Sorry about last week. I was going to write about the death of Deadpool, but that shit was so wack… SO I am back to my regular blog. I realized that I skipped over a lot of important events between 7th grade and my senior year. So I am going to take the time to highlight some of these over the next few weeks.
Have you ever been told that you are ugly? What about not worth loving? Ever been told that you were destined to be alone? Have you ever listened to the people saying these things and wondered if they were telling the truth? The majority of us know how to identify someone that is hurt or just trying to start some shit. When I was younger, I couldn’t identify my mom’s sadness and loneliness. So I believed everything she told me. I believed her when she told me that because I was fat, I would be alone forever. I believed her when she told me that because my hair was unruly, I looked like a witch and would scare people away. I spent a lot of my years growing up doubting myself. Not because of my peers; they were actually pretty awesome. I doubted myself because of my mother. The one person that was supposed to build me up.
I always laugh when people bring up females with “daddy issues.” I grew up a female with mother issues. I always wondered what I did to her to make her hate me so much. The strangest thing of it all is that I’ve always wanted to be just like her. To my friends that have met my mother, she is a ball of energy. Her laugh is incredible. It’s infectious. She is the mom you smoke weed with and doesn’t judge you or rat you out. She would let you drink even though you’re not of age. She was the “cool mom” that everyone thought they wanted growing up. She was something totally different to me. She terrified me. I don’t fear monsters, demons, or devils thanks to her.
Anytime I cried, I would hide in the bathroom or take a shower. If my mother saw me cry, I would have to answer so many questions that I would feel stupid after. I hated how she made me feel. “Feelings” were not allowed in her house. Hell, they still aren’t. I watched her cry once and I had no idea what to do. I was so amazed that she felt anything that I sat on the couch across from her and stared. It was the strangest thing I had ever seen. (Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the last time I watched my mom cry, but that comes later.) When she was done crying, she asked me what the fuck I was looking at and told me to get my fat ass out of her face. I went to my room and I started to cry. I couldn’t for the life of me understand how she could be so gentle, fragile, and hurt one minute, and then turn it off like it was nothing the next.
When I started going to church, I focused on myself and my relationship with God. I ignored my mother when she yelled because the Bible told me to respect my parents. I found my strength in Psalms 27: 10-12
“Though my Father and Mother forsake me,
The Lord will receive me.
Teach me your way, Lord;
Lead me in a straight path
Because of my oppressors.
Do not turn me over to the
Desire of my foes…”
I would pray all the time. I just knew that one day God would either make a way for me to get the hell out of her house, or give me the strength to confront her. And He did…
One night before going to church, my mother started her taunting. She started telling me that I was in church because I was ugly, and that is the only way I would get a man. She told me I was a disgusting sight. (This shit sounds waaaay harsher in Spanish.) I remember sitting in my room telling myself that I BETTER NOT cry. I told myself to not give in to her shit. I was doing so well in the church. But I was also tired of being hurt by the only person that I sought approval from. I opened my bedroom door and my mom looked at me. I must have had a menacing look on my face because her next words softened me up. She stood back and took a fighter stance (we are all fighters in my family. I don’t know if it is a Puerto Rican thing, or just a hood thing). She said, “What? Are you going to hit me? I would love to see you try it.” At that moment, I grabbed my mom and held her up to the hallway wall and began yelling.
It all came out like verbal diarrhea.
“I am your daughter! Your ONLY daughter. I don’t smoke or drink, but I am still your blood. You can hate me, but I love you. I am fat, but I think I am beautiful. People like me! Everyone except YOU! You are no longer allowed to call me fat! You can no longer call me ugly! I look like YOU! If you hate me then you hate yourself, and I have nothing to do with that! Stop trying to get me off of you. I am not as weak as you thought, but what do I look like fighting with my own mother?? I am not going to hit you, but you WILL NEVER disrespect me again. Yes, I am fat, but that word alone doesn’t break me. That word only has as much power as I give it. I love ME because you won’t. I am going to let you go, but when I do…If you hit me, I will not hit you back, but you will be dead to me.”
When I let go of my mother, I braced myself for the wrath that I was sure was coming. Instead she walked into her bedroom and closed the door. I went to church that night and I cried at the altar during the entire service. Whatever tears were hiding when I confronted my mom came out at church.
We never spoke about that night. When my senior prom came around, my boyfriend’s mom was filming and at one point you can hear my mom say, “It doesn’t matter what you think, she knows she is beautiful.” It was a blip in the video before I banked the corner in my ugly pink dress, but that blip is the only part of the video I still have saved. I wasn’t supposed to hear it. It was part of a conversation that I wasn’t privy to, but in those milliseconds, I knew that my mom understood me. I knew that while we never spoke about the confrontation, it made a difference in her. And while it scared the living shit out of me, my mom never called my fat or ugly again. She now introduces me as her BEAUTIFUL twin. ;o)