An Open Letter to the Person I Used to Call "Mom"...

Dear birth giver,

Despite carrying me for nine months in your womb, teaching me my first words, and being an important part of my life, I no longer know how to address you. I would have started this letter with “To Whom It May Concern” but I know that I do not concern you—that, after a certain point, my thoughts, ideas, opinions, accomplishments and feelings stopped being of interest to you.

People always question how a mother could decide to walk out on her child, but my answer is consistently the same—it does not matter. You could have rode out quietly, as though you were never there, or revved your engine outside my bedroom window until the vibrations shook my rib cage, reminding me of how empty I felt; regardless of how you left, it hit me harder than any car ever could.

Since then, I often wonder how people just abandon their beloved pets when they get tired of them; maybe it’s because I know what it feels like to be lost. You may have given birth to me, but you weren’t there when I needed you and for that, I will never forgive you. As I continue to watch my friends bond with their mothers over heartaches, turn to them when they need advice, and speak of the special relationships they have, I am reminded of the nameless person who brought me into the world and then failed to protect me.

I want you to know that I am letting you go, that you no longer need to feel guilty. I may never forgive you, but you should forgive yourself. You meant something to me a long time ago, but now we are strangers and that’s okay. I am no longer a child, no longer your child. You are my birth mother, but you are not and will never be my mom. You gave birth to me, but I have created my life—a life you chose not to partake in. A life in which I am whole without you. Which is why I am letting you go. I truly am happy and I hope, one day, you will be too.

Lastly, I want to thank you.

Thank you for creating me. Thank you for giving me lungs to breathe from and a heart that beats. Thank you for teaching me how to deal with loss, how to grieve, and how to move on.

Thank you for leaving me.

Thanks to you, I am a strong, resilient, persistently compassionate woman who loves those around me. I am a person who appreciates and celebrates my own accomplishments. Who works hard for personal growth rather than to appease others. I am a better person without you, and I will be a better mother one day thanks to your absence.

Thank you for leaving me. It was the best thing you ever did.

Sincerely,

A Stranger

 

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