jewish mothers

The Nightmare Letter That I Fear My Kid Will Send Me One Day

Vintage toned portrait of a young female novelist, blogger or a freelancer designer working on the laptop while having a cup of coffee in her living room in the beautiful bright apartment in Paris city center, in Montmartre district. Retro processed with vibrant colors. Fashionable blogger, freelancer, work from home concepts in Paris, France.

May 2025

Dear Mom,

I now know that I am powerless over just about everything in my life, because, well, I am in custody of the State. But I am giving you the power of knowing just exactly how you screwed up my life and landed me here.

Yes, at the behest of my therapist here, I am writing to you as part of my twenty-five-step recovery program. (You might recall that they added a few steps in the post-modern, post-feminist, spiritual-awakening, acceptance-movement days of the Sedona/Chakra-based Recovery Reconstruction.)

This is a list of my grievances. For proper facilitation of my healing, I request that you address each one in your return letter to me:

Let’s start at the beginning:

-You never purchased a “wipes warmer” for middle-of-the-night diaper changes. As an infant, my bottom was cold. It still is.

-You dropped that pacifier and gave it back to me—everyone knows that blowing on it doesn’t really get rid of the germs. Then you stopped giving it to me altogether. I am still not pacified in life, and I therefore use food to feel that oral emptiness.

-You let me “cry it out” for a full 5 minutes one time. I am still crying out … for love.

-You forgot to send out Thank You notes for gifts after my 3rd birthday party.

-You didn’t use enough Purell or instruct me to wash my hands often enough to keep the bad, dirty things out of my world. They seeped in through my hands, and now, bad, dirty things surround me.

-You gave birth to another child. I will never forgive you for creating a sibling. You loved her more than me. I always felt like I had to be in competition for your attention. The act of violence that brought me to this juncture was just the latest in a series of acts to get the attention that I deserved.

Then, when I was older, your thoughtlessness became more egregious:

-You kept disclosing personal things about me in your very public writing. It feels like my life was just there to propagate your narcissism. I call this, “Munchausen Prose by Proxy.”

-You never spent enough quality time with me—and when we were together, you just looked down at your phone, not at me.

-You made me go to Hebrew school.

-You embarrassed me. Remember that time when you were nursing my younger sister and then forgot to re-clip your nursing bra before jumping with me on the trampoline at the gymnastics place?

-You YELLED TOO MUCH!

-Your dinners weren’t as homemade or organic as my friends’ dinners.

-You took time off of parenting to do things like go to writer’s retreats for yourself—I used to think that made you more relaxed and more interesting because you had adult interests, but I now know that time would have been better spent bonding with me.

-You chose another woman to love. How could you do such a thing? You made me crave the patriarchy because I had no father.

-You chose careers that did not pay much. Social Worker? Writer? Those careers were not enough to fulfill my material desires. You had to call grandma for money for our camp, household repairs, etc. How embarrassing!

-You only let me have four cats and a bunny when I was little. I begged for hamsters, a puppy, and a fifth cat, but noooo, you deprived me of extra animal companionship.

-You let me be a friggin’ vegetarian…

-You instilled a perpetual stranger-danger fear in me with, “Now what if a man on the playground says he has candy or a puppy, are you going to follow him?” No, that’s right, I wasn’t, so when I was 18, and my boyfriend brought me candy and a puppy, I was so traumatized that I kicked him out.

-You were too overprotective in wanting me to play in childhood when the world is a serious place—I needed less time on the playground and more instruction on social activism.

-You ensured my world was too multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-class, and multi-racial in some ways, but not enough in others.

-You did not adequately prepare me for all the social and inner constructs of gender and sexuality in a post-modern, fluid world. I never knew I had so many non-binary choices.

-You wouldn’t let me get a tattoo in adolescence—citing the Holocaust thing. You were just so uncool. Well now I am covered in tattoos—the largest one is the, “I hate mom” tattoo over the pic of my spiritual anchor on my left forearm.

-You had depression. When you stared endlessly out the window crying–it made me feel unloved, unwanted, like I caused your sadness. And I know you thought about leaving us forever. Then you would actually leave us for a week or two “to get the help you needed.” Well, you were never fully better, you were never completely present. And your feeble attempts at hiding your depression didn’t help, I needed to know what to do when I felt like that too.

So you see, mom, for these reasons alone, I was not responsible for any of my actions, or why I’m here.

By the way, can you please send money to my commissary account here as well as a couple pairs of Lululemon Wunder Under Low-Rise Yoga pants for class? Please also send some snacks–they are running low on vegan, raw, Paleo, macrobiotic, gluten-free food. Thanks a bunch.

Love,

Your daughter

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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