When You Realize Your Mother Went Through Hell for You

During adolescence, it’s altogether too simple to overlook adversities that don’t directly correlate with your own, whether they are of the past or a futuristic tense; your entire world and the axis upon which it spins revolves solely around your own self. You develop ideals of certain situations being unfair to you, of dreams crushed when you realized the world wouldn’t offer handouts at the rate of change, when you realized it wasn’t your parents, nor anyone else’s duty to provide you with all the colors of all the rainbows in your horizon. Selfishly, you adapt to overlooking boundaries and lines in the sand and varying levels of truth, for if stories and lessons don’t benefit you as an individual, why would you express the slightest interest?

I used to think my mother was only a roadblock in the way of whatever it was I happened to be pining for, a certain adversity I was unable to shake for she would always return, upholding an absolute refusal to silence her own tongue, her own advice, to refrain from releasing her input. I thought her words were contrived of simple notions that only wanted to stop me in my tracks, wherever they were attempting to lead me — these emotions are difficult for me to reflect upon, as the guilt often persists when I do. I grew up with oppression derived from my own mind, creating falsities at alarming speeds that catered to my self-pity, for I believed that if no one was attempting to benefit me directly by offering each thing I desired on a silver platter, that they must not feel an ounce of love. I wrongly believed that if my parents refused to purchase something for me, necessary or otherwise, that they wished to watch me flounder in waves of affliction — I subscribed to the poisonous ideal that if they did not agree with me, it meant their disagreements shaped who I was, or that they harbored no vision for me. I was entirely wrong; over recent years, I’ve come to learn I’ve been wrong much more than I’ve been right, if I have been at all.

When I was younger, I was unaware that my mother was working two separate jobs, both of which weren’t entirely likable, both of which provided strenuous hours that stretched into expanses of time left unforeseen. I had yet to understand that these hours were not chosen, nor were the places — they were a necessity, actions that were implemented without a second thought, for the sacrifices being made were nothing compared to seeing the livelihood of her children thrive. I hadn’t understood that eating noodles for lunch and raw vegetable sticks and grilled cheese sandwiches five days a week were not a punishment, but the only form of sustenance available, as they were raising four. Two were hers, my sister and I, and two were the product of another marriage — despite this, she worked for all of us. For as long as I’ve been alive, I haven’t heard a single complaint, and I’m certain I never will.

I had known, of course, that my father decided to abandon the life he’d created while I was still so young, my sister barely born, in a house on the edge of town within a neighborhood with a reputation a mile wide. I hadn’t known that during those days, though she had the two of us, she was irrevocably alone — for a long time, my focus remained on the likes of my father. I spent much of my energy and time campaigning for his attention, and when it wasn’t received, wondering where these affections must be lurking — I pined to see him on weekends, every other one. I spoke only of him, the candy I ate all evening that awarded me no satisfaction, only roaring stomach aches, the television I watched for hours on end while he took to neglecting me. In these instances, I forgot my mother’s advocacy — I placed my focus upon where my father’s visions were, completely omitting the fact that my mother’s intentions were clear cut, and omnipresent. When I would come back home on Sunday evenings, always late, laden with crocodile tears and notions of neglect, she was always quick to embrace my sadness with open arms, though it must have impacted her in greater measures, she must have felt it in a much deeper regard. While I looked into horizons that would only carry me to new realities, ones of falsehoods and empty promises on behalf of my now estranged father, I forgot who my hero was.

It’s altogether too simple to chalk up firm parenting to notions of an uncaring nature, far too easy to convince yourself you’re unloved, when these adversities and hardships have certainly awarded me with everything I have now; writing for two publications, one international, one local. Without years of humbling and the word ‘no’ being produced at alarming rates, I would have evidently learned to overlook the positives, focusing only on negatively impacting aspects of life, which could never outweigh the good. It would be far too easy for me to accuse my mother of allowing my relationship with my father to falter, when in fact, she did everything she could to keep him and I together, and to keep my options open, my heart without pain. It would be simple to dislike her for the heights she never allowed me to reach, when in fact, due to her efforts, I’ve reached goals and have gained ambitions that I never once deemed possible for myself, never once considered could be attained by the likes of myself.

In short, my mother’s hell opened gates of entry to my flourishing; my mother’s adversities shaped our relationship, which is now better than it has ever been prior. My mother’s faults and failures and rigorous efforts are the reason we all feel secure now, for we no longer have sadness or hardships to hide from, no longer have emotional fights or screaming matches to dodge. I no longer feel like I’ve been cheated, for I’ve come to realize that I have everything, and have had it for years; I simply allowed veils of self-serving ideals to keep the disclosure of this at bay. I simply hadn’t wanted to believe, for it meant I would be wrong; now, I no longer fret over this. I would rather be wrong every single day, in regards to every single aspect I attempted, if it meant my mother would always be present to correct it. I love my mother for her time spent in hell.