I wrote a series of letters to my dad, mother, and brother. I did it because I last week saw my dad for 21 days after not seeing him for 4 years, and I don’t know when will be the next time I see him. I had few unspoken things to tell him, but it was hard to say it all in words so I did it via a letter. I also wrote a similar letters to my brother and mom, because I guessed it is only fair that all my family get to know my feelings. I make this letter also available to you guys because I have nothing to hide and I want to be transparent, and maybe will motivate you to do the same for your family. =)
Here we go:
Letter to My Dad
This latter is overdue. I know you are sitting in front of me and that generally speaking we talk. Still, there are few things, which for one reason of other, still need to be said. This is why I wrote this letter.
This is a letter about how I feel about our relationship, meaning that you may have completely different opinion about it. I write it because I want to do it, and not because anyone else told me to do it. I will write a similar letter to mom and my brother, which you can read too. I will give them their letter at the same time I give you yours. I will also put this letter online on my blog. This is in line with one of my life decision of full transparency. I hope you can respect that. Still, this letter is to you first. You don’t have to reply to this letter unless you want to. But, if you decide to answer me, please read this whole letter from top to bottom first. After this, if you want, we can sit down and discuss whatever you want we can do it as long as you want to.
First, I want to start by writing about your role in my life. You and mom divorced when I was 5 years old, and you shielded me from your divorce, so it never affected me. You did the same thing with the death of our relatives, our house animals, and generally, you protected me from negative things like smoking and drugs (which I never tried thanks to you). To this I am grateful. If I ever have children (which I, by the way, don’t want to have for now), I hope you can help me teach them the same lessons.
Still, we can’t deny that fathers have a profound effect on their children lives, which is also true to my life. As such, I could blame you for all my failures. I could have been a Mozart or Einstein with additional help from your side. Still, I would also have to praise you for many of my successes, such as my ability to speak 8 languages. Still, I realize that you were a young father, much younger than I am right now. In comparison, in my early 20th I knew nothing about the world, so how can I expect you to have done better? I’m sure that give your circumstances you did the best job. In fact, I can only hope to do a little better job if I ever become a father myself. In this respect, I am grateful too. As such, I forgive you for everything you did and didn’t do for me. To you, right now, I have no negative feelings. I only feel unconditional love.
Having that in mind, our relationship is still very limited. When I was young you were working to support the family, so I saw you rarely. After your divorce with mom, I talked to you on some rare occasions. Often we speak only once a month, and our conversations were superficial (“how are you” and “how is the school”). Today I know almost nothing about you except your name, where you live, what general business you are in, your (our) relatives, and the brand of your car. I know more about many of my friends than I know about you. That does not bother me as much today. Indeed, today I feel like I have the full cognitive ability to have a full conversation with you on a lot of topics. We are right now together on the road, in the middle of our amazing trip for 21 days trip, and I am asking your views on many of such questions, even though I don’t really need an answer.
It is way pass the time when I needed you to show me how to shave, talk to girls, make money, and all another sort of conversations that fathers should have with their children. Still here are some areas of life I will comment on.
Financially you have done very well for yourself. You even helped my mom financially to raise us. Even today you are there financially. On the side, it helped me a lot to never feel like I need to money. On another side, money can’t buy love. Indeed, a toy can never replace in-person time. Worst of all it taught me to use you as my financial aid, not able to fully take care of myself. I hate that. I feel resentment for all the money I needed to ask from you and not knowing even today how to be 100% financially independent. Today, I am trying to work on my own business, and I have some financial teachers. Still, I believe that money is your strength, and I would love you to give me more input and mentorship in this area of life.
You never remarried. I know you tried to date some people, but you never stuck with anyone whose name I know. You are very secretive about it, which is “your business”, as an expression goes. I really want to see you happy and if you can find love again in your life great, but only if you want that too. I know you may partially blame your health for that. Still, I feel that today I should be able to talk to you about that. We are adults after all. Just a week ago we were in a situation where I asked you something about women, and you told me something I completely disagreed. Again, I will only offer opinions if you are open to them.
Indeed, as a psychologist by education I feel that I now understand you better emotionally, mentally, and culturally. For example, I see that you are often using negative feedback as a form of positive stimulation. What this means is you say things like “watch out where you are going”, “you didn’t wash your hands again” and “you gonna lose all your money”. By this it sounds like you criticizing me, but what you are saying is “I want you to be safe”, “I want you to be healthy”, and “I want you to be wealthy”. I know that today, but that drove me crazy when I was younger. Again, I see it done by my brother (excessively), by mom (a little), (in extremely large extend) by whole Russian culture, where you lived big part of your life, and (in somewhat large exchange) in the whole world where there are a lot of people use negative emotions in less than efficient ways. Maybe that’s why I wrote my book.
Other parts of life like health, happiness, spirituality, goal setting, or anything else I feel I have under my control. I feel no strong emotions that I can link to you there, but still, I welcome your contribution if you ever wish to give your opinion on something. I find it that talking so constructively about some parts of life is a skill that you never had to practice, so my request for open communication can create some confusion, as it does with many people.
Still, at the end of this letter, I feel happy that I expressed myself of a number of topics that were unspoken and needed to be said for some time. Again, I have forgiven you for everything done and that you did not do. Towards you, I only feel the love! Feel free to approach me at your own time, space, and energy, or even to write me a letter, like the one I wrote to you. If you want me to elaborate on something, to discuss anything, or for any other reason approach me and we will talk.
I am looking forward to our last days on our trip and many more such adventures.
With love your son,
Letter To My Mom
I love you. This is why I am writing this letter to you to express my emotions towards our relationship. This letter is in many ways overdue and was supposed have been expressed years ago, but for some reason was not.
You had a profound effect on my life, and it took me a lot of time to get the courage to do this, but we are adult enough now, right? I also have to say that I wrote a similar letter to dad and brother, which you can read as well. I will give them their letter at the same time I send you yours. In fact, I will also put all the three letter online on my blog, so everyone can read them. This is in line with my decision of full transparency. I hope you can respect that. Surprisingly, I had very little to say to you. Probably everything that had to be said was already said in the years that we spent together. This was not the case with dad and brother. This is my side of the story, so you may have completely different opinion about it. I would love to hear your opinion, but please don’t call me before you read the whole thing through.
To get started I appreciate all the time, love, and energy you put into raising me up. You supported me in every step of my journey, and although you did not always have all the answers, you always did your best. I realize it now, so there is no hurt or negative emotions towards you or something you did, or you did not do. I only feel unconditional love towards you today. This had to come first before anything else.
Lets start with you being a young mother. I was born in your early twenties, you knew very little, and back in the day the circumstances very different. I can only imagine the struggle, as in comparison, I knew virtually nothing back in my early 20th. Even today I know almost nothing. So how could you raise me better? You did your best and that all that matters to me. I know you did a lot of things right, like going to Germany and then to Portugal. Most of this was an adventure to me. It made me into a better person. I feel lucky to have we did it together.
Still, I feel today certain difficulties that I could have overcame if I was raised better. Alright, difficulties exist in everyone’s life, but I am also psychologist and philosopher about life, so I hope you can appreciate a metaphor. One such difficulty was your divorce with father which was around when I was 5 years old according to my calculations. Surprisingly your divorce did not affect me. Both you and dad shielded me from it. You did the same with the death of our relatives, our house animals, and generally, you supported me in every decision I ever made. To this too I am grateful. I specially appreciate that today you are friends and have an open and positive communication. After all, you were young, and I went through many relationships myself, so I have no issues there.
The less positive part of all this was a lack of directed supervision. You had to manage me, my brother, your job, your live, relationships, and so on. I had a lot of time I was by myself and received little guidance. I feel it was almost like continuous gaps in my life, years at the time, which feel like empty spaces. One of these empty spaces was playing card game Magic. The other more significant was computer games. I calculate I played for some 5-7 years, time that today I wish I spent somewhere else. Computer games kept me and my brother busy. This meant that you were always certain that you could go to work and you would know exactly where we were and what we were doing. You did oppose to them, but you did not have a better solution. You did buy us a dog to which I am grateful too. Today, in hindsight, I would say that books would have been a better solution, but again you could not have known better.
I feel specially positive about your current marriage. Your current husband is great! He makes you extremely happy and that all that matters to me. While before you were calling me excessively, now it is hard to get in touch with you. You have a great life and that all I need to know. I hope you will have this positivity going forward forever. I want you to be proud of me. I can only hope to raise my children a bit better than you raised me if I ever decide to have them, to which point ill say “Don’t wait up!”
This is really the only point I feel that was not brought up until now. Great job mom!
Big kisses and a lot of love from your baby boy,
Letter to My Brother
I will write this letter to you, but I also wrote a similar one for both our mom and father. Here I want to express my feelings about our relationship even though this is clearly not how we communicate. Still, since we don’t have an open communication, I want to write this letter to you. I don’t necessary want to change something, but I do want to get some things out of my chest. This is not to say that I want to be angry at you or show off in any way. As a brother you just had an effect on my life so might as well let you know my side of the story. It was few years since I last saw you so you may have completely different opinion about everything and everything could have changed. I write it because I want to do it, and not because anyone else told me to do it. This letter is to you first, but I want to let you know in advance that I will also put this letter on my blog. This is in line with my decision of full transparency. Mom and dad will get their letters at the same time. Lets get started.
First, you are my big brother. This is to say that you always had a slightly more adult position in our relationship just because of the order of birth. You had to act more adult and often act as superior among us two. I, in turn, had to rebel. We ended up having a conflict in our relationship, which among siblings is quite normal. Everything else in this story will be quite normal too. I realize it now and therefore “no hard feelings”. Whatever hurt or pain or conflict we had is all forgiven. This had to be said first before I can go into the specifics.
Specifically, when we were young, you were more social among the two us. You had a group of friends that you belonged to and I only remember having one best friend whom I left and forgot when I left the country. Still, before we left the country, you would push me away specially when I would want to hang out with you and your friends. I guess we wanted two different things and we were young. I learned to be by myself and enjoy my own company, which is a lonely road but it has its own advantages. You on the other side could not break your bonds when you left the country. You felt home sick in Portugal and it affected your life quite a bit. It took you many years to be good again, just to have to move again right now. I can’t imagine what that means to you being in the USA away from your Portuguese friends, having to do it all again. Are you home sick again? Did you manage to break free from this social constraints? Even though we are apart, I want you to succeed.
For me, I had to work hard to become social again. It was hard, but I made it. Today I have a great many friends all over the world, I make new friends with ease, and I’ve had some great love relationships I am proud of. What about you? Did you find any love in your life? To be honest, I think you have not… I don’t know a single GF you had for longer than a month. This is not a criticism, but it is just an observation with an opportunity. If you want I can help out with advice, if you chose to listen.
One such advice I would give you immediately is about your negative energy. This is not a spiritual woo-woo term, but concrete words you use in conversation and how you come out in life. You look at a half empty cut, not the half full, so to say. This, in turn, pushes people away, prevents you from finding a GF, and it drove me out of the house. I especially realized this once I left the house. Negative energy would affect me negatively and so it did everyone else around. It would even affect our mother. Being negative in quite normal in our society today, but I know today it to be one of the biggest disadvantages that hold people back. Trust me I wrote a book about it.
This reminds me of another topic that you could not take any criticism. I talked about this with mom and dad, and we are all in agreement. This makes me wonder whether you will even read this. Still, I don’t know how anyone can grow without failure and criticism. I personally welcome constructed criticism as long as it comes with positive energy and good intentions. I hope you can find value in this advice.
Going back to when we live together in Portugal, we ended up studying in the same class. We had 2 years in age difference and yet this happened. I used to call these years the worst years of my life since you would consistently try to keep me under your finger and put me down in front of other people. In my opinion, you did it to show off that you are older and therefore better. I still feel the same energy coming from you when I see you. Today I know how to deal with this immediately so this is no longer an issue. I am a better person because of it today, to which I am grateful.
We ended up applying to same universities, and I got the one I wanted while you did not. This was part of my pride. I used to tell people how despite constant repression, negativity, and hurt I beat you in a game of life. Today, I know it to be ridiculous. I got lucky. We were in the same boat on many occasions, and both did not know how to deal better with difficulties of life. I wanted you to be my role model, but you lacked good role models yourself. You chose one tactic, which worked for you to a point but was also quite destructive in other ways. Today I have good role models, and I learned a lot from them.
Still, after you failed to get into uni, you chose to do a Bachelor of Sociology of Work than masters in Tourism, post-graduation in Tourism, or something as ridiculous as that. To me, it was a mistake after mistake after mistake. You stayed in Portugal for way too long as well. There was simply no work there, no growth! Right now you are studying to be a pilot. I hope you can make it. Dad really wants you to make it, as he wants us both to pay up eventually. Trust me, I just saw him.
I know I have to pay up as well eventually as I don’t claim to have found an answer, but I found hope. I still don’t know how to make money in a sustainable way in a way that dad would be proud. Thus, we both have to make it financially.
Video games is another issue. They were a big part of our lives. They were still a part of your life last time I saw you. Drop them. Trust me. Read the part of my book about over-stimulation. Read my whole book. Let me know what you think. I think I am on to something. In fact, I really believe that many people should know what I talk about in my book and definitely stop playing video games, or doing other destructive habits in life.
Believe it or not, but this is it. These are the biggest points I wanted to bring up so now everything is on the table. I hope this letter will at least express some of repressed emotions I have towards our relationship and I hope you can appreciate this. I know I am your younger brother, but I am also now an adult, so the gap between us is long gone. I can give you constructive feedback and help to put you on more righteous pass in positive energy, relationships, and personal development if you so chose to. We can talk about any of these or other points too. Just let me know.
I hope you succeed bro. Let make a legacy for our family.
Reply So Far
I have just send everyone their respective letters and only my father so far replied to me, because I gave him this letter in person.
At first he expressed that it could have said in words, but later, I felt, he appreciated to have a personal letter on paper which he took with himself back home. For most part he said that he did not know what he could teach me about business or about his life, but he talked about several situations that came to mind. It definitely made our discussion much more profound. He was also sorry that we could not spend more time together, but he was hopeful that we can do it more in the future, so we already discussed our other future possible trips. Looking forward to it dad!
As for mom and brother, I will update this post when (if) I receive their replies to this letters.