Because you were judgmental of everyone and everything taught me that you struggle with your own self-esteem which has made me work very hard to teach my kids their own self-worth. It has taught me to be compassionate and to try to see things from other’s point of view before condemning them. I struggle with my own self-esteem as a result of this judgment but I am AWARE of it and work every day to change this.

Because you were a Micro-manager it made me struggle with believing in my own capabilities, it made me fearful of trying to do anything for fear that I might not be perfect at it. However, because of this I have good attention to detail which has served me very well in my career and continues to serve me well. It has also taught me that I need to take a step back and let my kids do their own thing so long as it doesn’t harm them. As an example, I always let Emma and Hayden choose her own outfits for school and I didn’t give a damn if it matched. They felt like they accomplished something and it bolstered their own sense of independence and style.

Because you are critical I automatically go to the worst place in my thoughts before I do something. It makes me see negative where there shouldn’t be any, particularly with my own skillset and capabilities. It has caused me to live a life full of anxiety and stress. It makes me an easy target for those who wish to complain. For those who wish to dump their problems on me and to have me back them up and justify the way they feel. Because of this I have developed a strong ability to empathize. I now understand how to protect myself and not take it on. I understand that I am in control of my thoughts and how my thoughts make me feel. Because of this I am letting go of control, judgment and a critical nature. I am teaching my kids to not take life too seriously and am affirming to myself daily that I AM ENOUGH.

Because you were absent I learned how to be self-sufficient. I learned to do for myself at a very young age. I learned how to take care of me. Because of this, I have always known that no matter what the situation I will always get through it.

Because you treated Kurt and me unequally it has put a wedge between us that is incredibly deep. However, I tell myself that this is due to the fact that he needed you more than I did. Because I see the situation for what it really is, I know it is not Kurt’s fault. I will work to repair my relationship with him and to be accepting of Kurt for who he is and the relationship only for what it is capable of being.

Because you lived your life based on guilt and you were fear motivated it has taught me to be careful. To understand my boundaries and to ensure that I work through issues instead of letting them remain unresolved. It has given me a voice to discuss instead of fight and yell.

Because you suffer from mental illness and because you are selfish I have learned that I have one life to live, no one can live my life better than me. I learned that you cannot live your life through me. That we are mother and daughter, that the dynamic of our relationship was toxic. That it is NOT my job to take care of you, that is yours and yours alone. I learned to place boundaries between us to not take on your internal suffering. I learned that your life and the choices you make in your life are NOT a reflection on me. That my love alone is not enough to make you well. I learned to be open and honest with you without fear of saying that one thing or doing that one thing that would push you to the brink. Your life is yours to live and to live it as you so choose.

I learned that I CAN make a difference. I KNOW you had a shitty childhood. I KNOW that if you had the support system and the parenting information available to you, you would have been a better mother. I know that if your mental illness had been diagnosed sooner our lives would have been different. I also know, that things happen for a reason and I am meant to be who I am because of the experiences I have had in my lifetime. When you know better, you do better and as a result my kids have had a better mom because of it.

I forgive you, I love you and I thank you.