A Letter to a former friend’s mother

To the mother who rejected,

I was friends with your daughter when we were in fifth grade. Breann was nice to me when I was having a hard time at home with my parents and at school with bullies. I invited her to come over to a Halloween party. Before that, I came to your house for a party she hosted. I made a Halloween toast and I used the H-word. I must have left a bad impression because suddenly she wasn’t allowed over.

I want you to know I understand. You felt the need to protect your daughter. When you saw me, maybe you saw a bad influence. Maybe you saw something you didn’t want your daughter to know more about. You had to do what you had to do to take care of your kids.

And I wasn’t one of your kids, so I know you couldn’t take on helping me, talking to me, looking out for me. I’m sure you didn’t have the time and energy to find out why I acted out in the little ways I did.

It hurt to be rejected like that. It hurt to realize I wasn’t good enough for my sweet, kind friend. It hurt to find out I didn’t know how to act appropriately. Obviously I thought my toast was a fun little thing, but apparently it scared you enough to keep your child away from me. It was a little frightening. My sense of normal is just so skewed.

I was having so much trouble at home. My parents were abusive. Most of the time they ignored me.

I know this wasn’t your problem. I know that. And your daughter turned out so well. When I look at the two of us and where we are in our lives, I guess you made the right choice.

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4 thoughts on “A Letter to a former friend’s mother

  1. Or maybe not. It’s sad that the mom didn’t have the presence of mind to really see and do whatever she could to help, whether that only be to let you hang out with her kid. Sounds like she was judgmental.

    I relate to this, so maybe that’s why I’m responding this way. I had a friend in high school who’s mother also rejected me.

    Sorry this happened to you, it totally sucks.

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    • One thing I learned over the scope of my life and my troubles, the only one who could have helped me is myself. I was too broken and weak to do that though. Yeah, it would have been nice if someone helped me along the way, but no one person can save the whole world, so it isn’t exactly fair for me to have expected someone to save me.
      My biggest regret, my biggest disappointment, is that I didn’t do something sooner to help myself. I didn’t. I have to live with that

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      • Ok I can agree with that when we are talking about adults. And even then it can be tough to be prepared for adult life if you had abusive parents who didn’t give you guidance or teach you boundaries or respect yours.

        You were writing about when you were a kid. I don’t (IMO) think that kids are equipped to help themselves. They don’t have the maturity or experience to even know where to start. And it’s not like you could just move out.

        Much of the time, if kids are abused they are too ashamed to talk about it and it reveals itself in other ways, like dissociating/daydreaming, rebelling, crying a lot, and even using foul language. I’ve been cursing since I was 10 I think. Lol.

        Oh and I started smoking cigs when I was 12. Anyway, I’m starting to get into a tangent that I’m not sure where it’s leading LOL. I guess my point is that children NEED that guidance to know and understand boundaries, their own and other people’s. There are signs of abuse and I’m not saying that this lady owed anybody anything, nor am I saying she’s to blame for what happened to you.

        But it sounds to me like you are taking the blame for something out of your control, and owning something that isn’t really yours. You were a kid who needed parents and apparently you didn’t get that. That is something that is a fundamental right and need of every child. And although as an adult now you are responsible for what direction you take, as a child you were not.

        I used to have a hard time blaming my parents. I thought “Oh it’s in the past and I’m the one with the problem because I can’t let go.” But I kept playing scapegoat and I got played plenty. My family’s behavior toward me a bit over a year ago during a real stressful family event was appalling and as an adult yes, I let them take advantage of me and I am responsible for my part in not sticking up for myself. But at the same time I didn’t know how else to be. And I was afraid.

        I only own so much of that dysfunction and I got that way because my parents were abusive and neglectful. I could never have saved myself as a 5th grader. THey own that, not me.

        If you’re interested in reading a book on blame and forgiveness that might help in actually understanding blame and even using it to heal, I really liked a book called The Tao of Fully Feeling by Pete Walker. I have no connection to the book other than I got a lot of insight out of it, so I like to recommend it to others in similar pain.

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  2. I don’t disagree with you at all. I think I’m just really disappointed with some things that I am still working on. Thank you for the book suggestion. I will check it out. A book that REALLY helped me was Boundaries: Where you end and I begin by Anne Catherine. I learned a lot of things and it changed the way I deal with my parents now as an adult.

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