There’s no goodbye forever to that

I came home from work today and checked the mail. There it was: the packet I knew would eventually get here. I knew nothing of what was inside, other than a letter.

I came inside and did what I normally do. I washed the dishes, fed the cat, and took out the garbage. Then I came upstairs, changed, and checked my e-mail. I wasn’t feeling any type of way. I was in a good place. I had a good day at work. I felt okay enough to open my mail.

There was a brown envelope inside. I pulled everything out. There was my birth certificate. My old social security card. And a bunch of cards and notes from my First Communion. It was sort of an odd assortment.

Of all the things that were supposedly saved, of all the things that could have been sent, I get a pile of religious bullshit. I’m not a Catholic. I was never a Catholic at heart, only by parental indoctrination.

Then I see papers folded up with my mother’s handwriting. I waited a few minutes, then I started reading the letter, part by part, along with my friend.

Here are the important things you will need in your life no one was keeping them from you and you never asked for them. They were kept in a fireproof box so if there was a fire they wouldn’t get destroyed.

As for the story of your lip I was working that night as almost every night at Kmart till 10:30 PM. That night there was a really bad storm you walked into the door of the bedroom dad called me at work but Kmart would not let me leave so him and R drove to St. Mary’s Hospital in Hoboken at that time we had HIP insurance and that’s the hospital you had to use. The HIP health center was in West New York, NJ cause that was the only place close they had. No one was trying to hide anything to doctors because no one had anything to hide you weren’t abused you were at doctors for checkups as a child needed you never were rejected health care. And no one lied where you were born. You were born in St. Mary’s Hospital in Hoboken, NJ cause as I said that was the hospital used on the HIP health plan.

You have nothing to fear I’m not coming after you I have no desire too. You made your decision to disown your family and thats your decision and if thats what you wanted then so be it. I know your plans were encouraged by your friends and a certain family relative who’s name I will not mention because if certain family members knew this they would not be happy and I am not out to ruin peoples lives so that secret I will die with. But do tell me why did you come to the hospital to visit me while you were telling people how happy it was with me not in the house and how they recommended you toss my stuff out to the street. Was your visit to see if I was dying??

You broke your fathers heart when you left because of the way you left and the lies you told him when you did walk out. He didnt care much about himself or anything after that.

As for your brother and the truck its not paid for by your father’s life insurance. You failed to forward the registration to him when it went to your new address and motor vehicle would not renew it unless you were there with your ID. The loan company’s advise was to take you to court and sue you for title take over is that the way you would have wanted to go. He went to car dealer and they suggested refinancing so he did in his name alone. The jeep is considered paid off because the one dealer paid the finance company off but your brother still has to pay what was left on the jeep plus the other truck. Instead of it being repo’d and your credit n his being ruined cause he wasn’t going to pay for something he couldn’t drive. This way this benefited you it shows on your credit report the truck was paid off which gives you a better credit score and your not attached to the family anymore which you wanted. But you did not forward him the registration and this was the only sensible thing to do. So you are totally free from your family now no strings attached this is what you wanted.

I asked (my friend) to forward these things to you because I don’t want your address or anything from you ever.

So you dont have to worry anymore with anyone coming after. No one has that desire to contact you especially not me

Have a happy and good life. Good bye forever

Your Mom,

Lori

P.S. Your Dad was your real father there was never anyone else in my life but him.

You have your freedom as you always wanted and the responsibilities in life that come with it.

And the finance company gave the dealer your number and address that they had on record not your brother.

Not entirely what I expected from her, I will admit. I expected a lot of heavy and outright denial and anger. Instead, it seemed like a lot of random defenses to things that were and are really unimportant. I thought this letter was going to crush my emotions. I didn’t even cry; I actually laughed at some parts. The letter is such a textbook example of a narcsoc.

Here are the important things you will need in your life no one was keeping them from you and you never asked for them. They were kept in a fireproof box so if there was a fire they wouldn’t get destroyed.

Important things? My birth certificate, okay. But nine or ten First Communion cards? Why do I need them in my life? They serve me no purpose other than a reminder of someone I was forced to be, a person who I have not been for a very long time now. And I have nothing against religion. But being religious isn’t about going to Church every Sunday and sending your children to the best Catholic schools and nailing up crosses in your child’s bedroom to remind them that Jesus is watching. By the way, if Jesus was watching me (supposedly) be bad, was he also watching my mother rape me?

Those cards could have burned in a fire, along with everything else. I don’t care.

As for the story of your lip I was working that night as almost every night at Kmart till 10:30 PM. That night there was a really bad storm you walked into the door of the bedroom dad called me at work but Kmart would not let me leave so him and (my brother) drove to St. Mary’s Hospital in Hoboken at that time we had HIP insurance and that’s the hospital you had to use. The HIP health center was in West New York, NJ cause that was the only place close they had. No one was trying to hide anything to doctors because no one had anything to hide you weren’t abused you were at doctors for checkups as a child needed you never were rejected health care. And no one lied where you were born. You were born in St. Mary’s Hospital in Hoboken, NJ cause as I said that was the hospital used on the HIP health plan.

I knew it! I knew I walked into a door. It makes all the sense. Let’s be real. Your child suffers a pretty severe injury and your job wouldn’t let you leave so you stayed there? Your child is supposed to come first, last time I checked. But that was never the case, so why would this instance be any different.

It’s really helpful to know that we had HIP insurance and that I went to Saint Mary’s hospital. Because it was important enough that it seems to be the focus of an entire page of the letter. Why so much focus on the unimportant details of the situation? Deflection. The hospital didn’t matter to me. The insurance plan didn’t matter to me. THAT’S NOT WHAT MATTERED.

And yes, I did go to the doctor. Because physicals are required to attend school — I couldn’t go otherwise. That doesn’t mean I was medically neglected. I was. There is no doubt about that.

And I was abused. There is no doubt about that, either.

You have nothing to fear I’m not coming after you I have no desire too. You made your decision to disown your family and thats your decision and if thats what you wanted then so be it. I know your plans were encouraged by your friends and a certain family relative who’s name I will not mention because if certain family members knew this they would not be happy and I am not out to ruin peoples lives so that secret I will die with. But do tell me why did you come to the hospital to visit me while you were telling people how happy it was with me not in the house and how they recommended you toss my stuff out to the street. Was your visit to see if I was dying??

I disowned my family, yes, but it was well after my family had symbolically disowned me. Because you sure as hell don’t treat family like I was treated.

My plans were supported by the people that truly loved and supported me, the people that wanted better for me. My amazing support group. Great therapists. Awesome friends, both online and offline. And yes, some members of my family did support me. But I want to make it clear, these people supported my decision. It was my decision to leave. Not a family member’s. Not a friend’s. It was my decision.

Not out to ruin people’s lives? She already has. No favors are being done here. Anyone in their right mind would support my decision to leave. They would be happy to know I was supported. I never disowned the people that didn’t hurt me. None of this is a secret. It never has been.

Out of the month or two my mother was in the hospital, I visited her once. Because my father made me go. I just got out of my third inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. I didn’t want to be in a hospital at all, let alone near her. Trust me on that.

My mother referenced a post I made on my Facebook. Creepy. She really had to have someone dig for that one. A lot of effort. Sad. They certainly did recommend that. And many were also hoping for my mother’s sickness to progress. I won’t deny that. I wanted her to die because I didn’t think I would get my freedom any other way.

You broke your fathers heart when you left because of the way you left and the lies you told him when you did walk out. He didnt care much about himself or anything after that.

I didn’t kill my father. My father had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, a history of blood infections, lymphedema, three heart attacks, and congestive heart failure. He had been dying for a very long time, and honestly, he lived a lot longer than he should have, given his conditions. He had given up on life long before I left. He talked about wanting to die every time he ended up back in a nursing home. I didn’t break his heart. His heart was already broken.

I left in a way that was safest for me. I left with two bags, and I left most of my belongings behind. That was hard for me. I wish I could have just said “I’m moving” and taken all of my things, but that would have never been allowed. I lied to live. Don’t dare put his death on me.

As for your brother and the truck its not paid for by your father’s life insurance. You failed to forward the registration to him when it went to your new address and motor vehicle would not renew it unless you were there with your ID. The loan company’s advise was to take you to court and sue you for title take over is that the way you would have wanted to go. He went to car dealer and they suggested refinancing so he did in his name alone. The jeep is considered paid off because the one dealer paid the finance company off but your brother still has to pay what was left on the jeep plus the other truck. Instead of it being repo’d and your credit n his being ruined cause he wasn’t going to pay for something he couldn’t drive. This way this benefited you it shows on your credit report the truck was paid off which gives you a better credit score and your not attached to the family anymore which you wanted. But you did not forward him the registration and this was the only sensible thing to do. So you are totally free from your family now no strings attached this is what you wanted.

I’m not even going to attempt to try and understand half of what this is supposed to mean. How is this important? Of all things to care about, the jeep is not on my priority list. But yet, over a page dedicated to the jeep. My mother and brother didn’t do me any favors. They didn’t take me to court to sue me for my own jeep. Congratulations. Such great people. There’s no mention of the attempt to fraudulently sign my name to the papers. Let’s just focus on how much of it is my fault and how they helped me out so much by doing this while still being burdened by paying two vehicles (yet not having both) and not with my father’s insurance policy (right). Okay then.

And his credit was already ruined, which is why the jeep was in my name in the first place. He had no credit. No one in my family had credit. This was not a martyr action. This was not moral.

It’s what I wanted? No. It’s not what I wanted at all. I wanted a family. I wanted decent parents. I wanted a fucking mother. I wanted a fucking childhood. I didn’t want this shit. Fuck you. This wasn’t for me. You’ve done nothing for me; you never did and you never will.

I asked (my friend) to forward these things to you because I don’t want your address or anything from you ever.

So you dont have to worry anymore with anyone coming after. No one has that desire to contact you especially not me

Have a happy and good life. Good bye forever

Well, we all know this is a bunch of lies, considering the gravestone posters she mailed to me not that long ago. None of these sentences are true. She searched for me specifically to send those gravestones. That’s contact. Where’s the goodbye forever?

And I am having a good life, as much as I can. I have great care for the first time in my life. I am surrounded by people that love and support me. I may not be happy all the time, and that’s okay. I am trying to have the life I deserve, the life I was never allowed to have before.

Your Mom, Lori

I don’t have a mother, nor did I ever have a mother that deserved to be spelled with a capital M. I am my mother now. My friends are my mother. Not this person.

P.S. Your Dad was your real father there was never anyone else in my life but him.

You have your freedom as you always wanted and the responsibilities in life that come with it.

And the finance company gave the dealer your number and address that they had on record not your brother.

I know I have my freedom. I deserve it. What I don’t deserve is the struggle. I don’t deserve having to go to therapy multiple times a week because of how fucked up I’ve become because of the shit I went through. Because of her. Not me. I am the one paying for her mistakes. I am the one being punished for her sins.

And there we go, the final sentence. About the jeep. A sentence that doesn’t even make any sense. Because my brother had my phone number, and so did she. I’ve had the same phone number I’ve had for years. I never changed it. That was the point. They told people they tried to contact me, but I had changed my number. I never did. They lied. They’ve always lied. They are still lying.

And this letter shows that. In so many ways. I don’t think she understands how obvious it is in her writing. Her deflection. Her avoidance.Her focus on unimportant details. Her lack of acknowledgement. Her denial. Her displacement. Her distortion. Her playing the victim. Her blaming the real victim.

I wish I could say goodbye forever to my pain, as easily as she said goodbye forever to me. Unfortunately, while she may be gone, I will forever have to live with what she did to me.

There’s no goodbye forever to that, is there?

Why do I write?

When I was a senior in high school, a friend introduced me to DeadJournal. It was my first and only outlet at the time. I knew my mother would never allow it, so I created it in secret. I wrote very obscure posts about my pain. I never wrote anything specific, for fear of my mother finding out.

And sure enough, my mother walked into my bedroom one night and searched my computer. DeadJournal popped up. She interrogated me, asking what it was. I told her it was an online journal I was looking at. She flipped. She told me I was not allowed to write about feelings. I was punished, thankfully less severe as I would have been had she seen what I actually wrote. But I never wrote in it again.

That journal was supposed to be for me. It was my opportunity to write how I felt, and that was taken away from me. Just like everything else was taken away from me.

I started writing after I ran away, because I knew my mother wouldn’t be able to take that away from me again. I could write what I felt, without anyone telling me what I should or shouldn’t write.

I didn’t go into this blog expecting anyone to read it. I did it for me, as a way of getting things out that I held in for so long. That was the purpose.

Along the way, a lot more people started reading my blog. Mostly strangers, and people who started out as strangers that I now have come to care about. And then people from my real life started reading. Then I wasn’t so anonymous. I couldn’t hide in my writing anymore. I was exposed. I learned to be okay with that, because people were supportive. In some ways, it reconnected me with people from my old life who were forced away from me by my mother.

Even with all of that, my writing never changed its purpose. I wrote for me. I write for me. If you don’t like it, don’t read what I write. If you feel the need to decide what I should or shouldn’t be writing about, don’t read it. This is my writing. This is my life.I write about my struggles. I write about my PTSD and DID. I write about the things that affect me.

I don’t write about my morning coffee. I don’t write about mundane shit. That doesn’t affect me. My writing isn’t sunshine and rainbows, because I’m not sunshine and rainbows. I’m not here to make anyone look good. I don’t even make myself look good.

I don’t want to hear anyone telling me what I should write. I will not be controlled again. This is MY space. If my mother ever came to me and told me to stop writing so negatively about her, I would tell her to fuck off. Perhaps she should have not done the things she did in the first place that led me to write in such a way.

This sentiment applies to anyone who thinks the same. If you want to read my writing and be supportive, rock on. If you want to read my writing and criticize, you can go away. I have enough to deal with already.

Now, since I got that all out, I have a dilemma.

My therapist asked me last session if I thought it would be beneficial for her to read my blog before our sessions. On an intellectual level, I understood her reasons for suggesting that. I wrote about my issues with communication before. It’s still a problem. I can write much easier than I can speak out loud, even with my therapist.

My therapist knows about this blog; she has since the beginning. But she told me in the beginning that she would not read it, and I was okay with that. I didn’t really think my writing was all that substantive back then anyway.

For some reason, when my therapist brought it up this time, I had a strong negative reaction. Perhaps it was the timing. I have recently been dealing with some people who feel the need to dictate what I should and shouldn’t write in my blog (hence my mini-rant just before). I think I may have transferred my anger about that onto my therapist.

I know my therapist is not out to criticize or judge my writing, or even my life. But I feel like I am losing my safe space a bit. I started out being able to write whatever I wanted, and now I have people in my life trying to change that. What if I wanted to hide here? What if I wanted to write something really horrible? Can I do that without receiving backlash?

I trust my therapist more than any human being, past, present, and probably future. I have told her things I would never tell another person, things I would never even write about here. But what if something came up that I didn’t want to tell her? I wouldn’t have a place to put those thoughts anymore. I’d have to keep them inside, like I did for most of my life. I don’t want to do that anymore.

On a realistic level, I see the benefits. On an emotional level, I feel invaded.

I just want to be able to hide. But do I really need to?

Compliments

I have a hard time accepting compliments.

When I say I have a hard time, I mean I have a really, really hard time.

The topic came up in therapy on Thursday. My therapist gave me a compliment and I just started deflecting it in any way I could. I had just done the same to a friend earlier that day. I told my therapist about it, and of course she wanted to delve deeper into why I had so much trouble with them.

It’s not that I’m not used to receiving compliments. I’ve received them all of my life, for varying reasons. It was something else entirely.

As my therapist started questioning, I started thinking back and connecting the dots. I started remembering things I thought I had pushed down deep and far away. Things I did not want to remember.

So much was going on in my mind, and it must have shown on the outside. My therapist asked what was going on; my whole demeanor had changed. I didn’t want to talk. I didn’t want to say all of the shit that was going on in my head. I wanted to feel, but I didn’t even know what to feel.

“My mother gets mad when people say nice things about me. She yells a lot.”

It’s something I dealt with my whole life. If it was something she couldn’t take credit for, or if it was something that took the attention off of her, my mother would get angry and I would end up in trouble. When someone would compliment my hair or my looks, my mother did what she could to make me ugly. When someone pointed out how smart I was, I was accused of thinking I was smarter and better than her, and I’d get knocked back into place.

As I sat there, muddling through the shit going on in my head, I started to dig my nail into the skin between my thumb and forefinger. I didn’t even realize I was doing it at first. After a few minutes, my therapist noticed and asked me to stop. But I couldn’t. I had the strongest urge to hurt. I needed to feel pain.

Eventually I pried my hands apart and sat on them, hoping it would stop the urge. I told my therapist that I needed to hurt. It was almost instinctive.

I sat there, awkwardly sitting on my hands, half listening to my therapist and half talking to myself in my head. I couldn’t focus. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I wanted to hurt something.

I tried to listen as my therapist talked about why I could have been needing to hurt. But nothing she said was making sense. I didn’t need to hurt because I felt like I deserved it. I needed to hurt because that’s what I associated with compliments. I needed to hurt because that’s what my mother did to me.

I finally found the strength to mutter out the words “mom hurts.” My therapist asked if I meant what I meant, that my mother hurt me, and I told her yes. I told her some of what happened. And then I started to cry, because I realized just how much the shit my mother had done had affected me.

Of all the things my mother had already taken away from me as a child, she took away the good words people had offered me. She took away any opportunity I had to take in others’ positivity. She turned what should have been happiness into pain.

Pain became a conditioned response. I experienced my mother’s narcissistic rage so often that I just automatically associated compliments and positive comments with the pain and hurt that she inflicted on me. Even in her absence, I am continuing the same response I’ve always had. Except now I am the one inflicting the pain.

I tried to pull myself back together and stop crying. I felt ashamed for crying over something I should have known better about. But I wasn’t crying entirely because of that. I was crying out of grief. Just when I thought my mother couldn’t take any more from me than she already had, she struck again.

I was crying for the little girl who couldn’t feel good about anything. I was crying for the little girl who had to shy away and not be noticed for fear that she would be hurt.

I was crying for me.

Cake

I was going to bake a cake today, just to do something nice for myself and to detract from Father’s Day emotional turmoil.

I used to love baking. I could bake anything: brownies, cookies, pies, cupcakes. I was especially known for my pineapple upside-down cake. People would over me money just to bake things for them. I did it for free because I was more than satisfied just seeing other people happy. I was good at baking, and I was good at making people smile.

But as I started baking more, my mother became more angry. She’d yell at me for using up all of her electricity. She’d yell at me for using her oven (it wasn’t even hers – we rented). She’d yell at me for making the house hot. She’d yell at me for taking up space in the kitchen.

A task I once enjoyed now became another cause for punishment. I started baking less and less. People would ask me to bake them something and I would come up with excuses. I was afraid to anger my mother any more than my existence already had.

One day, against my what-should-have-been better judgment, I decided to bake a cake for a really good friend and coworker of mine. It was just one cake, I didn’t think it would be a big deal. I wouldn’t take up much space or get in anyone’s way. This should be just fine.

Then, as I was sitting at my corner of the table, putting the finishing touches of icing on the cake, my mother came in and started questioning me. I reluctantly told her who it was for. Big mistake.

You never do anything for me. You treat your coworkers better than your own mother. They don’t do anything for you. I gave you life and I get nothing! Not even a cake! It’s always about everyone else, never about your own family. I deserve better and I can’t even get a cake.

The cake ended up on the floor and I retreated to my room, crying. I was so ashamed walking into work the next day without the cake I had been so excited about making.

Just to please my mother, I started baking things for her, thinking it would earn me some sort of respect or a shred of kindness. But it didn’t. Baking wasn’t fun anymore. It didn’t give me any pleasure. My mother sucked all of the positive out of it, just as she had done with everything else in my life.

Today, as I stood in the baking aisle of the grocery store, staring at the baking supplies, I remembered that night my cake was ruined. I remembered the anger and rage my mother had. I remembered how scared I had become whenever I’d bake something. And I walked away from the aisle empty-handed.

She won today.

Apologize

There is a song by OneRepublic ft. Timbaland entitled “Apologize”.

My mother used to play it repeatedly. Constantly, really. In the house, on her phone…she even made it her ringtone. It always focused on the chorus:

That it’s too late to apologize.
It’s too late.
I said it’s too late to apologize.
It’s too late.
Too late, oh uh

My mother played it so much that now the song is ruined for me. It was her way of sending a message to the family. She believed we owed her apologies. But for what? What did I do to her?

I didn’t follow her rules closely enough?

I didn’t do everything she wanted?

I went against her a few too many times?

I was better than her, more intelligent than her, more skilled than her?

I existed?

That is the scheming cry of the narcissist. Everything is about them. The world owes them. Everyone bow down. Honor the dishonorable.

My mother is the one that owes the world an apology. My mother is the one that owes me an apology. But the words “I’m sorry” will never once leave her lips. Because she is a narcissistic sociopath. She will never do wrong. Everyone else is wrong.

I’m not sorry.

She didn’t deserve you

I was feeling rather confident going into my therapy session on Monday.

After all, I made it through Mother’s Day relatively unscathed. I felt a small sense of pride in being able to handle the holiday as well as I did. Mother’s Day is one of, if not the most, difficult holiday of the year for me.

Mother’s Day is not a pleasant holiday when your mother is a narcissistic sociopath. Mother’s Day is a horrible, painful reminder when your own mother was also your abuser.

I felt like writing those cards to myself and to my egg donor that Saturday night really put me on a better path. I got out most of what I needed to say. I read the card I wrote to myself over and over, trying to absorb its truth. And I think, in some ways, I did.

I brought the cards with me to therapy on Monday, just in case there was nothing else to talk about and I needed to fill time (Who am I kidding – there is ALWAYS something to talk about and there is NEVER enough time). I mentioned them to my therapist. She asked if I would be willing to share the one I wrote to myself. I hesitated a bit, and then downplayed the whole thing as lame. After all, who writes to themselves? It’s such a weird thing.

I got over the weirdness and took my card out of my bag. I managed to read the card all the way through without getting overly emotional. I had already read it to myself so many times within the two days prior, that the words were starting to become me. I told my therapist how I spent the day, the positive steps I took, the negative ones I avoided. She was proud of me.

But even with all of the positive things I did on that day, I found myself still missing, still grieving the absence of a mother. I laid in bed that night and stared at a picture of my egg donor for a good half an hour or so. It’s the only picture I have of her. I found it on Facebook on another person’s page awhile back and saved it to my phone. I don’t know why I did it; I don’t need any pictures of that woman. But I can’t seem to find it in my heart to delete it. So I stared at it, and went through a plethora of emotions, from sadness to anger to just feeling…blank. Here was this woman who no one really knows, pretending to be normal and decent. She even cracked a quarter of a smile. It wasn’t genuine, but at a quick glance, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

After a while, I made myself put my phone down. I was not going to torture myself any longer. It wasn’t fair to me.

I told my therapist about that moment, about all of the emotions I was going through, about my lack of understanding on why I did it. I told her about the card I wrote to my egg donor. My therapist then asked if I would be willing to share it with her. Whew. I don’t know. My emotions were running pretty high when I wrote it. It actually took me awhile to write it, as I would write a paragraph and then put it aside and decompress for a bit before starting to write again.

I took a deep breath, got the card out, and showed my therapist what I had written on the front of the card. A little twisted humor, maybe, but truthful humor at that. I started to read it out loud. As I got closer to the middle of the card, talking about how I thought something was wrong with me, I felt the emotions starting to come up. As I read the words I lived in fear of my own mother, I started to cry. I remembered what it was like to live in fear. As an adult, I realize how unfair that was to my child self. No child should have to fear their own parent. But that was my normal.

Through tears, I continued to read the rest of the card. By the end, I was a bit of a controlled emotional mess. I was angry, sad, lost, and empowered all at the same time. I was able to recognize that I didn’t need my mother anymore, but that didn’t change the fact that I needed a mother before and never had one.

I wanted it to be my mother that I was reading the card to. I wanted her to hear my words, to know how she has affected me. I wanted it to be her feeling for me, and not my therapist. But that will never happen. And even if it did, it wouldn’t matter. My mother is incapable of empathy. She doesn’t think she has done anything wrong. If it’s not about her, she doesn’t care. I can’t change that.

As I wiped my tears away, my therapist said “she didn’t deserve you.”

For how much of a decent human being I am, how caring and good-hearted I am, and all of that, my mother did not deserve me as a daughter. I never thought of it that way. All of this time I had been focusing on the fact that I deserved a real mother; I never thought that my mother didn’t deserve me. But my therapist. That woman didn’t deserve me. She doesn’t now.

She will never deserve me.

Runaway

I listen to music every day: while I’m walking to work in the morning, while I’m riding on the bus, while I’m working, while I’m walking about the neighborhood, and even while I’m at home working on other things. Music helps distract me when I need distraction. It helps keep me focused when I need to drown out whatever is going on in my head. Music is a big part of my life.

When I really take time and listen to the lyrics, there are some songs that resonate with me. I was sitting at my desk earlier today with my iTunes on shuffle, and P!nk’s Runaway started playing. I started really paying attention to the lyrics and I realized there were parts of it that so closely related to my earlier life.

I was just trying to be myself
You go your way, I’ll meet you in hell
All these secrets that I shouldn’t tell, I’ve got to run away
It’s hypocritical of you
Do as you say not as you do
I’ll never be your perfect girl
I’ve got to run away

I’m too young to be
Taken seriously
But I’m too old to believe
All this hypocrisy
And I wonder
How long it’ll take them to see my bed is made
And I wonder
If I was a mistake

I might have nowhere left to go
But I know that I cannot go home
These voices trapped inside my head
Tell me to run before I’m dead
Chase the rainbows in my mind
And I will try to stay alive
Maybe the world will know my name
God won’t you help me run away!

-P!nk

Throughout my life, I tried to be a good daughter. It took me some time to realize that no matter what I did, I would never be good enough for my mother. She didn’t want me to be good enough, because that meant that some of the attention was taken from her. Narcissists don’t like that.

Secrets. I was tired of keeping secrets. I got to a point where I wanted to shout to the world exactly what I was going through, exactly the type of person my mother was. I started to, little by little. I was tired of staying silent. And that put me in a dangerous situation, because I was still living with the very person I was starting to speak out against.

When I talk about my journey to freedom, I sometimes (without thinking) refer to my new life in terms of running away from my old life. I’ll say “when I ran away from home”. People don’t really understand what I mean when I say that. I’m an adult. Adults don’t run away from home. They just come and go as they please.

Except I couldn’t. I was living in what was essentially a prison.  When I left on July 10th, I ran away. At 29 years old, I ran away from home. I may have left out the front door, but that’s only because I was three stories up and had no other exit.

I wasn’t really 100% sure where I was going to end up, but I knew at that point that I had to leave. If I had stayed much longer, I would not be sitting here today. And I recognize that reality. So much was going on in the months before my escape. It was dangerous. It was a dangerous place to be. I knew when I ran out the front door that day, I could never go back.

I did not run away from life; I ran towards it. Those first 29 years and four months of my existence were not life.

I ran away so I could live.

An Open Letter to the Children of Toxic Mothers

If you are reading this right now, I want you to know some things.

Everything you are feeling is valid.

You are allowed to be angry. You are allowed to be sad. You are allowed to be frustrated, pissed off, and mad at the world. You are allowed to feel any way you want and need to feel.

You don’t have to love your mother. Despite what society tells you, some mothers aren’t all that great. Sometimes, they are downright toxic. They may have hurt you, abused you, maligned you, or made you feel worthless. These mothers don’t deserve your love and respect. They didn’t earn that yet, and they possibly never will.

You are not a bad person for not loving your mother. Sometimes, it takes as much strength not to love as it does to love.

And if you do love your mother, even after all she’s done to you, that’s okay, too.

You know why? Because everything you feel is valid. Your heart and mind know the truth; the truth that people on the outside can’t see (or choose not to see).

Never let anyone make you feel bad for how you feel.

Go ahead and let out that anger. Go ahead and cry. You are allowed to grieve the loss of the mother you should have had, the relationship you deserved.

You are not obligated to anyone but yourself. You don’t owe your mother anything, despite what she or others may tell you.

You deserved more than a toxic mother.

I know it hurts. I feel the pain every day. I feel the emptiness within my heart where my mother should be, but isn’t. It’s a pain that only those of us with toxic mothers can understand. It’s a pain that lingers and never quite goes away. A piece of you feels like it’s missing.

You can still find that missing piece. You can still find that love and care you should have gotten from your mother. Sometimes, you find it in other family. Sometimes, you find it in friends. It may already be within you. You just have to connect the pieces.

You are worth it.

Take care of yourself. Be your own mother. You deserve it.