Our relationship is a competition. You win once the other loses.
I lost when you pulled me away from my Kindergarten bean plant, when you didn't believe that it wasn't poison ivy.
You lost when I didn't want to go to the circus, when you already bought the tickets and never heard me say no.
I lost when you spoke down on me for not willing to share a story in seventh grade.
For the longest time, Jenna was our middleman. I couldn't be upset with her, when she told me to tweeze my eyebrows or to do something nice for once with my hair. But she, as did you, controlled me as if I was a little girl.
I lost trust in Jenna when she kept that goddamn story I didn't you to read. I let her into my world, believing that she would know this was just between girls. She held onto the story for months and upon asking for it, she looked me in the eyes and said she thought I wanted my father to read it. Even after I told her the opposite.
I know you weren't well when Mom said no to marriage. You accused her of using you to have a child. You wanted to make a family. A normal family. I remember once you and I plotted to change my last name to yours. You tried to make it nuclear with Jenna, but it felt as if you were trying to show one up on Mom.
When we lost our home, you invited us to live with you. Live under your roof and under your watch. To me it was arrogant and insulting, imagine how my mother felt.
You're life was progressing to normalcy while ours was falling apart. I felt looked down upon. Critiqued. Judged. At times, you even lumped me together with my bipolar friend Sarah, as if we were the same person with the same anger.
Damn right I was angry. I don't think you nor Jenna ever had the sensitivity to deal with my depression. It's not something that's easily learned, especially with children.
That Christmas when I yelled, I never said I hate you. Such passionate words should never be thrown around so carelessly. Very bluntly, I said I couldn't stand you. Because the empathy was pity and my voice was never listened to.
You didn't listen.
I won by depriving you of the one thing I had. Myself. You lost your daughter. And we both suffered, for over a year. I couldn't speak all my frustration so I pulled away. I withheld myself. I won the only way I knew.
Tears and time has been shed.
But I realized.
I don't want you out of my life.
Understand, I want this to be slow. On my own terms. Saturday I'm having my own birthday party for the first time in years. There's enough anxiety as it is.
Sunday I think I could do it. I'm not ready for physical contact. I appreciate you coming alone.
And I thank you for still acknowledging my birthday.
"Sometimes we run away to see who will follow us."
It's been a long run.