Yeah, I know. When my brother told me basically that he hated me because I ruined my mother’s life and that I was a waste of air who blamed every bad choice I made on my virtuous, veteran father, using, instead of my name, “you sick fuck” to address me, I knew intellectually that those things weren’t true. My mother had deliberately chosen to keep my dad’s behavior a secret from my brother, worried that it would ruin their relationship instead of what she should be worried about: that he was BECOMING my dad. So, of course he attributed her depression to the only other possible source: the addict daughter. But I was in recovery and hadn’t placed blame on my dad for my actions since high school. His words were blatently false. I KNEW THAT.

And still, I haven’t spoken to him since. Almost 18 months ago. And he’s the only family I have in Alaska. And he apologized. And I know he didn’t mean the apology but in the past, I would have let that go to preserve the family structure. So my kids could see their cousin. My head knows its him, not me who is the problem.

But his words still haunt me at night. And my heart still questions, every day, if maybe he didn’t have a point.

It’s so hard to get the two in sync.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I want it to be spelled right and punctuated correctly. I guess that’s something.

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