What was unfair about the way you treated us, was not the bruises that you left.
It was not the terror you caused, or the nightmares I used to have, or the irrational fears I still have.
It was not the addictions you gave me, or the issues you left me, or the way that it took me almost 25 years to believe a
man good man could really love me.
What was unfair about the way you treated us, was the way your love came and went.
You loved us sometimes, whether you were hitting us, or yelling at us, or just driving down the road not looking at us all four crammed into the bench seat of your tow truck
Sometimes you did all those things and loved us too,
And sometimes you did those things and didn't love us at all.
Sometimes you talked to us like human beings, sometimes you forgot we were there and ignored us for days.
Sometimes when you needed to be loved back, you'd remember us. You'd let me stay up late, write poems with me, give me some of your chocolate and watch movies with me.
You'd laugh at my jokes and listen to my stories and you were present and real and it made me real.
But when you didn't need anything from me you disappeared
And so did all of us kids.
We were such small little kids.
And the inconsistency, the instability of your love is what makes me constantly wait for the other shoe to drop, for the bottom to fall out
Even now, when I'm all grown up with babies of my own.
What was unfair about it all, was that you could stop and start your love for us so easily,
But we always loved you.
Even when you hit us, we cried when we thought you were leaving.
Even when you mistreated us, we sobbed when the cops came to take you away in handcuffs.
Even when you ignored us we begged for your attention.
Even when you told us we weren't good enough, we strived to be better.
We loved you through your darkness and your light, through your loud noises and the way they'd clash with our raw nerves and our young skinned knees
We loved you through your months on the couch, your days on end in bed.
Through entire seasons with no hot water, weeks with no electricity, times we lived in cars or fields.
We loved you through your cruelty and your silence, through your pot smoke and your loud voice, and your always waking us up at night to clean the kitchen.
It was unfair that you could stop loving us, stop wanting us, stop finding us important,
But we knew even then we'd never be able to stop loving you.