Families logo

I am a motherless daughter.

by Jaded Savior Blog 15 days ago in grief

And a better person in spite of it.

My mother is alive, living out her life as an alcoholic and drug addict in her mid-50s. She has been an addict since she was in the 10th grade when she dropped out. She had been drinking hard liquor and taking hard drugs my entire childhood into adolescence. I only ever remember her on something. That was my last memory of her, up until she kicked me out and changed the house locks while I was 16 and pregnant.

I'm the black sheep of the family.

The girl who got pregnant at 16 out of wedlock. The girl who was "destined to be trash" because my parents were both addicts, divorced, and absolutely nuts. I was their only child... no one was banking on me to make it out of my small town or do anything with my life.

She took so many things from me all 16 years that she "raised" me while having residential custody of me. My father had visiting rights, but he was on and off drugs & alcohol, eventually becoming homeless and out of his mind by the time I was 14.

They both were volatile, unpredictable, as well as physically and emotionally broken people. So what I did was survive until I could finally leave. I just didn't know when or how until it happened.

Becoming pregnant at 16 wasn't to "escape" my life.

I was in a 3+ year relationship with someone who was also an only child with two abusive (divorced) parents and we planned on being together into college. Instead, I experienced a forced termination, followed by a birth at 16, and then being kicked out of my high school/hometown. Of course, all of the blame and shame fell onto me, not the boy involved.

I left to live with a relative senior year to finish school while pregnant and gave birth Thanksgiving weekend. My ex was offered a cool car and a scholarship to his desired college, got several side girlfriends, and turned many of our friends against me.

Believe it or not, 16 was not even the hardest year of my life even with all of that. I'd been attacked for years, scavenged at home for food, evaded and fled from attack in the middle of school nights, and survived 2 attempted murders by my parents in the prior High School years.

Becoming a mother was nothing like being a daughter. When my daughter was born I was completely in love and dedicated to her. I went on to raise her alone for 7 years while putting myself through colleges and her in amazing school programs. We thrived alone and I got therapy.

I also finally learned of my parents' official diagnosis: schizophrenia and bipolar.

Many truths came out to me over this last decade from age 20 to 30. I learned of what my parents really were.

BOTH had criminal records.

BOTH were facing many health issues after I left.

My dad had ODd and was revived twice. My parents each had a stroke and several heart attacks. My dad became homeless and still is. My mother has holes in her memory and is now Jekyll & Hyde when anyone engages with her.

Both have tried to reach out over the years but with warped brains and incohesive language via text or Facebook message. I've now blocked them everywhere possible technology-wise and haven't seen their faces in over a decade except for when my mom decided to text a picture of herself to me about 4 yrs ago while trying to befriend me via text. And I was triggered into what turned out to be the beginning of my spiritual journey towards healing my inner child and trauma.

I am a motherless daughter because my mom had never ever been a mother.

I knew her as drunk. Messy. Mean. Aggressive. Abusive.

Others knew her as functional, ruthless, in a suit and sharpened heels like a BO$$ Btch. She was a functional alcoholic and narcissist so everyone at work both feared and admired her toughness. Once she came home she was a complete terror.

I raised myself and in so many ways I've learned for the first time as an adult how to be a kid. How to have fun. How to express myself. How to feel safe in my own body. How to trust others.

I don't owe who I am to her or him, though I've been more devastated about not having a mom than not having a dad because I grew up in her house, not his. Dad was a visitor who frequently disappointed me so I let go a long time ago of any expectations from him.

But my mother, she was supposed to teach me how to be a woman and mother.

How to handle my period, puberty, breakups, beauty, beauty standards, how to express myself, and how to build relationships, how to know green vs red flags, and how to follow my dreams.

Instead, I learned how to map out escape routes from my 2nd story bedroom.

I learned how to walk on my toes and suck in my exacerbated breathing while walking.

I learned how to disassociate and how to stand up for myself against my stepparent [who was useless and an enabler for half my life with her so he doesn't even get more than a sentence].

I've spent the last 14 years as a mother while reparenting myself.

I'm now married for 6 years and have 2 more kids. I feel like I've lived so many lifetimes already. I feel much older than 30 and like I've survived enough to write an anthology.

Having no mother has been a constant sadness for me because so many moments of my life I've had to face alone instead of calling a mom. Calling a mom before my firsts. Calling a mom to celebrate with. Calling a mom to cry to. Calling a mom to ask advice from.

I've never had a replacement in my life either to do these things with. My relationship with my inlaws is just cordial not intimate. It is not the same as having loving parents of my own. I've just always felt alone.

Being a mother has been its own separate experience.

I love my kids so entirely and I am so gentle + attentive to their needs. I intuitively listen and pay attention to their emotions. I cannot imagine ever doing anything that would scare them or harm them. I cannot fathom what kind of a broken person you need to be to abandon your kids.

Being a motherless daughter is a huge part of my identity and has actually made me who I am when it comes to my strength, determination, and perseverance. I've learned how to take care of myself and become my own person. In the absence of cultural, gender, and generational expectations I've had the room + open-mindedness to choose who I want to be. Without feeling like I'm not meeting a bar my parents set.

I have some pictures of my childhood and a few of my parents when they were still married before I turned 3. Some of them hugging and even holding me. When I look, I see half-cropped-out liquor bottles or faces that are dead inside. I see psychopathic expressions in both my parents and I wonder how in the F none of my family on any sides let those people keep me for so many years. There is sadness and anger to work through still yes. But FEELING through it, having therapy, writing about it, and talking about it with other survivors of child abuse like me has helped me put it all into perspective.

There are many women out there who've been through what I have and worse. I know how to talk about these experiences with others. I have studied and processed what addictions, mental health conditions, and trauma do to people beyond what I've witnessed. I've allowed myself to accept and comprehend what occured. These experiences will forever be a part of my story but none of them keep me from leading a future of success and happiness.

I am proud of who I am and I am accepting myself fully. As someone with complex PTSD, ADHD, anxiety, imposter syndrome, and depression ----> I've had to LEARN how to be healthy and balanced. I've had to actively practice and learn intentionality and mindfulness.

I've learned how to be a mother, wife, woman, and individual by diving into the fullest and deciding how I will be through all these roles.

What I do know is I am empathic, kind, intuitive, creative, smart, skilled, resilient, ambitious, determined, dedicated, and expressive. I'm innovative, have big dreams, and have many stories to share.

If I could ask for one thing in my life [you know like from a genie lamp], it would be to have a mother. A loving and healthy, happy and supportive mother. One who wants to see me often, call me, joke with me, love on me, care about me, surprise me, celebrate me, treat me, and love on my kids. A woman who wants to see me be my best and encourages me to keep chasing my dreams. A woman who would have tucked me in, read me stories, combed my hair, fed me loving meals, packed my lunch etc. But that's not how the world works. We cannot just click our heels and get what we wish for.

I DO get to be that mom for my kids and it's great. It does not make up for not having a mom because it's just separate. But I'm thankful for my opportunity to be a mother to my 3 beautiful and healthy children.

I'm learning daily how to move forward without thinking I'm alone or supported or loved. But I'm still thriving in my business, my passions, and how I express myself. I'm collapsing time around my goals and absorbing so much knowledge that its helping me to constantly adapt both my understanding and my expectations.

I might be motherless and I cannot thank her for who I am for even a second. I fought to be who I am now and I'm so proud of how far I've come.

me age 3 on a weekend trip with my mom

A short story inspired by my mother.

"Where does she go" when her gaze goes beyond us all? As she sits perched in her chair, while the kids are all running around and the dog is sniffing around the rug.

Everyone else is making small talk about the weather, the lazy worker at their job, and the sports team with a losing streak that probably won't make a comeback.

The food across the table has been enjoyed the last few hours, a thanksgiving tradition comprised of baking dishes, dry meats and wet spritzers.

Noises traveling around like a buzz in the sweet smelling cinnamon clove air. Condensed milk and cookies being prepared in the kitchen. A pot of burning, black brew getting ready to be poured.

I watch over all the movements in the open, joined floorplan. The monotone music and usual festivities all so significant and yet meaningless. Like we are all just on autopilot and no one is actually capable of saying what they mean.

She does not really blink. In fact, she barely breathes. Except for when she raises an arm robotically, glass ring presses up against her dry burgundy lips. Throat so still as the lava runs down it like she cannot even feel the taste anymore. At least not until the 5th cup is empty.

And as everyone continues to dash and settle, rotating seats to catch up briefly with one another like it is a game of musical chairs ----> I find myself locked in on these little ticks.

It is not in the military straightness of her posture or the poise of her wrist as it lifts and tilts without a crick.

It is not in the way the stay-on matte does not smear or dare to become undone.

The glazed eyes that are traveling out so far and so wide, in another bend of light. In an animated voyage somewhere far off, perhaps in a past life even. Or worse. Just in younger skin.

As she astro-projects, burning fuel by the bottle, it is the stillness that gives away her location.

No one who is warm or inviting can pull off being a porcelain doll quite so well.

grief

Jaded Savior Blog

Mental health blogger, content creator, and creative writer. I write about trauma, mental health, and holistic wellness to empower other trauma survivors. Follow my blogs @Jadedsaviorblog @Startthrivingnotsurviving linktr.ee/jeangrey888

Receive stories by Jaded Savior Blog in your feed
Jaded Savior Blog
Read next: Di the Book

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2021 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.