We’re a strange piece of fortune. When I was little, the first thing I remember about you was that I told myself I hated you, and when you asked me if I was going to take care of you when you’re older I found it hard to even lie and say yes so I didn’t say anything at all.

The other night when you got mad at me and I cried in the back of the car, I still cried silently because I know you don’t like tears. More or less you never allowed me to cry.

Today, I have a difficult time trying to connect to people and allowing myself to feel what I should. I’m kind of just stuck on this phrase of independence. What does it mean when you ask me to be strong? Does it mean for a job so that I can help pay the bills and my money’s worth living in the house. Or is it so you may leave with ease across the world to know that I am strong enough to handle myself. Alone.

I don’t wish it, but I did when I sat in that car and told myself that I would stop crying once we reached the restaurant. I couldn’t so I kept crying and you pretended like it wasn’t happening, so I told your boyfriend to hush when he asked whether or not I was okay. That’s the way it is between us. It’s a blessing in disguise. And even though at that moment I had wanted to just roll up my sleeves, make you look, look that things are ugly, and tell you that this is what’s been happening; to say that just because you show a slight sign of remorse for always being away on trips doesn’t change the fact that you are away. I wish I could tell you that I made bad, bad mistakes and that sleeping around with people in a small area isn’t very forgiving. I wish I could explain to you how worried I had been a few days prior when a strange number texted me and posed as my friend to make him out as an ass and sexually harassed me on the phone. I wish I could even admit to myself that it’s a bit lonely in the house, and just maybe, I’m not all that strong at all. I wish I’d know if you’d be able to handle that.

If there’s one thing that I wish, it would be that I hadn’t gotten the worse case of puffy eyes I’d seen the next morning.

But you didn’t teach me to show feelings. My grandmother did not raise you to cry. You taught me to survive, so that I may be able to swallow my nuances and move on with life. You do try; you tried to talk to me the next morning while having me paint your nails, and I am sorry that your daughter is neither strong nor brave enough to tell you what she is. Or the fact that we may never really exchange the words I love you apart from the underlying message on your Christmas card in the disguise of thank you.

Although these entire 6 years your husband has been gone and your daughter has put all she has into convincing herself, peers, and counselors that you don’t matter, you do. As much as I wouldn’t want to accept the ideology, it is perhaps precisely that he is gone that you have such an impact on me. And much as I neglect to even think about it in my head, I do care for you very much.

So when you tell me to be strong, I will be, because if it’s any child’s instinct, it is to please their parents. When people ask me why, I say I have to because I just do, and for the most part, I don’t mind.

I hope very soon now that my sister and her boyfriend will stop having to come over occasionally when you’re gone and treat me out. I sincerely hate that the feeling of being unable to reciprocate kills me much as you do sometimes. Sometimes, I sit in bed because I just don’t have the energy nor the mindset to tell myself to wake up and get things done. Then I think to myself, so realistically that I begin to cry; if I were brave enough, cared just a little less, imagine just short of the funeral, in a different reality, might I have the courage to kill myself.

But I wouldn’t; we are prideful. We don’t die, we punish.

So what if I told you that I am very afraid of this punishment of which I sometimes desire so much and possibly inflict. What if I said that I am too entirely engrossed in people that disturbs me that I cannot find it in myself to let the thoughts stream away because I am simply that petty. What if I admit that having to live alone when I graduate really freaks me out, and the idea of paying taxes and rent while juggling a job and post secondary seems out of my league. What if I tell you that it is morbidly frightening and a pathetic epiphany to realize now that I wasn’t born in a pile of money when I watch our finance deplete. That I cannot do anything to help you but leech off what probably will be the rest of your life’s savings. And of all the people that ask me, how old are you Sarah. I’m 16. Surely enough it is young, but my sister is 21 and she is only 5 years away from where I am and where I’m that much closer to being supposed-to-be. But anyway, age is just a number right?

Mom, I’m sorry I make you uncomfortable, but I have to cry. And for some reason I need it a lot. I know 16 years must be hell for you to have to take care of me, but I might just still need you more than I did when I was 5.

Hey mom, you’ll never read this, but here’s the letter for you anyway.

I’m sincerely glad that the weather 12 hours away sucks as much as Vancouver.
Your daughter.