autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

Dear Happy Kat, I love you.

I know you don’t think so, and it makes me angry. I spent my entire life trying like hell to make you happy.

How was I to know that wasn’t how you do it?

From whom would I have learned such things?

Even DKZ lived her entire life this way (though I only truly discovered it a few years ago).

It never even occurs to you that I can’t give you what I never knew myself.

It never even occurs to you that I’ve done the best I know how.

Yes, I know it wasn’t enough, it wasn’t what or how or why enough for you to believe I care for you.

I’ve known it all along. So perhaps just take a moment to sit with that and realize, I knew all along and I still tried.

Key word here being “tried”.

I’m no more “perfect” today than I ever was, and I’m tired of only ever hearing how I can’t or don’t get it right. As if I don’t carry a god-damned scorecard in my head. (As if that is unique or unusual? Hardly. Sit with that, too.)

I am 53. In two years, I will “officially” be a “senior-citizen”. I think that’s more than long enough trying to make amends to someone (ANY someones, frankly) who not only aren’t listening, but can’t see past their own pain well enough to realize they’re not the only one(s) hurting.

And yeah, I’ve got blame in that, too. But that’s not what we’re talking about here…. You asked me what you should tell your daughters when they ask you, “Where is ‘other’ grandma?”

As if it should be up to me? I laughed, you know. Oh, THIS decision, you’ll allow me to be involved in?

But somehow, I was “wrong” to think that my only daughter would want me to be present at her first (and hopefully only) marriage.

I get it, though, finally; you didn’t want me at your wedding because it was your break-away act. This is why you chose to have it the day after my birthday.

You were establishing your ownership of your life and its choices. You were delivering a message… if I do not 100% support you in every moment, I’m not welcome in your life.

You actually said as much immediately after I bought your dress, remember? “Why would I want you at my wedding when you haven’t blessed my choice?” It never occurred to you that love is being willing to be there anyway; that just because we differ doesn’t mean I don’t love you.

I didn’t understand at first. I was blind to all of it. In denial, I suppose. Oh, you weren’t being inconsiderate, you were just stressed out over trying to get everything arranged. Oh, you weren’t being dismissive or rude, you were just busy and I should grow up and remember that I’m supposed to be a adult who doesn’t need that kind of attention. Oh, you weren’t cutting me out, you were just setting your own boundaries that – through some quantum oddity – just happened to always be miles from any point at which you could reasonably consider “encountering me”.

You live on plausible deniability; I’ve seen it too many times. You are afraid to be explicit because you’re so angry that you’re afraid of what you’d say. But I don’t understand WHY or HOW you could be afraid, since you’ve said so many hateful and hurtful things over YEARS that I’m astonished you think anything could be left unsaid.

There’s no winning with you – if I try to be close, you complain I’m smothering you. If I try to remain distant, you complain that I don’t love you, I’m abandoning you, and if I attempt to address any of it head on, you fall into avoidance and silence followed by yet another anger-filled attack.

I can’t take that from you anymore.

I can’t take that you genuinely don’t get how much I love you.

I can’t take that you won’t even tell me what I can do to help you see otherwise.

I can’t take that you won’t be honest with me, only angry with me.

I can’t take that you will send me anger and accusations, but never supportiveness and opportunities.

I can’t take that you LITERALLY hide from me.

You’ve never understood that I just can’t let you wreck me, too. Even if it means just keeping away from you, I’m not willing to let you behave toward me as so many people have, all my life.

You don’t get to do that to me. No one gets to do that to me anymore. NO ONE. Not even you.

You want me in your life? Then get therapy. Do not talk to me again until your psychologist or psychiatrist supports your doing so.

Until you are in therapy and your doctor supports group/paired therapy, we’re just not any good for one another.

Here’s the hardest part of it all – I can’t even tell you this because, unless you come to it on your own, you can’t get there.

So, because I love you, even this I will do. I write it. I save it. I hold it. As always. But not beyond this will I again go.

Maybe, one day, you’ll have the experience and time that permits you to read this and know fully and deeply from where I am writing it, and know at last:

1. I have always loved you. I love you. I will always love you. I’m sorry I seem unable to prove that to you.

2. I think love means getting out of the way when it’s affecting someone’s ability to be happy.

3. I did this for you, but I know you think I did it to you. I’m sorry for that, too.

4. I’m sorry I couldn’t need less from you. I agree you are not obligated to give me anything, ever. It’s just hard for me to acknowledge because, well, I kind of need you and it hurts when you repeatedly demonstrate you don’t need or want me around.

5. I’m allowed to love myself more than you. I understand that you don’t yet understand this; this is why you treat me the way you do.

6. I am still learning how to love myself. I am getting started a lot later in life than many, and I am still learning how.

7. I am pretty certain (at this point) that I can’t learn with someone near me that treats me as you do.

8. You seem either unable or unwilling to treat me better than you do.

9. Since I am not in the habit of trying to force people to treat me well, I remove myself from the situation and allow the silence that ensues to speak in ways that only silence can.

10. If only once you can hear my love of you, for you, it is my hope you hear it now.