My mother literally ruined my life. She took away my father, made me a latchkey child, abused me, allowed other people to abuse me, and never showed me love.
I often wondered as a kid why she had children. She wasn’t equipped to handle them. My dad told me he told my mother prior to getting married at the very young age 20 that he didn’t want to have children if he couldn’t be in their lives to see them grow up. He’d grown up in a household with a drunk, absent father and a struggling mother. My dad knew how he missed out on not having a good father in his life. He also knew poverty, and he wanted to give his children all the things he never had.
My mother didn’t give a crap. I’d learn throughout life without an official diagnosis to support my suspicions that my mother was severely ill.
The Early Years
I can remember my life changing drastically after my parents divorced. My parents divorced because my mother cheated on my father, had an outside kid (my baby sister) and packed up his three children while my he was at work to move in her own place so she could be with her lover — the man who would become my future stepfather after all the smoke settled.
My dad was a truck driver. He also worked a third shift in a textile mill. He would walk me to kindergarten every morning after getting off his night shift before coming home and going to bed. I remember my mother not working. We had everything. A big house, I had my own bedroom, and a bed with high post beds. We had a floor model television. And I had a big wheel I could ride through the entire house in a complete circle non-stop for hours.
My dad let me do whatever I wanted to. I was spoiled, treated like a princess. Like a child who was loved by her father.
I remember no such loving memories about my mother. Never. Not a one.
My dad came home to find my mom packed and ready to go with some of her relatives taking his stuff he had worked so hard to provide for us. He snapped. All I remember was my dad telling the men to get his kids out of the house. I was 5 or 6 years old. My brother was 4. My sister was still in a bassinet. Our lives were changed forever. I didn’t see my mother for about a year after that day. It would be years before I saw my father again. He went to jail for a few months, and would spend the next 18–20 years fighting my mother in court for visitation. It was a mess.
My dad beat my mom so badly she needed plastic surgery. When my mom came around again, doctors had bandaged her entire face. She looked like the elephant man. My brother and I were afraid to go near our mother. We lived between my aunt and my maternal grandmother for the next year until she got well enough to get us.
Life was never the same again. Everything went downhill from there. We went from living in a house to living in a low-income housing development and being latch key kids. Some people just shouldn’t have children.
The Tough Years
The years after moving in with my mother were horrible. I became the mother, given the responsibilities of getting myself and my brother home from school. I had to learn to ride the bus to and from school because she had to get a job. Mother taught me to cook so she wouldn’t have to when she came home from work.
Not long after she moved into her apartment, my mother resumed her relationship with the man who would go on to deny their child together, rape her daughters, steal her money, and cheat on her the same way he cheated on his first wife to be with her. I like to call it the vicious circle of life.
My mother used to leave my brother and I in our shared bedroom all night to go sleep with her boyfriend, my future step-dad at his place. I was only in the 2nd or 3rd grade and I remember cursing her and saying how much I hated her as I watched her load my baby sister up and take her to whore with her boyfriend. My future step-dad knew she had kids because she dragged us out in the daytime sometimes to be with them on their “day dates.”
What kind of man lets a woman leave her kids at home alone so she could lie up with him? I often think about how little she valued our lives and our safety.
My mother always put her needs before ours, always.
My mom would eventually marry the man she cheated on my father with after several years of secretly dating him and leaving us home alone. She didn’t invite us to the wedding. She married my step-dad at my grandmother’s house in an intimate ceremony. The wedding was so intimate, none of her children were allowed to attend. She went on her honeymoon, leaving her three kids with the neighbors. My brother and I never got a proper welcome into her new man’s family or into his home which would eventually become “our” home.
We literally knew nothing about him, really. What little we knew we couldn’t discuss. My new step-father was a secret my father could know nothing about for obvious reasons. As I aged. I’d put 2+2 together and understand why.
My mother did nothing properly. Decent and in order was not her forte. I never had a mother who had my safety and best interest at heart. There were no hugs and no love. All I ever felt was abandonment. I was the mother and an adult in her home. Never loved. Always treated as the help.
It was a recurring theme throughout my childhood.
Her Marriage, My Trauma
After her honeymoon, my mom moved us in with my step-dad. I learned he already had tons of children. He was what most folks would call well-to-do. He was a Deputy Warden of a prison. He sometimes pushed the button to the electric chair for men and women sent to death row. He was a Vietnam Veteran with the PTSD to match.
My step-dad was named Solomon. He was a handsome man, a kind of like Billy Dee Williams. Solomon was educated, crafty, and a good dresser. He had a nice home, a boat, and from the outside, he had his shit together. He had sons. He had all sons. Five to be exact—that we knew of. More about the man’s character would be revealed later towards the end of their marriage. My step-dad’s kids were older than me, my brother and my sister. We didn’t get along, ever. We were never blended properly. It was a family made in hell by two people who only gave a shit about themselves.
Solomon had a dark side. He drank to excess, and he was a pervert. I’d find his nasty books. It was my first time seeing porn. He enjoyed touching his step-daughter and his birth daughter inappropriately when his new wife went to the store or to run errands. He’d tell us not to tell. He always wore his Burgundy night robe when he touched us. He always seemed to be dressed inappropriately when home from work.
I hated Solomon.
One day after conferring with my baby sister that her father was doing bad things to her too, I got up the courage to tell my mother. By this time I was in the sixth-grade, old enough to describe what was happening.
What did I do that for? I may as well have told a door knob.
My mother told me I was lying. She told me I better never say “that” again, and I better not tell anyone. It was the last time I’d ever tell her anything.
Oh yeah, she told me I wasn’t going to mess up her “good thing,” meaning her marriage to her “dream man.” Her life, her dreams, her needs always came first. What was I thinking?
The sexual abuse continued. Her severe beatings began. I finally tired of being imprisoned, mistreated, beaten, and treated like the help. I’d eventually learn she’d be as violent to me as her relatives were with her.
The Middle Years- The Abuse
I can remember nearly bleeding to death because my period stayed on for 30 days. She wouldn’t buy me sanitary napkins for my flow. She’d complain about how I was using “too much.” I would mess up my clothes all the time. She always made us walk to school, despite having multiple cars and going years without working after remarrying.
If I came home late from my friend’s house, she locked me out of the house. Frequently, I had to spend several school nights with my best friend. Her mother was so angry at how cruel my mother was, but she was so respectful. She said nothing to me personally.
My mother put locks on all the cabinets and refrigerator so we wouldn’t eat anything without her knowing it. I forgot to mention she was the first person in the state to sue her employer, a city governmental entity, for racial discrimination, and win. Her settlement was $500,000, which was a state record. She had plenty of money. It was in the 80s.
My mom would beat me because the older I got, the more I rebelled. I had no respect for her and I just got to the point where I was tired of being her slave/whipping pole. Eventually I’d go to school after a beating and bloodied mouth and tell my guidance counselor. They called child welfare services. They placed me in foster care. I was in the 9th grade.
My mom cut us off from our extended family. We had no friends, no one ever came to visit us. As I got older and learned about the dynamics surrounding childhood sexual and domestic family abuse, narcissism, and mental illness, I’d learn my siblings and I never really had a shot.
My entire life was hard. My dad was mostly out of the picture. We were intentionally isolated, prevented from receiving the love we needed to thrive. Apparently my mother didn’t love herself, so she wanted to ensure we wouldn’t get anything either. It was a terrible way to grow up.
My mother never put money away for us to go to college. She never purchased cars for us. She never taught us how to drive. Everything we’ve ever received we got on our own. My sister tried to commit suicide after I left because the abuse was directed at me was now on her. She wasn’t as strong as I was. I’d been mistreated much longer, and I had learned ways to cope with the abuse and neglect. The abuse my mother dolled out was not for the faint at heart.
I never had a birthday party. I’m 47, and I’ve never had a birthday party, something many people take for granted. It’s no fun throwing yourself one so I will never have one. It’s one of those childhood experiences I’ll never have. I missed my prom. I missed graduating from high school with my class.
I missed getting hugs and good touches. I never got one from my mother as a child. She didn’t have it in her. She attended none of my school events. They considered me a gifted child in middle and high school. I had the chance to take classes, but I never was supported academically. My mother never planted future seeds of life to cultivate my gifts and abilities. All my mother ever told me was when I turned 18 years old, I was getting out of her house. There was no building children up in her house, only tearing them down.
That’s a mother’s love no child should ever have the displeasure of experiencing.
My mother tried to break me, but I wouldn’t let the bitch win. My mother didn’t teach me how to have healthy relationships with women. All she ever taught me was what it felt like not to be loved. She taught me isolation. She taught me loneliness. She taught me how to live through and survive abuse.
My mother showed me what not to be. I didn’t want to be that person.
Life After Foster Care
Foster care was hell. I met an older guy, ran away from my group home at age 17 with the first one who showed me attention, and married him. Needless to say, it ended the way all the terrible Lifetime Movies end.
I’ve spent my life living and loving from a deficit. I’ve made a lot of mistakes because my parent was living her best life. I don’t have a relationship with my mother. I tried for years and she’d always do stuff to make me regret it, like asking me to keep her grandsons, then charging me to keep them once they get there. No one I knew had to deal with the craziness my mother shelled out. The older she got, the crazier she got. I’d spend years not dealing with her. Eventually her nephew would call me to tell me she’d officially cracked up and needed to be put away. She was talking about killing the neighbors, and would go to the mailbox in her nightclothes with a gun in her pocket.
I wished the neighbors luck and sent my cousin my best. If she’d shoot them, she’d shoot me too.
Never A Mother, Never A Friend
I read all the time about mom and daughter relationships and wonder what that would be like. Many people have had unhealthy relationships with their mothers. People sweep them under the rug. I feel it’s therapeutic to talk about dysfunctional families. It also helps others who can’t share negative experiences because society tells us anything less than a perfect life isn’t worth discussing.
My mother has been my biggest enemy. I can’t seem to shake all the negative images she ingrained in my memory. I don’t know what it’s like to have a caring mother. I don’t know what it’s like to have a loving, supportive mother, a personal advisor, a financial backer, a generous grandma to her grandchildren, or the protective parent who would die for her baby cubs.
My mother gave her kids to the wolves to eat.
I have no love for my mother. I haven’t spoken to her for years. I don’t even know where she is. I don’t care, either. As long as she’s not in my life, life is good. My kids don’t like her either. She’s done so many things to scar them, they can’t stand her.
My mother is an evil woman. Like my grandmother, when death finally comes to claim her, I’ll have no sorrow. I’ll have no tears, and I will not have any shame.
She… is the woman I’m forced to call mother. I don’t celebrate mother’s day. I don’t celebrate any holidays, in part, because none of them were happy occasions for me. Good mothers deserve parades.
Bad mothers should get the death penalty.
© 2019 Marley K. All rights reserved.