life

An open letter to my mum

I felt the need, especially after talking to Sarah of Writing & Rambling briefly during the #beechat today run by the brilliant Charlene McElhinney – you should really check out both of their blogs by the way, great reads. 
My mum and I have one of those relationships where we live each other but there’s so much I feel I could never say to her, and so there’s always been a distance between us. Now I know she’ll never read this but I felt it necessary to write it in the hope that getting it off my chest will make things easier between us.
Mum,

The number of memories we have, some good and others not so good will always come to mind when I’m talking about you with friends. The fights we’ve had over stupid things and the fact that even when I’m at university you still want to chat every day, both make it clear that even through our slightly disfunctional relationship we do care about each other. And that’s why I’m writing this – there are some things I need to get off my chest, starting with the elephant in the room.

Rachel wrongly told you in November that I’m bisexual. I’m sorry that she did this, to be fair to her my version of coming out to her was me sobbing outside Co-op because I couldn’t cope any longer with the fact my friends had ditched me after coming out to them as liking girls. I was 15 at the time, she was 12. Now before you ask questions, I know I “had a boyfriend” for a while but really that was just me trying to pretend to myself that I liked boys and he seemed the easiest to like. He was kind and easy to talk to, something I needed when you and dad were going through rough patches and none of my other friends seemed to understand me. I was hurt when I told you about my first real date this year and your response was “I can’t talk about this, I won’t talk about this.” I was disappointed you couldn’t even pretend to be okay with me dating a girl, the way dad could, and I think I may have let that influence the way the date went in the end. I’m not blaming that part on you, just to be clear – that part is fully me. I used to blame you for my failings but I realise now how childish that was.

I do, however, blame you for my issues with confrontation, the real reason I’m writing an open letter to you. From the first time I was fully aware of you and dad arguing, you made it your job to inform me of how terrible he was and constantly said that you were only still married to him because of me and Rachel. If it wasn’t for us, you would’ve left him years ago and you would’ve been happy. That’s not something any 10 year old needs to hear. That’s not even something a 20 year old needs to hear. You can’t blame your children for your unhappiness in life. 

I know that what he did all those years ago was wrong, and last year was even worse, but at both times you were free to walk away and Rachel and I would’ve understood when we were told the full story, when we were old enough to hear it. 

It wasn’t until recently, however, that I remembered some of your arguing in Forfar. You’d had a horrible argument over something before the two of you were meant to go out for dinner. It was a Friday night, Rachel and I had been fed and were watching You’ve Been Framed before Pamela, the babysitter, got there. Dad sent me upstairs to ask you something, but you were still so angry at him that you didn’t care what it was I had to say. You lifted me under the arms and dropped me at the top of the stairs in such a way that I fell down them and hit my head off the wall at the bottom. I didn’t know what I’d done to make you so angry with me, but I was too shocked to cry at the pain. And that’s my earliest memory of you. Did you know that? 

But all that’s in the past. I’m trying to move on from that, and try and get to know you as you are now. You still try to involve me in your arguments, you never let things go, and you stand firmly in your beliefs. But you’re my mum and I still love you, even if there’s a part of me that you can’t love. 

Tomorrow’s the anniversary of Tom’s death. You’ve no idea how much I want to be at home with you right now. I don’t want to be alone in the flat thinking about it, or about how you were the one who had to make that horrible decision to turn off the machines – I certainly don’t envy you that. When we came to pick you up from the hospital afterwards and you took the keys from me to allow me time to register everything that had happened. How we got home and I went outside to be alone while crying, and you came out and just hugged me close. I need that right now. I try to pretend I’m grown up and don’t need you but right now I do. 
I was terrified to tell you that I’d failed my exams this year and would have to resit and most likely wouldn’t get back into university. I felt like the world’s biggest disappointment to you. However, you instantly told me everything would be okay, that you’d support me no matter what happened, and that you knew I wouldn’t move home even if I failed. That last part, I could see it hurt you. But you were accepting of the fact that I’m (mostly) ready to enter this world as a responsible adult. You talked me through my options, and you made me feel like there was hope.
So the start of this letter was to talk through the things I can’t say to you out of risk that we’d fall out and not speak again. But I just wanted you to know that I’ll happily keep that locked away inside, forgiven and forgotten, as long as you stay the strong person you always have been. I love you, always have and always will.

Love, your little girl.

xx

21 thoughts on “An open letter to my mum

  1. My heart! I have tears in my eyes, this is such a heartfelt letter and it carries so much emotion with it! I hope you feel better after writing this, & all I can say is that although you’ve had ups and downs (like in any relationship) the love between you and your mum is clear! All the best and well done for sharing it, I can guess it might not have been the easiest to share, sending you hugs xxx

  2. Thank you πŸ’• it really was one of the hardest things I’ve pressed post on but it honestly has helped me feel a bit better about everything. She’ll never see this, and I don’t think she’d still be talking to me if she ever did see it. But it’s out there now, and I can finally begin to move on from the hurt I’ve carried with me for so long.
    Thank you for taking the time to read it, and for your lovely, heartfelt comment πŸ’• xxx

  3. This is a very personal vulnerable thing to write about. I really commend you for this, because, to be frank I don’t think I could’ve done something like this. It takes a lot of courage! I hope writing this helped release some stress/sadness off you! x

  4. What a heartfelt post hun! It really touched me, I enjoy reading poats like this especially since my mum passed, just to see the different relationships people have. You and your mum will always have ups and downs, there’s not a relationship out there that doesn’t but I’m sure she would feel the emotion from this and how much you do love her if she were to read it. πŸ’–

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

  5. This is so lovely and made me really emotional. My mother and I have had an extremely turbulent relationship and some of your thoughts I resonate with. Thank god we have finally made our peace after a trip to Italy when I was 20. I had grown up and was able to understand situations in a different light. We were able to have conversations without me being a stroppy teenager so we could both get clairty and peace. I really hope you manage to work through your issues x
    Lola Mia // http://www.lolitabonita.co.uk

  6. This is such an emotional letter and I love that you shared it! Has your mum read it or come accross it? It’s been a while since you wrote this post x

  7. You’re an incredibly strong person for writing so openly about a difficult topic, Katie! It is definitely true that not all mother / daughter relationships are all sunshine and roses 100% of the time, and it’s really refreshing to see you talking about the tougher times! It’s also wonderful to read that despite your differences and your arguments, you and your Mum still love each other! A really heartening read!

    Abbey 😘 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

  8. Thank you Lola, I’m sorry to hear you and your mum had a turbulent relationship at the start but it’s good that you finally made your peace! Hopefully some day soon my mum and I will be able to talk openly and put the past behind us xx

  9. Thank you! No, I purposefully have kept her away from my blog, and I still haven’t had the courage to talk about this with her, but we’re slowly improving our relationship and hopefully over time I’ll be able to be as open with her about it all as I have been able to be on here xx

  10. Thanks Melissa <3 it actually really helped, and I feel like since I put this out there I've been able to be slightly more honest with my mum about how I feel with some things. Hopefully with some time and patience we'll get better! xx

  11. It must’ve taken a lot of strength to write a letter like this to someone you’re so close to, and then have the strength to share it with the world. I could relate to the aspect you wrote about sexuality; I never officially ‘came out’, but I’ve been ‘dating’ girls since I was ten and it was the one thing my family really struggled to understand. My dad’s the one who doesn’t accept it to this day, and like you, not being able to talk about that aspect of my life does hurt.

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