Aside

In case you were unaware, when my dad changed jobs in september 2012, I stayed in Arizona to finish my senior year. Right after graduation I flew out to Orlando to spend time with my family and move on after a particularly bad breakup. My wonderful stepmother made me feel unwelcome the moment I landed. She recently wrote a blog detailing how miserable she was all summer because I was home, giving advice to others on how to handle such a horrid situation. (You can read that here: http://momswithapassion.com/beyond-my-control/)

An open letter to my Dearest Stepmother:

Thank you. Thank you for making me feel like an unwelcome, parasitic disease while I was living at home this summer. Oh, and thank you for telling the internet too how horrible it is having your daughter (the one you haven’t seen in a year) on the same side of the country. Thank you for barely putting up with me and my little sister for almost ten years now. Thank you for convincing my dad that you wanted to be a parent to two beautiful little girls. Bravo. Oh, and thank you for convincing everyone else how amazing of a parent you are.

I really appreciate you “setting boundries [...] because it was a new situation.” (Apparently you living with us since I was in fourth grade qualifies as a new situation.) I’m glad you found a “trusted ear” and “cheerleader” to help you cope through such a rough time in your life. If i knew how miserable you were I would have said something. Wait, I did in fact say something, and then was blamed for ruining your wonderful marriage. I’m also very proud of you and your ability to look at the bright side –  “it was only temporary” afterall. You “looked for the end” and “made the best of the situation,” making sure I knew full well that I wasn’t wanted at home. The second you moved in with us it was clear my sister and I weren’t welcome, so this extra effort was really refreshing.

You speak in your blog about finding the lesson in the situation. I believe your lesson here was “don’t marry into a family with children when you obviously don’t want any.” I made that one easy for you. You said once to a couple who used to be your best friends that you “resented” my sister and I because we reminded my dad of our mother. She said you had no right marrying my dad. I think she was onto something. Maybe you should have listened.

I’m glad you found joy in always being out of the house this summer, complaining to your friend about how hard it is to have kids you never wanted. I’m also glad you spent the rest of the time sulking in your room, it made spending time with my dad a lot more enjoyable. Especially dinner. Which you ate in your room every night for the last month.

I just want you to know that I’ve learned a lot from you. You taught me how not to be a mother (speaking of which, my biological mother -the one I didn’t see for nine years- makes more of an effort to be in my life than you do), how to be more knowledgeable in every subject than anyone else, and my personal favorite: how much money you can spend on personal development and still be a shitty parent. Thank you most of all for making me feel unwanted every day this summer. I’m sorry I didn’t move out soon enough, sorry my being around had such a negative impact on your life. And most of all I’m sorry you’re stuck in a family with kids you have to care for and love. It must be so hard to loving and respectful because ten years later, thousands of my dad’s dollars in personal training later, nothing has changed other than your entitlement.

Forgive me for not making any effort on my end to make things easier, you know, by leaving before I was 18. Sorry it took an extra 9 days – Hally wanted me to stay through her birthday.

Ashlyn

Aside

I’m trying to figure out the best time to say I want to keep you.

Because I know I tend to come off strong and I’m still a hot mess and 

I understand how easy it would be to walk away.

It isn’t your job to calm the storm but

I appreciate when you do.

All I want is to slip my hand into yours and tell you it’s beautiful. 

Because it is.

There is beauty in the wisdom you carry – they must be related, intertwined.

I just hope, pray that

when I wake up

and the sun is above my shoulders 

when I look down

I’ll see my hand in yours.

 

Aside

Close counts only in horseshoes and hand grenades

and I don’t wish that we were now just that we weren’t ever

because its been a year and I’m still angry enough that

when I passed you the other day in target my heart beat faster and

my knees got wobbly and I realized again how much my life changed when you walked away.

It was like you, the sun and I, a blind man seeing light for the first time

dancing

one, two, three

in the warmth and then darkness so deep the only sight my eyes could knowledge was your hand in hers and mine, empty

see, its been a year

a rotation around that sun and

I haven’t felt warmth like that day dancing

its been a year and I see you and she are friends and

we went to coffee once like strangers

the car was stiff the space between us comfortably fitting the elephant that is your infidelity

and we shift glances back and forth because it is still 21 miles until you’re back home and

21 miles until I realize I don’t want to get to know you because what I thought I knew was a lie

a story with everyone else narrating, in on the joke.

Because that what I was to you, a punchline that had worn off its novelty far too long ago.

Aside

They say that as you fall in love you feel a high similar to that brought on by LSD use.

I say I feel more low each time we speak.

You say brash things about other women, whistling like a goddman construction worker and

I say

nothing.

I say nothing and I drive home in silence.

 

 

 

 

Aside

I am not brave.

I am a runner a 

mouse among lions not 

chasing but fleeing from confrontation 

and if someone were to ask, I 

am not one for adventure.

My arms are like branches, slowly 

reaching

reaching

reaching for more

for someone strong to 

hold on to.

Aside

I write you poems in my head, knowing you’ll never hear them

My heart – your heart, it rhymes in a way that I can’t comprehend

These words were not learned, they were felt and

when you decided you could no longer listen, I cried.

Like a hurricane in July – madness.

I could not eat – my stomach was full of dying butterflies.

Each memory a razor sharp wing tearing apart my being but

I couldn’t stand to let go.

I could not sleep, my dreams brought forth all of my fears and

even when I knew it hurt

my eyes ached to see the sun in your hair.