Writing Catalog

Shev Chafetz

Grade: 10

Chaviva High School

Instructor: Ariella Landy

Dear Mom

Personal Essay/Memoir

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

I'm done. I'm finally done. Done with the judgment, done with the disappointment, done with the eyes that look at me like I'm the failure that ruined your life. I was free, I escaped. So why do I keep finding myself turning back around? My straight A's aren't due to your vile comments, my medals have nothing to do with your menacing glares, my full-ride scholarship didn't come from the way you treated me as if I wasn't your daughter if I did anything less than perfect. So why do I feel like I still owe you something? To everyone else, we were the perfect example of what a Mother-Daughter relationship should look like. Showing up to all my competitions, with flowers and balloons in hand, and a voice cheering me on. You were always in the bleachers, always there to lend me a supporting hand. Always there to give me a shoulder to cry on. But they didn't know that it was all fake. They didn't know that if I came home with less than a gold medal I was grounded for disappointing the family name. They didn't know that if I came home with anything less than an A I was shunned. We fought, but never in public. We hated each other, but never in public. We both knew what a failure we both were, but never in public. You cared more about our reputation than me, and I don't know if I can ever forgive you for that. So why do I still make sure that whatever I'm doing isn't putting you in a bad light? It's your fault I don't have any friends, your fault I can never be happy with myself, your fault that I can never be enough. But it's okay, right? Because I look like I have friends, I look like I am happy. How can someone who's invited to every party, have every designer clothing, the latest model car, how can they not be happy? I never believed people when they said that their soulmates would look at them in a way that was meant just for them. A look that said I love you for you. Because you are mine and nothing else. How could I believe that was true when no one ever did that for me? I would have given up everything just to have you look at me that way, just once. To know that me being me is enough, that even if I got C's and D's you would still be proud of me. When I was younger I used to think that one day I would do something to make you happy. But now I know that could never happen. I gave you straight A's and you were still not happy. I gave you my accomplishments and you weren't satisfied. I gave you everything and you still weren't pleased. And you're gone now. I thought I would be okay when I got the call saying that you closed your eyes for the last time. I thought I would be okay with knowing that the woman who ruined my childhood was gone. So why do I find myself crying wishing you were still here?