Letter Perfect

It’s obvious I bit off more than I could chew emotionally. My day started with a little research project by looking through a box of old letters from 1979 to mid-1980.

What I found there left me hurt. I think it’s safe to share this as anyone who knew me when I was 19-20 years old will attest to what I’m about to say about myself.

I was immature, self-centered, and ignorant of others feelings. Ouch!

The letters I read, I had not picked up since I first found the majority tossed in the trash when my parents split the bed-sheet. Others were letters that I had saved since they were sent to me.

Through a period of a year and a half, I can read the painfully honest thoughts my mother was laying down about how life was changing for her, my siblings and my father. I didn’t grasp the seriousness and hurt she was expressing to me.

She was worrying about her children, (me in the service) her marriage falling apart and the possible loss of the house. My response was to whine, bitch and complain about how rough I was having it. 

In yet another set of letters from the same period, I discovered how shallow my ability to communicate was at the time. My friend, Nancy Jessop (now Williams) tried to point out how shut-down I was towards her and everyone else around me.

She also told me to learn to tell my own stories, not my fathers. I didn’t realize I had been doing that until she put it in my ear.

So how did I respond? I shutdown and I shut her out, like I appear to have done to many people over the years.

About 9-years ago I had a crisis that opened nearly every wound I had in my emotionally scarred frame. Since that time I’ve been a work-in-progress, which is what I should have been all along.

That’s why I felt hurt after I re-read all those letters. Fortunately, old dogs can learn new tricks and I’m able now to share how depressing it is to learn that I’m really not perfect and that I never will be.

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