Dearest Mom & Dad,
I’m so grateful to have you as my parents. You have raised me with such strong morals and values, which still play a vital part of my everyday life. You have taught me to differentiate the right from the wrong, as well as the good from the bad. But there are so many things that I want to tell you, so many things that I keep bottled up inside because there is no way in Hell that you would ever take me seriously if I told you.
You see, that’s one of the problems here. You never seem to take me seriously. You expect me to understand your problems, but when the time comes, you always seem to brush mine aside and ask me to ‘deal with it’. But that hasn’t stopped me from trying to talk to you. You’re my parents, after all. I finally had the courage to speak up about what I wanted to do in life, but since then? It’s like I’ve lost you both. You don’t even look at me the same way.
Sometimes, it’s like you want me to turn out just like you, and sometimes you decide what is best for me. I get that you would always want the best for me, but please understand that I have my own plans about how I want to spend my life. You forcing me to stick to your plan instead just makes me feel like my decisions don’t matter to you. And don’t even get me started on the stereotypes you have about certain career options. Don’t you trust me enough to know that I will not run with the wrong crowd? Actually, don’t answer that because I know what you’re going to say. “I trust you, but I don’t trust the world around you,” right?
Here’s the thing. I know that following your dreams was not a luxury that was available to you, but times have changed. And you know what is worse? When you and I come to a conclusion about my chosen career, but you tell me that it is not worth it because ‘someone once told you that it is not’. What would I be working for anyway? So please, stop enforcing your choice of careers on me. I might be able to earn six or seven figure amounts, but I’ll never be happy. Or is the money I earn more important than my mental health to you?
And no. I do not want all the luxury in the world. I’m not who you think I am. I know how much time and money you have spent on me, and I know that I will never be able to truly repay you. But you keep bringing it up, saying that I just sit around and waste your money and trust me, it hurts. Why can’t you see me as someone more than that, for what I can become or at least, for what I am now? Why can’t you see that maybe I’m not so much of a burden to you, maybe I could be so much better than I am, that maybe, this way of life isn’t as amazing as you think it is for me?
I’m not traditional, or at least, your definition of it. I love tattoos, piercings, coloured hair, funky pop music- all of it! I love being spontaneous and taking an occasional break from rational thinking. Not everything needs to be so serious and rational all the damn time, you know? But the world is changing and you’re still living on Planet Denial! I can imagine how hard this transition might have been for your generation, because you were raised in a completely different time and environment where caste & creed mattered. But I no longer want you to choose what I want to do with my life, or who I want to spend my life with.
You expect me to make my own decisions because that’s the ‘mature thing to do’, but then you go ahead and question every other decision I make. Look me in the eye and tell me that you don’t try to brain-wash me into thinking that my decisions are always wrong and that yours are somehow always right? How do you expect me to learn if I don’t make a few mistakes along the way? I need you to let me follow my own instincts. I need you to have some faith in me.
I know that I cannot make split-second decisions yet. But I will be able to someday. All I ask of you is that you give me some time to understand the world, instead of sheltering me from it. I have become so lost in the past few years that I just need my parents and their affection now. I need you to understand me and trust my choices. Please don’t take that away from me.
Why won’t you let me be myself? Why is it so hard? I never meant anybody any harm. Every time I’ve tried talking to you, you shut me out. Maybe try listening, just listening. I talk a lot, you know? If only you understood even though my medical reports state that I am okay, I am not. My weakness is because my mental health is at stake. But how would you know? ‘Depression’ is just ‘drama’ to you, and ‘mental health’ is an imaginary concept.
I know you are disappointed in me and I can feel you distancing yourself from me with every passing day. This child of yours needs help, but you just don’t see it. In spite of everything, I have some good in me too. I just wish you loved me for who I am, and didn’t try to change everything about me, and what I love. I want you to believe in me. I am trying to hold on. I am trying to not break down between all those panic attacks and nights spent crying. I just pray that one day soon, you hear me out.
I’m still going to be me, even if I’m not chasing your dreams. I’m still going to be here, achieving new heights, and yet living by the morals and values you have instilled in me and just doing what is right. A letter is too little for what your child has to say to you. It’s just a try, a cry for help. Please listen to me.
With love, and love alone,
Hey guys! I hope you liked this open letter. I feel that it is very important for parents to hear their children out. Fortunately, my parents have always been supportive towards my dreams and I never had to face any problems. But people who did need a voice and I am ready to be their voice for them. This open letter has been my biggest collaboration yet because it has been co-written by five people (who shall stay anonymous for obvious reasons.) Please spread the love far and wide. You can also connect with me on my socials by checking out the links on my Homepage (or by scrolling down below). I’ll look forward to hearing from you.