ELLA Foundation Blog

Currently Under Reconstruction: Update from Charity Lee

Time again to be an open book...

May 2018

Dear Paris:

I have been writing this letter in my head ever since you called me on Ella’s birthday. I have written it angry. I have written it sad. I hope now I am writing it with love and self-preservation in mind. 

Whether by mistake or choice, you twice crossed the one line I have consistently drawn in the quicksand of our relationship: don’t ever call me on the day you murdered your sister; don’t ever call me the day she was born. 

You took everything else and have all my other days; these two days are mine. 

I demand them. 

Through everything, all the lies, all the violence, all the hate, all the madness created, it is all I have asked of you. I have always told you what I will and won’t do. I have always told you what I do and don’t think. I have told you which actions of yours disgust me and which make me proud, give me hope. I have always told you I love you and never I hate you. I could never hate you. 

But I have never asked you for anything since you murdered Ella…nothing but to leave me alone on these two days. A day of death. A day of birth. 

Alone. Blessedly, cursedly, free to do absolutely fucking nothing but to lose it or make the most of it as I see fit; to mourn or celebrate as I see fit, however slim the difference between the two isn’t. 

Personally, I believe it honestly was a mistake, an oversight, on your part. I know you play chess better than that. I honestly believe it means so little to you, you just…forgot. 

 

It’s been over a decade; a decade of you not caring about what you did to your sister, a decade of me loving you no matter what….over a decade…so you forget that it all, especially these two days, fucking matter, to me. 

You forget that one time I told you the story of a friend of mine who once told me he considered indifference worse than hate, because at least hate has the same emotional value as love in terms of investment in another. 

You are indifferent. There is truly little to no investment on your part there. For better or for worse, whatever the reasons may be, you really do not care for anything or anyone other than yourself.

Do you remember what I told you at your transfer hearing?

You have no power over me except for that which I give you out of love. 

Here is what I tell you now. Remember it. 

I no longer give you my power. You have no power over me. 

You destroyed it creating me. I take it back to recreate myself. 

I am tired of thinking about how everything I do or say may, or may not, help you or make you want to kill me. I am tired of reminding myself when you act more like Ella’s murderer than my son that you are my son, therefore I must not, shall not, cannot hate you. I am tired, so so tired, from loving the boy/man who murdered my daughter, the same one dealing with me now, predominately indifferent. 

Be honest. You are also tired of me. For now. For over a decade you have sat across various tables, not only from your mother, but from the mother of your victim. You have fucked with her; tried to outmaneuver her; crush her in ways you did not think of originally when you picked up that knife in the kitchen. 

Yet here she still is, spouting the same old bullshit, and not getting any easier to checkmate. So…

Stale mate. 

I am on break. Neither of us is naive enough to believe this game will end in stalemate. At least we now both know who plays the black, the white, and where the grey begins. 

Paris Lee, my child, I love you as immensely, intensely, and unconditionally as ever, but even you have to admit you are one hard child to love. Even you have to admit you are loved nonetheless. 

Here is what I am capable of this ebb of our tempestuous relationship. Write me letters. You know how I am with them. October is still mine. No matter what. No more letters to Phoenix. As always, if you are in danger, raped, feeling remorse, call immediately and repeatedly. The phone will be maintained. 

The fact I just had to put that in writing to my firstborn son shows why I need this break. 

To the stars and back Paris Lee. 

 

 

 

 

Topics: Charity Lee, Motherhood, Paris Lee Bennett, anti-death penalty, capital punishment, Donations, fundraising, media in the prisons, prison writing, TDCJ, The ELLA Foundation, unconditional love, murdered child, grief, death anniversary, birthday of deceased loved one, healing from grief, My Son Was Arrested, Parenting, Parenting a child in prison, Prison, Starving for Justice, How to Cope in Prison, Helping Incarcerated Women, Becoming Miss Burton, Haters