This picture represents one of the happiest days of my life. After losing custody of my daughter due to my eating disorder when she was 6 years old, I won her back 4 years later, only to lose her again during my chemotherapy/radiation. She is beautiful, bright, eccentric, and kind. Unfortunately, you can’t put a 46 year old mind on a 16 year old’s body. Our relationship is tainted. I have to believe that my two battles with breast cancer left me here for a reason.
I struggled from the time I was 16 years old. When I overdosed in high school because my life was filled with insecurities and trying to find myself, unfortunately, it wouldn’t be until I was around 45 years old before I did. I still carry that pain from high school. It was so hard to return to my junior year wondering who knew, who didn’t and what everyone around me know thought about the “crazy” girl.
Years later when my good friend Joanne got married, I was invited to the shower and the wedding. I remember leaving the shower in tears, and using the excuse that I had to tend to my son. As I sat at the table with NOONE that I knew, I watched over at the table where she was surrounded by high school and college friendships. Again, I felt like such an outcast. I guess I wasn’t good enough to be at that table, as I was surrounded by elderly women that I had never met.
The wedding came next, I was asked by Joanne to “clean the church” after the ceremony. Of course I said yes, afraid to cause any conflict. Later that week I ran into our mutual friend Brian who was life guarding the beach. He asked if I was going on the “party bus” with all of Joanne and Danny’s friends. My heart sunk as I stated I was just asked to clean the church, that’s all Brian. Then he said to me, well maybe she didn’t want to hurt you because you tried to kill yourself over Danny, her soon to be husband. Oh how cruel those high school years were. It never goes away.
I guess I brought this up so maybe my daughter would read it and understand how much I love her and that how I understand how difficult growing up can be/feel. The biggest difference though is that I had an intact family, traditional, with a mom and dad that loved me more than anything else in the world. My daughters father and I divorced when she was 2 years old. The adults are so much part of the problem as they grow in conflict and anger, forgetting about the damage that it causes to the child.
Stay strong my little girl. I never stopped loving you and I never will.
Remember what Papa taught us, “It’s a good life if you don’t weaken.

With much love and heart ache,