The force of her cruel words slapped me in the face. They made me feel worthless. Those very words spilled from my mother’s lips settled in my rib cage, making breathing difficult. How can you call your own child, your own blood a waste of space? Like they never meant anything to you? As if I wasn’t worth the 9 months of growing in your belly. Those words were like acid, washing over my flesh and it pained me to even look at her anymore. The woman before me wasn’t my sweet tender mother. No, it couldn’t be. Before me stood a bitter monster, hiding behind the flesh of my kind mother. And if it wasn’t, I knew the truth would break me, even as I try to believe her body was under someone’s control. Even as I felt the sting of her hand on my sensitive cheek, I would keep lying to myself. For her sake, for my sake, for the sake of what remains of our crumbled family.