Now We Are Free

I spent some time on OD earlier this year, but I am so cluster-minded that I ended up abandoning it for other methods of expressing myself. I’ve got a diary in the cupboard in my bathroom that I dubbed TC or “Toilet Confessionals.” I’m also pretty well versed in HTML and other coding, so I’ve created an intranet on my computer that I use as well as a substitute when TC doesn’t fit the vibe. Though I have created many venues for expressing myself in hopes of finally organizing this mind of mine–I never seem to find the secret formula. Of course, getting out the daily frustrations is accomplished, but the deep rooted issues that I’ve been carrying for (nearly) the last three decades remain unexplored.

I had a coffee from Dunkin, followed by a Bang energy drink, followed by a coke, followed by a Babe Ruth bar… so during my hyped up caffeine time, I thought of at least the topics I need to discuss. OH–I work nights, so that explains why I’m consuming this amount of caffeine. I’m blessed to do what I do, stock shelves–I can have my headphones in my mp3 player and work on my school work. But, before I go off on some tangent–allow me to write the topics. Actually, they’re kind of a mixture of people I need to write letters to as well as topics. Let’s call them a mashup.

  • Dad
  • Mortality
  • This crazy decade, the lessons I’ve learned, and the time I’ve lost.
  • Uncle

This is such a preliminary list, of course I’ll expand–but it’s what I came up with thus far while working. I’m going to start off with the letter to Dad.


This letter is something that should be so easy for someone to write. I feel like sometimes if I speak up and tell someone how I feel that it could get twisted to mean that I somehow don’t love that person. What if I say too much? What if my message gets lost in transmission? Why is it that I think this way?

A former credit union boss of mine once thanked me after I finally blew up at him for dumping the workload of five employees on me with zero management support. I remember he started off the email with “I’m glad you finally told me how you felt instead of telling everyone else.” Now, I don’t feel I go running around gossiping, but I def have a problem with addressing issues head on and telling the people that I’m mad at that I’m mad at them! I think the disconnect is I don’t want to make someone feel bad. But sometimes people deserve to feel bad, and that’s not my problem–you know? It’s one of many foibles of mine and I’m trying to work on it.

I say all of that to tell you that some of this letter might get ugly. But I hope you know I’m trying to get it all out so I can be authentic with you instead of feeling like I’m faking it. Uncomfortable silence can be so loud.

I know my Mom isn’t an angel. I know she is flawed like all of us and like the saying goes, there are three sides to every story–so please remember, I don’t take everything I hear from anyone as absolutely true. Sometimes my biggest fear is being vulnerable around you for fear it might be used against me in the future. This is because of the whole way my life started, which was really fucked up. As I look back on how things went down, I felt like I was only valued by you because I could be used as a weapon to hurt Mom. That your love for me was priority #2 compared to hurting Mom by taking us to Uncle Brian’s after the split between you two. I don’t particularly care about what happened between the two of you, it’s not my business, but what I said above is a mental hangup for me. It’s like my mind loops back to that thought when I think of opening up to you. Like blinking red lights and sirens are going off in my head telling me to be cautious.

The rational side of my brain knows present day that of course you’d never do something to hurt me intentionally. It wouldn’t make sense, you know? But I feel like I’ve never addressed these thoughts or fears. How can I expect someone to understand where I’m coming from if I never speak up? You know? I have a great big mouth but for some reason I don’t use it when I need to. So I end up in the cycle that I’ve found myself in my whole life. Go back and forth between wanting to call you up and scream at you for shit that is decades old and running out and giving you a great big hug. I feel like I really don’t even know you.

I feel like even despite these intuitive feelings I’ve had since I was young, I tried for so many years in the early 2000s to build a relationship with you. I wanted you to be proud of me. I felt like the only one doing all the work. I’d always be the one calling. You know the old saying the phone works both ways? I think that hit me one day and I decided to just stop calling and see if you’d try calling. You didn’t. So I didn’t. And then a month turned into a year that turned into 16 years. Of course we’ve chatted here and there over the years, and I know you love me and I hope and pray you know I love you but I can’t believe how long it’s been. I think you might chuckle (and understand) that I think I get my stubbornness from my Nana.

Along the lines of my grandparents, I’m grappling with Grandpa’s mortality… I’ve thought he’s been more of a Dad to me than anyone. I’ve only really recognized this thought recently. He’s taught me so many things… to keep a good heart…to be a person who lets himself be guided by warmth and humanity…to think and judge for myself, responsibly. And most importantly, to not just let my mind speak, but listen above all to the voice in my heart.

I’m scared of losing him.

Like, really scared.

And I don’t know what I will do when that day comes. He’s one of the only people I call when something good happens.

My baby brother is deploying to Hawaii in two weeks. I don’t know when I will see him again. My older brother is in Chicago. And I feel like everything I’ve worked for with my Mom is slipping out of my hands and there is nothing I can do to make the time stand still. I wonder how she’s feeling about all of this… I want everyone to be happy. I’ve always wanted that, even at the expense of my own happiness.

But I have to focus on what I can do. That is mend what I can mend. Say what I need to say. Even if the words have a hard time coming out. Set goals. Follow through. Find who I am in all of this chaos.

I don’t want to go to sleep another night (or as in my case–mornings) with the thought that I could have done something but was too scared to and the opportunities slip away forever.




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September 5, 2018

Have you thought about sending that letter to your dad? It’s well-written, and it sounds like something that must be said, even if it does hurt him. As your father, he should love you, unconditionally, and it shouldn’t destroy your relationship with him.