A Letter to My Abusive Mother (Ushi’s Version)

After reading my letter to our abusive mother and hearing how it helped me feel better, my 14-year-old half-sister, Ushi, was inspired to write her own. She gave me permission to publish her letter here.

Ushi told me she felt a sense of release after writing her letter. She said she was able to release all the pent-up anger and bottled-up frustration she had towards our mother (whom she refers to by name) and the situation as a whole.

Her letter also helped me better understand what she went through, how she felt about it, and how it affected her. I knew what she went through and how it impacted her for the most part. But this letter provided a new understanding and perspective of her thoughts and feelings towards everything that I didn’t have before.

For some context, I got custody of Ushi back in 2021. Then, we moved to Florida with my now-husband, father, and my other sibling, Kame. Ushi and I have different fathers, so she refers to my father by name. Let’s call him John.

She used to call him “daddy” like my sibling and I do, but our mother made her change because “he is NOT your father”. However, my father treated Ushi like his own and is essentially a father to her. He basically raised her.

Anyway, ever since we moved, our mother has been texting and calling. She would throw insults, accusations, and threats while insisting on seeing and speaking with Ushi. Ushi does not want to talk to her at all, not even enough to tell her “I don’t want to talk to you” because she said it’s pointless.

So my father and I had to keep telling my mother that, and of course, my mother would claim that we were keeping Ushi hostage, abusing her, torturing her, and so on. A lot of what Ushi refers to in the letter, such as being called “brainwashed” or treated as property is based on our mother’s texts to us. We have her blocked (but she has her ways).

For more background info on the family dynamics and CPS case, you can read the story of how I got custody of Ushi.

For this letter, I’ve changed Ushi’s and my father’s names and redacted my mother’s name for safety and privacy purposes. I’ve also censored any swear words. But everything else is unedited and unchanged.

Ushi’s Letter

Hello, [mother’s name]. I’m the so-called ‘Ushie’ that you’ve been trying to reach all these years. You know that I’ve seen all your messages and emails right? Not just towards me but towards John and Estee, in all the time since the CPS case.

And yet, I still decided not to reach out. I think that says something about you more than anyone else. If you’ve really changed like how you claim you have in all those paragraphs you’ve sent to John, you’ll read this whole message with an open mind. And if you’ve changed for the better, you’ll even start reflecting and wondering “What did I do wrong?”.

Yes. It’s that simple. Just do that and I’ll be convinced you’ve at least improved on yourself since the past.

Just be patient as I’m going to write out all my thoughts relating to this throughout the years, and will probably be a handful to read.

But I’m sure you can do such a simple thing for your own kid, right? 

I still encourage you to read slowly and take your time with this, as I want all the details to really soak in, and maybe you’ll finally understand where I’m coming from. Or maybe not…

If you think to yourself, “This doesn’t seem to be written by my Ushie!”, are you f**king serious? Do you think I’m incapable of writing something that’s above third-grade level? I’m in high school, man. And please, if you accuse anyone other than me of writing this, don’t even bother going around saying “Oh, why won’t Ushie come back to me! I’m willing to do anything to have her back in my life!”.

“Why is Ushie being so aggressive in this message? And even swearing!?”, usually I don’t pull out the swearwords when I’m angry with someone. But that’s usually because they’ll understand just how angry I am without them. Though… you seem to have difficulty understanding what I’m thinking, so I’ll try to emphasize it more than usual. (:

Do also note that this is years worth of pent-up anger, against someone CONSTANTLY telling me that all my opinions, thoughts, and feelings are just the results of me being ‘brainwashed’ or ‘naive’. For someone that really wants to talk to their kid, you don’t seem to care about what your kid has to say. If that’s the case, don’t even bother reading this, I’m f**king tired of it.

I think it’s been implied pretty clearly, but just in case you didn’t catch it, I’ve lost all respect for you. I despise you. Hate you. It’s taking a lot in me to not just curse you out and be spiteful. Consider this me trying to be nice. But just remember, this is going to be my last attempt at ever talking to you.

If you’ve reached this point, I must say, applauds to myself. It means I’ve actually written something that’s gotten through to you. So while I have gotten your attention, please stop bombarding people with messages full of pointless ranting. It does nothing but make you look desperate…

Anyways, getting to the actual things I’ve been wanting to say.

Y’know, it’s kinda funny when you kept saying ‘your Ushie’ in the messages. I couldn’t help but give out a little chuckle. They say wording is pretty important, and can reveal even the subtlest of thoughts in a person’s mind. Do you think I’m still the same Ushie that you’ve known from all those years ago? Do you really think I haven’t changed at all? Me, a child that’s personality and mind are still developing? Even against science, it doesn’t really make all that sense.

And nonetheless, do you really think I’m yours? That I’m just something you can get back? Have you actually wondered maybe why you haven’t gotten ‘your Ushie’ back? First of all, I hate it when people refer to me as if I’m just property or a thing to be traded around. I have my own thoughts and feelings y’know… and they’re actually acknowledged and understood by John and Estee, ESPECIALLY when relating to you. Isn’t that just so crazy!?

Maybe it isn’t that Estee or John were ‘brainwashing’ me or ‘keeping me away’ the entire time, but were just respecting the decision of a family member??

And yet you think I’m just some helpless child. The same one that I was when living with you. Grow up, its been so many years since. I’m f**king fourteen years old now for god sake. Six whole years. It’s kinda depressing, seeing how you’re stuck in the past. While I’m at it with clarifying things, the only reason I might’ve seemed so helpless and easy to manipulate, was because of the environment YOU made.

I do acknowledge that you might be confused as to, “What exactly did I do?”, as it might be hard to realize it on your own. So I’ll just try to give examples of how I’m still affected by my childhood. I’m not aiming to be accusatory, but be a bit more open-minded and accountable when reading this part. You’ll probably need to, to avoid getting into some tantrum of how ‘other people caused you to be that way’ or “I have no memory of that, therefore it didn’t happen” because I’m honestly sick of hearing the same excuses and denial over and over. Be accountable, will ya?

Part of me is terrified for whenever someone is angry at me. Did you know that? I bet you didn’t, and even if you did, I bet you don’t know the reason. I can hear even the slightest hint of annoyance in someone’s voice and the slight disapproval on a person’s face, even when they’re trying their best to hide it. It’s difficult to stop noticing honestly, and part of me wishes I could regulate the fear in my heart.

A normal healthy child wouldn’t break down and start crying in their room alone after they’ve realized they pissed off someone, now would they?

The countless amount of times I’ve frozen up when an argument arises, and the countless times when I felt completely helpless. The times when I’d start blanking out, with tears rising up, and the need to run to a silent place. It’s depressing honestly, and I’ve been trying to work on it for so long. Yet, part of me feels like I’m still stuck in that dark place I was all those years ago. 

I also struggle creating boundaries, and especially when it comes to confronting others. Even now with those I know I can trust and feel safe with. 

I grew up mainly depressed and pretty hopeless. I never really knew what peace meant. There were moments I considered suicide too, y’know? That’s not normal for an elementary schooler… I remember always feeling so overwhelmed at even the slightest obstacle in life. That I should just give up, and that peace and contentedness didn’t really exist.

You’d use me against my family. You’d guilt trip me into things. You’d tell me how inconvenient it was to take care of me. You’d push words into my mouth that I never said.  You’d twist all of my accomplishments and take credit for it all. You’d force me into skipping school because you didn’t feel like getting up. You’d leave to go on dates and hook up with guys, neglecting me. You’d take me to family gatherings and use me as if I was a trophy to brag of.

Though you’ve never laid a hand on me or starved me, you created a broken home.

Even then, you still committed those horrible actions against Estee. You’ve neglected Kame too.

I keep wondering where all these feelings of hatred reside and stem from, trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. But it’s funny, because no matter how hard I try, the fault always seems to lead to you. Honestly, I already know the answer, but it’s hard to fathom that someone so adamant and ‘insistent that they love their child’ has instead heavily damaged them, and is completely ignorant.

Maybe it was all those nights, where there’d be screaming and fights throughout the house. Or maybe it was when I would be dragged from my happy spot where I’d be on my computer, to pick a side in some pointless fight about how you do all the work around the house and everyone else was such a lazy slob. Even just watching anime with my sibling out in the living room, I could never feel completely safe. After all, you could appear out of nowhere at any moment with an angry look on your face, and completely ruin my happy mood.

I always knew what that angry face meant, always having to ‘pick your side’ otherwise you’d throw a whole tantrum that would last another whole week. Not like I had much of a choice, since otherwise I’d have to deal with you all alone later when it was bathtime.

And even when I did say something that was against your narrative, you’d completely shut me down and dismiss whatever I had to say. “‘My Ushie couldn’t possibly know any better than me” and “you’re too young and naive to know”.

Every moment I had to spend alone with you, I knew it’d be full of nothing but hatred and bitterness. All those moments, I was silently thinking and hoping that I’d grow up to be nothing like you.

I mean, what type of irresponsible parent complains and sh*t talks about their kid’s family? Don’t you have friends for that type of sh*t? Now I’m so used to friends venting to me, that I’ve practically become numb to it. 

I don’t care how hard your life was, you don’t get to place the burden of comforting and giving consolation onto your own f**king child. Honestly, it’d be different if it was only a few times, but it was almost every f**king week. In my mind, bathtime was just another way of saying ‘its time to give therapy to my own mother’!

The fact that you’ve stopped others from teaching me how to bath and shower myself is also just… messed up. I vividly remember the multiple attempts Estee had, to try and let me be independent for once. Yet, someone(you) would always shut it down. I guess you really couldn’t go on without having bathtime in your life huh? That’s f**king depressing.

Or was it because I’m ‘your Ushie”? And you’re scared of me being anything more than that? That I couldn’t possibly be my own person, otherwise you’ll lose me? Because that’s what happened. Honestly, you caused it to happen to yourself. There are plenty of parents who have independent children they raised and took care of still in their lives.

Maybe if you had actually loved me, I wouldn’t have been so quick to leave when the opportunity came.

Maybe if you had actually listened to all my attempts to explain how badly you’ve harmed me, I would’ve tried giving you a second chance.

Maybe if you stopped threatening Estee and John into ‘giving me back’, I would’ve came back into your life.

Maybe if you sold the house and gave up control of the little you still have left over us, I wouldn’t be so afraid to let you back into my life.

Maybe if you were actually trying to change, I’d be in your life. Not the ‘Ushie’ you know, but a child you gave birth to, named Ushe, and called Ushi by loved ones.

There’s so many more things I wished could have turned out differently, but life happens. I realized latching onto the past was harmful when I was the age of eight. I cannot believe you haven’t realized this yourself, despite being so much older than me.

Maybe the first step for you should be realizing that I might never come back into your life.

I have my own life, full of hobbies and interests, dreams and goals, relationships I feel fulfilled with, and things I look forward to in the future, and I don’t need you in all of it. 

Maybe you should get your own too.

This is going to be my last attempt to even talk to you, as this already took more effort into writing that I’m usually willing to. Just f**king leave me and my family alone.

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Hi there, I’m Estee. Having grown up with an abusive mother, I know how isolating, frustrating, and hopeless everything could feel – back then as a child and even now as an adult.

I am always trying to better understand and manage the effects of the abuse I experienced. And this journey I’m on inspired me to create Hopeful Panda. Learn more here.

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