How can I hate you?
You hurt me because that pain was all you knew. You brought me your sorrows, told me your pain, because you wanted me to live a different life. You experienced life in a haze of shame and regret, and you taught me to be strong. If you relied on an eleven-year-old for a friend and a confidant, it was because you knew no other way to act, and no other person in whom to trust.
I can look at you and see the poisonous hatred coming from your lips, and I know that the curses you utter are just pus. You speak words and what comes out is only the leftover shells of your attempts to heal yourself. I, too, feel pain, mother, but I hear you.
I know that the things you have done, the relationships that have foundered, the turbulence you have sown through our life and our family; these are all symptoms. I know that you cannot see love and happiness and trust it.
I can. I do. I love. You taught me - whether or not it was your intention - to love anyway. To love despite, to love instead, to love because. I am blessed with an unbreakable spirit. You are perhaps damaged, but I will not allow the rancid exudate of your embittered heart to cause me to hate you.
( For Elise )