Archive for March 29th, 2010

My sister recently had a birthday. Our mother/abuser called her to wish her a happy birthday and then spent most of the conversation b@#$&ing about why I won’t talk to her. That really rubbed me the wrong way and motivated me to write the following draft letter to my mother/abuser, which I have not sent and don’t know if I will:


I got your letter about coming to [my state] in May. I will not be in town that weekend.

You keep asking why I don’t want a relationship with you. Fine – I will tell you, although you should know already. I have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the severe child abuse I suffered throughout my childhood, and being around you triggers my symptoms. S&L [my most sadistic abusers and her best friends] were monsters, as were their “friends,” and I will forever bear the emotional scars of all of the hell they put me through as a child.

My childhood was filled with a lack of boundaries, and the fact that you have repeatedly refused to respect my boundaries tells me that you have not changed. I have told you repeated that we could communicate by letter monthly but that I don’t want visits or phone calls. Despite me being very clear about these boundaries, you have repeatedly tried to push past them. This triggers my PTSD symptoms, making me even less interested in maintaining a relationship with you.

I have been through thousands of dollars worth of therapy, and I have worked very hard to overcome all of the pain from my childhood. I just want to live my life as best I can, despite the nightmares, panic attacks, and triggers that are a part of my everyday life. Although I have worked hard to manage my symptoms, PTSD will always be a part of my life, and you are responsible for much of this. I do not hate you and wish you no ill, but I also do not need to have you in my life always pushing me to move my boundaries to accommodate what you want.

I don’t want to hurt you, which is why I haven’t gotten into this before, but this has gone on long enough. If you can respect my boundaries, then we can write letters monthly. If you cannot, then I am not interested in maintaining a relationship with you. I am not saying this to hurt you. I am saying this because my own sanity depends upon me being able to have people in my life who respect the boundaries I set. You have not been very respectful of the boundaries that I have set, so it is what it is.


(While I was posting this, Motley Crue’s song came on — “Girl, don’t go away mad. Girl, just go away.” Too funny!!)

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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