A letter to...
my used-to-be son
I am writing this letter with pain in my heart and tears in my eyes. I am saying goodbye. Goodbye to the pain and frustration I have endured over the past 22 years, watching you go from being a human to living like an animal to feed your various addictions.
You were so bright and intelligent. You loved the theatre; we used to go together and enjoyed it so much.
I know you have had some knockbacks, but who hasn’t? Though I urged you to move away, and offered money to help you into rehab, it is clear you are entrenched in this life now. In your face are etched the lines of the ruin: heroin or crack.
I have hung on to you for all these years because there was no other family around. But enough is enough. I need to find some peace of mind and happiness before I go to my grave.
The way back to my heart will always be open, but under strict conditions: full rehab, a steady job and becoming independent because, although you are nearly 40, you have been co-dependent all your life.
I now accept responsibility for enabling you all these years, but feel it is time for you to stand on your own two feet. It breaks my heart to write this, but my pension cannot continue to increase the bank balance of drug dealers while my own dwindles.
I hope and pray that you will be locked up, because you will come out clean and looking healthy, as you did in 2009.
I don’t know where you are living. It doesn’t distress me any more. I am very, very tired.
I had hoped I would have someone to care for me in my later years – even just to make me a cup of tea in the morning before I struggle out of bed. But I am content with not having to go to bed full of anxiety that you will turn up at my door and demand money while dealers wait outside.
Oh Lord, why did it take me so long to put a halt to this wretched life you clothed me in?
Ah, but it’s over now. Do not write to me if you are sent to prison, because I will send your letters back.
I am just relieved that you are no longer in my life to cause me emotional and financial pain. Do what you need to do for yourself – you have nothing I need.
Goodbye, your used-to-be mum