Letter to a Nine-Year-Old Me

Your mother will blurt out a bit of very exciting news soon. Your jerk of a father? He isn’t your father. It explains a lot, I know. Next, she’ll drop you off at your grandmother’s for the afternoon without an explanation. But, really, who needs one? You’re ready to bust out the confetti!

You’ll want that explanation eventually though. Unfortunately, the answers will replace your excitement with anger.

Your mother is going to say it was what she thought was best for you. By the time you’re a teenager, you’ll realize she meant it was the best thing for her. It gave her the make-believe perfect family she always wanted.

It didn’t matter that your step-family treated you differently than your siblings.

It didn’t matter that you had cousins literally around the corner that you missed growing up with. Not even when you lamented how much fun having even one would be. (Surprise! You have six.)

It didn’t matter that you didn’t get to bond with your grandparents, aunts, or uncles. Their family unit was established without you. They spent a decade pretending you didn’t exist and won’t think to include you now. You’ve become an afterthought at best. For that, you’ll blame both your mother AND your entire extended family.

The lie your mother spun deprived you of a lot of love, but at least she had her proverbial picket fence for awhile.

I wish I could tell you that it’ll stop hurting or that you’ll stop wishing your paternal family tried even a little bit. But enough people have lied to you—you don’t need me to do it too.

When you get older, you’ll reach a better place with your mom, but you won’t forget. You won’t really forgive either, even though you try hard. All you’ll want is a sincere apology acknowledging she was wrong. All you’ll get is a flippant, “Sorry you feel that way, but I thought it was best for you”. Always with best for me.

But some good comes from this.

Your real father’s side of the story is sympathetic and sincere. He was forced out of your life for no reason. You’ll never blame him. It’ll be awkward talking to him for awhile, but I promise it gets better. In fact, he’ll be your closest family member and biggest confidant one day. Hang in there. He won’t give up on creating a relationship with you, and it will feel like those nine years apart never happened.


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