1. I know I'm difficult, but that doesn't mean I don't love you.
I know that my words can sting worse then a fist to your face, but that doesn't mean I don't love you.
I know that the venom in my voice is never masked. It's usually dulled by a whiff of perfume that makes the poison in my words burn worse then it ever could if it were to end up in your veins.
I know that I am not what you expected to come out of the cute little girl that barely fit inside both of your hands cupped together after they let us out of the hospital three weeks after they removed me via C-section.
I know that I never say the right things to your face, or behind your back, or even on a piece of paper, but that doesn't mean that I don't love you more then the things my friends say about the woman who made me who I am today.
Just because my mind links honesty and love together doesn't mean that the bitterness that comes from my mouth is directed at you. Mostly, it's directed at me.
2. I know my size makes you think that you're a bad parent for letting there be something less healthy then half a bagel or a piece of celery in our home, but that doesn't mean that you didn't raise me right.
I know that my grandmothers words, and my uncles stares, and the whispered worries of my aunt to her daughter as she holds her granddaughter make you think that maybe they are right about the alcohol content inside your heart that helps you blur the lines of the home you struggled so hard to hold together. Just because you needed an anchor to help you hold us together doesn't mean that you didn't raise me right.
I know how hard it is to explain to the men I know want to date you that you have a teenage daughter that you love more then you love your love life. I hope you know that I appreciate all of the ways that you raised me better then I could ever raise my future children.
3. I love you present tense.
I love you more then the memories of who you used to be, of who you wanted to be, of who I thought you were and who I know you tried so hard to be.
I love you more then the nights where all I want to do is leave you behind, because I love you more then what I believe my afterlife to be.
I love you more then the silence in the car between us, when we're driving at night and all I can hear is the carpel tunnel in your wrists, or the spots behind your eyes, and the slurring in your voice that says that you didn't drink at all that night.
I love you more then all of the things that I've wanted to say to get you to try and change, to try and get me to change, to try and get us to change when I know that we are too damn stubborn and will refuse to say that we need help even when we are holding onto the edge with our fingernails.
I love you more then you love your goddamn fingernails, the paint and acrylic that mask what genetics gave you.
I love you more then you love talk radio.
I love you more then you hate FOX News.
I love you more then I want to say, because if I say that I love you, then it means that I have to show it, and I don't know how to fucking show it.
I love you more then I love our old home, even though I hate our old home.
By the way, that doesn't mean I hate you.
I could never hate you.
I have never hated you.
I've only hated how I've always treated you.
I'm sorry that I want to show you that I love you, but the way you show love and the way I show love are two completely different things.
You show love in actions. I show it in words, and I hate how my words burn you.
The first time I made you cry, I thought that you'd be better off without me.
I still think that you'd be better off without me, but I could never say that to your face.
I love you too much then to tell you things that I know would hurt you, even though the only thing I have ever done is hurt you.
I've never wanted to hurt you.
I love you.
I love you.
I love you.
I wrote this to you when I was sixteen.
I wonder how long it will take for me to read this to you.
If I cry, I'm sorry.
If I have to stop talking and it takes me an hour to be able to start back up again, I am sorry.
If I rip up the paper and fall to my knees in tears, I am sorry that you had to see me this way.
If I can say this without tearing up, applaud me. If not, don't. If I cry, that means that I still have not changed.
Mama, I want to change for you. I always have. The problem is, I don't know if I ever will.
It is so hard to act like my heart is not bitter, and cold, and everything that you are not.
When the venom in my voice shows through, it is not directed at you.
When the letters of my words twist themselves into deprecating knives that long to destroy everything that I love because I do not deserve to be loved, I am sorry that you have to deal with that.
I am sorry that I love you enough to hurt you. I am sorry that you love me enough to take my words to heart, to take in the daggers, and the razors, and the knives, just because you know that no one else would be able to take that from me without putting a bullet in my head.
Thank you for raising me.
That you for being there for me when I couldn't be there for myself.
Thank you for being a stubborn, annoying, quirky, awfully wonderful person who I do not deserve to call my mother.
Thank you for being you.
By the way, if I take that back later, just ignore me.