Day 3: Your Parents

Dear Mom and Dad,

As much as I complain about you guys, I really couldn’t ask for better parents. I know we have our differences, but I also know that you guys love me more than anything in the world. I’ve been so lucky to have parents like you that have supported me, both emotionally and financially, throughout my life. You’ve always encouraged me and believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. However, there are things that I wish I could say to you, and maybe one day I’ll get up the courage.

Mom, I wish you’d stop treating me like I’m still a child. I know that it’s hard when I’m still living under your roof and am still financially dependent on you in many ways to not see me like a little girl. But I’m a 25-year-old woman, and I wish you would start treating me like one. Your unsolicited advice is unnecessary, irritating, and downright insulting much of the time. Your attempts to control my appearance by telling me what I “can” and “can’t” get pierced, tattooed, or dyed is absolutely ridiculous and comes across like a desperate attempt to retain some control over me. I wish you realized that my appearance, actions, and decisions are not a reflection on you or your parenting ability anymore. They reflect on me and only me. I love you, but it’s time to loosen the grip and let me be me.

Dad, sometimes I wonder how I ended up the person that I am after being raised in a house with you. I know you love me very much, and that sometimes it’s hard for you to show it. You think I don’t appreciate the fact that you buy food that you think I’ll like, even when I don’t, but I do. I know that it’s how you show me you love me and you’re thinking about me. I know you don’t understand me, but I don’t understand you, either. I hate that you’re homophobic and racist and bigoted. It makes me sad and angry all at the same time. I hate how judgmental and ignorant you are most of the time. You’re a good guy, and I truly believe that it is nothing but ignorance, but I wish you’d be willing to attempt to look beyond it. But you’re not. I hate that you don’t really know me. That we’re so different that any attempt at a conversation of substance ends up in yelling and tears, so we can only speak superficially about what’s on TV or what we did that day. I wish you knew who I was.

To both of you, I wish I could come out to you. I know I’ve tried to come out to you, Mom, and you have no idea how much it hurt to have my orientation dismissed as an attempt at rebellion. Dad, how could I ever come out to someone so homophobic? I’d be petrified that you’d reject me. I wish I could tell you about the girl I’m dating when I have one, but neither of you would understand or approve, and so I can’t. And I feel like you’re missing a huge part of who I am because I can’t share it with you.

I wish I could print this letter and give it to you guys, but I know it would only make you angry. You’d think I was looking for things to criticize or complain about. I know that I’m lucky to have parents like you, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t parts of our relationship that I wish could be different. But no matter what, I love you both.

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  1. PrettyPrettyPrincessNo Gravatar
    Posted July 23, 2010 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    This is very sweet. It’s hard to get parents to accept that you are their adult child, esp with the situation the way it is. It takes a lot of self-awareness to be able to adress it and to see the whole relationship, not just the icky parts. Good for you for being able to do it and write about it.

  2. anartistexposedNo Gravatar
    Posted July 23, 2010 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    I think that all parents of an adult child would benefit from reading this. We have to trust those we have raised and let them fly, take risks and just be available if we are needed if they fall. Its difficult to stand back :-) I love my sons unconditionally and accept them whatever their orientation and decoration.

    This is yet another superbly moving piece of writing from you.

  3. JanieNo Gravatar
    Posted July 23, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    You look so like your mum!

    I think everyone has issues with their parents, but as long as the overriding emotion is love I guess that’s all that matters


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