When I was young, life with my mother was good. I used to love going to her job, playing and watching her work. We played little hand games like “thumb war” and “boom-boom clap-clap.” At day care, I didn’t want her to leave. She always knew how to make me feel good.
But as I got a little older, it seemed like my mom was always stressed out and depressed. She looked like a big cloud was over her shoulder that could rain on her any day.
I didn’t know about the violence my mother had experienced as a child, or the pain she’d lived with after her mother died. All I knew was that she didn’t seem to care anymore about having fun with my brother and me.
I Just Didn’t Care
My mom would constantly tell us she wasn’t doing a good job with us and she thought we’d have a better life with her sister Gina. Then one day my mother told a counselor at my brother’s school that she couldn’t take it anymore, and child protective services took us away.
I was scared. I missed my mom a lot.
But soon we were placed with my aunt Gina, and pretty soon, I started enjoying it there. My mother would call and ask if I wanted to come home. Of course I said yes, but I didn’t mean it. On holidays and birthdays, when my mom visited, I didn’t want to see her. After three years, when my aunt told us it was time for us to return to my mom, it felt like a slap in the face.
Gaining Back the Bond
When my brother and I came home, my mother didn’t know what to do with us because we were both so disrespectful. Still, she said she wasn’t going to give up on us again. During the years we were away, she’d gotten a lot calmer and stronger. Finally, she took us to family counseling.
In therapy, my mother and I really listened to each other and started gaining back the bond we once had. My mother still has doubts about our relationship because I don’t tell her every little thing about my life. She says she has made so many mistakes. But I see her as a strong person who has managed to get through a lot.
In the past I felt like I would never be able to forgive my mother. But now I feel like I can accept what happened and move on.
Reprinted with permission from Represent: www.representmag.org.