Monday, July 27, 2009

An Open Letter*

Thank you for your apology.

However, I doubt your sincerity. Although I knew what you would say, and had spent one month preparing my response to your negativity, and was very proud of my calm response, I cried after we spoke yesterday. You have, again, hurt me to the quick. This is our routine; I make independent decisions and you degrade them. Remember when you called me a whore? You degrade me. I don't know why. We have done this for more than 30 years.

There will be no degrading of my child's life choices. I will raise this child with love, tolerance, and support. I will do my damnedest to keep my child's life free of the ravages of hate, intolerance, mental illness, suicide, violence, lies, addiction, emotional and physical abuse, and the other toxic elements of my childhood. Inshallah, there will be no kidnapping of my child by my ex-husband in the middle of the night, no police and social-services interventions, no government cheese, no severe social and cultural deprivation. I can only imagine my excitement if my child ever makes the decision to have a child of his or her own. I would never, ever, degrade this decision. A new life is something to be celebrated, treasured.

I can't understand why you still find fault with my life/my choices. I am 32 years old. I am happily married to a stable, loving man who will provide the support to my child that I never received from a father. I have received the highest academic degree possible. I am independent and have not relied on your financial support since I was 18, not that you were offering. I own a home. I am academically and professionally successful with a promising career in front of me. I have many friends. I am healthy and happy. I have explored the world and the people in it with an open mind and have grown so much since I left your home. I make plenty of money. What the fuck have I done wrong? Are you comparing my life to yours? Please don't. Just stop.

Yes, I am grateful that I was raised to adulthood, free of any physical signs of the shit you put us through. I am healthy and have straight teeth, had a roof over my head, always got my vaccinations, and while I ate junk I had to make myself, I never once went hungry. Thank you for these things.

But I wish I was like my husband. To have a long list of family members to call who whooped with joy and excitement (maybe also some relief? disbelief?) at our news. Who already are opening their hearts and minds and making plans and preparations to welcome a new life into their family.

Remember a few months ago when you announced you were grateful you didn't have the brood of your sister as it would be such a burden to keep track of so many grandchildren? I assure you, this child will be no burden of yours.

In closing, I am grateful to my husband, my sister, my in-laws, and my countless dear friends who have wished me nothing but happiness on this new journey ahead of me. Who I can and will count on for the support and love a new family needs. I love you all.


*Yes, I know damn well that I am posting this on a public forum. While at it's best it is adolescent and vindictive, I have done this for full public disclosure, for shaming, for the opportunity to make a public proclamation of my pregnancy and most importantly, a public vow that I will be a better parent than you ever were.

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