From an outsider’s perspective it would appear that I am an incredibly selfish person, daughter, partner and friend. And in many ways these people would be one-hundred percent correct. It’s easy to make these generalizations about someone who appears to be so negligent and distant. It’s easy to pigeon hole me into a segregate area of society; to compartmentalize into some aggregation of misfits. The Island of Misfit Toys. The Island of Misfit Sunny’s. I know it’s difficult to peer through the veneer that I’ve shrouded myself behind. I understand that trying to wrap your head around my thoughts, feelings, actions and emotions is an onerous task. I get it. I’m close lipped about so much, while being so open about other issues and topics. I’m a conundrum even to myself.
If I had an inkling in regards to what I’m trying to accomplish in the cavities of my own brain–then you and Dad would be the first to know. But, I can’t even keep my brain in a momentary state of stagnation. I am constantly anxious, constantly worrying, constantly doing cartwheels inside the confines of my cranium.
You have to understand that this demon has been on my shoulder for three years. The angel on the other has been trying so hard to overcome this heavy weight that tips me over due to my astronomic insecurities. But, be sure, that no matter how big of an obstacle that this seems to you, my family, that it is even harder on me. Behind this mask lies someone who has just a big of a heart as you and Dad. I ran into a wall. I understand this. I failed to be stronger than my vices. But, the person inside me is still there aching to escape. And every day I feel it growing more powerful. Every day that you both accompany me to appointments, offer to do my laundry, ask me to visit you, invite me places, email, or call just to say hi…. I grow further and further away from the darkness and move closer towards a brighter future.
It might seem bleak for you right now. It might seem as though you are facing a reality of perhaps burying a daughter. It might seem as though all of your efforts to encourage and support me have been seeped in futility. But, the truth of the matter is–that every single kind gesture you both make is noted and shared with Megan and myself. I tear up at just the thought of all that you have done for us. The laundry list of actions that you did not have to partake in, but did. I think of all the money wasted on me. I think of how all of this could have been prevented if I were just a little stronger. If I had received help sooner like you had attempted to coerce me to…time and time again. Who would I be now if I had just been on medication years prior? My stubborn nature and unwillingness to relent and accept defeat kept me from excelling. I know this now but I’ve always been a late bloomer. I’m twenty-six and am just now figuring out what is important in life and what I need to work on to become the person you always saw in me, but I was never able to.
I’m not perfect. I never will even come close. But, everything I have ever learned, everything I have ever admired, everything I will always hope to become…. it all came from you (and dad, but this is your birthday letter). I’ll never be you. I’ll never have the strength, courage or bravery that you possess. I am just me. I am a shy, insecure, crazy and dysfunctional wallflower. But, I’m proud to call you my mother. I’m proud to share your DNA and to be a part of our amazing and supportive family. I brag about you all the time to anyone I meet. I know none of you are of the affectionate persuasion… However, I hope you have noticed in the past two years I have started to hug you both every time we meet and say “I love you” upon every departure. It is seldom returned, but I know that it is a silent and tacit agreement that we share regardless of the reception I receive. I can hear it in your voices, I can see it in your eyes, and observe it in your actions. I know that I am loved. I know that no matter how little I think of myself–I will always live for you. I will do anything I can to prolong my presence upon this Earth for you. I will keep walking, keep striving, keep trying and keep working on developing myself for you. I want you to enjoy my goofy self as long as you shall remain here with me. I will never leave you.
I do not deserve you. I have not earned your love and affection, but I am blessed beyond belief to have you. I may not believe in a “higher power,” but if there is a God… he is looking down on me and handing me a bazillion four leaf clovers… because no one is as lucky as me.
Happy Late Birthday.
I love you so much. More than you will ever ever ever know (Despite my attempts to prove it to you).
I’ll be better to you, I promise.
Sunny Day Smith