Please Forgive Me: An Open Letter to My Son

The sun shone brightly in my window this morning waking me from a fitful sleep. Once again, I struggled all night to find peace beneath the blankets.

My life; our lives have always been in disarray since you came into this world and I’m so very sorry for that. I’d like to say I did my best to make sure that didn’t happen, but I fear maybe I didn’t.

It all started before you were even born. People say that what happens to us in our existence is written long before we even leave our mothers wombs. I believe that to a certain point but I also think that along the way we can erase some of those poetic injustices. Somehow change bits and pieces of destiny. I didn’t do that and that’s why I blame myself for what you’ve been through.

I was just a child myself when I met your father. Still gossiping with my friends in high school. He was out in the world fighting for his own place. There’s no place for a narcissist though. There never is.

Your granddad and the rest of the family tried to tell me that I was making a mistake. They tried to persuade me to see what was really happening. I didn’t listen. Fairytale dreams danced through my head thinking of my life with your father.

You see, I’d always taken care of everyone else in my life. Since I was eight-years old I was the head of the house and by 14 that had already worn me down. How naïve I was to not realize just how much more eroded my soul would become over the years.

I digress. My depressed emotions are getting the better of me and that’s not the point of this letter to you.

Today you will pick me up and we will go to dinner. I will sit across from you at the table looking at your face one last time. My thoughts will drift off to a time when you thought I was the greatest person in the world. Moments of your life with me will float like ghosts across my mind. I’ll grab at these intermittently, trying to hold onto them once more.

The night you were born. The day you started kindergarten. How I didn’t sleep the entire night the first time you slept over at a friend’s house. I’ll watch you behind glassy eyes, driving off the car lot in your first truck at 16. Memories of the day you graduated will push tears to the lids of my eyes but I will hold them in. For you, I will hold my emotions in yet again because I know what I am leaving you with, in just a few short days.

Perhaps the girl you’ve brought with you will say something funny and your laughter will bring me back to the present. I am happy for you that you’ve found someone you can share your time with. I hope she will be in your life for a long time but as young love goes, that might not be the case. Hopefully she will be around to help you through what is to come. That isn’t fair but it’s the only thing that gives me peace when I think of what you are soon facing.

I’m leaving you with a narcissist. What makes it worse is that you are devoted to him. I used to be devoted as well. He broke me down and I’ve worked so hard over the past several years to build my sanity back to a semblance of what it used to be. He knows though.

He knows that you are dedicated to him and he will feed off this. You need to understand now that I am moving halfway across the world, you will be his main supply. You will be the nutrition his ego needs to succeed in keeping itself alive. For this I am sorry. I hope that one day you can forgive me.

Right now, you won’t understand what I’m telling you. You’re only 19 and you still think your father loves you for all the reasons a father should love you. And he does. He also loves you for different reasons though. His sweet words to you; his seemingly honest words that caress your own ego–they have a sinister job as well.

The victim he has portrayed himself to be will now bemoan the biggest display of betrayal ever seen. Even though we’ve not had an amicable relationship for many years, even before the divorce, he will see my leaving as a blow to him. I will have jilted him once again in his distorted mind.

You need to know that no matter how far away I am from you, that I will always be available. I must start a new life though. I can’t continue to sit here and let life pass by as I grow older just to protect you.

In the game of narcissism, we all must break away on our own. It’s the inevitable product of the continuous gas-lighting that has occurred. We both have been brainwashed to believe that we deserve what we get from him and although I understand now what your father is doing, you don’t.

I could sit at the table tonight and pour my heart out about what he’s been doing to you. Scream the truth to you inside your truck before we hug goodbye but it would only serve to distance you further from me. I don’t want our last hours together to be a bad memory. Me attacking your father’s character and you defending it, in turn attacking mine.

No, I want the last time I see your innocent and hopeful face, to be a good memory.

I only hope that you will read this and know that I will be praying that one day, soon, you will come to your own conclusion and see what your father really is. A leech of happy emotions. A vacuum of sorts that will suck your soul dry day in and day out. And I’m leaving you with this—this creature.

He loves you. I’d love to say it’s unconditional but it’s not. There will always be something he expects in return.

I will be selfish tonight. I can set myself free because I’ve learned. Unfortunately, you have to learn for yourself.

Please forgive me, son, for handing you over to your father like a delectable meal on a silver platter.

 

 

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