My mom is the strongest person I know.. She taught me to never to stay with someone who treats you badly, to stand up for yourself, and how you can bounce back from the lowest of lows. The words dignity and perseverance come to my mind.
The trauma I experienced with her started around the age of 13, when she started drinking heavily. Her dependency on alcohol meant that I had to mother her and I both, and I resented her for that. Her drinking got so bad, that when I was in high school, she lost her job, her third marriage seemed to be going downhill, and I wasn’t sure if she would even survive. During this time, she directed all her negative energy at ME, in particular. This was definitely the most toxic our relationship would ever be.
Luckily, I got my mom back the day Obama was inaugurated. She had hit rock bottom, and Obama was making a speech about change. She said that she took his words quite literally, and this was her cue to get sober for REAL this time.
Our relationship has evolved and improved ever since. She flew across the country in 2017 to visit me, and we took a crazy road trip along the coast of California...something we both would have never imagined doing, as midwesterners.
I swear, I wish I had more energy to write all the stories I have of her. Growing up, she was just such a bad ass. She wouldn’t let anyone take away her power. Think: seeing your mom at age 6, swing a baseball bat at a window to the house you lived in. I had no idea what the hell she was doing, but she was going through a really messy divorce and wanted our belongings back.
She did anything and everything for us. I know now that she is a human being, and like all of us, has flaws. But I know that she did the very best she could with what she had at the time. It wasn’t always great, or perfect...but I don’t think I would change the past if I could.