I believe that, at birth, the bond between us and our parents is the strongest that it’ll ever be.

It’s one of the only raw and unadulterated moments in our lifetime. Where uncertainty doesn’t exist: there are no filters switched on that day. Words aren’t needed – our eyes tell it all.

A gentle smile forms on your mother’s face which creates a valley in which her tears of joy flow into. Your father adores every breath that you take, allowing him the ability to pace his heart with yours.

Realizing that we are their children. We are a product of their pain, their love, and their bond. It’s at this point, this… insanely powerful moment that we are reminded of how precious life truly is.

Sometimes… I wish that I could experience that day one more time. To share a moment of oneness with my family: to feel utterly consumed by their love. My parent’s love – the way it’s supposed to be.

As a parent, your purpose in life changes the moment your child is born: no matter if it’s your first, your third or your ninth – you are supposed to love, protect and cherish your child. After all, we are, ultimately, pieces of them.

If you’re brave enough to bring a person into this world, this, fucked-up, bizarre world – it’s your job to provide shelter from all that is bad whilst we learn to grow-up. Whilst we find our feet with our first steps and begin to understand that this revolving piece of rock is now our home.

Unfortunately, along the way, this can be forgotten.

The one item on my ‘parent’s checklist’ which is supposed to be permanently completed was simply overlooked. At first, not purposely, but as time moved on, I realized that their priorities changed.

They had forgotten to love the piece of them which needed it the most: me.

They replaced goodnight stories with arguments. They started to forget that I was there in the morning. They didn’t stop to notice that my eyes were slightly darker than usual, that my smile was less frequent.

Their focus was no longer on me but, instead, on their ever-growing hate for each other.

And, I’d try… I’d try really fucking hard to show them that I still loved them. That I still wanted to care. I wanted to show them that I could still make them smile – even when they made me feel so worthless.

I’m not saying for one second that my parents didn’t love me or that they mistreated me. What I’m saying is that they stopped treating themselves with respect, they stopped loving each other: which meant they found it harder to find time to love me.

At night, I could hear them. Every night.

The screams of anger and of regret substituted a kiss on the forehead followed by a gentle ‘sweet dreams’. Eventually, the screaming would stop and, when it did, I’d stay awake and cry because I was alone.

No night-light to fill the crack in my door any longer to make me feel safe. No sound of soft footsteps to check if I was asleep. I felt lost.

The fighting would happen so much that I started to numb the mental torture with physical pain. I started to learn that razors would cut deep enough that it would take all of my energy to control the blood, so that I didn’t focus on my parent’s ability to isolate me anymore.

Now that I look back I have one burning question in my heart: How could you not realize that I was not okay? That I was suffocating in consistent tidal waves formed out of your indifference?

The boy, the child, the person you brought into this world was now exposed to the harm you swore to protect me from.

I deserved more of a chance. You should have given me… more of a chance.

For nearly a decade, you prevented every opportunity that I had of being normal. My outlook on life was poisoned by your inability to act like fucking parents.

You were so focused on killing each other that you failed to realize that it was slowly destroying the boy that you created.

And, even though you forced me to become a different person, I still, have a place in my heart for you. Because that’s what children do: they irrationally love their parents.

Despite your mistakes and blatant disregard for anybody who managed to get sucked into your hurricane – I still love you.

I blame you both for the life I have today. I blame you both for making me the strong person that I am, I blame you both for nearly a decade of anxiety, I blame you both for teaching me how not to love someone, I blame you both for showing me how not to be a parent and I blame you both for teaching me so much about life.

If you ever read this Mum and Dad – just know that I understand. I know that it was never your intention for me to turn out how I did. But, I hope, deep down, that you’re proud of me: of who I’ve become.

I’ll always love you… but I’ll never forgive you.

IMG_1261 Ryan is a mental health advocate and writer who has been kicking anxiety’s ass since 2016. Follow him on Twitter @NoMoreGremlins