MENTAL HEALTH

When You Grow Up With Rich Celebrities and Poor People Living on the Streets

And one of them was my mother

Michelle Marie Warner
The Narrative Arc
Published in
6 min readDec 4, 2023

--

A person hunched over wearing a worn leather jacket and dirty hoodie, sitting on large rocks against a wall with a grey duffel bag, pink sweater on top.
Photo by ArtTower on Pixabay

I remember the accumulated pots and pans encrusted with old food in our sink. I see the full toilet we couldn’t flush because of frozen pipes. I hear my mother’s rants against the backdrop of neglect.

She leaned in with what felt like love one moment, then criticized the next. Her inner demons crept into our lives like mold, destroying my foundation and any chance at a healthy childhood.

I remember the day I went to live with my dad. I had been planning my eighth birthday party that week and held the pack of yellow candles I’d picked out in the kitchen. My mother’s creativity shined when she planned my parties. But I didn’t realize how little she could offer by then. I never had that party.

She was relentless in her arguments when she believed she was right — which was often. I picture my dad having to rush to avoid conflict. We gathered my things as fast as we could without setting her off. I couldn’t bring my big stuffed hippo, who was staring at me from the bed with its beady little eyes and bubble gum pink fur. I grabbed my yo-yo and a few other things, and then my dad took me home, where I would be safe.

--

--

Michelle Marie Warner
The Narrative Arc

Writer of all things personal, socially conscious, sensitive, single LGBTQIA+ mom. Ready to bite off more than I've been chewing. michellewarner718@gmail.com