*Content Warning: This piece has references to sexual assault, addiction and abuse, which may be triggering to some.*
My first heartbreak.
They say a little girl’s first love is supposed to be her daddy. He’s supposed to set the bar, so when the next man in her life makes an appearance, he understands he has pretty big shoes to fill. What if your daddy wasn’t present?
In today’s society, single parent homes have become something of the “norm.” In that case, you would expect your mother to fill that empty void. But what if your mother wasn’t shit… than what?
A child’s first heartbreak shouldn’t be at the hand of their parents. The two people on this whole earth who were meant to love and protect you, yet are the sole reasons you don’t know how to properly love or accept it when it comes your way.
I don’t know my dad. He’s from my hometown, and I’ve heard his name and have spoken with some members of my family about him, but I never had the “pleasure” of meeting him — and I use that word loosely. I guess my mother can be blamed, as she probably doesn’t even know who he is with absolute certainty. But then again, I have no damn idea.
As a little girl, I used to cry in my bed wondering why he didn’t want me; believing my life could have been better had he been apart of it. Who’s to say? I’ll definitely never know and I have given up hope of ever locating my father, as my mother rarely shares those details anyways.
Now my momma is a completely different story. She had her own demons she was fighting from her childhood. That may be the reason she was never able to love her children as she was supposed to. There’s four of us in total, and no surprise I’m her least favorite. I can’t even say for certain that my mother would lay her life down on the line for me, but it is what it is. She was always searching for love in MEN. Because apparently the love she received from her four children didn’t mean shit.
I understand the two are completely different types of love, but I always assumed as a parent, your children came first. You know what they say about assumptions: yeah, don’t ever assume basically.
Let’s see, the first man was a sexual predator who was also sadistic. He loved to beat the shit out of us and make us fight one another; getting us ready for the real world, he claimed. He loved to belittle and degrade us, point out our differences and just make you feel extremely less than. At least he did with me. All in all, he was a fucking pervert who my mother stayed with for almost 10 years. Even when she had been informed of the shit he was doing, she still stayed.
Thank god her next boyfriend wasn’t fond of little girls, but he beat the living shit out of my mom daily. I remember watching him choke her until she became unconscious, than her acting as if it had never happened. I remember rushing home from school because my little sister was in handcuffs for pulling a knife on the man who was beating the shit out of my mom. Of course, she was in tears and didn’t know what to do. She didn’t want him to get in trouble nor did she want my little sister to go to jail, but my little sister was the one in handcuffs? Funny how logic works. Thank god my eldest sister arrived in time and no harm came to my little sister. This same man has thrown her out of a moving vehicle and made her walk home half naked, knocked out a few teeth, and anything else you can imagine. Yet, she was in love and he clearly came before us.
Not to mention my mother was (is) a drug addict, with her choice of drug being crystal meth. I believe at the time they were both on drugs, though he has since cleaned himself up tremendously. A toxic ass relationship with four kids who had no choice but to be involved.
There’s been men since, but luckily he was the last one before I became of age and was able to leave.
A mother is supposed to protect and love you, yet my siblings and I have slept on a bench outside. We’ve lived in a shelter, hopped from motel to motel and gotten taken away by CPS. Still nothing ever clicked in her damn head to love and take care of the four people who didn’t ask to be brought into this world.
Today, my mother and I rarely talk. We’ve argued plenty of times, but in the end she will never accept responsibility for her faults. She has excuses for everything. Ranging from her hard childhood to all the so-called sacrifices she had to make for us. Not saying she hasn’t — who really knows what that woman does. But at the end of the day, it was never us before her or any man in her life.
Regardless of your shitty life, you laid down and had children. You don’t make them go through the same shit because you couldn’t handle your demons. You give them better and different opportunities.
I honestly believe she should have never had children. Which I know means I wouldn’t be here, but nevertheless. She is selfish, manipulative, childish, and that’s just how she acts towards her children. She is a ‘woe me’ type of person, and if you let her, she’ll suck the damn life out of you. But that’s my mother, and unfortunately I can’t change her.
So it’s better to love from a distance. I love her as much as I’m capable of and she allows me to. Which given her track record, is extremely difficult.
Fast forward 28 years later, and here I am: pregnant and single with a little girl. Kids were never a hard yes in my life, but I imagined if I had them, I would be in the ideal situation. Married, homeowner, happy. Not what I’ve been feeling.
After the initial shock of learning I was pregnant and deciding I was going to keep her, I was scared as hell. How the hell can I love a whole other human being when I’ve never been taught to love? How can I do this on my own and will be my baby grow up with an emptiness that I did? Will loving this baby come naturally or will I fail like my mother? Will I be a good mom?
I’ve calmed down because I know my mother and I are two different people, and I would never put my child through what I went through. I know I’m going to love this little girl as much as I can, and learn to love her even more as she gets older.
I know there is no man on this damn earth that I could ever place above a person that is half of me; that is currently growing inside of me waiting for me to bring her into this already fucked up world.
I know I will do my hardest to give her the world and all that I have. It’s just super scary, trying to form a connection with a little life you didn’t necessarily want and have never physically seen or held… yet.
I’m trying. I talk to her and play with my stomach. I dream about the life I want to make for us and all that other good shit!
Moral of the story: you’re not your past nor are you your parents’. Define yourself.