Thank you for your recent email which I found very illuminating, maybe a little too illuminating, and just about the cherry on top of my cupcake of a month since my father appears to be back. It did however fill in a few blanks that therapy would never have revealed, so thank God I did not bother with that.
I know if we sat in a room the memory of my teenage years compared with yours would be very different. You have always, if the subject was ever discussed, painted me as a humourless, sour, sulking monster of an adolescent. Your words at the time were more vindictive, I seem to remember your favourite was "slut" amongst other vicious put downs. I also remember the anger that occasionally spilt over into blows which I did not exchange. I have never felt so miserable as when they rained down, with my pathetic father watching but never intervening.
The worst years were the teen years, I don't remember you being so vicious when I was younger although you once confessed you did not ever remember cuddling me after my sisters were born. I used to think that your anger was with my father who spent his entire life shagging anything with a pulse was the trigger for your outbursts, including your friends as well as the mothers of my friends.
After he finally divorced you to marry someone young enough to be his granddaughter I tried really hard to make your life more pleasant, having decided to draw a line under the dark days and try and move on. We have never discussed the past and any insinuation of your vile behavior towards me seemed heartily denied by you.
I now realise that your anger was directed at my inability to warmly welcome someone I had not realised was the 'love of your life' I was about 14 at the time and distressed at the implosion of my family life. I would not have called your relationship an 'affair' My father had, I remember left us for fresher pastures at the time, but moving a new boyfriend in was probably at best naive and worst a little selfish, which when I think about it is a word you continually apply to me.
I had never realised he was 10 years your junior, and I am sorry you felt unable to leave and fulfil yours and his desire to begin a new life together, clearly your maternal instincts must have taken a hell of a battering, to have to swap someone so tender and considerate for the moron that was my father, but you stoical put the family first and I clearly paid the price mentally and physically.
As I say water under the bridge, until it dawned on me that Daisy and Kitty's father is 10 years younger than me and I vividly remember how vile you were to us when you met him for the first time. You spat out the words 'toy boy' "How dare I bring someone that young to my house" Of course I tried to smooth things over, I hate conflict, but as with every single boyfriend I have brought home, you have barely even bothered to conceal your disgust and irritation with them. You sneered at their academic achievements which were no less than yours, but you seemed to measure everyone by my fathers academic brilliance, only you were not were you? It was your lovers success they failed to match.
Of course you got your comeuppance with Emin who saw straight through you and told you what he thought of you and the way you had treated me. But all this time I have carried the burden of guilt that somehow I have let you down, that I should love you as a mother, that it is wrong to be physically repelled by your touch.
I guess this guilt has manifested itself through pity and desire to make you happy. I am so angry now, especially by how you treated the girls father, which is such a negative emotion, and yet bizarrely I feel as if a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders because I no longer have to pretend ever again. I no longer have a duty to love you or make excuses for my life. I am who I am and you should have been proud of me, you should have told me I was beautiful and clever and funny, because I was and I never realised it. I have spent over 40 years of my life believing I was ugly and worthless, not very sound foundations to build a relationship on but it has probably made me stronger, my confidence has grown through a lifetime of self depreciation.
I now realise that your European weekends were in fact romantic liaisons, you hate liars yet became a consummate one.
Clearly by hooking up with your ex lover after our father divorced you, you had already moved on and had no need of all those holidays we organised to give you something to look forward to.. Good for you. That it is a transatlantic affair is your business, although the words two faced hypocrite seem appropriate having railed against the 'other woman' all your life you have become one.