Funny thing about being old is that you can remember being young. When you are young you can't remember being old. You haven't done that yet and are limited to your imagination. Your imagination is good, but not that good.

I am tempted to say, "I understand." Truly, and I might actually hit the nail on the head, but it's unlikely. What I can say is that I can think of quite a number of explanations. Loyalty to your first family: Due to the blow-up with Meegie I cannot imagine that they family story doesn't cast me as the super-villain because that way everyone still an "insider" gets a free pass on responsibility. Free passes on personal responsibility are a big part of that culture. Ask Tallie.

An adjunct to that is loyalty to your mom, whom, I'm sure, needs your support. Her self-image and her abilities ... do not match. Sooner or later, however, you may want your own life. A lot of what you pulled was designed to get her goat. If you succeeded, she didn't show it (but that skill too, goes back to her childhood), so I don't know if she played dumb or really didn't see it. I'm not abdicating my responsibility. Nabokov.

"Chores:" (that should be written in a dripping blood font) Wasn't voluntary for you. I'm sorry about that. Pokemon does not keep food on our table, and the fantasy that it will for you is shared by literally millions of others. Are you sure you are enough better than all of them for it to be you? God I hope so. I am super proud of you either way. I felt that it was my responsibility to give you a skill set, one I thought to be critical, and one that you would not have picked up on your own. You don't have to practice any of that now. I hope you never do, although the chances of a pass on that are shrinking quickly. That, at least, is not my fault, but if you survive, that part will be.

Isolation. My bad. I'm an introvert and we lived for my comfort, not yours. If you ever come home that probably won't have changed. I like people in small batches of those I already know and trust.

All that said, I love you, I care more deeply about you than any other human being. I'm not sure if I know you or not. I thought I did, even the duplicitous stuff, but I don't know any more. It could be one or more of the things I mentioned above. It could be something else entirely. Obviously you have the power to renegotiate. You did, and here we are. You still do though, and not only nuclear options. Your mom described you and I as "best friends" once (she was telling me that she was "sorry about Abby," but that was BS, so maybe her observation was too). It felt like that to me. BTW: I'm not who I thought I was either. I'm fixing that.

You will always be welcome wherever I am, and to whatever I have, under whatever circumstances. Always.