I know I was probably one of the worst teenagers to ever deal with when you were raising me. Rebellious. Hateful. Erratically behaved. Spiteful. Stubborn. These were all things I displayed on a regular occasion. And I know at the time, I truly believed everything was all yours and dad’s fault. And even now, there are times where I look back at my teenage years and still think there are some things you could have handled differently. Because, I was essentially this child:
Okay, maybe not to that extent… but I was a slightly less extreme version of her. But now that I am older (by 10 years), I can see why you and dad did the things you did the way you did them.
There were times where I thought about going into the kitchen when you were asleep upstairs and dad was passed out on the couch and just taking a knife to my stomach only to have you and dad find me in the morning, just to make you realize how sorry you would be for the fight we had on that night. Or times where I thought about just being thrown in jail so I wouldn’t have to be raised by the two of you anymore. Man, I was such a troublesome kink in your neck. An itch that couldn’t be scratched. A wound that wouldn’t heal.
But as time passed, as we both grew older, and as losses started making their way into both of our lives, I woke the hell up.
And I’m so glad I finally did.
Mom, I don’t know what I would do without you. To think that those awful thoughts ever entered my mind makes my eyes fill with rivers of regret. When I consider everything in hindsight, I can’t imagine if I had ever really taken it to the extreme and carried out the thoughts that came into my head. But as a teenager, you don’t really think about the consequences of your actions.
After going through many arduous and sickening growing pains, I realized you are the best friend I am ever going to have. My “friends” who have been filtered in and out of my life will never care about me as much as you do. When I look at the people I know who still treat their parents like insects, I just look at them with disgust. When I hear my friends tell their parents “fuck you”… I just think, “What if those were the last words I had ever said to my mom?”
And what makes me even more heartbroken is that fact that you never gave up on me. You still made sure my stomach was full every night, that I got to school on time, that I had a home and a bed to sleep in, that you continued to financially support me–restrictions or not. I don’t think I have a single friend who would keep me around had I acted the way I did towards them as I did towards you.
I realized how sacred a mother-daughter relationship is after seeing too many friends lose their parents along the way. I can’t imagine if that were me. What if that was my mom? What would I do?
I realized after moving so far away from home how much you really did for me when I was still living under your roof, even if I got annoyed at you wanting to know where I was going, what time I would be home.
They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. And I swore to myself I wasn’t going to speak to you as much when I moved away for college. But being on my own for the first time made me realize how stupid I sounded to even think that. I never realized how much you did for me, how good I had it, until I didn’t live with you anymore. And now that I’m all grown up, with a real job, and more than 1500 miles away from home, I can’t manage going one day without talking to you, even when I have nothing to talk about.
To see you lose your own mother this year, knowing how much I truly confide in you, knowing that you will always be there to listen to my trivial problems, that you’ll always be on my side, that you’ll always back my choices, and that you are willing to see with an open lens even though we have very different personalities… all of this makes me realize there is not a single person on this earth that will ever give me that sort of infallible love and respect.
I think putting a mirror to my past is the biggest reason I don’t want kids. I would not want to deal with the daughter I was. But seeing that it is possible to still raise a decent, loving human being despite the obstructions and hinderances along the way, gives me hope that if one day I do decide to have a child who is as awful as I was, I can still have hope knowing that you did a good job with me.
So thank you, mom. Thank you for not giving up on me when I was the Antichrist. Thank you for making my adult life so bearable and letting me lean on you for help for as long as I have. Thank you for making my dream job become a reality (because god knows I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you). Thank you for always providing me the things I need in life and then some. Thank you for loving me at a time when I didn’t even love myself. Thank you for teaching me to rely on me and me alone. Thank you for teaching me that most boys are fuckboys. Thank you for seeing fake friendships before I experienced them. And most of all, thank you for being such a wonderful, kick-ass mom. I couldn’t have asked for a better one.