I forgot the cardinal rule of being at home: honesty is never, under any circumstances, the best policy.
We were at my grandmother's house watching the Professional Poker Tour post White Castle dinner. My mom noticed that I was spacing out, and, as usual, she knew something was bothering me (I suppose I have this look that screams, "Something isn't right!"). What's wrong? And for a fraction of a second, I was honest: "It's just depressing." What? Your grandmother? "No, being home. Everything." Before I could clarify, she left. I didn't see her, but I'll assume she was crying.
I left less than an hour later, arriving at home to find my mom in bed--an unusually early slumber. Of course, I feel like like boiling myself alive--although, part of me thinks I shouldn't feel as such. I decided to write her a letter. I put the following in an envelope with "Mom" on the front. I left in on the kitchen table. I plan to be up and at my grandparents' before she wakes up tomorrow.
I'm not mad at you. I'm mad for you. When I come home, I see nothing but pain. There is no happiness here. The little bit of joy I can find only occurs when we talk about the misery. What kind of life is that? I remember a time when you were happy, when grandma and grandpa were happy. What happened to our lives? Why do we continue to live like this even though it hurts us?
You don't actively observe the pain anymore. You live it. You're immersed in it every day. It's incredibly difficult to come home, but not because of the people. (I love you very much, and I hope that you realize it.) It's hard to come home because of the unhappiness, the sense of pain I feel. I know you do your best to keep me comfortable, to make this house feel like a safe zone--a home. But just seeing you, talking to you, living with you gives me a glimpse of your personal pain, the suffering you endure. It frustrates me. I don't know how to help you. I don't know what to do. I want so much to make everything the way it used to be before...this, to help you smile again like you mean it.
I can't. I don't know how. And when I come home, I'm reminded that I'm helpless.
It's not your fault. It's really not.
I love you.