I am proud to have Lerner of Hey! What’s Your Dream (formerly Stay At Home Babe) as my guest today.
I warn you, her letter is hard to read, especially if you don’t know her story. It reeks of disappointment and heartache, anger and bitterness. But, if you read between the lines, you will also sense the slightest hint of forgiveness.
Please hold your judgements, these are Lerner’s words and she needed to write them. I’m honored that she chose my space to share them.
I want you to know that I truly hated you for so long that I lost count of the years. I hated you for what you did to me, I hated you for what you allowed to be done to me. Years of my life were swallowed in hate. I hated you for the hate. I was a festering gangrene bag of hate.
You let him have me. I was so small and you just turned your back while he had me. I never fully understood the magnitude of my tininess until I saw my own child at five, how sweet and fresh and fragile he was. And I will never understand how you sat by and let that happen. I drove myself crazy trying to understand. I nearly died in the black hole of trying to understand that.
I find that old adage of, “I am who I am because of what I’ve been through, and I wouldn’t change it,” to be a saccharine-coated line of bullshit. It’s something we tell ourselves to justify the horrible things that happen to good people. I’m a good person. I am who I am not because of what happened to me but in spite of it. And the excruciating path it took me to get here… I blame you for that. It lies at your feet.
I found joy and comfort in your death. Then guilt and shame in that joy. You really left one hell of a legacy in your wake, you know? I wish I could look you in the eye and tell you that I’ve had to let that go. For myself, for my kids, for the simple act of living. I had to let you go.
I had to come to a place where I pitied you. You never knew the pride of motherhood that I do. You never went to sleep at night knowing that you did everything in your power to love and protect your baby. You never got to look the world in the face and stand between your child and danger and say, “Bring it, bitch. You’re not getting through me.” I have that, it’s the one thing I’ve done well from the beginning and it’s the only thing of true value in my life. I pity you for never having that.
I am only human, so I will never be completely one way or another. I will always have an injured little girl inside who loves her mother and wants what she can’t have. I will always have a hint of hatred and the occasional tears that fall. But, Mom, I had to let you go; because hanging onto you was a slow torturous death and life is too short to kill myself a little every day with your memory.
I don’t believe in an after-life, but if I’m wrong… if you’re still existing in some way… I hope it’s peaceful. I hope you’re resting peacefully because I want to hope better for you than you gave to me. I want to be better than you. And for that I thank you. Thank you for showing me who I don’t want to be. In a backwards, twisted way, you mothered me into a good person in that way. I am the woman you could never be.