It was Thanksgiving night and I had family staying with me. I just sat in my living room numb. I did not want my younger cousin to know what happened just moments ago, while she was getting ready for bed. I felt paralyzed. I was so worried I would ruin her holiday, that I just sat quietly with flashbacks of all the hurtful things my mother had said to me over the years. I held on to the fact that I could cry as much as I wanted, as soon as my cousin went to bed.
As soon as her light flickered off, my emotions could no longer be masked and the tears came. The mascara from the day’s events was dripping down my face. I cried uncontrollably for hours. I eventually cried myself to sleep, with the painful thought running over and over in my head. If my own mother does not want me, why would anybody else want me?
I was always a daddy’s girl. As a child, I remember feeling like I was the cause of my mother’s unhappiness, because my Dad liked me more than her. My parents argued often, and I always felt like I was the cause of it. Despite this feeling, my mom and I were able to maintain a stable relationship for the majority of my childhood and young adult life. But, our relationship changed drastically as I moved into my twenties.
She would always get so angry with me for not calling her, or for spending more time with my Dad than with her. I would try to explain to her that it was not because I loved one parent more than the other, it was the fact that my dad lived 6 minutes from me, while she lived on the other side of the country. No matter how hard I tried to explain myself, she would not listen. I was constantly told that I was disappointing, and not a good enough daughter. She would tell me that she raised me better, and expected more from me than what I had become.
On Thanksgiving morning she told me she thought I was a terrible person, and that she wished I was not her daughter. I felt crushed. I felt empty. I felt unlovable.
After this day, it was as if almost everything about me changed. I retreated from relationships with friends and my boyfriend. I just wanted to be alone, because I could not disappoint or hurt anyone while in solitude.
Negative thoughts kept running through my head. No matter how much I prayed, or tried to combat the negativity with positive self-talk, the thoughts just kept getting darker and darker.
The worst one, the thought that scared me the most and tormented me for hours, days, and even months, was: maybe my own mother aborted the wrong child.
I remember as a 17-year-old my mother confided in me that at one point in her life she had an abortion. I brushed it off, because at the moment it wasn’t something I wanted to know more about, and just did not want to think about it.
But now, as a 23-year-old, the comment was reaping havoc in my mind. I could not escape the thoughts that I was unwanted, and maybe my mother would have loved that child more than she could ever love me. I was definitely a mistake, and maybe I should have been aborted too. She’d admitted to me that she did not want me, so maybe she wanted that other child more. Maybe that child would have pleased her, and brought joy to her life, something I did not feel capable of.
Since I am a Lovely Girl and attend a weekly group, my mentor noticed I was retreating and becoming distant from everyone around me. She straight up called me out, and told me to stop and to open up. Even though I am stubborn and did not want to, I knew she was doing this in a completely and totally loving way. So I opened up. I shared the thoughts running through my head. I shared how hurt I was. I shared that I felt alone, misunderstood and not worthy of friendships or relationships. The thing that was hardest for me to share, was that I just missed my Mommy. I craved a relationship with her, but my mom has been so volatile in the past making me weary of reaching out to her.
Things within my life did not change overnight. I still battle the negative self-talk at time. I find myself overly conscious in certain situations of what people think of me.
Do they want me around? Do they like me? Am I good enough?
But then I quickly combat those with prayer, crying out to God, and my Lovely mantras. I also reach out to my mentor to keep her in the loop and know she will fill me up with truths, rather than the lies I told myself.
I even have forgiven and received healing within my relationship with my Mom. Things are not perfect; I still hold back within our relationship at times to protect my own well-being and thought life. But, I also had to recognize that my mom is human. She is dealing with hurts of her own and need to heal in her own ways. So instead of being angry and hateful towards her, I pray for her. I remember that she is my Mom, my blood, and someone who will always be a part of me. It’s a day-by-day process and a journey that is not always easy.
Having my Lovely group and mentor by my side make the journey easier, and they remind me of the truth: I am Lovely.
*If you want to read more Lovely Like Me Stories click here. You are not alone. Together, we are Lovely.