I blamed my Mom for a lot of things in my life. If she hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t have done that, if she had just helped me more, I wouldn’t have been in so much trouble, if she had been around more, I wouldn’t have felt so alone. I never felt loved while I was growing up from her, so I never depended on her. I blamed every action and repercussion on her. Not once in my growing up did I ever take any responsibility for myself. It was always her fault. When I became old enough to understand that she was a single mother, not by choice, but because my real father left her for another woman, and never paid child support. She worked 6 days a week to provide for me and my sister. Well then I learned to hate him. She remarried, and in walks this man. Needless to say, my destructive path was already blooming. As I got older it got worse. I had no fear of my Mom or my Dad(step dad) and I did whatever I wanted. I left my parent’s house for good when I was 17, and moved to the city. Bouncing from house to house, I was homeless. Started gang banging, doing and selling drugs. Getting jumped by groups of guys, and girls, jumping on guys and girls, robbing people, stealing from stores, you name it. Not once did I ever let my Mom know if I was ok. The only time I called was when I wanted money.
I had a conversation with my Mom a few years back, she told me that after I left home, she prayed I made it to my 18th birthday…..that hit hard. But not hard enough. I continued on only really talking to her when I needed something, or after I started having kids when they needed something. I was never a good daughter because I thought she wasn’t a good Mom. A couple years ago, my car got repossessed, again I call her. She laid into me, telling me I only call when I want something and that good stuff. I hung up on her. Since then, I think I have barely asked her for anything. Well last year her and my Dad flew out for my son’s 8th grade graduation. Again it was tense. Nothing had ever been mended between me and my Mom. We got into it real bad. I finally told her how I felt. How shitty it is to be going through hell and her never checking up on me, how since I am not the perfect daughter like my sister I get treated like an outsider. How this weekend was supposed to be about my son and she made it about her, and finally that I didn’t think she loved me, that she only tolerated me because I was her daughter. Later that night she apologized and said she loved me. I of course blew it off. Thinking to myself it’s too late for all of that.
Since being a single mother of 4, and getting my head straight about a lot of things, my mind set is changing. It really hit me on Xmas, when my 9 year old made a present for his father, the father that has been locked up twice in front of him, the father that has never been there for him, the father that does not help with his kids one bit. There was no present for me. The one that walks and takes buses and trains to work everyday, the one that puts food on the table, the one that won’t eat so there is enough food for them, the one who helps with homework, the one who has never left their side, the one who always puts them first, the one that struggles to get them everything they need, and mostly what they want. There was not one thought of me this Xmas. That hurt so bad, I didn’t let them see it though.
As I sat in my room and cried, I thought about my Mom. I thought about all the times that this probably happened to her. I thought about how hard it must’ve been for her raising us alone. At that moment I forgave her for everything, even though she did nothing wrong. I got it though. The whole time I thought she was being an unfit Mother, while in reality she was being the perfect Mother, the best way she knew how.
38 years later, I finally told her yesterday how much I appreciate her and that I have no idea what I would do without her. Her response? “I have always been here” and she has. It just took me a long time and a lot of life experience to figure that out. All I can say is that through all my mistakes and blames, it is such a weight lifted off of me that I finally have that relationship with my Mom that I have always wanted. I don’t just text or call her when I want something anymore. I have to say I wouldn’t trade my Mom for anyone in the world.