister’s. You didn’t talk to your friends from home. You never even used to word ‘home’ to describe the place you grew up in, despite how important childhood was for you.
You know, sometimes I think childhood was the only time I knew how to be myself in. It was the only time I knew myself.
When I was born, did you think of me as a path back to yourself? The way you could understand yourself again?
I think all mothers do that. But I think you still think that it’s working, but it isn’t.
I hate you, because I never got to know you. The real you. Who you were before you became my mother.
- Your daughter