A Letter to Chris

Dear Chris,

It will be four years ago since you took your life this weekend…Mother’s Day. (Did you really have to do it on Mother’s Day?) I think about you every day…some days more than others. But not a day passes when I don’t experience waves of sadness, anger, and regret when I think of you. Today is an angry day.

You were sick for as long as I knew you. You were an angry, hateful, narcissist. I don’t know what made you that way. Genetics played a role, I know, but the alcohol and drugs you sought as self-medication made it so much worse. Didn’t you see that?

You abused me since the day I was born. Why? What did I do? Why did you hate me? How can you hate a baby? I know there’s no rational answer to these questions. I know that your anger and hatred toward me was unwarranted. It was about you, not me. That doesn’t make it hurt any less, though.
Even though you hated me, I loved you. You were my big sister, my role model, my idol. Do you know what it’s like to be abused by someone you look up to like that? It shaped my reality and my self perception. I believed all of the awful things you would say about me. I believed that I was a fat, ugly person and that I was unlovable.

I was so happy to grow up so that I didn’t have to interact with you. I was so thankful and relieved to gain freedom as an adult so that I didn’t have to tolerate your abuse and your toxic influence on everyone around you. I created my own life without the negative influence you had always had on my world. My life isn’t perfect, but it is so much better without you in it. I’m so thankful that I’ll never have to sit through another Thanksgiving dinner and listen to your hateful words.

The day I chose to end our relationship was a gift. I don’t know what finally made me do it, but I finally summoned the strength to tell you that I didn’t want you in my life. I was honest with you. I told you that I didn’t like the person I was when I was with you. I told you that I was ashamed of how I reacted to all of your hateful words and actions. I didn’t regret that decision until the day I got the call.

I’m ashamed that I wasn’t a better person. Why couldn’t I keep an objective perspective and ignore the hurt? Why couldn’t I stand by the only person in the world that knew what my childhood was like? We were enemies, but we were also allies when we needed to be. You’re the only one that knew. You were sick, why did I abandon you?

I struggle with the confusion of regret, relief, anger, and sadness every day. I don’t believe that I could have changed the outcome, but I wish that you had fallen asleep knowing that I loved you. I hate that you felt so alone. I would have helped you if you had asked.

I want to believe that you’re in a better place. I don’t know what I believe, though. I know without a doubt that I’m happy that you’re no longer suffering. Every day was a battle for you, and it’s finally over. I hope that you’ve finally found peace, and I hope that someday I will, too.


2 thoughts on “A Letter to Chris

  1. I look into these little windows of people’s lives and they give me hope and strength, that there are others out there who are struggling with the feelings of hurt and loss and I wish there was something that we can all do to make it go away.
    I’m sorry for your rough relationship with your sister but you sound like you took those hard times and turned into a strong person. All we can do is live our lives and be good people and hope that will be enough.
    You and all those, who’s stories I reed, are in my prayers.

  2. I could have written this. It’s very honest. How does one mourn someone they had such a tumultuous relationship with? I also don’t know what to believe about where my brother is now.

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