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“Dear Mom” – A Letter Never Sent

“Dear Mom” – A Letter Never Sent

My husband wrote this letter years ago.  It’s a letter to his mom that he never sent, but the pain is still there.  Still fresh.  He wanted to share it with you today for those who are going through something similar.  Know that you are not alone and that you can still stand strong.

In my husband’s words… “I’m still standing.” 

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Dear mom,

This is a hard letter to write because we never truly talk about our feelings and we never finish anything.  I want you to know that I do love you and it hurts me to know that you will never be proud of me.  That was one of the most hurtful things you have ever said to me.  You know that we have said really hurtful things to each other, but I just want to tell you that although I have forgiven you in my heart of hearts, I will never forget how you said it without sympathy.   You know exactly what to say to hurt me.  I thought dad was the only one that could hurt me without remorse.   There have been lots of things said, but I want to thank you.  If you would not have told me this than I would never would know how you really feel about me, and we know you don’t lie.  There is nothing that I can do to change that, nor would I want to try.

When you try to give me advice or guidance, it only comes off as what you want me to do.  If I don’t do it you get upset with me and I feel like a failure.  When I fail, I feel that you have this gleam in your eye…as if, “Ha, I told you so”.  It’s like you are more satisfied when I am a failure than when I succeed.   You have told me that your mom was overbearing and demeaning and you will never be that way, but you are and worse sometimes.  Through my lifetime, I would take your guilt and your abuse because I could take it.  When you were angry at dad, my sister, your job, etc., I was the one person that would take your abuse and your verbal attacks.  But, you knew what you were doing and you could have stopped it.  But, instead, I was your emotional punching bag.  I guess that you couldn’t tell my sister how you felt because she can’t handle it.  Dad was never around and nobody really gave a damn about your feelings.  So, you took it out on me and as long as I didn’t say anything or stand up for myself, I had a place in your world.  And when I finally did, my feelings were never taken into your consideration.  Your feelings and my sister’s feelings have always been more important.

You have always said that you don’t have a favorite.  But, you could at least be honest with yourself and acknowledge that the way that you treat me is different from the way that you treat my sister.  I have always looked up to you for being confident and strong and for making a choice that was scary for you…to leave Laredo.  But I want you to know, the choice that I made to come back to Muskegon from Kalamazoo was not to play it safe, but to regroup and move where I need to for me and my family.  Not because it was easy.  I will raise my daughter with the values that abuelo and you have taught me.  We both know that after you are gone, me and my sister will not have a relationship, and it’s not from my lack of trying.  I cannot take her criticizing attacks and her overwhelming idea that she always knows what’s best or what’s right; or yours for that matter.

I love you, you are my mom.  I just wonder, when did you stop seeing me as your little boy, and start resenting me as a burden to you.  I look into my daughter’s eyes and know that there is no way that I would treat her the way that you have treated me these past years.  You always wished for me to meet somebody good and change my life from what it was.  We both know that I had a lot of negative people in my life.  And when I finally met somebody that I truly love and who truly loves me, instead of being happy for me, it seems that you are just cold and distant.  I understand that when you are angry, you hold a grudge.  You didn’t talk to one of our tías for 16 or 17 years, but I never thought that you could do that to me.  How could you not talk to me when I needed you the most?  I realized how little you think of me and how unimportant I truly am to you.  Your snide comments about my weight, my lack education, and my lack of work ethic have damaged my psyche to the point that I second guess everything that I do.  I used to be strong and confident.  Now it seems that the more that I stay away from you and my sister, the more confidence I regain in myself.  Your negativity and overwhelming lack of faith in me has made accomplishing my goals so much more difficult.  But I am determined to use my anger as fuel to be a good person, a great father, a hard worker, and damn good husband!  I am going to make it in spite of all these things.  I’m sorry if this letter hurts you, but we can never have this conversation without blowing up at each other.  I just had to tell you how I feel.

BICULTURAL PAPI RICARDO PATINO

Ricardo grew up in Laredo, TX – a border town south of San Antonio and now lives in the Midwest with his wife (Bicultural Mom) and daughter, ‘la princesa’.  You can find him on Twitter at @biculturalpapi, where he’ll share his perspective on family, Tejano culture and life in the Great White North.

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  • Vanessa, De Su Mama
    August 19, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Dear Bicultural Family,
    D and I just want to extend our love and support to the two of you. Thank you for expressing this heart felt letter, Bicultural Papi. I know from experience how difficult it is to be so vulnerable, and also, the healing qualities that writing your emotions can have. I can never imagine creating such an intense feeling of self hatred in my children, and I feel so sad that you had to endure that. Be strong in the knowledge that you married a remarkable woman, who will back you in building a beautiful legacy for your family. I look forward to reading and support both your blogs.
    Con mucho amor,
    D and Vanessa

    • Chantilly Patiño
      Chantilly Pati&ntild
      August 19, 2012 at 10:59 am

      D and Vanessa, thank you so much for opening your hearts to us. ♥ I remember when my husband sat down to write this letter and poured his heart out. I remember us talking and he was so afraid to write it and to put those words down on paper. I told him…"You don't have to mail it. This is just to help you make sense of what you're feeling and to get some closure."

      He wrote the letter and after that point, I believe it made him a stronger man because he was able to stand up to his mother and tell her some of these things in our last visit with her.

      We're both disappointed that his family is no longer in our lives, but at the same time, we know that we need distance right now in order to be emotionally healthy.

      Ultimately, I'm so proud of my husband that he has been able to put much of this behind him and not blame himself, and that he was able to create this amazing letter. I had forgotten how raw it was and when we found it and read it this weekend, we both cried.

      I'm so in awe of him and he inspires me everyday to be more vulnerable and more open than I ever thought I could be. ♥

      Thanks so much for all of your love and support. ♥

      ~ from one bicultural familia to another ~