A Mother's Love
© Copyright 2018 by Stephanie Guzman
Every single night I dreamt of the day, that I would finally be able to leave my motherís house. The day I would finally be free to be myself without being judged or ridiculed. The years went by painfully slow; my infancy felt like an eternity. My childhood felt like a prison sentence. My mother was the prison warden, and I lived in her somber shadows of destruction.
I lived in an apartment in Brooklyn, on the third floor, with my mom, dad, older brother, younger sister and baby brother. My mother was a stay at home mom, and my dad worked a very low wage paying job. My brother was the oldest, he was always very quiet and distant. I didn't have the ďbrotherly sisterlyĒ relationship, I always desired. My younger sister was absolutely beautiful and smart. My mom adored her. In my mother's eyes, she was everything a perfect daughter was supposed to be. She was everything I wasnít. My sister was white, smart, beautiful and most importantly, she was loved by my mother. I never resent my sister for receiving the love and nourishment that she deserves. If anything, I was grateful that she didn't have to ever feel the pain and neglect I felt when I was a child. Lastly, there was my baby brother, he wasn't planned. In fact, the day my mother went to the hospital to tie her tubes, they told her she couldn't, because she was three months pregnant. My brothers birth was a very difficult one for our family. My mother and baby brother almost didn't make it out alive. My mother had preeclampsia while pregnant with my brother. Her blood pressure was dangerously high. She lost a lot of blood during her c-section, and needed a blood transfusion to live. My brother lost a significant amount of air from his brain, enough to damage him. The doctors waited to long to get him out alive and well. The birth of my brother changed our lives. Especially, my mothers. She almost died giving birth to her perfectly healthy son. Even though they survived, my brother was no longer a healthy baby. He will never be able to accomplish anything in life, he's going to need to depend on her for as long as she lived. My mother didn't ask for this, she didn't want this life sentence. She didn't see his birth and her getting better like a miracle, she saw it as her end.
My mom was very cold; she didn't express positive emotions. As a kid,I thought she despised me. My mother never kissed me, or hugged me or told me she loved me. She told me that my skin was too dark and that my nose was too big. It didn't stop there; she would also make fun of me and call me names. When she was angry at me, for being clumsy or making a mess of crumbs on the couch. I could feel the hatred in her eyes, as she scolded me. I was the darkest one, my color skin was exactly like hers and she hated it, because she hated herself. Every one would say that I looked just like my mother. I would get enraged because I knew that she didn't feel that way. It bothered her that her least favorite child shared her resemblance. I wanted to make sure that she knew that our feelings were mutual. That I definitely didn't want to resemble a monster. I didnít want her to see the pain that radiated on my face , from her rejection, so I reflected it with hostility. I was good at hiding my tears from her, she never saw me being vulnerable. All she saw was an angry troubled child, ruining her peace of mind. My mother didn't see my anger as a cry for help, as a child in desperate need of her mother. She saw me as a jealous selfish kid, that didn't deserve to be treated like the others, a kid that needed to learn how to behave, the hard way.
My mother carried her anguish on her shoulders. I felt like I was the towel she dried up her imaginative tears with, because she never cried. She had her own demons to fight within herself. At the same time, I had to live with the thought, that my own mother didn't want me. I was a broken child, living in a home with a mom and a dad, siblings, with a family, I felt I didn't belong to. I felt so alone and out of place. I would dream of the day when I could be at my own home with my own family, how different life would be. How I would always show my kids unconditional love, no matter how difficult they were to deal with. In my dreams my mom wasn't there to ruin my happiness, my thoughts, my opinions, my looks, and my being.
When I was 8 years old I lived in a very cluttered room, isolated from the rest of the apartment. It was a room they used to rent in the past, but with the new baby and all, there was no space for me inside the house. Honestly, I felt like my mother didn't want me in the house, that she wanted me as far as possible. At first, I was ecstatic to get my own private room away from my family. It would be my own little hideout, where I can run when things got tough. However, I was eight years old. My room got dirrty, and I would always get locked out from the rest of the house. For this reason, there were times that I didn't have access to the toilet and kitchen. When I got home from school, I wasn't able to eat or use the bathroom. My memories of that room are very lonely. A little girl looking out her window, while pondering. Thinking when will life get better? Never did my mom come in the room to check on me, to see if i was okay. I know now that she had a lot of hardship to overcome. Possibly, if she was in a better mental state, my story would have been a different one.
Donít get me wrong my mother took care of us the best that she could. We were clean and we were fed. She was always there physically ,but I never felt her warmth. She would always tell me everything that was wrong with me, but never acknowledged the things that i was good at, or the things I was proud of , she never celebrated the little joys. Iíve never felt a motherís tender touch. I spent most of my life yearning it. It felt like a tease because she was there at an armís length, she was so close but yet so far from me. Her own daughter.
Finally, the day Iíve always dreamed of was here. I was eighteen years old ready to embark a new life, regardless of the challenges that may come my way. I worked really hard in high school, so I could get accepted to a decent college, that I can live in, far away from my mother. At the time, I was working at a movie theater, full time. I saved up some money to take with me to school to hold me down. Until, I was able to find a job. I knew being on my own wasnít going to be easy, especially since my mother hammered it in my head. The odds of me succeeding in college were slim. I was alone, I had no support system and no money. All of those things didn't matter to me. I was willing to take the risk. I was ready to break the chains that my mother molded inside of me.
My mom warned me about how badly I would fall. She was right, I did fall, trip and stumble. However, she forgot to say how good it feels after you stand up and try to run, to fly. How complete you feel when you reach for the stars and never stop reaching. I found that motherís love that I longed for. I found it inside of me. Hidden and trapped behind my pain and trauma. I release that love into the world every day, to all of those who also yearn to fill the void. I am good enough, I am beautiful, I am smart, I am capable and so are you.