I know not to write when I’m mad, that is, anything I intend to let anyone else see. I am the most open in those moments. I don’t hide my true feelings in fear of what they might mean to another. Unlike in life, when I write, there’s an assessment button. It’s called DELETE.
I know that’s not clever. I know I can weigh my words before I speak. Here’s the thing. I’m not great at it. If I’m upset, talking isn’t possible, which makes me incredibly frustrated. That turns to tears. It’s a no fail.
It’s the way I’m built. And instead of shaming myself, I’ve accepted this. I’m still learning to move past and around it.
If you hurt me, I will take what’s mine and walk away. It’s better than breaking down, right? Being human? Showing a side of myself that I despise?
I was an inventive child. I made up stories, found animals and wanted to be outside in my own world. My parents divorced when I was nine. I don’t remember being particularly upset. We spent some time in a women’s shelter. Again, I was nine. This was an adventure and I know my memory is colored with the workings of a child that age.
There are six of us and we were a handful. Rowdy, rambunctious and carefree. I am the oldest and my youngest brother wasn’t even six months old. As a mother, I can appreciate the stress, the gut-wrenching pain this must have caused and the utter turmoil at not knowing the path life would take me and my children.
This was a choice. We all make them. Sometimes we are right. Sometimes we aren’t.
I’m not even sure how long we stayed there. I know my favorite shoes were stolen while we were there, there was an awesome counselor with super long red hair, I went to a school where I didn’t know anyone and I saw a lady have a very violent seizure. And instead of being totally scared, I was intrigued. Curious.
This world was new. It was perfect for an imaginative nine-year-old who dreamed of time travel, pirates, the Ninja Turtles and often told her siblings Christopher Lloyd shoveled the sidewalks in our little town.
Eventually, we (all seven of us) moved in with my mother’s sister and her family. There were rules. More than we’d probably ever had.
We were rambunctious. We were rowdy. There were things we had to learn. And there were things no kid should ever discover. Things no mother should ever be forced to do. Should never consider. Should never follow through on.
Because let’s be real, if the choice to give up your children is thrown on the table, what do you do?
You get a free ride. Your children do not.
What do you do?
Remember those nine months? That life growing inside of you and knowing you are the protector of that life. At all costs. In all situations. That idea should be carried far beyond the womb.
We were rowdy. We were rambunctious. We were brats. Please point me to parents with children that are perfect.
You know what? We shouldn’t expect them to be. We shouldn’t want that. We should nurture their independence, their brilliance, their love for life and set them on the right path.
She let my siblings go. She kept me. I was twelve at the time. I can’t change the past. It is the biggest and best mistake of her life on so many levels. I don’t think she gets that. I don’t think she understands that she should have walked away.
Somebody hurt her. She should have run. Corraled us all together and done anything to make it. She should have known that something wasn’t right. She did. You can’t tell me she didn’t.
She was scared. The unknown was scarier.
She picked what she thought was the lesser of two evils. She cut our family. She broke it. When I was nine it was an adventure. Now, that I’m thirty-two it is sickening. It is heart-wrenching to know that she doesn’t blame herself. And she never will. She will carry on as if the past never happened.
I’d like to say I’m a super awesome Christian that prays one day my mother will understand why we have no relationship. I don’t. I can’t. Not right now.
Have I forgiven? Yes and no.
Maybe things would be different if I didn’t have a daughter. If I didn’t struggle like every mother does and wonder when I will eventually lose her love. When I will become what genetics dictate I be. When she will be unable or unwilling to forgive the mistakes I make.
Because she’s three. And right now my husband and I are her world. That world is expanding. She’s a happy, funny girl with a huge heart and a sassy mouth that is almost never without a smile.
She’s the easiest child to love.
She’s not perfect. I don’t expect her to be. I’m not perfect and I forget that sometimes.
What I won’t forget? I’m her protector. Her first and last defense against anyone who would try to harm her.
I’m her mother. We are her parents. That will never change.
Rachel is a military wife who writes irresistible fiction and characters with kick. When not writing, she spends her time with her Extremely Cute Toddler (follow her antics on facebook), her husband, a dog, and one diabetic cat.
She’s long been interested in writing (before she could actually form written sentences), reading, time travel, the military, FBI, anything medical and psychology.