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A Child Only A Mother Could Love

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It was the sneaking and lying. The staying out all night and having boys over until 2:00 in the morning. It was the smart a** answers and stealing money and illegal piercings. It was all the drugs and language and rumors that got back to her. The trips to the emergency room and the trashy clothing and the car crashes. It was the sex and the sneaking out and the underage drinking. It was the nights I didn't come home. It was the nights she didn't know where I was at all.

I pushed my mother, each weekend a little further than the last. Each time, she uncovered a little more of my life, and each time, a little more of her broke. Finding the internet browser open to "infected bellybutton piercing." Taking me to the doctor to get it taken out. Getting my blood tested for HIV and Hepatitis C and God knows what else. Finding THC, nicotine, and alcohol in my blood work. I got my bellybutton pierced, underage and without her permission, two more times, even after this.

I was the third of four children, and she frequently said "You are the hardest of the kids to deal with. You take the most risks and push the most boundaries and test the farthest limits." She tried her hardest to control me and, at the very least, make sure I was safe. She always cried when one of my lies fell through. When it turned out I hadn't actually been at my friend's house all weekend, but on the other side of the state at an all-weekend frat party. When she found out that my friends and I had been pretending to be each other's parents on the phone for months.

I pushed her ruthlessly, with little regard for her feelings. There were groundings, cut-off phone service, a deleted Facebook, and breath checks at the door. And still I continued. I continued to lie and leave the house through my window in the middle of the night. I continued to scream and cuss and throw things at her. I taunted her that I was pregnant or had an STD. I threatened to kill myself or run away. I was a living, walking, breathing nightmare.

But she never gave up. My mom always took me back, no matter what I had done or yelled at her. When I fell off my friend's roof, already drunk and sneaking out to go to a party, she ran into the emergency room less than ten minutes after she got the call. On Mother's Day, when I was fourteen, I came home with a bloody nose after smoking weed laced with LSD. She rocked me and soothed me into the night, through the worst acid trip of my life.

My mother has given me everything, and I took it and threw it away. Everyone else gave up on me or watched from the sidelines while I hurtled faster and faster toward my own destruction. When the world left me alone, she never threatened to give up on me and always pulled me out of whatever danger I had recklessly thrown myself into.

If nothing else, Mom, thank you. For this and everything else.





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