Where do I even begin. Your choice of husband, so you could escape your family. He beat his daughter and you thought, “he’ll never hurt my children.” You were wrong. He tortured you for 17 1/2 years, 12 of mine, and then finally you decided to leave. At least you did that. Then you decided it was your “turn to be selfish.” We were still just children. And you rotated men through our home. (Um, awkward!) At the time I lived in denial. He (dad) was the bad guy, that made you the good guy. How was I supposed to know what was normal. You dated your boss – a gross piece of ****- who gave you sexually transmitted diseases he got from other women. How exactly is that a show of self-respect? To stay with someone like that?? And when he hit my sister that one Thanksgiving, and we begged you to leave him, you said, “and start over with nothing? No way!” You devastated us. Chose that ***hole over us, your own flesh and blood?! I was not sad when he died. But I was sad about how distraught you were. No one should have someone die literally on top of them. I can’t imagine how that felt. But it’s a good thing he’s gone. He would never have married you. He would never have been faithful. I understand there’s more cultural leniency elsewhere. But you showed me that sex was more important than self-esteem. And for that you should feel ashamed. But do you? I doubt it. You feel like since my sister and I turned out ok, than the choices you made were fine. But the damage you have caused, and continue to cause, is all the proof I need to keep you away from my family. That’s right, if I were still single, I would probably still expose myself to your toxicity. But there’s no way I want your immoral, unethical, manipulative, neglectful, and feigned innocent degradation anywhere near my child. You disgust me. People love you. But I know you. You are a dancing shell, I don’t even know what you have on the inside. Is there anything of substance? You are so irresponsible, so nonplussed about crossing boundaries and leaving tracks of mud all over my face and heart. You act like you don’t really notice or know the consequences of your behavior. I don’t know what’s worse, if you don’t really know, or if you do. All I wanted was to be close. And oh how I tried, again and again. And I always felt like you and I were on different planets, even when for a moment you’d say something that had to do with me. Then a second later, I could tell, you were actually millions of miles away, and what you were really talking about was yourself. You hadn’t heard a thing I said at all. Or if you had, you summarily dismissed any value. Again. Hope. I kept (keep?) hoping you’ll listen to me. But time and time again, my hope was crushed. I’m “grown up” now, do I keep trying? Do I give up on you? I want my mom!!! But the truth is I never had you, I will never have you, not as the mother I always wanted. You are, and will always be, broken. It breaks me to try and connect, to someone impossible to connect with. It is irresponsible for me to try and hug splintered glass. I stand there bleeding, surprised (but not really). And then what, turn to my own family and need to disconnect to heal. I can’t allow that. I won’t allow that. So then what, is this it? I don’t know. All I do know is that my love for you burns me inside, blistery and violently painful. I hope one day to accept you as you are, so that I can stop hurting.