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A Letter To My Parents

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

I first want to thank you for giving me life. For raising me and doing your best to helping me become the best version of myself. There is so much more that I want to say on this, but I I’ll leave it for another time. I don’t want this to be about me. I want this to be about you.

I want to write this letter to you because I don’t know how to say it in person. I don’t know how to look at you and tell you the words I am about to say. Why? Because I don’t want to hurt you. Everything I do and don’t do lies in that desire, to omit your suffering and pain.

But I realized that whatever I do it's going to hurt you in someway. I assume it's the expectations. It's the image you want me to be. It's the person you think I SHOULD be. I’m not a parent (not yet at least) so I don’t know what you’re going through. I don’t know how it feels to raise a child. I don’t know how it feels to shift your entire attention and care to someone else in hopes of being a good parent. I am so grateful to have parents that love me and sacrificed so much for me. But it also hurts me. It hurts me to see that I am all you have. That everything you’ve done and do is for me. It seems as though your individuality has diminished because I was born, or since I was born.

Before me, you must have had hobbies and goals and personal aspirations. I can’t imagine what they were, but they must have existed. As I write this, I know that those don’t exist anymore and that your worth and value is greatly depended on me. You feel accomplished if I finish school. If I have good grades. If I find the one and get married. You feel worthy if I have a family. An amazing career. If I buy a house. It saddens me to know that you will only feel valued if I have all these things. If I don't, YOU feel like a failure. You feel worthless in a way. And that projects into disappointment and sometimes anger. This then results in me feeling like I owe you. I owe you happiness through accomplishing those things and meeting those expectations.

I almost feel like my existence has brought way more pain and suffering than happiness to you. So I feel obligated to replace that with happiness and the best way is for me to be the person you want me to be, because then you’ll feel like you achieved something. That my birth and existence matters. It must be so exhausting. It must be so hurtful. It needs to stop.

It puts me in a conflicted position because I too feel like my individuality is being diminished. I am more focused on achieving the goals you want for me than actually figuring out what goals I need for myself. I find myself justifying it because I know my accomplishments are your accomplishments. They’re more important to you than they are to me because they aren’t mine. They're yours.

It's a really strange dynamic to be in. I am sorry that I am crushing your expectations. That I am refusing to get married in my 20s. That I switched careers. I am sorry that I am still in school and don’t have a career yet. I am sorry I don’t dress the way you want me to dress. I am sorry that I don’t have enough money to buy a home. I am sorry that you feel disappointed and not pleased of where I am in my life. But more importantly I am sorry that you need me to be all these things. That you feel worthy and successful as a parent only if and when those expectations are met.

You don’t need me to feel enough. You are enough. Everyone is. If you don’t get rid of these expectations, I am going to continue to disappoint you and that hurts me. When I have these expectations facing me every morning, I too feel worthless. I feel like I am accepted and loved if I work towards and achieve these expectations you have for me.

I wish things were different. I wish your individuality was not attached to my achievements. That way you wouldn’t feel so disappointed all the time, in yourself and in me.

Please let go. Let go of all these expectations. Let go of the image. Let go of the pressure. Love yourself as if I wasn’t born. Love yourself as if I didn’t exist. Love yourself regardless of where I am at in life. Trust me, I am trying to be the best version of myself. It's just really hard with the unspoken and spoken pressure from not only you, but also myself.

Please remember and never forget,

You are worthy.

You are enough.

Regardless of my achievements. Period.

And I will love you forever without any expectations and conditions. I hope you can allow me to feel the same.

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