For many people, today will be a happy day bringing gifts to their mothers, perhaps taking them out to eat, or just finding some time to spend with one of the people they love most in the world.  I wish all of you a very happy Mother’s Day.  Mother’s Day for me, however, will always be a day that let’s dark and bitter memories rise to the front of my mind.  You see, I have not spoken to mother in nearly twenty years.  That may seem harsh to some people, but I assure you I have my reasons.  Please allow me to explain.

When I was in my preteen years, my parents got divorced.  Their divorce was not a smooth one.  In fact, I’m pretty certain that my parents hated each other by the time their divorce was finalized.  They may even hate each other now, we don’t discuss that time period much in my family.  One thing I do remember vividly is how often my parents would argue with each other, and how intense those arguments could get.  As is the case with most divorces, my mother was given custody of my sister and I, while my father fought just to get visitation rights.  I don’t have a lot of memories of my childhood, perhaps because I have chosen to bury those memories in my mind, but I do remember that my mother gaining custody of us was the beginning of what would perhaps be the worst time period of my entire life.

The first thing I remember my mother doing after gaining custody of my sister and I was moving us to a completely different town, leaving behind our friends, family, and most importantly, our father.  I remember we moved in with a man that my mother was dating, who looked remarkably similar to the singer Rick Springfield.  I don’t remember the man’s name, but I do remember that I did not like him at all.  When I was a very young child, the tendons in one of my legs were not growing properly.  I had an operation on the leg to fix the problem, I still have the scar on my ankle to prove it, but it took me a long time to recover from the operation. I spent a few weeks in a full body cast as a child, which I’m sure must have been unpleasant even though I don’t remember any of that time.  For many years after the tendon problem, and operation, I would occasionally find myself walking on my toes instead of walking properly on my feet purely out of habit.  I was so used to walking in this manner, that it took me a long time to break the habit and walk on my feet normally.  My mother’s boyfriend could not accept my ‘habit’ at all and would yell at me every time he caught me walking on my toes.  I tried to stop, but walking that way had become second nature to me, and I did it without realizing I was walking that way most of the time.  After a while, my mother’s boyfriend got so tired of seeing me walk that way that he decided to start spanking me with his belt whenever he caught me.  I do remember my mother trying to stop him from hitting me at least, but he was determined to break me of the habit.  Eventually, I was able to break the habit without his ‘encouragement’.

The next thing I can remember is that my mother, for reasons I cannot recall, decided she was going to move across the country with my sister and I because she had family out that way.  I don’t remember if she was still seeing the Rick Springfield lookalike at this time, perhaps they had broken up and that’s why she wanted to move.  As you can imagine,  the idea of my mother moving my sister and I across the country did not sit well with my father.  I believe it was against the custody agreement to take us out of state, but I’m not entirely sure.  My father decided to prevent the move by taking us away from my mother one day.  It was there at my father’s apartment that I experienced the single worst moment of my entire life that I will never forget as long as I am alive.  I remember clearly my mother standing in the doorway of my father’s apartment, because my father would not let her enter the apartment at all, screaming at him to give us back to her.  My father, also yelling as I recall, told her that she was not allowed to move us out of the state, and he would not let her take us away.  It was at that moment that my mother said the words that would haunt me to this day.

My mother told my father, point blank, that she just wanted to take my sister with her, and that my father could keep me.

That is the moment that the truth finally came out.  My mother didn’t want me.  My mother never wanted me.  My mother only cared about my sister, and never really cared about me much at all.

I hope with all my heart that anyone who reads this will never have to go through what I went through at that moment.  I’m not even sure I fully understood what she meant at the time she said those words, because I was so young.  Yet those words have haunted me for years.  My own mother, the woman who gave birth to me, did not want me.

When people tell you that everything you do and say has an effect on your children, I can tell you from personal experience that they are completely correct.  I am now, and have been since that day I believe, extremely afraid of rejection in any form.  Any time I feel any sort of rejection at all, whether it is real or just in my mind alone, I tend to fall into a depression.  This has affected my personal life in many different ways.  I have always had trouble talking to women because of my fear, which is no longer a concern thanks to my wonderful wife, and I have been afraid to face rejection with my writing as well.  You would not believe how long it took me just gather up the courage to finally start this blog, which is why I am very grateful to you for taking the time to read my words.  I don’t actually blame my mother for my fear of rejection though, I don’t want to be one of those types that blames their parents for all their woes.  Her rejection of me may be the cause of my fears, but it is up to me to overcome those fears, and I am working very hard to do so.

I didn’t break contact with my mother immediately after that day, that came years later when I became old enough to realize what my mother had done to me.  My mother has made attempts to talk to me on occasion, but I no longer want to have anything to do with her.  I don’t hate my mother now, though I did for a very long time.  Now, I have accepted the fact that I don’t need her in my life, and I am happy without her in it.  My mother did not want me as a child, and I have no need for her as an adult.  In fact, I didn’t even invite my mother to my wedding, and my wife has never actually met my mother either, and I have no desire to change that fact.

I hope that after reading this, you will think about your relationship with your own mother.  I hope that you have a wonderful relationship with your mother and that you are very happy to have her around.  If, like me, you do not have a relationship with your own mother, I hope that you will read my story and know that you are not alone.

Happy Mother’s Day to those that are celebrating today.

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