I was sixteen years old when my friend Jon hugged me as he explained the woman who left me so broken was never a mother to me but rather just my birth mother. I can still hear his words, “She’s not your mother,” he said in disgust. “She’s your birth mother,” he continued to speak disgustingly. My heart felt so broken, a hallowed hole in my gut as vomit rested in my throat and tears fell from my eyes. Deep down I knew he was right and it sucked to know there was not a thing I could do about it.
Jon continued to remind me after my birth mother was caught in 1987 for stealing over five years of social security checks. Checks she collected after my father fell ill to cancer and after he passed away in 1983… Money I could have used in the homes I lived in.
I see the photos and quotes on social media… ‘If your mom is alive.’ ‘Love your mother.’ ‘You only get one.’ At times I feel like I am insulting these friends who post this stuff, because the truth is… My birth mother is alive and I choose to not have her in my life.
I never longed for my mother’s love because the love she showed me was cruel, harmful and inhumane. Though I never had love from my mother, I was lucky enough to witness what a mom is in the so many friend’s whose mother’s were just that… A Mom.
I lived in so many homes when I was a kid and in every one of those homes there was a mom, grandparent or guardian who was feeding me, putting a roof over my head, giving me chores, buying my hygiene products and including me in their family holidays. They let me cry, made me laugh and most of all, they showed me love.
I hate the memories my birth mother made of my childhood. So to long for her love was impossible because it was never there and though she gave me birth, she did not give me life.
I lived most my life feeling guilty for not forgiving or forgetting my birth mother of her treatment towards me. So many good moms taken so soon in death and there was my mother alive and well.
A simple conversation can need a world of explaining and sometimes it was easier to say my mother was deceased rather than explain why I don’t have a relationship with her in my adulthood.
I tried in my twenties and I gave her nine years, but the lies, deceit and lack of responsibility, accountability and empathy was too overwhelming as I raised my children as far away from that lady as I could.
I had to grow up and learn to love myself enough to know she could not be in my life, as just the look of her face was nothing but a reminder of a lifetime of horrifying flashbacks and horrible, horrible memories.
It’s not that I disrespect my birth mother but more of, I respect myself and did what was best for me. Almost twenty years later, I have no regrets. I thought about should I ever run into her out in public, she would be just another old lady who I would hold the door open for.
I’m hurt but I’m not cruel. I feel pain but I still love. I am nothing like my birth mother but I am everything she wasn’t.
I have empathy and sadness knowing how lonely a world her life must have been to think it was ok to stand by a man as she stood by her boyfriend for all those years. A man who left her just months after I didn’t come back home.
If you have a good mom, like the one I am to my kids or the so many good moms there are in this world… Give her an extra hug for me.
Its mom’s like me and you who once took in my birth mothers daughter…. And I thank God everyday for mom’s like us ⚘ I may not have had a mother, but I was blessed with love from so many other moms… That it made not having that one mom, so much better knowing I was blessed with so much more ♡
Mother’s Day is around the corner and please remember, not everyone has a mom… even if she is alive. My friend Jon continued to remind me of the woman who was nothing more than a birth mother to me and though he has been gone for nearly three decades, I can still hear his words and feel his hugs.
From my Survivor’s Mind book… A poem I know Jon would be so proud to see printed.
How can a mother not even bother
A child is being abused?
Her cruel words came in chords
Always left me confused.
Life would derail if he went to jail
So his secret she kept
All the abuse was an excuse
Her reasoning to accept.
Her nasty ways shamed my days
Her hands stayed out of reach.
Ignored my cries, she told her lies
No lessons did she teach.
With every attack protection did lack
It was like she didn’t care
Lasting results, broken adults
A childhood left in despair
Losing the count of the amount
Children she did not raise
Being none other than a birth mother
Are words I’ll always praise
*Photo by Jane Cornwell