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Say What You Need to Say





To my parents...

We have so rarely seen eye to eye on so many things that it comes as no surprise to me that we are on opposite footing yet again.  We are all three trying to look inside a bubble that we are already standing inside and looking out of.  It's impossible.  None of us have ever managed to put ourselves into the shoes of the other.  We so commonly forget that we are all humans with sensitive emotions.  Even though I so often pretend I don't have them in my attempt to present a brave face to the two of you, I must admit that I am the daughter of two emotional beings, and as such, am highly emotional as well.  Most of the time I'm quite proud of that, but every once in a while I have this horrible emotion nag at me... guilt.  

I feel a tremendous amount of guilt for not telling the two of you that I was in Utah, and that's exactly why I was being very careful to not let anyone know where I was.  In my attempt to not hurt your feelings by not telling you that I was in the state, I did the opposite and only hurt your feelings worse when you found out I had been concealing it from you.  There's that dirty word - guilt. I'm guilty of hiding it from you, and I'm guilty of hurting your feelings.  I'm sorry.

I have a few very good reasons for not having told you, but there is no excuse for having hurt you like I did.  My fear was that I would hurt you by telling you I would be in the state and wouldn't be seeing you, but instead I hurt you further by just not saying anything.  I feel genuinely bad for that, and I guarantee I'm about to feel even worse - but I need to say this to you both.  It's necessary for me to have you understand.  I will be as kind as I can.

I'm here in the state training to be a Flight Attendant.  It's a grueling process and I'm only on day 6 so far.  It's a solid 28 days of training and I will only have a TOTAL of two days off for the duration.  Those days are ear-marked for study time and grocery shopping as well as bonding with the other future flight attendants.  I don't have a car here (I will be working for an airline so they flew me here)  so getting to Ogden would be pretty much impossible.  Even if I did have a car, our rules explicitly say that we are to remain within the city.  

The study process is a difficult one.  I scored a 100 on my test yesterday and another 100 on my other test today, but if I score below an 80 I am sent home immediately.  It's a lot of stress and it's not easy stuff to learn.  I'm given new piles of material every day, and while I find most of it interesting (especially the life-saving features) I know that I need to have all of my focus together so I don't miss anything.  I'd like to keep up that 100 score record, but it's going to take some work to do.  I won't have much time for anything else.  

Now for the hard part.

I love you both.  As you've both said to me in the past, that doesn't mean I have to like you.  I really don't want to have to be the one to say this, but it needs to be said.  I truly don't believe either of you like me very much either.  Granted, you really don't know who I am anymore as many years as we've been apart, other that the two months I was there after Pete and I split up in early 2009, but I believe the two of you believe you DO know who I am.  You haven't really spent much time with me, nor I with you.  Perhaps I don't really know who the two of you are either.  What I see of you is a picture I can't seem to shake.  What I remember most about the two of you are my teen years, and that is extremely painful.  What I think of when I think of you two is the one change of clothes I had to wear to school every single day, and the one night gown I would wear every night so I could change my clothes and wash them when I got home.  What I think about is having to guard my one pair of jeans from the threat of having them shredded with scissors if they were ever found.  I think about that one mattress on the floor and the sheets - and the four bare walls around me otherwise.  I think about always feeling that I was never good enough.  I think about the time I put on about 15 pairs of underwear because I knew I was about to be spanked with the belt and I didn't want it to hurt so much anymore.  I was 11 at the time.  I think about the scar on my arm from being burned with spaghetti and not being allowed to wash it off until I had the floors clean.  I remember the string being tied on the bedroom door handle so I couldn't even go to the bathroom when you wanted to ground me.  I think about all those chicken pot pies Sherman and I ate when you guys would go out to dinner - to this day I can't eat one.  I think about having that job as VP of Marketing for the TV production company in Burbank making 80k and Mom telling me that I should quit my job to go be a flight attendant.  That's why I didn't want you to know what I was doing here.  I didn't want to hear "I told you so" in any form, no matter how it was worded.

The two of you have always been extremely negative toward me.  We have had our share of good times, I know. All families do.  Like camping in Yellowstone and having the buffalo snuggle up to my tent, watching Mom crawl up to two gigantic elk in the grass until she was 5 feet away from them, Dad teaching me to shoot the AR-15 and giving me my passion for guns and old cars, and to be completely and perfectly honest, right now I'm struggling to add more to this list.  When I set out to write this paragraph, I sincerely had hoped it would be longer than the one above, but it's fallen short. 

I'm in a really good place in my life.  I'm going to be a "reserve" flight attendant, and since Mike set up the business to be able to manage online, I can run the books from anywhere in the world.  In return for his kindness to me, I will be sending him and his wife to Hawaii at some point in this coming year.  I will only be working part time for him, but I will get to travel the States doing what it takes to keep people safe in their travels, the way I've seen others do who have inspired me to pursue this career.

I know I've hurt you by telling you all of this, but I needed to say it.  I've hidden it for so many years because I didn't want to hurt your feelings, but in doing so I have only hurt myself and you in ways I didn't expect.  I needed to clear the air.  You seem to always expect the worst from me, and in return I've come to expect the worst from you.  Perhaps we should all learn to not expect anything at all, and maybe, just maybe, we might be pleasantly surprised.   

I often think that it's a shame I'm not your neighbor or friend instead of your daughter.  You are both good people!  Perhaps we would have been friends.  Maybe we would have even liked one another.  Maybe we would actually know one another better than we do.  Maybe, maybe, maybe.  But we must play the hand we are dealt.  I am your daughter, and as such I'm being as honest with you as I can be.  I fully expect you to have hurt feelings, as I know I would in your shoes.  But please, if I may ask one simple thing of you, please don't respond negatively (or perhaps at all) until after March 27th so that I may focus on the task at hand rather than the emotional disruption I've felt today.  I passed up on going to dinner with the girls tonight and studying in order to write this email to you in private.  Please, read it once more, carefully.  Please understand that I love you both.  But also understand that I can not and will not put up with negativity from anyone right now.  I have previously blocked you from contacting me on Facebook. I hope it doesn't come to that again.

Love,
Amanda.

3 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the flight attendant career. I personally am to afraid to fly to ever consider that, you are by far braver than me!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Robert! Been a few years since I saw you last. How are ya?!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm good. A lot of changes. Some funny, some not funny at the time but make great stories now. If you want to catch up just drop me a line. rwtomko@gmail.com

    We can swap tales of adventure and woe. LOL

    ReplyDelete

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