You left yesterday for another whole year to defend our country. We are on round three of you being deployed. I am so proud of the man you have become. The soldier, the husband, the father. I am also so heartbroken at the same time.
I didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye. It hurts. I know your wife and children are your first priority. They should always be. I just want to be part of your thoughts too. It feels like I am an obligation to you versus you wanting me in your life.
I write these words and feel immediately selfish. I raised you to be independent. To be able to survive in this world without me. I know that you are totally capable. You have always been so capable. I feel proud of that. I am proud of you.
I tell you I am proud of you. I make sure you know you are doing awesome at your life. Even with all that, my heart breaks a little every day when you don’t reach out. I don’t want you to forget me along that journey of your life. I know I never taught you that I was important in your world. How could I? I didn’t think I was valuable either. I don’t know how to teach it to you now.
You are such an amazing father. You play with your girls. You teach your girls about everything. You make them first in your world. It is wonderful to see who you are with them. It is one of the best sights ever.
You are a fantastic husband. You and your love support each other through all of life’s up and down moments. You make each other better people. I know I wasn’t able to be a role model for how to be a great spouse, so I am happy you found that skill.
It is the most incredible thing to see your child be truly happy.
I was not the best parent I could have been. I know that I did the best I could with the limited resources and skills I had. I was in a marriage with your father that nearly broke my soul. The fights were often and incredibly debilitating. We had extremely limited funds. Money was always scarce which meant just surviving was difficult. Life was one form of struggle after another. My personal reality with your father impacted all of us in so many ways. It spilled into everything and I am positive still does.
My self-esteem was non existent then. I lived for the greatest thing that came out of those days, you and your sister. I did whatever I could to shield you from the chaos of our life. I know now that I was naïve to think you were spared that nastiness. That energy of fear spun around you every day. It was in the air that you breathed. It was wrapped around the toys that you played with. As much as I wanted to hide the ick from you, I know now that wasn’t ever possible. I will always be sorry for not getting you and your sister away from that situation. Unfortunately, I can’t go back and fix that. I can only go forward hoping that there are no repercussions that follow you.
There are obviously residual effects that I carry from the ‘training’ I received during the many years of low-self esteem through the abuse and fear. I question all the time if I am interrupting your life or contributing to it. That same question and thought process happens for everyone I care about. My self-esteem may be better but pushing myself into anyone’s life is the hardest thing for me. I am working on it but it still in my major hang-up. I have moments where I am able to push past the thoughts but the majority of the time that is what drives my connections.
I still hear my mother’s words in my head from when I was young. Words about being an inconvenience. Saying to me over and over ‘What makes you so special?’ ‘Who do you think you are?’ ‘Why should anyone go out of their way for you?’ Telling me that I ruined her life by being a girl. Screaming that I think to highly of myself and I would only be a disappointment to others like I was to her.
I was ‘trained’ from a young age and my training continued through your young life. I didn’t know any better then. I was so broken and didn’t even recognize it until you were an adult with children of your own. How does one go back and fix the cracks in someone’s life when you didn’t know you were making them.
I am pretty sure you will never see these words. This written conversation with myself will be limited to the few that tune in to this journey of transformation I am on. I still was compelled to write them down, addressing them to you. I needed you to know I am sorry for the part I played in any pain you have suffered. It was never intentional even though it is there.
I am very proud of the man you have become despite the rocky foundation it began with.
Come home safe to me my son. I will keep working on how to mend the cracks.