Dear Santa

Today, I have pleasant things to talk about and unpleasant things. I’m going to deal with the pleasant things first because most of you won’t want to stick around for the unpleasant. After all, it’s New Year’s Day and you’ve probably got stuff to do.

The pleasant stuff is simple. Winners. Lots of prizes, four winners. I decided since there was soooo much to give away that I could break it up just a tiny little bit. There is one big winner of all the books posted. Then there’s a winner of Dev Bentham’s choice of backlist, a winner for Lynn Lorenz’s choice of her Amber Allure books, and a winner for a choice of my backlist. And here they are:

Books – Avalie

Dev Bentham backlist – Joder

Lynn Lorenz Amber Allure book choice – Renee (PaParanormalFan)

Lex Valentine backlist – AnnMarie Lester

I will post a list of all the authors who donated books all month long over on Facebook. I’ll try to make the list by genre to help those of you who only read specific genres. Check my personal Facebook (cemeterywinter) or my author page (lexvalentineauthor) later today.

Now, on to the unpleasant. It’s just a letter to Santa, but it’s personal so you don’t have to read it if you don’t want to. I just need to talk about my life and ask Santa for a favor. So all of you can stop right here if you don’t want to read the gory details of my life.

Dear Santa,

I know this letter is late. I’m sorry for that but, I work a lot you see and I have a lot of responsibilities. I have to put those first over letter writing. And normally, I wouldn’t say so much to a stranger or post so much about myself in public but since my daughter has said so much on Facebook already, I figured it wouldn’t matter if I posted this.

I work a regular forty hour a week job. Sometimes I pull overtime on it. When I get home from work, I go to work again. I have covers, graphics, and videos to do. Sometimes I build websites and I have to maintain those websites as well as my own. I have to blog and promo. And I have to write. All of those things bring money into this household, money we can’t live without.

My husband bought the house we live in. I couldn’t have coughed up thirty grand. I pay the space rent and utilities and I buy the gas for his truck. He takes me to work because his vehicle is the only one we have. No matter the reason why it’s the only one we have. It just is and I have to deal with the right now, not the what ifs and what happened X months or years ago. It’s like that movie Gumball Rally when Franco the race car driver pulls the rear view mirror off the Ferrari and the owner gasps in shock. Franco (Raul Julia) says, “What’sa behind me is not important.” It’s true. It’s the past. It’s lessons are important, but in and of itself, the past isn’t important any longer so dwelling on it only serves to keep you from dealing with the present.

When we moved into this house, my daughter had already moved out. The circumstances of her moving out of the condo we rented back then had to do with school and a controlling boyfriend. He ended up out of the picture and my kid ended up living with a friend. The school thing was her choice. It wasn’t the school I would have chosen for her but, she was of age so I stayed out of her decisions. All I told her was that she needed to make sure she understood all the ramifications of what she was about to do before she signed on the dotted line.

Well, that school didn’t work out for her the way she thought it would. She couldn’t find a job either. Once a week I’d buy her groceries and she’d come home and clean up after the babies. When she could no longer stay with the friend, she just came home. I told her she needed to clean up after the babies, keep the bedroom floor swept and swiffered (it’s wood) and keep the bathroom clean. And she needed to go to school or look for a job. She agreed to that.

So my electricity bill jumped. A lot. She was on my computer all the time while I was at work. Recently, her friend sent her a laptop so now she’s on that all the time. She sleeps in late but stays up late and often she’s on the laptop while I’m working on my desktop. Double electricity. There’s also more water that gets used for laundry and showers, more gas for the dryer. And there’s more food that has to be bought. My hubs deals with all the bills so he knows how much the utilities have gone up and how much more we spend for food. I’m practical. I know there’s a cost involved with supporting another person in the household.

I didn’t mind her coming home because I need the help. For one, I mostly work the whole time that I’m at home. And for another, I have a lot of health issues that make the exertion of cleaning impossible. When I remind her of my health issues and the need to not have all the fur from the babies all over, she just tells me to go to the doctor. I can hear in her voice that she doesn’t believe I’m as ill as I am. I can hear the disbelief. I’m sure she thinks if I was that bad I would go to the doctor so I must not be that bad because I haven’t gone to deal with the issues that are cropping up. But the money it takes to go to the doctor and pay for the meds is money I don’t have. Even with insurance.

You’re probably wondering what the point of all this is, right, Santa? There is one. I promise.

You see, my twenty three year old doesn’t want to be here. I guess that’s the bottom line. She promised to help, to clean, but she doesn’t want to do it, won’t do it unless I get after her to do it. Argues with me about doing it and mostly does a half-assed job of it so that the space doesn’t stay clean for very long and I have to bug her again about doing it. She basically doesn’t do the chores she agreed to when she moved home. When I remind her of her promise or nag her to do them or argue with her about doing them, I’m just a bad mom. She posts on Facebook that I treat her like crap. I just use her. Her friends all want to support her so they all say things about me in their comments to her on her wall.

Santa, it’s very hurtful. I feel wounded. Deeply.  I feel betrayed. Unloved. Disrespected. Mostly, I feel unloved because she won’t help me with what I desperately need. And I feel like a failure. What she says about me online tells me I’ve failed. Somehow I’ve not loved her enough. She says things like how she’d rather not live here but just give me money to help me. She doesn’t want to give of herself, her time and her effort. She just wants to throw money at me so I won’t ask her to do what she doesn’t want to do.

You know, Santa, it’s not about the money. It’s about following through on your commitments. If I promise something to someone I do my damnedest to follow through. I give my EDJ everything I am. I give my clients the best of my abilities. I give my readers the stories from my heart. I try not to ever be in a position where I’d have to make excuses for not following through. Actually, I learned a lesson from a former boss that excuses don’t mean jack. I’ve learned now to accept when I’ve not done what I promised, apologize for my mistake, rectify it, learn from it, and not do it again if at all possible. With her, I just feel like such a monumental failure. If I wasn’t a failure, my kid wouldn’t be posting on Facebook that I treat her badly, would she?

So, my kid got a seasonal job. We needed the money she made desperately in order to keep a roof over our head, keep the house and keep the car. She gave it and didn’t complain to us. However, complaints were overheard when she was on Skype (she uses headphones and talks really loudly when they are on) with her internet friends. I’ve seen snippets of complaints on Facebook. When we charged on her Target card for mostly groceries she was heard to complain to her friends about me not paying the whole thing back right away. Uh, she ate those groceries too, didn’t she?

Santa, I don’t understand. I know she’s not me. When I was ten my mother had a stroke. I had to clean the house, help with the cooking and help take care of my mom. I didn’t really mind it. I was afraid to lose my mom. I would have done anything to help her get better. My kid just doesn’t want to do anything physical to help me and I don’t understand. She promised, but it doesn’t seem to mean anything to her. I guess what I want her to help with is too demeaning to her. After all, I treat her like crap. It says so right there on Facebook.

So here’s what I want from you, Santa. When something happens to me, and one day something will because a body can’t work this much without a break and without medical care for all the things that are wrong, I want you to help her. When I’m gone, I know she will miss me because she does love me and I’m truly all she has. When I’m gone, I know she will wish she had done more and she will see all of this in a different light. I know that when my mother died, even though I stayed at home, gave them money and helped take care of them, I wished I had done more to ease her burdens. I wished she hadn’t died so young (68) and I wished I had figured out how to do more to help extend her life. Because I missed her something fierce when she was gone.

I still do. I wish she was here to give these lessons to my daughter because the way things are going, my daughter is going to learn them in the harshest way imaginable. When she has no one because I’m gone.

And that’s what I want from you, Santa. Help her. Because she may feel guilty and lost. Just help her learn the lessons so she teaches her children to better care for her when she’s old, so they won’t have the regrets she will probably have. Help her ease those burdens. I know you can’t help me and I’m not asking you to. Just help her because I know she needs it.



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12 Responses to Dear Santa

  1. I just found this, because I’m behind in my blog visiting. Lex, hugs, and sending the best to you, your husband, and your daughter. You are not a failure. I hope that there’s a resolution to this for you. You deserve good things in your life, and that includes good treatment from someone you’ve done your best for in the past 23 years. And I hope when she has a few more years/a bit more maturity under her belt, she’ll realize what she’s doing to you.

  2. Emily says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your personal letter with us. I’m going through something similar myself right now, and I know how hard it is. I wish I could tell you that it all gets better, but I can’t guarantee that. All I can say is, I wish the best for you and your family and know that you will be in my prayers.

  3. marcie says:

    Lex ~ Baby, this is just more than anyone should have to bear, ever. My heart is breaking…as I know yours is, too. Perhaps suggesting that your daughter seek alternative housing arrangements and accepting a renter to help you might be better for all concerned? She needs to be gone, to learn on her own; you’ve already learned the lessons she needs to learn. I’m so sorry….

  4. flchen1 says:

    Lex, huge hugs to you and your family. Thank you for all you do, and I’ll be praying for you and your family–it’s a tough situation for you, and may it, too, pass, with you emerging stronger and victorious on the other side.

  5. Jess1 says:

    My heart goes out to you and the situation with your daughter. She may be an adult on the outside, but she still has not gained adult maturity on the inside. The people that she talks to are probably around the same age and on the maturity level that she is, so they have very little understanding.

    As Joder said, you might have no choice but to employ tough love so that she will have to make it or break it on her own.
    Life is a journey. She will learn from her mistakes and grow from them. Please don’t feel guilty, ashamed or unfit as a parent/person if she does leave, is angry and is estranged for a period of time.

    She needs to learn to be responsible and to respect you and your husband. The process may take some time, so please focus on yourself and your husband instead during that time.
    Wishing you the best in this situation.

  6. Beth says:

    Thanks for all the great giveaways for the last month. With everything else you do you didn’t have to tackle organizing those too.

    And I know exactly what you are going through with your daughter. I don’t have the EDJ(only because I can’t get one with my physical problems)but I am self employed making and selling crafts. And I have two daughters. The 26 year old is almost exactly like you described in your letter, with the addition of she is a control freak and tries to be the boss of her younger sister(and sometimes me) and she won’t even try to find work here since she has a job waiting in Feb., that may or may not happen now that the couple who was going to hire her as a live-in babysitter lost one of their jobs.
    The 22 year old just moved back in last month so we will see how that works out.

    About the only thing I can think to do is keep reminding them that if I didn’t love and care for them, they wouldn’t be here instead of on the streets.

  7. JoAnna B says:

    I want to reiterate the thanks for the wonderful month of giveaways!
    I wish I had the answer to your problems. My heart was breaking reading your letter to Santa. I really don’t think kids understand how much money it takes and how much work is involved with keeping a roof over their heads. And I hope she realizes before it is too late what a wonderful mother she has.
    And if it comes to tough love, realize that sometimes life lessons need to be learned by making your own mistakes. Sometimes that is the best way to learn life lessons. I learned quite I few lessons by making my own mistakes but my mom was always there when I needed her.
    Good luck with your daughter!

  8. Susan W. says:

    First I want to thank you for such a great event. You introduced me to several new to me authors and expanded my wishlist. Next I have to say I agree with Joder. I also have a major health issue that continued to go downhill from the stress at work and home. My doctor recommended a divorce to improve my health. That opened hubby’s eyes and he realized it was serious. Your daughter’s an adult and it’s time she lived like one. Maybe it is time to cut her loose and for her to figure it out on her own. You do what you need to do for your health. I’m hoping for the best for you with the start of this new year.

  9. Moving back home is not fun. As I said before, it’s easy to bitch about the way someone parents when you’re NOT a parent. What a shame that you feel like a failure. I don’t think so.
    When I was 20, I moved back in with my parents. I,too, was a pain in the ass, selfish, insensitive. I can’t believe my parents put up with my bullshit. I moved out with hard feelings and carried my self-righteous attitude with me. I was lucky to end up in a 12-step program which made me look at myself, my behavior and my character defects. I made my amends with my parents, stopped being an asshole and started trying to see things from their point of view.
    Then, I had kids of my own.
    Wow. That changed things a lot. My mom and I don’t have a perfect relationship, but I love her and I don’t hold shit against her anymore. And she doesn’t hold shit against me.
    My friend, Karma will deal with this. I will pray that she finds a way to see things differently-with compassion, with love, with less bitchy judgment. I’m proof that it can happen.
    Hang in there my friend.

  10. Kelly A. says:

    Thank you for running the great giveaway, and I with Joder: sometimes you have to cut them loose and let them really experience the world on their own. I could go in length about society and how people my age just seem to want everything handed to them, but it would be too long. Just know that you, Lex, are a great, caring person and that we adore you.

  11. Avalie says:

    Thank you for running this great contest and I am over the moon winning all these fabulous books. Lots of new authors for me here. What a great start to the New Year!

    I really hope Santa gives you your wish and that you have a happy 2013.


  12. Joder says:

    First of all, thanks for running this wonderous month of giveaways! It was a lot of work that you didn’t have to do but that ALL of us are grateful for! Second, you are doing all you can and your daughter has NO RIGHT to treat any of you as she is. My parents have the exact same problem with one of my younger brothers. Takes and takes, never lives up to obligations and talks nasty about all of us. I don’t understand it either as I grew up with a strong work ethic and still help my parents financially even though I don’t live at home and I’m a quadriplegic with very little money. Kids today want everything given to them, expect it really. I don’t know where those thoughts come from but I see it time and again. Pretty soon, you might have no choice but employ a little tough love and let her make it or break it on her own. She really needs to be cut loose as she’s doing more harm than good emotionally.

    Please know that we’re all here for you and can relate to what you’re going through. I wish you the best in your continued dealings with your daughter.