To my mother in To The Person

  • Aug. 25, 2019, 1:30 p.m.
  • |
  • Public

Dear mom,

I’m so sorry you’ve taken my words and my journey with trauma into yourself and let it become your fault. I’m sorry when you hear me speak about my experiences that you feel like a failure for not protecting me. I’m sorry that my pain has spread into you, invading through your ears and poisoning your heart. I never wanted my pain to hurt you, too.

I wanted my pain to leech out of me slowly, bit by bit, while I wash the dishes. It should seep out of my pores into the hot and scalding water, slip away when the soap touches it and disappear swirling down the drain before my eyes. I wanted it to flutter out of my lips into the air, a slip of smoke, vanishing into the thin air of morning. I wanted it to burn in the ash of my cigarette, hot red before disappointing grey, carried away on the wind as pollution I didn’t need to breathe in anymore.

I never wanted it to become a butterfly you felt the need to catch, kill, and pin on a board you keep on your ceiling, suspended above you so you can examine the ways it is your fault all night and wake up in the morning seeing only your guilt. My pain was never meant for your heart.

It wasn’t a see you were meant to plant, tend, and keep safe. Burn the crops, mom. Raise the fields. Get rid of the toxicity that men have given me and once planted in me. Do not harvest this pain to keep. It is toxic. I can see you breathe in the pollen of these plants and I see it poison your heart.

This pain was never your fault. These seeds were not the ones you planted in me. The beautiful garden I keep gated and locked away, filled with the herbs of wisdom, the flowers of kindness, the vegetables of integrity, and the fruits of love are the seeds that belong to you. Other seeds from myself and people in my life have been added. They are safe and they are mine. Nurture those.

But let the wild stubborn ragweed of pain go. Let it die. It was never your fault. You planted what you could in a garden made of clay, hardened earth unwilling to bend. Still, they grew, nurtured by your compassion and your love. Thank you for this garden, mom. It never would have grown without you.

And I’m sorry that the plants I’m ripping out are ones you believe are your fault. You helped me build the garden gate to keep them out. That the wind was too great and the weeds too capable was never your fault.

I love you completely. I blame you for nothing. I am grateful you were the one who helped me grow into who I have become. Thank you for all you have taught me, all you continue to teach me, and all you will help me plant in the future.

All my love,
The little gardener

Last updated August 25, 2019

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