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To whom it may concern:

I’m somehow to try to understand that the people who have destroyed my life, my mother, Darlene Higgins, and my children’s father, Mark DeDeaux, are hurt and angry at the destruction they allege I created in their lives.

Apparently, these people of whom I have zero (read zilch, nada) recollection of having done any damage or inflicted any pain upon were able to convince my children of what a horrible, awful, undeserving, worthless human being I am.

I haven’t seen either suffer or lose material property, or finances, loved ones, jobs, or their dignity at my hand.  I’ve not been at all aware of this “destruction” which has caused their hate for me.  Hate so big that they relentlessly poisoned my children against me, apparently because of the awful things I’d done to them?  These things I’m totally unaware of and can’t find a single memory of…

I’ve wanted to understand the hate, the burning desire to punish, the massive cruelty…  God, I’ve wanted to understand.

Being that I’m that person who once got angry at a virtual stranger and merely said ugly words to her… and still carried the memory, guilt, and remorse for those words 20 years later.  Being that girl who accidentally ran across this virtual stranger twenty years later and immediately apologized for this misdeed I enacted upon her so many years earlier.  I apologized to a woman who didn’t even recall what I had said, so futile and apparently non-damaging was this “heinous abuse” I heaped upon her of which the guilt I carried twenty years later still.  I guess the “cruelest” I ever intentionally was, was not only enough to cause all those years of remorse and regret inside me, but not even close to enough for this woman to even recall.  It is flabbergasting to try to wrap my head around the awful things I must have done to my mother and my ex to make them both hate me enough to destroy me.  How can I not recall what I did?

I recall being a child.  A desperate for love, desperate to please, pathetic for approval little girl.  I remember that.  I remember praying every night that God would show me how to earn and deserve my mother’s love. I remember not getting any answers and I remember trying everything my little mind could think of :  I just had to be perfect.  And after all, my mother was perfect in my eyes, so I could be perfect too, right?  I came from the goddess of perfection so if I tried hard enough and never quit trying to be pretty, funny, smart, polite, obedient, loving, sweet, and deserving, I could get her love. I remember that not working.  I remember lying to protect myself from punishment and getting in big trouble.  I remember telling the truth because my mother “hated liars” and still getting in big trouble.  I remember trying to be pretty and getting in trouble.  I remember trying to be intelligent and getting in trouble.  I remember not lying for her when she cheated on her husband and getting in trouble.  I remember painting my nails and getting in trouble.  I remember shaving my hairy  legs like every one else in my gym class did and getting in trouble.  I remember forgiving my friend for being mean to me and getting in trouble.  I remember sticking up for myself with others and getting in trouble.  I remember not sticking up for myself to others and getting in trouble.  I remember being noisy no matter how hard I was trying to be quiet and getting in trouble.  I remember trying harder to be even quieter and still getting in trouble.  I remember missing my daddy and getting in trouble.  I remember a babysitter giving me a piggy back ride and getting in trouble.  I remember writing my aunt a letter telling her how much I missed her and getting in trouble.

I also remember sneaking to use the phone to talk to friends and getting in trouble.  I remember sneaking boys over on Halloween to play Atari and getting in trouble.  I remember having vaginal discharge in my panties before my period and getting in trouble.   I remember trying to overdose on alcohol and getting in trouble.  I remember having people over when mother was out of town and getting in trouble.  I remember getting a C in geometry and getting in trouble.  I remember asking for help with my math homework and getting in trouble.

I remember using the wrong tone of voice and getting in trouble.  I remember having the wrong look on my face and getting in trouble.  I remember defending my sister and getting in trouble.  I remember not defending my sister and getting in trouble.

I remember letting my first boyfriend beat me and getting in trouble.  I remember smoking cigarettes and getting in trouble.  I remember not eating for 12 days while pregnant and being told to “go get on welfare”  I remember caring about the father of my child and getting in trouble.  I remember getting sick because I was pregnant again by the same man and getting in trouble. I remember wanting to have the same last name as my two children and getting in trouble.  I remember almost dying and getting in trouble.  I remember the psychiatrist who was supposed to tell me I was worthless defending me and telling mother she had serious parenting and mental illness issues and getting in trouble.

I’m not sure what I’ve forgotten.  I’m truly clueless as to which of these awful things I did as a child made me deserve hate and cruelty; made me deserve to have my whole world ripped from me; or made me deserve to take the only love I had in the world.  I’m not sure of the damage I did with these horrible acts.  I must have done some serious damage, though to spark the punishments I received and continue to receive.

I would like to apologize for my worthlessness, for my awful acts which caused unbearable pain and destruction to my mother, but I can’t figure out where/what/how I caused any damage to her. I would gladly take responsibility for being born, breathing, being a child, being immature, being lost, being desperate for love except that I did not cause any of that.  Please tell me what to apologize for?  Once upon a time I was just an innocent child begging and desperate for my mother’s love and acceptance.  I suppose I could apologize for stopping the begging?  Only, I never stopped begging or trying.  My mother decided at my second pregnancy that I no longer existed.  I begged for a few weeks after that and finally had to stop begging because I was trying to raise two children with a handicap all on my own.  I had to accept that nothing I ever did would make me worthy of her love or else I would have killed myself and left my two children with no mother at all.

In spite of the hatred you had toward me, I remember wanting my children to have the chance at you loving them. I remember Christmases and Thanksgivings alone so that you could be a grandma even though I didn’t have a mother.  I remember my dad suddenly and unexpectedly dying and thinking she would care about me maybe then. I remember trusting her out of desperation again (like when I was a helpless child) and her filling my children’s heads not only full of shit, but fabricated half-truth shit…not even shit that was mine to own and take responsibility for.   I remember meeting your first husband at the funeral (the one you told me all my life “beat you”) and feeling uncomfortable that after hating and punishing me for accepting and allowing myself to be abused by men all my life, that she would bring this man who “beat” her to my dad’s funeral.  If I punched him would she love me?  or would she hate me more?

I remember her hating everyone who made me feel loved.  I remember her hating anyone who made me feel hated.  I never understood what I needed to do/be/say/feel to be loved.  I still don’t.

But most of all, I don’t see where all these horrible things I supposedly did ruined her life? Or even hurt her?  Or how I knew what might hurt or upset her on any given day, as it changed so fast and often, I could not make sense of it.  I would like to apologize and own my mistakes because I acknowledge I’m fucked up and worthless, but I honest to fucking god don’t know how I caused damage, except for being born, being a child, being confused,  being desperate for love….  I wasn’t born with those things and I didn’t want them, how do I apologize for them?  And if I do, will I finally deserve your love?

To the father of my children:  What did I do to destroy your life?  Please dear God tell me because knowing you has ruined everything I ever dreamed of.  I lost my hopes, my dreams, my dignity, my health, my possibilities, my house, my lifetime memorabilia, and ultimately my children…. Because?  What was it I took from you?  What did I destroy and damage so much for your life?  I gave you two children.  I gave you 24/7 total access to them.  I gave you holidays with them.  I gave you carte blanche to their lives and their hearts. I gave you good stories to them about our past (which were lies).  I gave you my last hope of my childhood innocence.  I gave you my health.  You took my house and every happy memory I had from before or since I knew you.

What was it I took from you?  Where is the misery I caused?  What did I do to you?  Yes, I left you.  I left you after you destroyed (what I then thought was total destruction at least) and tried to save my children from growing up watching their mother be treated like a worthless, useless piece of shit.  Yes, I did do that.  And I still gave you 24/7 carte blanche access to their lives, their love, their time.

Please tell me what I took from you?  Please tell me how I’m an awful person? Please tell me where the damage I did is that destroyed your hopes and dreams, your health, your past, present, or future?  PLEASE????? Please tell me???????????

Because I’m not prideful or stubborn about being wrong or making mistakes like some I know.  I actually prefer to address and acknowledge my errors, and apologize, especially if they’ve hurt someone or damaged their life in any way.  I would love to apologize for all the things I did but I can’t bring myself to apologize for trying to live, for breathing, feeling, or wishing to be loved rather than abused.  I would love to say I deserve every bit of what I’ve gotten.  The strange thing is, these people can’t seem to tell me what cruel, awful, unforgivable things I’ve done to them.  Not a single thing.  Not now and not in my entire life.  Yet their hatred flows and flows…and no one seems to think that’s abnormal except for me.  Apparently, I’m the awful person because I can name what’s been done to me…to my children…to my health…to my life…  I can name every single thing.

To the father of my children:  you were lucky after all you had done to me that I even was willing to move to Vegas with our children and give you that chance.  From the first week, our children were crying about your treatment of me and them.  They hated it and I wasn’t going to subject them to everything I left you to protect them from.  You didn’t pay for our house in advance.  You didn’t lose any money.  We lost all of our lifetime belongings, the innocence my children had for what kind of man they’d been raised to believe their father was, our car, and our home when you stole it “for our own good” in spite of the fact that you hadn’t been paying for it.

So if my big “crime” against you was leaving you back in 1997, again in 1998, and a third time in 2009 in Vegas after “only 3 months”, that’s bullshit.  The third time my youngest came home from a day with you bawling and putting herself down was the final straw for me. That, after my oldest had cried her heart out the first weekend we’d arrived and was devastated we came all that way and you’d planned a weekend rendezvous with your latest flavor of the month for the day after we arrived from moving our lives literally across the country, leaving the only home and friends and family and foundation we’d ever know in our lives,  because “you wanted your children closer”.  Then told me “her heart was NOT broken” and that she could just “get the fuck over it” and she’d cried her heart out nearly every single day after that, hurt and miserable at how you treated us and at moving away from her friends and family at your whim just to be treated this badly by you , as well as watched you insult and belittle me, her mother,  for what I wore inside my own house to clean on a 102 degree day in the desert, even though you’d entered our home unexpected and uninvited…apparently just to hurl insults at me and our daughters for the type of clothes I was wearing to clean in.

I will never apologize for your choices.  You had choices to hurt us or not to.  You had choices to treat us with the respect we deserved for uprooting our entire lives for you or not to.   You, on the other hand, gave us only two choices: the choice to stay and put up with being disregarded, devalued, and mistreated or leave and protect ourselves from more.

That was on you and I will not apologize for it or own responsibility for how much it “hurt you” that we left.  You gave us no choice.  None.  You cared only about your latest girlfriend and having all of us in your control at your beckon call or whim to play daddy…or not to play daddy.  I didn’t do that “to you”.  You did that to us.  All three of us.  Savannah and I definitely got the worst of it, but it hurt Lexi too, watching you do that to us

Although you like to play neurologist and tell people why I had a stroke when you’ve no clue why I had the stroke because even my actual neurologist couldn’t discover why I had the stroke, you know nothing.  And you surely didn’t step up to the plate afterward when I was severely handicapped and rehabilitating so I could give birth to a healthy child and be well enough raise our children while you climbed the ladder to your success.  You didn’t step up to the p[late to lend a hand with our children.  You were too busy chasing money and women.   Darlene didn’t step up to the plate.  Only my dad stepped up to the plate to help us.

And for the record, the cause technically given for my stroke was stress.  I’m sure in no small measure stress which stemmed from years of abuse at the hands of the very people who run around crying what an awful person I am.  Stress from the fear of having to tell Darlene who hated your guts that I was having a second child with you.  Stress at once again not having a mother to hold my hand through my pregnancy.  Stress at being dependent on you as the co-parent to my two children.  Stress at the disappointment of not giving my children or myself the one thing I most wanted for them: a mother and father raising them together in their home…a happy, loving home with both their parents for my children.  Again, due to your choices of sex addiction, cheating, and abuse.  Darlene’s hatred of you and shunning me from her life because of my relationship with you in addition to your abuse, lies, and cheating in our relationship was the stress I had that caused me to have a stroke and become disabled for the rest of my life.  I do not owe you an apology for that.  I did not do that “to you”.  Once again rather, you assisted in doing that to me.  Leaving me with two options only:  to stay with you and let my children grow up watching their mother treated horribly or to leave and protect myself and my children from growing up in that environment.   As usual, you were the one with the ample choices.  I will not take responsibility for how that “hurt you”.

Stress from a literal lifetime of abuse at your hand and the hand of my mother are what caused my stroke.  I do not owe you or anyone an apology for that.

I have to wonder how your life is exactly what you wanted.  Darlene’s life is exactly what she wanted.  Yet, I’m the bad guy who’s worthless and awful, with some string of alleged “crimes” done against you people…the very people who have taken everything I ever worked to have.  My family, my health, love, jobs, future, hopes, and dreams.

Please do help me to understand how I’ve done any damage whatsoever to your lives?  Where is the abuse I heaped upon you?  Where is the place where I screwed you over to get better for myself?  Where is the fucking place that you needed or wanted me for anything and I did not show up?  Where in the fuck is it?  Where in the fuck are these damages done for my plethora of heinous crimes against either of you that you claim as you ripped my heart from my body, my children’s love from my life, and my life belongings, my home, my happiness, my hope, and my only joy left out of the desolate destruction of life I had left in the wake of you both?

Where the fuck is it?