Thursday, November 10, 2011

Triumph Over Trauma

**I’ve decided to try my hand at something more somber, encouraged from NaBloPoMo’s writing prompts, and even added a new label to my blog called, My Life Revealed. It’s where I’ll store the more serious side about myself and my life, and how I got to be where I am in this wonderful journey of life. This is a big step for me as I haven’t written anything quite so serious before. My childhood isn’t a mystery to those who know me. It’s not something I’m ashamed of or something I don’t talk about freely. As a writer, though, I just haven’t felt I had what it takes to express such deep, inner feelings appropriately. And, quite frankly, I’ve been afraid to take the leap. But if there’s one thing I learned from my not-so-good childhood, it’s to conquer my fears. I’m not that scared little girl anymore; I’m a woman grown, who finally feels safe and secure. So for better or worse… 

Writing Prompt #8: Has anything traumatic ever happened to you? Describe the scenes surrounding a particular event:

Some people just shouldn’t get married and then there are some who do but should never have children. My bio-mother and step-father fit into both categories. Between the two of them, they had enough demons to rival a Harry Potter novel, plus they were addicts. She was addicted to prescription drugs and he was addicted to alcohol. Neither was conducive for childrearing.

 I never doubted my dad’s love for me, but my bio-mother’s affection was constantly suspect. One day she loved me more than the moon, and the next she hated my fucking guts. A child should never doubt its parents love let alone be on a roller coaster of I love you, I love you not. However, finding out for sure just how much you aren’t loved by your own mother is pretty darn devastating.

I saw the letter lying there. I recognized my mother’s slanted scribe instantly as she wrote enough excuses for the attendance office at school. I wasn’t a sickly child, but her all-nighters chasing my step-father from bar to bar left her "sick" the next day and someone had to look after her new daughters, consequently leaving me their care-giver, thus missing more than my share of school. The scribble on that white, blue-lined paper beckoned me like a Siren's song. Calling me to its mysterious, unfathomable depths, where it would leave me broken among the jagged rocks of despair.

At first it was the normal stuff I had heard ever since she and my step-father had married. I’m sorry I said such and such. You have to stop drinking. I forgive you for hitting me, please come back, blah, blah. Then I read a line that scorched my eyes and my heart, I love you more than my own children.

I dropped the letter as if it was on fire. My heart felt like it had stopped beating, which, at that moment, I wished it had, it would’ve hurt a whole lot less. MY mother loved HIM more than me…than us? I ran to the bathroom because I feared I was going to vomit all over her dresser. As I hugged the commode, my mind tried to grasp the staggering thoughts that were running rampant, making me feel dizzy. My mom doesn’t love me more than the sky, or infinite, or any of the other gloriously wonderful feel-good descriptions I’ve read in books…or as my mind screamed THE WAY SHE’S SUPPOSE TO.

I never did throw up, but I cried. I cried as my innocence dripped away and the harsh reality of not having a REAL mom hit me like a ton of bricks. Oh, I had her DNA and she delivered me into the world, but not a real mom like other people, not like my best friend, whose mom did everything for her, even made her breakfast! Mine didn’t even bother checking if I had gone to school, preferring me home to take care of her kids.

 The tears continued to sting my face as they flowed down my cheeks, some even reaching my mouth, tasting less bitter though than the knowledge that I wasn’t a beloved daughter, but rather an encumbrance, oh and a slave. The only time she seemed happy with me was when I cleaned, cooked, did laundry or watched her kids.

That long ago day ripped the innocence from my heart and soul and opened my eyes to the realization that just because you conceive a child you aren’t necessarily a Mommy or a Daddy. It was love, devotion and selflessness that produced THEM.

That letter did teach me something though. I knew that if I couldn’t love my children with all my heart and soul and be willing to do anything…anything for them, even die for them, then I wouldn’t have any. I would never have children and have them feel like they weren’t worthy of me or my love. I would never put anyone or anything before my children, ESPECIALLY a man. If I chose to be a mother I would take that duty as the most important of my entire life and MY children would NEVER, not for one second of their lives, EVER doubt my love and devotion.

As traumatic as that day was and as much as was lost, I’m not angry or bitter. It’s true that I didn’t have that special bonded mother-daughter relationship with my bio-mother. And it took me years to over-come the pain and emptiness. I will never be able to reclaim what I lost, however I was able to claim something even more fulfilling.

I AM a MOM. I have two sons whom I love more than the sky... more than infinite, and they have never, not once in their lives, ever doubted my love and devotion for them. I don’t lie to them, push them aside or put myself first because I think I’m more important. They are people too—people I created and brought into this world.

I triumphed over my trauma and in doing so created two human beings who have given me more love, laughter and happiness than I ever could’ve imagined.


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