To whom it may concern,
It's mother's day and my mom has been an issue I have stayed away from for quite a while but I think I'm ready to talk about it. I wish it wasn't a issue but sadly it is so here goes. I have a mother. She is not exactly a mom. I wish she could be but she isn't exactly what you would call motherly. I was never able to tell her about my rape. I still couldn't tell her. A few stories for context.
My earliest memory about feeling insecure was when I was about 10. My mother got me into acting very early in my life. Put all the money into a college fund for me. Very nice but anyways! We were about to leave for an audition. She used to take pictures of me before every audition. Before taking the picture she said "Suck in your stomach! Remember, you always need to hold in your stomach. You always want to look your best. You don't want them thinking you're fat do you?" I was 10. I had no idea what body image even meant and yet here was my mother telling me that to be accepted in this world I had to hold it in.
From then on my memories of her are usually involving some kind of quip about me gaining weight or withholding food from me or implying something rude about me.
When I was about 15, I got boobs and thicker thighs and really grew into my body. I got stretch marks. At first, I saw this as normal. I was proud! I mean these marks that my mother had, my idols had, and all of my friends had were finally on me too. It meant I was finally becoming a woman. My mother bought me this oil to make them go away. When I asked her why she told me I had stretch marks because I was getting fat. I needed to hide them. I needed to eat less. I needed to be beautiful. I still don't wear shorts or take off my bra in front of guys because those words are so ingrained in my memory.
Around the same time, I was being bullied at school. Called a w**re, a sl*t, because my...assets....had grown exponentially over the summer. I went from no boobs to DD's in a few months and my clothes didn't exactly fit right and at the same time I had a lot of friends who were male. They were friends I had known my whole life and the only people I felt safe around. I called my older brother one night crying, I needed to tell an adult but I wasn't going to tell my mother...I thought he would understand. He went through certain tribulations with my mother as well but he was trying to be a responsible adult (he's quite a bit older then me) and he called her...told her about the situation. My mother stopped me one day, decided to ask me about it...me being naive and wanting to finally open up to the woman who was raising me, I was excited! I thought, FINALLY! I have a mom! I can open up to her, tell her the truth! Maybe she will help me...
Her advice to me...after my hour long explanation and crying...was that I should stop wearing short shorts and maybe stop sleeping around and then maybe people wouldn't say those things. Before I could even respond, she said rumors don't start without validity. I should remember to be more conservative and maybe people will like me.
The older I got the more I hated myself. She brushed off my outbursts of anger towards her as being immature and undeserving. She hadn't done anything wrong! She was just giving me advice. She never explicitly called me fat...or a w**re...or a piece of trash...but her words implied it and that hurts just as bad. I remember I had gained a bit of weight throughout the years. I was about 17. I had a great day at work and had even been hit on! Twice! I didn't plan on doing anything about it but I still felt a little better about myself! I got home and my mother told me I should stop wearing my overall shorts because they made me look fatter then I was...I decided to retort and maybe shut her up by saying that maybe guys liked bigger girls cause I had been hit on twice that day by two different guys. She got me though by reminding me that they didn't really think I was pretty...they just knew bigger girls are easier.
She always blamed me. She still does. She reminds me every day that she had my baby sister when I was 3 because she knew early on I wasn't going to be good enough. I may not look like her, I may not act like her, I may not have the same interests or opinions as her but believe me...I am good enough.
Maybe you guys can understand why I wouldn't wanna divulge my rape to her and if not here's one last good story for all those victims who have ever felt low and had someone push them down lower.
I was watching Law and order: Special victims unit. I like that show...I like seeing those who hurt others get the justice they deserve...I like hearing the kind words of Olivia Benson telling those victims that it will be okay and there is more in life...
My mother was sitting watching as well. In the courthouse on the show, the defense attorney asked the victim what she was wearing, how drunk she was and I was mad. I let out a comment about not blaming the victim. That it didn't matter what she wore or what she drank, that he had stolen something from her that no one could ever replace and that no one ever deserves that regardless of their attire. She said "It does matter. She should have been smarter. She was asking for it. If you put on clothes like that and you drink like that then you are asking for someone to take you home and whether you say yes or no doesn't matter in that situation. The detective said it herself! She was too drunk to consent. Meaning she was also too drunk to refuse. So he did nothing wrong."
I couldn't believe the words coming from my mother. The woman I once revered. I felt like she was talking about me...about how it was my fault I had been raped. Whether she knew I was raped or not didn't matter. She had said those words and she meant it. She had judged me for what clothes I wore, for my weight, for the lack of makeup I put on my face, for the people I spoke to and for the things people said about me but nothing hurt more then hearing those words.
The day after I turned 18, I left home. Without a goodbye. Without an I love you. I don't regret it. I still speak to my parents. I still speak to my siblings. I go and visit my 2 brothers, my little sister and my father regularly...but I can't stay in a room with my mother for more then an hour because she is a scornful and hurtful woman. I try. I do. I love her. I still take her opinion of me to heart but it's not healthy for me to stand there and take that kind of abuse from the people I love. It's affected relationships! I've brought one guy over once. He stood up and left. He couldn't sit there quiet while my mother and the rest of my family sat there and told me how I was worthless. I was no good. I was damaged. They don't even know who I really am. They don't know I'm bi. They are unaware of my rape. They don't meet the people I date. And yet, they still judge me for things that I have no control over! The smallest things. It hurts me. My mom is the worst. She is the influence that creates these comments from my sister and my youngest brother (still older then me). My father may have his own opinions that I don't agree with but he doesn't direct those opinions at me. My mother judges me in ways that I could never explain fully. It kills me inside.
So happy mother's day to every woman who loves their child. To every mom who would hurt anyone who ever made their kid cry. To every mom who would defend their child even if they had done something regrettable. You are the woman I wish I had growing up...maybe I would have been able to become strong with you instead of in spite of her. I love my mother. I always will. But I never had a mom. She gave birth to me. She pushed me but she never helped me. She never inspired me. She never believed in me. She pushed me down, she demeaned me, she made me feel like...if my mother doesn't want me...who ever will.