They often say, "all that left you couldn't stay, and all that stayed couldn't leave." So is that why you left? Or is that why you never showed up in the first place? You were physically present, but never emotionally available for me to receive the kind of affection and nurturing needed as a young girl or a young anything. Now that I'm a young woman, married, and a mother of one; I can't seem to wrap my head around your continued absence. I don't understand how you could place a man before me or any other child through the neat foldings of his napkin, setting of his utensils, and fullness of his plate. I can't understand the ways that you've sat down, so graciously & silently, watching as my father intently ripped me into shreds by his sharpened tongue and razor cut drunken words. 

I can't seem to look past the moments that you've praised others for their small successes and purposefully left my "wins" unnoticed. How could a love that was deemed to be so unconditional become so foreign and non-existent? What have I done? What has my presence done to you? Was I the mistake that wouldn't wipe away clean like a well-engulfed stain hitched to a white shirt? Is it because I disrupted your plans, your visions, and your image, by being placed on this earth through God's crafted hands while you were all but 19 years old? Do I pay for the unethical, intolerable choices that you made? Is it that I am the reminder of what you haven't become, even when you've mastered and achieved the epitome of a successful career later on in your life? Am I paying for a crime that I was no part of?

Is it me? Or is it really about you? Have I been left with nothing because you decided that having me here took away everything? But now that I'm you, a mother and wife, should I use the same heels that you've used, and pick the same dead roses that you did, as I walk along your jagged path? Or should I kill that part of me that has missed you all my life, letting go of the resentment, pain, anger, and bitterness; and be the true woman that I know that I was meant to be? A woman that loves boldly, gives selflessly, strives toward her dreams, and uses her story to inspire others who may unfortunately feel her exact pain. Should I no longer hope that I could have a mother who cares for me and speak my hidden truth?

ALL that left you couldn't stay, and all that stayed couldn't leave.

Xx, S.

Southern raised. NYC Bound. Working-Stay At Home Mama sharing day to day Interior Decorating, Recipes, Inspirational quotes, Natural Hair, + Parenting Journeys at https://orchidsandsweettea.com/

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