Dear Mother

After a not inconsiderable amount of deliberation, I have resolved to write to you. I will keep it brief to avoid confusion. Several years ago I was diagnosed with both borderline personality disorder and Asperger’s syndrome. borderline personality disorder is closely associated with ongoing, interpersonal stress in childhood and is thought to affect the development of brain regions such as the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, both functionally and structurally. The cause of Asperger’s syndrome is less clear, but may also be linked to childhood experiences as well as genetic factors – it, too, affects the way in which the brain develops

I thought, perhaps, as you chose to disown me by text despite my mental health history and the fact that, in your own words, I once served, at a very tender age, as your own ‘Little Psychiatrist’ (your words) you may wish to reconsider your actions.

I do not intend to reiterate the distressing events to which I was subjected as a child nor detail the emotional maltreatment I had to endure which, towards the end before I went to live with Dad, had all the hallmarks of a deliberate, premeditated campaign.

I have tried to articulate such views in the past but have been met with evasion, minimization and outright denial, serving only to anger me. It is therefore far more emotionally healthy for me to convey my thoughts through the medium of a calmly composed email.

I still do not know your true feelings about what happened all those years ago but it seems to me that you are in a state of denial, a defense that frequently breaks down leaving you habitually dependent upon others to bolster your fragile and precarious self-esteem whereby you can tolerate no criticism lest your defenses burst completely and you become catastrophically overwhelmed but all that you are expending so much energy upon repressing.

Finally, I would stress that I send this email in a spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness and do not intend to be judgmental; I am trying to explain what happened, irrespective or moral considerations. Of late, I have felt more and more that if I do not give expression to my feelings and (please God) finally have them validated, I shall go mad.

In Hope

Your ‘Little Psychiatrist’.

(Published with permission. The author of this letter wishes to remain anonymous).