The Unsent Letter


I’m not bothering to send you this because I know that it wouldn’t do any good.

I wish you could see how you have emotionally crippled me to the point of disrepair.

I wish that, after 17 years, I could overcome this same old bullshit that always sideswipes me from out of the blue.

I wish my sister would just acknowledge everything for once and see what it is that she has contributed to this mess you call a “family.” Perhaps if you hadn’t allowed her to be so fucked in the head as well, she would have had the presence of mind and the feelings of self-worth that could have led to something more than just “settling” for her pedophile husband.

Of course, I am the only one still living in the past, still reliving it day in and day out.

The outward appearance was all that mattered to you.

You admitted to me that you thought our stepfather molested us both; that it was the reason you sent her to live with her father.

Your ultimate solution was not to divorce him for the safety of your daughters, but to “watch him more closely.”

Just as your ultimate solution where the family was concerned was to stand behind my sister’s disbelief of what happened to me in order to, as you said, “protect her from being hurt.”

What about my hurt?

Where was my protection?

I was a child. She was not..

When I was 19, you told me that you had no doubts that I had told you the truth when it came to what her husband did to me two months before my 15th birthday. You even told me that he did it as revenge against her for the affair that she’d had. You told me all of that long after I suffered the damage of growing up in a house being shunned by everyone for my “lies.” For one brief moment, I had a small amount of vindication.

To my detriment, I thought you would stand by those words, but years later you revoked every last one of them behind my back to my (then) soon-to-be ex-husband, telling him that it was all lies, sympathizing with him about how fucked up your daughter was and how sorry you were that I hurt him and how desperately I needed therapy to overcome this need I have to gain attention from everyone by fabricating a life that I never lived.

I cut your poison from my life after that.

Your response was no response. No apology, no acknowledgement.


The only thing you have ever been consistent with in my life is finding new ways to open the old wounds and I ran out of bandages long ago.

I wish I could have been happy with the farce we had as a “relationship,” but I can’t. So instead, I opt for nothing.

I’m not happy with that, either.

I hate hating you, but I don’t see any other way to protect myself from you. I hate hating you because I don’t think you do any of these things intentionally, but the fact that you can do them blindly is even more dangerous. I hate hating you because it means explanations to my children I’d rather avoid.

I hate hating you… but it seems to be my only safe option.

* * * * * * *

This was a letter written to my mother (in my journal) four years ago.

Coming across it again this week while digging through archives for this prompt?

It broke me.

This post is a non-fiction response to a prompt by The Red Dress Club

You or your character find a forgotten letter or card from someone important in your life–whether good or bad. What does it say? How does it affect you or your character? What is done with it?

Keep your posts to 600 words .


About Caitlin's Concepts

Mom to 4 boys and drowning in a sea of testosterone!
This entry was posted in General, Red Writing Hood, The Red Dress Club and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to The Unsent Letter

  1. careyless says:

    Darling, I can only sympathize with your pain. I too am cutting family members slowly out of my life. Anytime you change the “norm thinking,” the “hive” will go on the attack. The more balanced and healthy you become, the more the “family” tries to tear you down. Only you matter. Only you can break the chains and become the person you know to be, and not what is expected. xo

  2. janetlansbury says:

    All your feelings are right. ❤

  3. Andrea says:

    =( I’m so sorry. I can imagine how it must have felt to find it again. And how it must have felt to post it, as well. Actually, I can ONLY imagine. I’m so sorry that it hurts so much. I read your tweets and I can feel how much angst it causes, but please do not regret posting. Please know that you open yourself up raw so we can hear you and support you and send you much love. As much as you need. Is that dorky to say to someone who I don’t technically *know*? I don’t know. I hope not. Much love to you, you’re incredibly strong and powerful, and a survivor above all else.

  4. angela says:

    How infuriating to have someone, especially your mom, marginalize your feelings and your reality. I know my words can’t heal any of those hurts, but they really do show that being a mother is a privilege, not a right, and some people don’t live up to that.

  5. Deana says:

    I am not even sure what to say as this hits close to home though my abuse wasn’t physical. Betrayal by a parent is the worst. Hugs.

  6. I think you are strong and amazing for sharing this with us. I’m sorry it broke you, completely understandable. I hope that you continue on your path of finding strength and forgiveness- however best that is for YOU!

  7. CDG says:

    I hope for you that the act of sharing this released a little of the poison from the wound. You deserve nothing but the best, however difficult choosing the best for yourself can be.

  8. Carrie says:

    I’m sorry you had to go through this but amazed you are brave enough to post this letter. You are a strong person but remember that YOU matter more than anything. Don’t let anyone else try to tell you how you SHOULD think.

    I hope this helps you find a bit more closure

  9. Kristina says:

    We are but a culmination of the events in our life. Some we survive but hold us back from ever thriving. All abuse survivors share a common experience: of being violated and by always having that violation hanging in our subconscious. It impacts everything we do. Every touch we give and receive, every relationship we run towards and from.

    The strength to endure comes from within. You are strong even when you feel like the broken child you still carry within your heart. She is as much of you today as the wonderful woman you are today was within her yesterday.

    You know what a mother’s love feels like because that is what you give your own children. Share some of it with yourself.

    A beautiful post that touches so many of us because your words are our words as well. Thank you.

  10. varunner says:

    May finding this letter somehow bring you some healing. Virtual hugs to you.

  11. Bobbi says:

    Thank you for posting this. I’m a survivor, and I know how hard it is to put this kind of pain out there for others to see. You are a brave woman and, never forget, stronger than you know. Wishing you peace.

  12. TheKirCorner says:

    I am so proud of you for posting this, for putting it out of your head and heart, letting us carry some of the burden for you. I can’t imagine how you feel, I can only offer you suppor acceptance and understanding. I truly hope that you always do what is best for you…always know that your feelings and YOU matter. Very very much. Xoxo

  13. Renee says:

    I am so sorry you had to go through this. I can only offer my support and hugs.
    Your sharing of this can only bring some peace to you.

  14. Galit Breen says:

    I hope that this letter brought you some closure.

    I heard you.


  15. Shell Things says:

    You are one strong lady. I hope that by sharing this, it helps you let it go. My own mother operates under similar thinking. And while our experiences were different, I totally get the hurt inflicted by a mom who should care. *hugs*

  16. jeleystorey says:

    I had no idea the extent of your awful experiences. I am sorry your mother is “messed up” because that is the only reason someone would do that to their own daughter. Why she stayed with this horrid man is beyond me and every other good, loving and protective parent. He should have been sent to jail. You have every right to feel as you do. But you are strong and the best mother ever and will not make those mistakes. You and your family are functional. Unlike your mother and others involved. Shame on them. Thank you for bravely sharing your innermost thoughts, feelings and experiences. This will be cathartic!

    • I think it wasn’t so much him.. because I don’t remember any of that. It was more that she believed me in the beginning when she found out about my brother-in-law and then turned around and decided I was lying when my sister refused to acknowledge it because, in her words, I wasn’t pregnant.

      Yea, my family has a way of making me quite hostile, even after all this time.

  17. I am so proud of you for posting this. The more the words get out, the less they can hurt inside of you.

    I hear you, and I believe you.


  18. I found this after reading another TRDC prompt. I wish it were fiction. I am so sorry that these things happened to you.

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