Yes. I call you “mom” even though I know you don’t deserve this term of endearment. You raised me and you are the only person I can compare a mother to.
I didn’t know my real mom because she put me in an orphanage when I was very little. I was not even old enough to say the word “mom”…all I knew before the age of three were my dark surroundings. But I had faith she would come back for me.
In 2012 I wrote you a letter, apologizing for what I had done to hurt you back in 2010. I blamed myself for the pain I caused you. You didn’t write back. I knew you would not, but deep down, I hoped you would because even though you were a very evil narcissistic person, you were the only mom I knew.
As time went on, I realized that I was not at fault for any of the things you blamed me for. You used Jesus and God to justify your twisted faith. You used one of your disabled sons as a punishment on me and my other siblings when we didn’t “behave” or represent you properly. You used your words to cut deep into me, making me feel sad, scared and alone.
You made me feel that if it had not been for you, I would be dead. You tried to play God; I was the puppet on your very tight string.
When I wanted food as a child, instead of helping me with my eating issues that came with being an orphan, you removed pieces of meat, potatoes and veggies from my plate because in your mind you thought I was too fat.
You never even knew my favorite color, my favorite game, my favorite song. You didn’t know these things because you never asked. You didn’t care.
You had no interest in getting to know who I am, all you cared about was how I made you look.
To friends and guests, you would brag about me, and tell me how smart I was, how exotic I was, how beautiful I was, how motivated I was. But behind closed doors, all you would say was how fat I was, how lazy I was, and how I needed to get good grades so that I would not become a poor stupid maid.
To you, there was nothing I could do that was right. I always upset you somehow and I walked on eggshells around you.
I didn’t know when you would be happy, or sad. I didn’t know when you would be angry, or shout commands like you did with all the maids we had growing up.
When I was between the ages of 9 and 12 I was molested, and even raped. I didn’t tell you about it because I knew you didn’t care. I found out later that one of the maids had told you that something was going on, they were also worried because I wet the bed at such a later age, but you told them to shut up, to keep their mouths shut. You even threatened to fire them if they talked.
I remember times when you would blame the maids for stealing your jewelry, and yet you found it the next day.
I remember the times you would tell missionary guests that we were sheltered-and you were proud of that. You told them we had never seen a TV in our entire lives, and you would tell them we were not allowed to listen to secular music, and we didn’t know the songs they were singing. Did you ever stop to think about how that made us feel? How that made me feel?
You did not save me. You put me in a cage and held a mirror to my face each day, hoping that I would, bit by bit turn into you. But it never happened. I refused to be you.
When I saw you and your boyfriend having sex one bright summer day, I got scared. I got scared because I didn’t really know what sex was and I thought it was supposed to be between a mom and a dad. Not a mom and a boyfriend with a dad living in the same house.
When I confronted you about it, both you and he told me that you would take it to your graves. You would never admit it.
When I was 17 years old I was held hostage. You left me alone with a bandana around my eyes….You left me alone and vulnerable with dirty men holding me, and putting a gun to my head. You emerged about 5 hours later as the “hero” who called the police. You just had to be that hero. You had to be the savior again, and again, and again. Staying behind would have been more savioristic, don’t you think? You were also the one who orchestrated the robbery. After much thought and reflection, nothing was really stolen. You had no problem with the men beating up your husband. You didn’t care.
When I was in my mid 20’s I confided in you about the abuse and you never once apologized for not caring. You never once showed sympathy. You never once felt sorry for not being the mother you promised to be when I was adopted at age 3. You passed it off as a crush relationship. You thought I wanted it….really? At 9, 10, 11, 12? Who wants to be molested?
So I want to ask you this:
- Do you remember that time you and your boyfriend touched my body during hypnosis? I was around 12 years old. You told me that this would stop me from wetting the bed at night.
- Do you remember the times I cried myself to sleep because I was being bullied at school because I was black but not the right kind of black….?? You did nothing to console me.
- Do you remember not making any real effort to do my hair…you just told me it was too “difficult”?
- Do you remember how many times you told me that I was too sensitive, or too serious, or too angry, or too grumpy….?
- Do you remember the time you completely humiliated me when I started my period for the first time in the shower, adding whip-cream to my naked body as I cried in horror because my siblings who were too old for this were seeing me naked and the make-shift door was held open for the world to see?
- How about the time I told you my vagina hurt and you forced me to lay on my back and you examined my vagina…I was 13 years old.
- Do you remember the time you searched for my birth mother to ask permission to adopt me? You would not remember because you never did.
- Do you remember paying money to someone so they could get me a birth certificate of a dead person, just so you could have “your” daughter? I was 3.
- Do you remember being “ok” with them changing my age by about three years and not to mention also my name?
- Do you remember when I started cutting myself in North Carolina? I cut a lot, and I cut deep.
- Do you remember when I became anorexic and also bulimic? I threw up all my food because I was afraid the food would stick to my thighs that you said were too big for my age.
- Do you remember sitting down with me to fill out my college application, the excitement? No, you would not remember this because this never happened. You applied for me to go to college, you wrote my entrance essay, you signed my name. I got on a plane not knowing what college I would be attending until a week or so before I had to be there. You told me my SAT scores were too low for me to get into college, so you lied your way through, pretending to be me. You needed to be the hero, the savior.
- Do you remember making me make little poor kids sing before I gave them their cup of milk and piece of bread in the “village?”
- Do you remember you not wanting my now 21-year-old daughter anywhere near you? You wanted to make sure she remained poor and helpless and the only time you wanted her near you was when she made you look like a hero; like when we had guests over.
- Do you remember when I wrote my first book about my life and the struggles I went through as a child and teen, and then you disowned me because 6% spoke about you and your boyfriend? Did you even read the book? My memoir?
- Do you remember calling your own husband a beached whale, fat, lazy, stupid….the list goes on.
- Do you remember touching my butt and then telling strangers to do the same because I was able to make it “real” tight?
- Do you remember all of a sudden deciding that you wanted me to say “mam” to you because in your mind, it was what you wanted…it would make you look important and it made us kids look polite.
- Do you remember pinching me to force me to smile in family pictures?
- Do you remember telling my brother that all he wanted to do was “surf” and that he would forever be a dumb surfer?
- Do you remember putting so much fear in me I could not be near you for long periods of time?
- Do you remember laughing while you told me my birth certificate was that of a dead girl?
- Do you remember telling me I could not wear a bikini until I was 18 years old or watch a rated R movie when I was 19? But the others could.
- Do you remember telling me I could not paint my nails? But the others could.
- Do you remember stealing money from missionaries? You know, a house cost about 2000 dollars to make, but you charged about 5,000. Where did all that money go? Why couldn’t you produce receipts?
- Do you remember the daughter I adopted? No, you would not remember because you wanted nothing to do with me.
- Do you remember the daughter you lost….oh wait, that was me. But you never considered me a daughter because you never bothered to make me really part of the family. You never filed for my US citizenship and you never cared to ask me how I am doing today.
- Do you remember me saying that I wanted to be adopted?
- Do you remember me saying that I wanted to be part of your family?
- Do you remember me saying I wanted to be renamed?
- Do you remember me saying that I wanted to sing up in front of church? Do you remember grounding me if I didn’t?
- Do you remember me saying that I wanted to be the designated baby sitter ALL. THE.TIME? And for No Pay?
- Do you remember me wanting all those material gifts as apologies for belittling me in front of people or making fun of me because I am a lesbian?
- Do you remember asking me if I would have sex with my sister because I was a lesbian and according to you, all lesbians are promiscuous.
- Do you remember your boyfriend hitting me in the arm many times just for fun? I’m black so no one would know.
- Do you remember when your husband, my adoptive father, twisted my nipples as they were budding and everyone laughed except me?
- Do you remember when you and your boyfriend raped my adoptive father (your husband because you wanted to be sure that he would not leave you nor tell a soul that both you and the “uncle” were sexually involved?
- Do you remember telling me that you would “pull” support if I got another C in college and then blessing your biological daughter with money to go to medical school even after almost failing undergraduate school?
- Do you remember telling me how I was supposed to feel ALL. THE. TIME?
I DO REMEMBER:
- I remember all these things.
- I remember all 39 of these things and there are many more that I could list but readers would be reading all night long.
- I also remember how in my heart, as much as I despise who you are and how you treated me, I know that you are sick.
- I know that you have an illness you will not admit to.
- I know you do not have a conscience.
- I know that you border on sociopathic behavior.
- I know that you use OTC meds to dull the pain.
- I know that you need to look your best and make fun of those who don’t.
- I know that you think you needed all those cosmetic surgeries and now you have a permanent fake smile.
- I know that you use your past to define you.
- I know that you won’t get help because being an “ex” control freak actually means that you have control over your inability to get help.
- I know that the only person who can help you is yourself but you are too full and egotistic to even notice.
- I know that you are/were a clepto and stole from your aunt.
- I know your mother (my racist grandmother) was a pathological liar who stole things from her own sister.
- I know that you live and feed on the lies you tell your spouse, your boyfriend, your kids, missionaries and most importantly yourself.
- I know you force yourself to look “normal” and you allow your sickness to control you.
- I’m not going to allow your sickness to control me or my family.
- I’m not going to see you in the mirror I look in.
- I’m not going to let you be part of this amazing life I have somehow been able to create in spite of your shit.
- I’m not going to allow your abusive nature to permeate my very being.
- I’m not going to let you think you won this!
I have stripped the title of “mom” from you. You are now just a YOU and that is what you will be to me for the rest of your life.
Your abandoned, adopted, conqueror!