I call my dead father’s cell phone. He never answers, because he’s dead and the phone is disconnected. But I still keep calling. I still keep hoping he answers the phone.
I’m not sure why I keep calling. There’s just so many things I want to say to him. There’s so many questions that I want answered. But he’s dead, burned to ashes, gone away forever.
Why didn’t you stop her? Why did you help her? Why didn’t you protect us? Why did you become just like her?
He leaves me with no answers.
Sometimes I call my mother’s cell phone. She never answers, either, but she’s not dead, and the phone isn’t disconnected. It just rings and rings then goes to voicemail.
I left her a voicemail once. I told her I was sorry for being a failure, for being a bad daughter. I asked her for forgiveness.
I wanted her to answer. I wanted her to tell me she missed me. I wanted her to tell me she loved me and that it was all just a big mistake. I wanted her to tell me she was sorry, too. I wanted a mother. I wanted her to give me a reason to live, because in that moment, I had planned to kill myself, and I wanted to feel an ounce of love before I died.
I still call her, hoping one day she will answer. But I don’t call her to apologize. I call her because I want answers.
I want to know what I did wrong. I want to know why she hurt me.
I want to know how she lives every day knowing what she did to her children, knowing what she did to others. How does it not eat her up inside? How does she get through the day feeling worthy enough to still be alive?
I want her to know how I live every day, constantly reminded of what she did to me. I want her to know that I am eaten up inside. I want her to know that most days, I still struggle to find myself worthy enough to still be alive.
I want her to know she broke me. Every time she raped me, beat me, burned me, bruised me, made me sick…she shattered me.
I want to know if she knows that. I want to know how that makes her feel. I want to know if she even feels at all.
I called her again the other day. I didn’t want to ask her anything. I didn’t want an answer.
I wanted to tell her I didn’t need her anymore. I wanted to tell her goodbye. I wanted to tell her fuck you.
Because now I know the problem was never with me. It was with her.
Sometimes, there are no answers. And sometimes, there are answers hidden within no answers.