To The Honorable Judge Rhonda Lee Danielle:

After my thirteen years of life, I have yet to find any purpose in seeing my biological mother. On holidays, she is usually drunk and during my concerts, her seat is usually vacant. On our two-hour weekend visitations, the atmosphere tends to be full of disgust. My mother was irritable last week, and I found the visitation to be doing more harm than good. During instant messaging conversation my mother even asked me for birthday gifts! Is it the asking that was so bad, or was it her ungrateful attitude after receiving the gifts? She even dares to ask for gifts when on my twelfth birthday she didn't even call. My mother is not responsible or mature enough to handle anymore visitations. Visitations are privileges that she is not ready for.

The most recent holiday that she was documented drunk on was Christmas Eve of 2005. I realized that it was a year and a half ago, but it is still vivid in my mind. So are the times from years ago that she was drunk during the holidays. I've written numerous pieces on such events. Sometimes, I write for school, but other times I write on my own about how she has hurt me. I even remember telling her last year that she had hurt me. All she said was, "So what…" So what? So I don't want to see her.

During the school year, I am involved in numerous shows and programs. She didn't show up for any of my spring concerts or the cabaret at my school. Granted, she did show up for a show I had in the winter but is one show enough to show someone you care about them? It's not for me. Right before one of my spring concerts this year, only a few weeks ago, I called her. I was curious to see if she would be coming. When she answered the phone, she couldn't speak coherently and wasn't making any sense. She sounded as if she was drunk. I guess it was good that she didn't show up to that concert. But nonetheless, she should have had a better reason to leave her seat empty. I don't find "drunk" as a good alibi. I find it as one more way that she doesn't care and one more way that she is irresponsible. She can't show up to any significant number of my events, but now she is asking that I give up some of mine to see her, even though she is too busy and too drunk to come to mine? I don't see that as fair.

But it's not just the attendance to my activities, it's also her attitude. In October last year (2006), I was baptized. I was baptized as my own choice of faith and obedience toward God and no one else. She decided to attend but she was also miserable. I spoke a testimony that was fitting and appropriate. Only one thing was mentioned about her. That being the custody switch where I was introduced to a new church and a new denomination of Christianity. That was all that my testimony spoke of pertaining to her. Yet she still managed to get upset about it. She also offered to bring the baptism certificates from the time that I was younger. I told her that I didn't want the certificate because it was my choice and my step of faith to be baptized. There were other petty fights that she started through e-mails on that subject and others throughout the year. Sometimes, she would start e-mails with "By the way…" as if we were having a conversation before and try to pick fights.

Lately, I have been really into my instant messaging. A few of the times that I have been on, I spoke with my mother. But she didn't say anything of importance. She asked me for gifts. And trying to be nice, thinking it was the right thing to do, I bought her gifts. I brought her the gifts from Christmas since I hadn't seen her and bought new things for her for Mother's Day and her birthday. As she opened the gifts up, she spoke, "It's not lavender." With those words she laughed. Joke, or no joke, I found that to be a rude and ungrateful remark. And yet, on my twelfth birthday, she never even called. She had called a week later. I asked if she had known that my birthday was during the previous week. She admitted to knowing. When I asked her why she didn't call, all she said was, "Because. I didn't. Why? Are you mad at me?"

My mother is an alcoholic. She is hard to get along with. Even when she is not drinking, lies seep into her speech. Denial grasps her body. I have trouble associating with her respectfully. Respect is mutual, and I've yet to receive any from her. She asks for gifts, yet can't call. She doesn't see us for a year or keep in much contact and then expects us to miss out on things to see her. She can't make most of my concerts or other things important to me because she's too busy or drunk, yet I am expected to give up things I love to see one I am not fond of. She's gets drunk constantly, hurting Brandon and I, yet gets away with more visitations. She made some bad choices and I am not going to be her scapegoat any longer. It's not my fault that she's bad, so why do I have to be punished by seeing her? Maybe if she were responsible or even pleasant, I could manage but at this point in time I can't do that. As I said before, visitations are privileges that my mother is not yet ready for and an encounter that my brother and I would not like to engage in.

If this letter is not enough to change your mind, or provoke any part of your decision, I have sent some writings that I made along with this letter in order to show you of my feelings toward her. Thank you so much for your time. I am glad that you took the time to read this and realized that my brother's and my future and safety is in your hands.

Sincerely,

Crystal Stone