Before I dive into what I’m going to say to you, just note that the ‘Dear’ opening this letter is merely a formality resulting from the way the English language works. So take that lightly. With that out of the way, let’s get to business.
I just want to say a few things to you, things you’ll never fully understand or be capable of even hearing because you’re blind by your own inflated image and you’re deaf by the sound of your own voice.
Here’s the thing. You think you’re winning. You think you’re destroying me, especially because you’re using what you know it’s the most dearest to me, our daughter, as a last effort to control me, manipulate me, and ultimately, squish me under your shoe like you would a city coachroad. But you of all people, a distance runner as you like to refer about yourself, should know better and be able to distinguish between sprints and marathons. This is not the 100-meter dash or the 200, or 400. No. This is a marathon. Long-distance runner or not, you do not have what it takes to run a marathon or even realize that you are in one. I do. Yes, you read that right. Not like you, I hate running. You know that. However, I learnt the story of the turtle and the hare when I was merely a couple of years older than our daughter and I have never forgotten the lesson in that story.
You’re the hare; I am the turtle.
You don’t have what it takes to get through this marathon. And my constant, daily presence at your precious condo, something you forced me to do until divorce is final, is just the proof that I have what it takes to run through that finish line while you will be kilometers behind me, spitting your guts out, and never able to catch up. You see, you thought that by forcing me to stay with you, I was going to give up. Well, Mister Know-It-All: You underestimated me because almost 9 months later, I’m still here.
You thought I was going to crash under the pressure. You thought I was going to throw a fit about your childish behavior probably inspired not only by your immaturity and the advise of that Father’s Rights, stuck-up attorney you hired. But your selective memory is playing against you.
You thought that I was going to throw a fit by you leaving your nature’s calling cards in both toilets amd making sure they would both get clogged. Wrong!!! Years of living at a house with a septic tank and a broken toilet that couldn’t be flushed, as well as babysitting, have prepared me for your potty-training selective amnesia.
You thought that by turning the heater down or completely off in winter or leaving the windows open when it was still not that warm outside so I would get cold at night, I was going to slam them shut and scream at you. (Funny that you don’t give a damn your daughter is also freezing, nice going, daddy of the year!) But your little plan has flaws. For starters, you forgot about something called doors. They not only open; they can also be closed. The second thing you forgot about is that I bought a radiator-like electric heater for our daughter’s room during her first winter because you did not want to have the windows replaced no matter how bad the draft in her room is, especially in winter with the snow and ice and the glasses freezing. So your stupid plan failed. Doors closed, heater on, and both our daughter and me can have a cozy bedroom in matters of minutes while you have to wrap yourself in blankets because you’re the only one suffering the consequences of your stupid Mr. Iceman plan.
Oh, and you think I don’t know you go through the few things I still have at your stupid place, our place. Well, I know. I know that when I’m at work and since you work from home and, therefore you’re there, you go through the closet I’m using. Sometimes, I can’t help but wonder what are you looking for or expecting to find since I left the bare minimum so as to be able to claim I still live there. I know you use the excuse of cleaning to go through the closet. Not once before filing for divorce were you interested in cleaning inside closets. Now, all of a sudden, you do. But once again, I know you go through my closet. How do I know? Nope, I don’t have a hidden camera in there. I don’t need it. There are many other ways to know if someone has been through your things. I won’t share my trick with you. I’m not that stupid. But I know what you do. You can deny it a thousand times and I will still know it. Keep guessing. Won’t share how I do it, most especially with you. And you can keep saying how hard you work. I know about you going out for runs or mountain-biking rides. Keep pretending you’ve been home aaaaaall day. The little birds see you frequently leaving a little after noon and they sing to me. At least be smart enough to hide your dirty, muddy clothes, and clean the bike before I get home. I’m not blind and I’m a lot more observant than you’ll ever be.
Concerning our daughter, keep lying through your teeth. Keep pretending you feed her, give her something to drink, change her diapers, and make sure she is happy while she is out with you. I guess I can’t or don’t know how to count. I know how much our daughter goes #1 in the amount of hours she’s usually gone with you. You come back with too many diapers. You should come back with fewer. And the diaper rash prooves you do not change her as many times as you should or as fast as you should when she goes #2. What’s that? She had the rash from earlier that day? I was the one who changed her last before you went to visit mommy and daddy with her and her little butt was as cute as the ones angels have in famous paintings and frescos. So don’t try to gaslight me with that because it won’t work. You don’t get it? I’m over with your gaslighting, Mr. Gregory Anton. I’m finding myself back and I have become immune to your gaslight.
You said that she ate? Then why did I have to give her crackers and milk in the middle of the night, not once or twice, but up to five times? You said that she didn’t cry? Then why are her eyes red, her face dirty in that classic way a child’s face gets dirty when he or she has been crying inconsolably? Why is she glued to my leg like a stamp to an envelope and doesn’t want me out of her sight?
You think you can get away with your lies concerning her because she can’t talk. But I’m not stupid and she can still communicate with me in other ways. And I’m her mother. A mother knows when her offspring needs something, something is wrong, or both.
Going back to you underestimating me, I can see why you would think that I was going to crack under the pressure. Because, for a while, I lost myself. I had lost myself in the fog you created around me so I could not appreciate reality and I would not be able to see beyond 6 feet. So you could paint my reality any way you fancied and I would believe you. You squeezed me like Play-Doh, molding me to your liking and wants. I was so desperate to get your approval, your love, your acceptance that I would just do whatever you wanted. I was so scared of you that I would not dare challenge you, your wishes, or your words. I was lost and without a voice; without friends or anyone to ground me and help me see that my reality was a sham, created by you with the objective of confusing, controlling, and manipulating me, as well as making me feel that I was losing my mind and that I couldn’t make a decision on my own or without second-guessing myself.
But I eventually said “Enough!” I started to remember the person I once was. I began to slowly find that person, bit by bit. I found that part of me that was used to living under difficult circumstances. That could make the best with what life was throwing at her. That could feel and hope that her situation was a temporary one requiring some sacrifices and, eventually, would turn into something better.
That is the person that brought me to the United States. That person is coming back. That person is resilient, strong, hardworking, loving, optimistic, realistic, funny, smart, talented, does not take things for granted, and is willing to wait as long as she needs to in order to get where she wants to go while all along doing her part in the process. That is a person of faith, a person who knows her skills and her limitations. For a while, that person was in a coma. Now, she’s back, although not full force, yet. However, enough for you not to be able to step all over her.
To close this already-long letter, I want to tell you something. It will hurt you, because the truth hurts sometimes. And you know that what I’m about to say it is the hard truth. Are you ready? Here we go:
I am everything you always wanted to be but you’re not, you never were, and you will never be.
And the truth is you cannot stand it. As a result, you decided to destroy me. But you underestimated me. I know who and what I am. Do you? Do you know what and who you are? No, you don’t and you will never do. But I know what and who you are and knowledge is power. Oh, one last thing: I don’t need you. In fact, I never did.