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22 December 2005

Christmas came early this year [More:][A longer version of this is here.] Some may know that my birthday took an unexpected downturn. Most don't know that it was due to a letter I received from my mother. Letters from her always include the following qualities:

- an unmitigated assault on my character as a daughter and human being, usually containing the reminder that she really should have stayed on the table and gone through with my abortion X many years ago
- a crushing guilt rampage full of vitriol and abject misery
- a suicide threat
- a suicide letter 'intended to reach me after death'
- some sort of explanation of her imminent demise at the hands of an incurable disease
- manic and utterly incomprehensible
- any creative combination of the above

As one can imagine, I am generally less than enthusiastic when I hear from her.

This time, however, it was her Step 9 letter to me. It is honest and unflinching and 100% accountable.

I have never read something as beautiful as the letter that sits on my desk now. Quite honestly, I've been crying for hours and cry now as I type this, I've been so blindsided by the greatest thing that I could have been given.

Bunnies, I love you through and through and am so incredibly grateful for the warmth and support the flows here. From the humblest, newliest healing place in my heart, I wish all of you the merriest of Christmases.
:-D Yaaaaaaay Frisbee!!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 22 December | 13:43
Wow. That's moving. Seriously. One Day At A Time, Ma Frisbee.
posted by jonmc 22 December | 13:45
posted by iconomy 22 December | 13:46
Wow. Wow. Good for her. Good for you. Thanks for sharing that, Fris. Blessings to you and yours, dear one.
posted by Specklet 22 December | 13:46
Fris, that sounds like an amazing letter. Wonderful.
posted by gaspode 22 December | 13:49
Yes, wow. Thanks for sharing.
posted by danostuporstar 22 December | 13:50
Parents are strange creatures. I haven't been through anything approaching what you have on the parental front, Fris, but I've taken my lumps same as anyone else. My parents were around 24 when they had me (their first), not exactly babes in the woods, but not exactly seasoned in the ways of the world yet (although Dad had been to a war zone and back already). When I turned 24, I looked at myself and realized that I knew exactly jack shit about living and would be utterly nonplussed at the idea of being a Dad. I don't imagine they knew much more than I did. Once I realized that, I made a decision to forgive a lot of things. I don't always stick to that decision, but the thought is there.
posted by jonmc 22 December | 13:54
*hugs & many of them*
I'm so glad, for both of you.
posted by mygothlaundry 22 December | 13:55
That's huge and awesome. I am happy for you.
posted by sciurus 22 December | 13:57
Well alright then. Much happiness to you both.
posted by bmarkey 22 December | 14:00
Lovely, friz. All my love to you, and all my best energy mojo healing waves to yer mum.
posted by taz 22 December | 14:02
Sounds amazing. I hope this leads to even better things for you.
posted by selfnoise 22 December | 14:09
I'm glad you're happy and moved, fris.
posted by rainbaby 22 December | 14:11
I don't know what the right thing to say is: congratulations? good for you? So I'll go with: yay.
posted by dame 22 December | 14:19
So, I realize you probably don't know yourself yet, but what's next? How/when will you contact her?
posted by danostuporstar 22 December | 14:25
ditto what dame said. yay fris.
posted by arse_hat 22 December | 14:30
Oh, fris. I hope that means that she's ready to see what a wonderful, beautiful girl you truly are. I hope it's the start of many happy days for you both.
posted by melissa may 22 December | 14:32
jmc: really, feel free to read the extended explanation here.

Of course I 've been pissed and pissy in the past, I mean, hey, I'm human. I go into detail rarely, if ever, because truth is stranger than fiction and there's no need for sensationalism when what we all need is a firm hand to help us when things get tough and not a kick in the teeth when we're down. Know only that I've merely scratched the iceberg in what has transpired these 36 years. BUT I never stopped loving my mother and only ever knew that what was killing her and hurting me me was not good. And over 20 years of wanting someone to really giving living a go instead of slowly killing themselves and systematically destroying everything in their wake is a long damned time to wait and want.

I may have limited options for interaction, but I never turned my back on her, despite the counsel of damned near everyone else I know. And for the record, she has handed me half assed Step 9's before. Neither of us is new to AA or any of its subsets. I can likely write Al-Anon tracts from rote memory, but the clincher is this: it doesn't mean a thing if the work hasn't been done earnestly and this time it rings true.

And it sucks. I have been there. I have had black periods past suicidal thoughts where I wish I'd never been born. Periods that lasted months. That recurred for years. I've lanced the boils of personal bitterness and self inflicted bullshit, stood proverbially and not so proverbially naked before a mirror and addressed The Shit. I have been sickened and horrified. I have claimed and done my best to make something good of that which I have. Because that's what you do. And, I lived. Better yet, I thrived. Still with a bit of a void. I don't think you ever cease want those you love (even against reason) close or at least healthy.

I had accepted the thought that she would never do it, though I knew she could. Where else would I have gotten it from? I'm prepared for future bullshit, such is life and the way of thing. Bullshit is the order of the day. Again, we are human, no? But leaving the gate open and allowing hope to spring eternal that I'd someday see her stand on her own and claim herself, quietly, sanely and intact was worth everything I've put forth thus far.
posted by Frisbee Girl 22 December | 14:34
Aw, frisbee, I knew a Wow moment was headed your way.

So happy that you're happy...
posted by mudpuppie 22 December | 14:39
I wasn't disagreeing with you, fris, just thinking out loud.
posted by jonmc 22 December | 14:41
dame: thank you. I'm touched. Truly.

dano: I'll send her a reply today. I have no idea what will transpire after that. It won't all be wine and roses, very little wine, I suspect, actually. [snickersnort ahaha] However, this is a significant and thorough letter that she wrote. For the first time, she sought reparation and not validation. We have all the time in the world to figure the rest out.
posted by Frisbee Girl 22 December | 14:44
Nah, jon, I didn't think you were. I do know how happy go lucky I come off, but it's not for lack of knowledge of just how incredibly fucked up things can be.

It's just that I calculate those odds and I'll be a scrapper when need be. I don't give up with out a damned good fight.
posted by Frisbee Girl 22 December | 14:49
I do know how happy go lucky I come off, but it's not for lack of knowledge of just how incredibly fucked up things can be.

Amen and amen.

Cynicism, abusiveness, craziness -- they are as natural as breathing for those who've been raised with them as their daily bread. You consciously chose instead to be open-hearted and happy. I love that about you. I hope your mom stays on this path so she can see what an amazing girl you've made of yourself.
posted by melissa may 22 December | 15:08
I feel like I'm intruding on a private conversation. But I will say it seems like something you'd been hoping for for a long time, I'm glad it came to be, and hope it continues where you would like, as well.
posted by chewatadistance 22 December | 16:03
That's fantastic, Fris.
posted by sisterhavana 22 December | 16:11
That's truly a wonderful gift, Frisbee. I hope it's an indication of what your future relationship will be.
posted by deborah 22 December | 16:19
Happy Christmas, Frisbee.
posted by flopsy 22 December | 16:31
{{Frisbee}} I'm tearing up a little reading your post. I'm so happy she reached out to you in such an honest, forthright way. I hope your relationship continues to grown in a positive direction. And if you ever need to talk, you've got my email.
posted by LeeJay 22 December | 17:02
Thank you everyone, sincerely. Bunnies are rockstars.

[melmay and LeeJay, you know I want to marry you guys, right?]

yoga, nothing here should be considered a private conversation, it represents a great deal of why I posted this. This is huge and significant and important in my life and it's by being open with both our joys and hurts that we understand that we're not alone. Great things can happen when we realize that.

Additionally, for those struggling with their own dependency/addiction issues and family dynamics and promises made, broken, shat upon, shame, pain, whatever - I think it is equally important to highlight the positive effects of all of the fuck all hard work that goes into maintaining. Into the one day at a time. Because IT IS NOT EASY, but I'd like to think that it is worth it. In what is likely one of the hardest letters she's ever written, my mother made that abundantly clear to me. Outside of physical circumstances, there really is no limit on do-overs and no 'too late'. We all stumble. We all fall. It's the getting up and getting on that makes all the difference.
posted by Frisbee Girl 22 December | 17:44
very cool, fris--i credit you--you're a much bigger person than i am, esp when it comes to family. why is it they're the ones that can hurt us the most when they should be the ones who do the opposite?
posted by amberglow 22 December | 17:51
That's awesome! How precious and special to receive that...
posted by bunnyfire 22 December | 18:25
wow fris - what a beautiful and heartbreaking christmas present.

I just realized yesterday that my mom was much younger than me when she conceived her first child, and by the time she turned 21, had been married for a few years and planning for another kid or two. I don't even feel old enough to take care of myself, much less another human being. I find I am more forgiving of my mother now than even a few years ago...
posted by muddgirl 22 December | 18:35
That's wonderful, Fris. I hope it's the first step toward some real happiness and healing for both of you.

And I think I can safely speak for every damn bunny here when I say that we'll all be here for you whenever you need us.
posted by jrossi4r 22 December | 20:32
This is good news. Congratulations FG.
posted by ooga_booga 22 December | 21:32
I barely know you, but the urge to give you a hug is so overwhelming. Warmest, warmest, warmest wishes.
posted by occhiblu 23 December | 00:38
SCANDAL! || Too chatty?