"An open letter to the Mother I always wanted."
I want to thank you for everything but I do not know where to start. You are my favorite person, the one I call home and the one I hope to be like. The one I learned how to stand tall from and the woman who showed me how to be love, especially when I receive the most opposing views or treatment from others.
I want to thank you for the bed time stories, you know -- that same book you read to me every single night and yet the words on each page were always said differently just to make the art hold meaning in different ways. I knew the words mom, but your stories were better.
Thank you for all those bandaids with magical, no-hurt cream that went on like air but felt like love all those times I scraped my knees while desperately trying to learn how to ride my bike. You cheered me on for days, even though I was on training wheels and still fell.
I get a big smile on my face every time I count the patches on my Jean jacket. You fixed and stitched and made it unique. I thought then you were a fashion designer, since you could thrift anything into a designer piece fit for a princess.
I loved the forts we built together out of sheets and dining room chairs. And the tea parties we had with fancy treats, though I now know hostess and yoohoo were the real masters.
You never once yawned or told me you were tired, even after work, just to spend time with me and comb my hair; listen to my stories that evolved over time. From fairytales to friendships, to cute boys down the block and a cute girl in my class. Mom, you never judged me. You said love was love. And I knew it was true, because you taught me first how unconditional love is.
I loved every single birthday party, even the ones not anywhere near my actual birthday. I remember turning 7 three times in one year. And all the streamers and decorations were handmade each time. Price tags never mattered. If your hands did not make them, then it wouldn't be the same party.
I learned all my favorite recipes from you and I am ever amazed at how you can turn anything in the cabinets into a delicious meal. Although you were a master at hosting holidays, my favorite days were Sunday mornings. Your French toast and berries beat any one elses' best try.
Mom, I was never scared of any growth period in my life because you were not just there --- you prepared me for them. You ALWAYS explained everything we did and everything we experienced. And I am so grateful for it. I do not know how you had so much patience and knowledge.
When my first period came, we were ready and you even celebrated my leveling up party with a care package of every single period pad shape and style ever made, some chocolates, magazines and a hot pink bowl with a matching spoon. You explained that comfort food was a girls best way to survive the ordeal, and boy were you right.
You were also not always right, or so you told me all the time. You were a mom who said sorry, said please and said thank you. You taught me manners because you used them with me. And so I only knew to use them on others. Every time I ever say sorry to someone, I feel humble and really truly sorry for my mistakes. I own them. I am so glad you always did, even when it made you tear.
You are so strong.
A hug feels like home, but your smile could warm me better than any embrace. Every time you laugh, every time you tell me jokes with your silly and wild humor, I am reminded where my own humor comes. I think I am more vulgar but you are ok with that. You taught me to be outspoken and truthful, as long as I knew my audience.
Nothing could have made me more thankful for you than the day I graduated high school and you were there cheering me on like I was being awarded the Nobel peace prize. Mom. It was h.s. and though I got A's and some B's, you were the loudest cheerleader with the biggest grin. It was a victory for both of us though and you deserved an award for all the effort you put in.
You pushed me to join clubs, to socialize and to help people. You helped me study with flashcards and hung every single freakin' piece artwork I brought home. Sometimes we ran out of room on the wall, so you would retire a piece from the middle of the year.
You always said "let's keep up the first ones and the current ones, so YOU can see the beautiful way you evolve."
I felt home sick for the first time when I left for college and wanted to come home after the second night in my dorm. So you called me and stayed on the phone with me for over 2 hours, making me laugh, cry and sing out of tune to the pandora list I had playing in my room.
I had no idea you were parked outside, just incase I needed you after all. And I didn't, but you brought me breakfast and coffee the next morning anyways.
When I finally found my person, you said you knew it too. You could see a spark in my eyes and it made you cry, out of happiness and acceptance. You had been my shoulder to cry on through other hard breakups and crushes that didn't last, to the one who held me during our mother and bride dance.
Only now, as I am becoming a mother do I see full circle just how amazing of a mom you are.
How all the lessons and all the memories made me strong, proud and brave.
You will never get this letter. Because it would not be possible. But I needed to say all of these things, I needed to get them off my chest...
I appreciate who I am and the woman I have become. I am so proud of all I have accomplished. And I wish I could make one wish come true, but I am ok with the truth of it because I love myself.
To the mother I never had, the one I will never meet or get to embrace, to the one who will never throw my birthdays or see my child's face.
To the mom I always wanted, and the little girl I once was. It would be impossible to tell either of you now, but I am okay after all.
And I thought at least, if just once, I could say thank you...because without either of you I would not have such a deep desire to be the amazing mother I will now become.
Jaded savior, www.jadedsavior.com
Hitting that publish button can feel like the most terrifying thing in the whole world.
And yet, you have already been through some of the worth experiences of your life (or anyones' lives).
To share your business with everyone, on a global scale ----> because let's be real and state that anyone can become viral from a simple message <---- is so possible thanks to social media.
And that is... scary.
But I want to invite you today to think of it as amazing. I am asking you to drop all the things you have previously heard or felt about airing out ya biz on social media. I want you to just have a clear mind, free of worry or fear, and just HEAR what I am about to explain.
Pressing that publish button and unleashing your bad experiences into the world, filled with triggers and gooey details, is the exact ACTION this world needs you to take.
Let us take a quick review of how evil and sadness spread across the world. How injustices, prejudices, and discrimination contaminate cultures and infiltrate our species like a deadly toxin. Remember all the horrific actions in history and how they were addressed or abolished.
Silence kills billions. What fights and overpowers bad are the noisemakers. The movers. The makers. The bringers of messages and impactful words.
Who has the ability to change the world and spread love to defeat darkness?
It is not cheesy or cliche. It is not a grandiose vision.
It is not an illusion.
Money might make bad things get brushed under the rug, but those who speak out for the good do get heard.
You can help make a difference when you speak out about all of the bad in your life if you spread your message in the right way.
If you take responsibility for doing good and step into your power, your words and your voice WILL MAKE CHANGE.
I see people post on Facebook about how much of a mistake it is to post personal stories or problems. And I can understand, given their point of view, where they are coming from.
But if this is you, I want to simply say that there is a right way to speak a truth and a wrong way.
When someone goes through a hardship or a trauma, it is not a casual thing to post about it.
It takes a lot of bravery and vulnerability to write about something like rape, abortion, molestation, physical abuse, domestic violence, emotional abuse, being gas lighted and manipulated, experiences with addictions, OCD, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, self harm, and other #traumatic events.
When someone writes publicly about how a loved one robbed them of an emotion or experience, it is the audiences' job to UNDERSTAND IT. To validate it. To feel it and empathize.
Empathy, compassion, understanding and validation are what trauma survivors need most from healthy people.
They already received the opposite from the unhealthy people in their lives.
This is not a vent session about forgetting your keys in your car (which does suck). This is about a fellow human being treated wrong.
This should alarm you.
You should want this shit to never happen.
If trauma experiences do not make you feel ANGRY then you BETTER CHECK YOURSELF.
If you cannot empathize with others through the hardest times in their lives and even more so when they relive it but speaking out about it, then you BETTER CHECK YOURSELF.
Words are powerful. Speaking a truth that can out the bad in this world is how we as humans progress. It is how we identify the problem areas in each other's lives and then LIFT EACH OTHER UP.
When I see people say "Facebook is not a place for sharing personal things" I shake my head.
Because Facebook is home to countless ADVERTISEMENTS, posed photos and recollections of memories, funny memes, and "check-ins" at cool places.
It is the marketing sphere we all spend our time scrolling in, shop in, get our trends from, and circulate for vicarious lifestyles in order to avoid our own.
What social media is supposed to do is bring people together. Connect them. Empower them.
I am on social media to impact lives. As I grow, mature, and heal myself I become more aware of this.
Facebook is not a Utopia for me.
Facebook is the place where I show up most REAL.
Facebook is the place where I show up most AUTHENTIC.
And in order for me to give my feed purpose + my reality purpose, I have to invite and welcome all stories and real visions with open arms.
I invite all of my friends here to share their unhealthy experiences. And I am here to receive them with love, not judgement.
So long as I live in a pond of judgement, I will never swim in the ocean of awakening.
This will only make sense to some. And that is ok.
This is how I filter my friends and my circle. The difference is, I do not fill a tiny circle with who I find acceptable to play in my pond.
I LEAVE behind whoever is content with thinking small. Being small. Living small. Living inactive. Living silent.
I will not be silent. I will not be comfortable in a small space.
I know there needs to be love for progress.
And not everyone is "my tribe".
My tribe are the speakers, the shakers, the movers, the makers. They are the ones that know silence is the nourishment of all evils.
So we use our voices to feed the truth.
"Jaded Savior" is a serious title I have come to identify myself with, since reflecting on my last 12 years post-trauma of leaving my parents' home and becoming a mother for the first time. Throughout childhood, my lifestyle was overwhelming and abusive. In spite of the troubled homes of my divorced parents that I bounced between, I was passionate and excited for all of the dreams I wanted to achieve in the arts and literature field.
I knew since I was 7 that I wanted to become a great artist + writer, one that traveled the world and connected with other people through sharing my talents. I used to draw and bring my portfolios to middle school to show my peers. I wrote creative pieces during class or doodled in my notebooks, sometimes losing myself into the fiction I created to escape my reality.
I also had a passion for helping other people and loved to talk with the social workers + guidance counselors I met during the many school years I endured abuse and problems in my life. I felt like I could become someone like them; a teacher, a mentor, and a life float for people who were suffering.
The irony was that I was suffering at the same time, but had trouble recognizing it because of dissociation and anxiety. I was fearful of my home life and did whatever I could to survive it. On the flip side, school was my passion and favorite place to be. I connected with teachers, took classes in fashion + art + photography + journalism in order to grow and even took lunch periods with my favorite literature teacher to keep my mind afloat.
I started to think through high school and then college that bad luck just followed me everywhere. Even though I worked so hard to get away from my old life and start fresh, I continued to attract abusive people + narcissistic people + addicts and other types of mental health issues which were all triggers that hindered me from achieving my full potential. I wanted so badly to be able to help people and heal people that I would psychoanalyze anyone that connected with me and commit to people that did not earn or deserve it.
A Jaded Savior. Someone who wanted so badly to be what the broken and the ridiculed needed, while not realizing the loop I had grown so tired of and felt so beat down by was created and upheld by my own subconscious actions.
I am now 28 and a mother of 3, with an amazing spouse and little family that we build together. We are each working hard to become our best selves, achieve our goals and reach the desires we have for our family to be truly prosperous and successful. So many characteristics I developed and ingrained "truths" I had come to know about myself from the childhood I had until my late twenties all hindered me drastically from ever being able to actually "heal".
But what does "heal" even mean to any of us? I kept fearing showing up fully as a business owner, as a wife, as a mother ---> All because of this concept of "wholeness" and "healing". FULLY. PUT TOGETHER. DRESSED. NOT DEPRESSED. NOT FRAGILE.
I have been afraid in the last 4 years that I am still too broken to matter. To be happy. To fool people. To convince them I am actually OK. Everywhere I have gone, my insecurities have told me that everyone can see I am not alright. So I have just desperately wished that with enough reflection + self care and independence, I could some day climb over the wall and see what life looks like "On the other side of Trauma".
This blog is a healing tool I am using to finally look all my experiences in the metaphorical face and validate. I also decided, thanks to a Brene Brown special on Netflix, that I need to be vulnerable and show up in my life dressed as myself. I have always waited on the right time to start revealing all of my truths. That time is now.
I have made so many beautiful connections + friendships on Facebook in the past eight years thanks to the details of my life I have shared and the scars I have shown. This tribe I am building is one that encompasses pain + love + fear + courage and a sheer will to thrive not just survive.
I hope to gain many more people from this blog, who are willing to be brave with me and share their deepest experiences ---->For the purpose of WAKING UP society, shaking the standard, provoking the term "whole" and building branches of healing for those in desperate need of it.
"Below the surface"
I am looking at you, smiling, as I tell you I am ok.
I am not.
Beneath my unshapely, faded sweater I am panting, tightening, unraveling in my chest.
My mind is telling me many things. It tells me back to keep posture. It tells my skin to remain unmoistened by the pick up in heart rate I have been experiencing for 20 minutes already.
It is telling my eyes to stay wide, my mouth to stay creased but not open.
This is a panic attack.
I do not look any different than I do any other time of the day. I keep a doe eyed and smooth forehead composure through the most uncomfortable moments.
It is a survival tactic.
One I developed in almost 3 decades of experiencing people close to me who had aggression, hostility, bipolar, manic episodes, split personalities, schizophrenia, and disassociation with normal, regulating emotions.
These traits can be found in my parents, some of both of their siblings, some of my ex girl friends, ex boyfriends, and people I was drawn to at work or school. It is not a coincidence for sure that even some parents' of old flames had these traits.
I attracted these things into my life. And then did not know how to tame them or handle them.
I am not about to say I ever put energy into attracting my own triggers, that I manifested shit or that I actually sought out people to help.
"This was not a savior complex. Even though I very much want to help people."
What I am talking about now are the traits I developed from being a childhood victim of abuse into a susceptible partner of trauma.
I was prey.
As a child, I was unfortunately a prey out of birth right. But as I got older, though I was not aware of it yet, I brought out the aggressors by being docile, doe-eyed, dedicated blindly to all that I did, a willing listener, accepting of all attention, caving to any form of praise at all.
So any predator could come and sway me into their life so easily, when my nature was to be open and accepting to all.
Only now do I see that I was an open fortress, ready to be invaded and conquered. At least, in an abusers eyes. Someone who saw that I could enable their bad behaviors, forgive their errors and even blame myself for their betrayals.
I know this now because of my ability to hold in my pain, oppress my panic attacks and completely shame myself when other people betray me.
I will never forget the one time I went to my mother for advice. I was in middle school. I came home crying after getting into a big fight with some girls at school. They were some of my close friends. And then they started to be cruel and be friends with someone else who bullied me.
I was so upset I was crying outright and melting into my bed, when my mother came to see me. She asked me what happened, which was rare. She was in Jekyll form.
I told her what happened and her response was this:
"It must have been something you did. You are a bitch."
Really. My memory does not betray me. My thoughts on this have been clear ever since.
Whenever I spoke out against my mother, from childhood to adolescence, she called it "talking back".
I spoke out against domestic abuse, violence, bad name calling, grounding on no grounds, rude behaviors, physical acts of aggression or drunken rages. I spoke out against alcoholism. I spoke out against her addictions.
And yet, she always told me it was me.
I was trained to think that other peoples betrayals were my fault. So what did that do to my teen years?
I was too ________ , I did not ______ enough; every single time someone was not my friend anymore, a boyfriend cheated on me, a person hurt me. It must have been me. I must have asked for it.
I have always considered myself "smart", "aware", "deep", "conscious". Each time I unfold my trauma, I realize I was doing the best I could with what I had. So I just accept it. It is OK that I made mistakes. It is OK that i sometimes chose wrong.
What is not OK is holding in those feelings. But imagine what 28 year old me would feel now if I let all these feelings flood in?
What would you feel? All the hitting, the screaming, the cursing, the lies, the truths, the mental illnesses that raised me just circulating as dark smoke in my lungs.
It never really came out in the times of chaos. When all the things I saw and experienced were happening, I did not break.
But I realized something recently about this quiet, unrippling body. I am like a hologram of a lake. Toss stones into me and I do not let out a plop, or even a ripple.
No movement above the surface.
Just that hidden whirlpool beneath my unshapely, faded sweater.
Now that I know I have symptoms of a survivor of trauma, I can catch myself after they happen. Which is a big deal and break through for me.
I know if I work at it and focus, I will soon be able to catch myself in the moment. What helps that is being transparent and real with myself.
I am not ok right now, but I am inviting the flood and embracing the aftermath.
"Chronic coping Robot"
Reflection on myself and my experiences in the past few months has made me realize just how many "symptoms" and signs of trauma I have in my every day life.
I always thought I passed for "normal" and took pride in this passing persona when I was in college as well as previous jobs.
The truth is, I fooled myself for over the last decade.
I was always surrounded by triggers like people binge drinking, students with addictions, narcissistic relationships, and toxic family. So I eliminated those things.
I dove instead into projects, deadlines, multiple classes and multiple extra curricular acticities. I joined multiple clubs and started my own. I tried writing books and creative pieces outside of class. And painted, sketched, sewed clothing. I hand painted items and toys for my daughter. I brought my daughter to campus library hours and to work.
I submerged myself in responsibilities.
Does anything sound familiar so far to any of you reading this? I drowned myself in work. Said yes to every opportunity. When the plate was full, I said I was hungry for more.
But I was not actually caring for myself. I was disassociating instead of grieving.
I was latching onto places where I could thrive, but hide. And saying yes to all, trying to do it all well. I trained myself to do well under pressure. I did earn high grades and was successful in the things I did. I accomplished most of the goals I had.
So what is wrong with that?
I am not a superhuman. I am not all powerful and all consuming. Somewhere in me will break if I do not take care of me.
I never wanted to be home once I had my own apartment with my daughter. When I was single raising her and we spent our time at the University I attended, we stayed for hours. I went to the beach, park or city by train when I had any chance.
All of this was great for my kid. She loved it. I was not irresponsible in paying bills, getting responsibilities done or my juggle of work + school.
But I hated to be alone in my apartment. I hated to have silence. I hated to have to look at myself. And realize I was alone.
I dated someone for 4 yrs during that college time I had. And guess what? Same problem.
I committed to him blindly. He was abusive, mean, racist, disassociated with emotions, selfish, indifferent, did not do nice things for me and would ghost me and gaslight me.
I thought it was love. I wanted to know what more I could be or do. I kept on committing until it failed me because I was not going to be the one who failed.
No. I did not want to be alone. Not single. I was independent. He was shitty or ghosting. It was not about being single. I did NOT WANT to have someone say I was bad and they were leaving me. Because my own parents left. Family had largely left. Friends had left. Not many people were left in my arena.
Alone. Reflecting. Facing. Facing my problems. My symptoms. My side effects of being raised in a broken home. Of learning wrong things.
I was not whole first and then broken by a bad experience.
I was born broke. Broken. Beat. I never had a chance to be normal.
Now I am seeing it. Now that I have come to terms with my "personality" that I have laughed off, defended, boasted about. Not wrongly, but blindly.
I am not Just multi-passionate. I am not JUST self aware and intuitive. I am not just charismatic or creative. I am a chronic "cope" robot.
What is better than facing trauma in the eye as a kid? Sketching in my room.
What is better than facing my teen pregnancy and about to give birth body? Senior year taking full time classes and doing extra projects instead of naturally facing my emotions.
What is better than embracing my freedom as a young adult with my own apartment, a job, and college courses?
I should have taken a normal schedule. Spaced things out.
Seen a counselor regularly. I should have not dated, instead of being ghost-dependent on an asshole.
I should have not coped but dealt. I just did not know how.
And I do not hate myself for it. I am maturing. I am learning. And I am now accepting ME.
I got to thinking, an artist does art as much as possible. A writer, writes. A speaker looks for opportunities and goes to speak. Engages.
I love these creative professional titles guys. As it turns out, I am great at a lot of them.
But I only ever pick up a pencil or type when I am triggered. GASP.
WTF. Right?! A chief imitator. A boss mimicking machine. I'll mimicking happiness. I will mimick freedom. But I am not free. I have been trapped in that scary home for 12 years. I never left.
Watching "house on haunted hill" Netflix series made me cry like a baby. I binged it and then weeped at the symbolism and beauty of that series. At the pain and the torment this family faced. And in the end, time was like snowflakes. And their prison was that house no more than their mind, their illnesses and their addictions. Mind blown.
So this is it.
I have been a stay at home mom for a little over 6 months. And all these feelings are rushing in. I started off my STAY AT HOME MOM life by starting a mom blog. One that posts about mom life, healthy living, positive parenting, good marriages and financial education.
ALL GREAT SHIT.
Clever name. Great design. Great SEO. Great platforms. I obsessed and dove into it. Like I always do. But then I started to unravel. LIKE I ALWAYS DO. And there was no one to look at but myself.
I cannot blog about perfect homes, healthy behaviors, mom healthy routines, fitness for a great body. I HAVE NONE OF THAT.
Do not get me wrong, I love being a mom. I try hard. I love being with my partner, but being a wife is hard. Being a home maker is hard. I did not have Martha Stewart as a mother. I had mommy dearest.
What I committed to these last few months was mimmickery. I am not saying I have been a liar. No. I love my mom blog. And I did not lie about content. I am keeping my blog, as a LONG term project. Because it is great. And I made it that way. But it is not me yet.
What I am saying is that my mom blog and my life choices have made me see that I am in fact NOT OK.
It can be hard to get out of bed. Routines shmootines. You know what I mean?
Grocery shopping is overwhelming. Looking at ingredients and having anxiety about chemicals is triggering. Picking out what to wear is triggering. Having 3 loads of laundry is triggering.
Not because the tasks are hard. Because I have anxiety. Depression. PTSD.
It took me over 3 yrs to get beyond crying or having an internal panic attack when my husband used a knife in the kitchen near me.
Not because of him. Because of my childhood.
I have surrounded myself with chaos, indifferent and negative people, pieces bigger than I can chew---> MY WHOLE LIFE.
I am done.
Now that I see this, there will be no unseeing. The shocking truth is that i need slow pace, love, reassurance, healing, devotion, trust, committed people.
I need to look at imperfect me and say, "hey that's ok. Tomorrow."
I no longer want a passing grade, because I am failing me on the inside.
So what is next?
I decided to start a new blog + website that will give me purpose and healing without avoiding my problems.
I decided to write down and set REAL goals.
I want to be a writer professionally. I already write. But I want to go public. I want to show up in my own fantasy and make it real.
I want to write about my struggles and feelings in the moment. This helps me validate them, analyze them, and have an actual record. So my fears of glamorizing or avoidance will not happen. I will be transparent and then reflective. All qualities of someone healing.
I am going to seek counseling and read books I have about anxiety + personal growth + positivity. Because I do not just want to mimic it, I want to only be that woman. Who is loving and mature, balanced and able.
Ladies and gents, I am ready to become me.
May 21st, 12 years ago, I snuck out of my moms home with only my phone and charger, a pair of underwear, socks, one outfit and pajama pants. I had nothing else to my name. No form of I.D., no personal belongings, no hygiene or personal care products. Only what little I could quickly grab into a plastic bag before running out of that house, in fear they might return.
I was 16. Pregnant. In a relationship with someone who was only juggling girls and parties, while I was 3 months pregnant trying not to have a nervous breakdown after being torn down mentally by my parents.
Earlier that day, I had told my school social worker, a woman I had come to trust and respect, that I was pregnant and needed help. She then told the principals, the nurse, and then called my parents; the same parents whom had abused me for years and she was well aware of. I was given a ride on a small bus home, a short ride that I normally walked.
My mother and stepfather lost it. They were in disbelief. Sure, it must be terrifying and crazy to hear your 16 year old say the words "I am pregnant."
And as a former teen mom, having been asked this question over a million times since that day by others, my own reaction to my daughter telling me these words at any age or situation would be to comfort her and help her. In fact, I would already know my kid inside and out. So it would be no surprise if I had already know her life leading up to those words.
This woman and I could have been strangers. Fellow tenants. She did not mother me. She did not know me. She spent her time as a workaholic and an alcoholic, two terms she never faced and no longer grasps as a main component of our broken relationship.
No, I did not get any form of understanding or comfort. Inbetween my shaking hands and broken breathing, I could barely explain myself. Or the boy I had dated for two years that she had met many times but barely remembered. The family I had lived with for a month after she had attacked me, only a few months earlier. What she felt in that moment had to be shame. Embarrassment. Fear.
But she said the worst thing she could to me. "Go on, go tell your father."
So I did. I slammed that door. I walked on a hot summer day in May, two towns over by foot, as my feet blistered and my nausea caused me to spit up on a parking lot pavement. I marched with a fucking purpose. To the last job I knew he had on the books.
My dad was my hero as a little girl. After the divorce, I spent a lot of time with my dads mom and him since my mom worked alot, even though she had custody. He was the one who talked to me. Put me through camp. Put me into art classes at 8 because I had already become passionate about sketching and drawing with charcoal. He was the one who said my mom was crazy. My mom was an alcoholic. And he looked sober. He was funny. He was silly. He took me places. To parks. To 7 11. To Starbucks. To work with him.
I knew this job if his, because I had been there for a few years attending truck rides to different places. I learned how to drive a car there. I practiced driving an 18 wheeler car carrier. My dad was so cool.
And the 5 months I lived with him just TWO years prior to this day had proved it. My dad took me in after CPS had taken me out of my moms after a very bad event. And he provided for me for those months. He let me buy whatever clothes. Dye my hair. Listen to loud music. He took me out really late. I was allowed to walk a town over home from school to his place and with my own key get in. I took the train over an hour into NYC and he thought it was cool. I rode buses anywhere I wanted with the spare change in his drawer. I hung out with friends wherever and whenever. I bought our groceries. I budgeted and taught him about it. He let me eat anything I wanted and even let me do the laundry.
I had no idea what I was marching for. It was a mixture of anger and sadness. I was so overwhelmed at the idea of facing him again. He had stopped visiting me months before. Almost 8 months at that point. First, he had slowed down his visitations. Then he stopped answering calls. He said it was because I had changed. That 15 year old me had no longer wanted her daddy. 15 year old me wanted a boyfriend now. Someone else to see. To talk to. He said I barely listened on the phone when he called and only talked about this boy. So he was done.
I knew something was wrong. It was wrong for a father to be jealous of a boyfriend. It was wrong for a parent to go back on his promises, to reject me.
When I finally reached the tow truck company I had once loved to visit, everyone's faces were of shock. The 4 brothers who owned the place all had daughters around my age. They always greeted me with open armed hugs and laughs. Like uncles, both happy to see me and ready to poke fun. The flat faces that stared at me as I made my way through the dirt road up to the garage made me start to sweat. I was worried I walked all this way for nothing.
I asked for my father, but the receptionist said he was out. She was cold towards me. This woman used to glow when I came in, but now had zero enthusiasm of my presence as if I had personally done something to all of them.
Then a truck pulled up to the front of the shop and I saw his face as his lifted himself out of his truck, onto the pavement and around the side to meet me. His face got tighter and angry as he glanced at me and walked right past me, saying nothing. My heart sank.
I remember next saying a bunch of things outloud, in a nervous panic. I finally said the big, heavy thing I had walked over an hour in the sun to say. Dad. I'm pregnant.
That man slammed his things around, stomped his feet, and sloppily passed right by me again heading towards his truck. Now I remember shouting. Wanting him to respond.
Instead, he got into his truck. He started the engine. I ran out in my plastic ballet flats back onto the dirt road and positioned myself a few feet ahead of his bumper, my arms out in desperation. STOP.
He started to drive forward. At me. His green eyes did not look familiar to me as he glared with anger at my face through the windshield. He looked wild. He looked unsettled.
Out came 2 brothers, and owners, shouting for him to stop and get out. They had to scream and negotiate for him to stop the ignition and get back out. I remember next that someone grabbed me and pulled me to the curb. The receptionist. And she hugged me. Tight.
What happened after that is just a series of flashes now for me. The brothers took him in the back. Screaming and crashes. He stomped out after me and told me to follow him. I listened. We got into his old 63' impala. I sat tight, shaking, hands between my thighs together.
We drove silent for 15 minutes, me knowing the curves of that drive back home even with my eyes closed. When I opened them, we were at my mothers home.
Jean Soto, mother of 3 and wife, is a writer + artist in the Hudson Valley, NY community.
Content mention of Rape, Abuse, Neglect, Addictions, Mental Illness, Kidnap, Molestation, Child abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Abortion, birth, body image, gender/identity dysphoria, sexuality, personal trauma, domestic violence and other extremely personal stories. Please practice caution. I am not a licensed physician or mental health professional. No medical prescribing is provided on this site, Only personal insights, experience stories, and advice; All stories published have had prior authorization. Questions? Contact Jean at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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