My Mother’s Day Confession
The mental ramblings of a bad mom
I once read somewhere that life doesn’t come with a manual; it comes with a mother. Well, had I been given the option, I’d much rather have the manual. Now, before we go any further, I encourage you to grab a glass of wine and get comfortable; the story that I’m about to tell you certainly isn’t your average, happy-go-lucky Mother’s Day tribute. I apologize in advance for any triggers, but I need you to understand how I got here before I can give my confession.
As a child, my home life was quite unorthodox and not in any good ways. Communication in our home started and ended with discipline, and discipline in our house consisted only of insults, criticism, and abuse.
One day during my teenage years, I found myself on my mother’s bad side yet again. For a reason that she felt was justified, she grabbed me by my hair and dragged me across the bathroom floor. Punching me in the face and kicking me in the stomach, the look of anger and hatred on my mother’s face was the most painful punch that I took that day. Of course, that was just another day of the week for me. Sooner rather than later, she would find another reason why I needed to be hit again.
We didn’t have conversations in our home when we were growing up. No one sat me down and explained periods or bras to me. No one checked my homework before bed or woke me up in the morning for school. And most importantly, between the frequent moving, constant discipline, and lack of a close bond or relationship with anyone, not a single person bothered to check on my mental health or see how I felt.
If the physical and psychological abuse wasn’t enough, there was also no balance in our home. Though my mom’s bad days were filled with anger and abuse, I would have given anything for her good days to have been filled with love and happiness. Yet as fate would have it, my mother didn’t have any good days, at least none that I can remember. When my face wasn’t in the eye line of my mother’s fist, I spent my days wondering why God would abandon me here to suffer alone. I asked why I wasn’t good enough, and I wondered why no one loved me.
By the time I was 12, I was contemplating suicide, and by the time I was 17, I was attempting it. Deprived of the opportunity to learn healthy life traits, I went through my childhood alone, afraid and utterly unprepared for any world that existed outside of my head. Until I was 26 years old, I moved through life on autopilot, entirely overcome by the depression that was crippling me.
After going through an alone phase a few years ago, I got the opportunity to reflect on myself. I started making positive changes in my life while cutting out bad habits. I began ending toxic relationships, paying off debt, and I started my business. I finally believed that I was on the right track, and there was hope for me yet… until now.
Three months ago, on my 28th birthday nonetheless, a caseworker from child protective services took my children away from me. Citing concerns about my instability and mental health, she decided that I was an unfit mom and that my kids are better off without me.
The sharp cut that shattered my false reality of progress left me wondering how I could have possibly arrived at this location. It would seem that even when I’m trying my best, it’s just never enough to stop the struggles from coming. This was my life, and no one seemed to see or even care about what I was doing right. Emphasis was placed on everything they felt that I was doing wrong, and at the top of that list was my mental health. Turned into a weapon and used against me, the inner workings of my mind became the focal point of their concern. And just like the nights that I spent alone as a child, there was no one there to come to my defense.
With my head hung low and my spirit shattered into pieces, I looked inside for the strength that can only come from God. At the age of 28, I’m still learning how to be an adult and push through obstacles. Three years later, and here I am again, alone and reflecting, reflecting on how I’m going to turn the world’s most sour batch of lemons into a thirst quencher like never before. Today is Mother’s Day, and today I feel like a failure, but tomorrow will be different. My story may be sad and gloomy today, but it does not define who I am, nor will it determine my final destination.
If you have a loving and supportive mom, I encourage you to appreciate her. If your children are near you, I encourage you to embrace them. If you find yourself in a boat similar to mine, with no one to celebrate with you or for you, take my story as a reminder that you are not alone, and then turn this into a road map that leads you to an even greater destination.