Scarly Sunshine
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A Letter to My Parents, One They Will Never Read

I don't want to forget them, but you both left me with so much pain and at a young age and they hurt so much.

As I lay in bed, a song comes on it reminds me of you as many things do. I am met with a wave of emotions, I am reminded of all the happy memories that I had with you, as well as all the terrible memories I have with you. As I remember every moment that ultimately led up to this moment, I think of all the times you told me you would stop, that you would get me back and give me a better life. Well that better life never came for me, but it did for you, in fact both of you. You have no more hurt, no more worries, while I am here stuck with just memories that are beginning to fade from the suppression that I put on them. I don't want to forget them, but you both left me with so much pain and at a young age and they hurt so much.

I have waves of emotions every day of my life, happy ones, sad ones, and angry ones. Most often the angry ones begin with thoughts of why you chose you addiction over me. Why you couldn’t have stayed with me, why you couldn’t be there to see me graduate from high school, to me getting my first job, to me getting into college. To all the happy moments children are supposed to get from their parents, but I got none of that.

I would give anything to hear the words, “I am proud of you,” or “I love you” just one more time. But those are just useless wishes, because it’s something I will never have back. I will never get another moment telling you how much I love you, or how my day was or for you to give me a hug and a kiss. I miss those things, so much. I hate that I went through my rebellious phase and pushed you away, I am sorry that I pushed you away, both of you. One thing that I have never been able to understand is why you would choose the path  that you did, why you would choose that life a life full of substance abuse, over your daughter.

The memories of you both come in waves, the happy waves and the sad waves that then crash into the angry waves. The happy memories or waves begin with the little things you would do for me, like when mom, you took me to the beach and we both got burnt like little lobsters in Florida and had to sit on the edges of the seat because we had leather seats and we didn’t want to rip our skin off on them.To the easter egg hunt we had when we lived in Paintsville. Or when dad, when I would get up early so I could drink coffee with you and have a little chat with you or when you took me for many rides on your motorcycle.

The sad memories are always the hardest. I am reminded of when mom—I am reminded of the moment that I found you on the kitchen floor, your face was blue and I seen the life that had drained from your face. Or it is the moment that I looked at you while you were in the casket, when it was at that moment I had to come to terms with the fact you were really gone. That I no longer had a mother, someone to get me up every morning or try and do simple things to make me happy.

Dad, the pain that I seen you go through after mom died, that you just seem to have spiraled out of control. Until the you made it to the point where you did not have the will to live yourself, it was at those moments that I was able to see that you were slowly losing yourself all over again. Then, when I refused to look at your body after we found you, that is one thing I will always regret, but I didn’t want to believe it, that you were not in fact coming back, ever. I wanted to remember you coming in my room before I went to town that day with papaw, you coming in my room and getting on your knees, grabbing my hand and telling me how much you loved me, that is one memory I will cherish forever.

Then the angry waves consist of me constantly asking myself why it was always so much more important than me, why you both always gave it more attention than me. Why no matter what I did it was always your number one priority. Why you were willing to spend hundreds of dollars on the medication while you were very hesitant on buying me things such as food. Granted yes, when you were not in the rut of always having to have them you were both the nicest people alive and would the shirt off your back to a homeless man. Or the simple fact that you would do without sometimes so I would have food. The thing here is, you could have just tried to kill your addiction and solved most of our issues. I guess that is too much to ask for though. I honestly don't know what it is like to be addicted to pills, but I do know what it is like to be a witness that it kills. Because I watched both of you slowly drain away and start becoming a shell of a body. You gave everything in your life to those pill bottles.

Granted, with everything said, I am not resentful towards my parents. This was the sad life they chose, a life that is centered around pain medication, rather than their daughter. I am choosing a different path, a life that is going to be successful, and I refuse to have failure. It took me awhile to quit dragging my feet, but I refuse to end up turning into the thing that I least want and that is turning into my parents. I have seen what that life does and I do not want it, I want a life full of happiness and it has to start with me. I am making the change and it starts today. I will make something of myself and I refuse to achieve anything but success.

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