top of page

2022 Issue  >  Poetry  >  Apology to Mother

Photo by
Emily Finnegan
Apology to my MotherRed Thiesenhusen
00:00 / 03:45

Apology to my Mother

Red Thiesenhusen

This is an apology to my mother because I wasn’t an easy kid, according to her

I’m sorry that I woke up crying every night in my crib and that you always bring it up

I’m sorry that you tell me these stories with hints of annoyance and an undercurrent of hate and regret at your missed sleep, ignoring the fact that I just wanted my mom


Mom, I’m sorry for making you have to drag me all over as a child, particularly to therapy, because I was “fussy” and “troublesome” when really, I was struggling

I’m sorry that seams on socks made me have a Mt. St. Helens eruption, a nuclear meltdown, because they felt so wrong

I’m sorry that I made you spend money on clothes without tags cause they dug deep into my skin, cutting me and branding me with their name

I’m sorry that I couldn’t and still can’t wear certain clothes on some days because they’re too tight, too scratchy, make me want to tear off my skin and scrub it until I can’t feel anything, my nerve endings fried

I didn’t understand why, I just knew that nothing felt right, that I didn’t feel right, and yet you, my oblivious mother, decided to complain to the grown version of me about how “weird” and “sensitive” I was, I still am


Every time I would panic about calling a new place to make an appointment for something or other, you would always ask if I wanted you to call for me; I fell for it every time

I’m sorry that every time you always began with the fact that I have severe anxiety

I’m sorry that you felt like you could share my own personal problems with anyone you met and I’m sorry that you can’t help yourself because that must be rough, not being able to get it through your bedrock brain that that’s not okay


I love you mother, I really do, and I know you love me too, and that you’re just trying to protect me and do your very best with what you were given

But all you let yourself see is the teen who can’t talk to someone new without a vibrating voice, or that little kid who was a fucking mess, or that baby who never let you get any fucking sleep

I’m sorry that you are a blind dog staring at a wall, thinking it's a window


I was brave enough to tell you that I thought I had ADHD, that I was diagnosed formally with ADHD, and I’m sorry that you refused to understand the fact that you simply refused to see it because “everyone struggles to pay attention sometimes” or “you’ve always had too much nervous energy to sit still”

You didn’t believe me, told me you just don’t see it, and I agree with that last statement because you really don’t


I’m sorry that I have never told you how I’ve struggled with hating myself and feeling like shit since middle school

I’m sorry that I was too scared to tell you because I knew I would only get a response from you that made me hate myself, and you, more

Sometimes I wonder why I’m too scared, then I remember the days when I could barely get out of bed, or couldn’t bring myself to leave the couch, where you would yell at me to stop being lazy, that “everyone has bad days”


I’m sorry that apparently you never accepted that these experiences aren’t normal, and I’m sorry that you passed your problems onto me without any warning or support

I’m sorry you didn’t see all the times I shut down because everything was too much, all the times I sobbed quietly in my room, trying not to make a sound because I didn’t want to make you appear because I knew you would be a wall that I hit, trying to get through, but only bloodying my own knuckles

I’m sorry that your experiences apparently mimic my own and you simply ignored them all


I’m sorry mother, that you were blind to everything

At least now, it’s my own choice to keep you out

Red Thiesenhusen is from Madison, WI and has always had a passion for creative writing. They are in their third year at UW-Platteville, working on a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology. After graduating, they are hoping to attend graduate school and work on a Master’s in Social Work.

Emily Finnegan is 16 years old and a junior at Baraboo High School. She's been taking photography classes since middle school and is currently taking Photography 2. Her favorite things to take photos of are animals and flowers. She hope to continue pursuing photography in the future.

bottom of page