I never told you how proud I am of you. For the longest time, I was in pain. Pain for what I thought you had caused me, for the lies, the betrayal. However, it was not you that lied, it was not you that betrayed, it was not you. I was blinded by the lights and sparkles of something different; I was young and naive.
You were there when I had chickenpox, you were there when I was alone and picked on, and you were the one that stayed up the late nights and packed my lunches. The one that cut my hair, the one that tucked me in and told me everything would be ok.
I never knew the pain that your marriage was causing you; I never knew how you were treated behind closed doors, how you were called names, how you were screamed at and made to feel worthless, how you were cheated on and laughed at. It must have been an embarrassment for you to step outside the house.
I never knew the strength it took for you to just wake up, how you must have held back tears and left that smile on your face to make us feel safe. I'm sure when we were in school, you cried those tears and thought about all the fears.
The fear of what it would be like to live in a world that is not as open as it is today. To fear what would become of your life if you left, how we would grow without you there. Those fears playing in your head as you cleaned the house, made the beds, and kept everything pristine so my brother and I would never have to see what was behind the curtain.
Then you found the strength, you found the strength to leave, and we were young, we didn’t understand, we just grew angry. As we grew angry, the lies were fed to us, the shame was fed to us, and we grew to hate, and it was wrong.
I was not understanding; I was just a fifteen-year-old standing out in the rain, being turned away cause of the pain; I did not understand it was due to cutting away the toxicity that came from taking me in that day.
Today, I'm telling you, Mom, that it is all ok, that your strength and will got you through. Your life is fantastic, and you are happy. Our relationship did suffer, but not because of you. You showed us how to walk away, walk away from pain, walk away from grief, go on our own and find happiness. To not settle for less than what we deserve, to strive to be our best selves above all, and to know that we can be loved and that we can love.
I don't tell you this enough, Mom. Still, I am proud of you, I am proud of you rising above your struggles, I am proud of you striving to make a wonderful life, full of peace, full of love, and without strife.
I want you to know that I grew up strong, and I grew upright. It took some time, but I saw through the lies, and though we have a relationship, I have never taken the time to tell you that I am sorry and that I know it was not your fault. I am thankful that you hung on as long as you could, and above all else, I am grateful that you're my mother. So, Mom, Happy Mother’s Day, I love you to the moon and back!
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