Hot salty tears running fast, the feeling of confusion and hope all jumbled into one, the overwhelming aching of my heart filling my chest. One question kept repeating itself in my head, over and over. “Will I ever see her again?” It was my biological mother who I was referring to, the woman who I had not seen for 13 years. And at 16 years old, I was back at square one with nothing to hold onto but the fading scent of her perfume. It felt as though she was leaving for the first time, like she hadn’t done this before. As if she had never given me up for foster care, instead of giving me to my dad. It left me with the strong sense of compassion coursing through my body. I knew then, her absence in my life had caused me to care more for others.
My father searched for me when my biological mom gave me up, along with his old high school sweetheart who is now my mother.
He received full custody when I was three months old. The facts were never hidden from me of what had occurred, which was helpful. Facts are unbiased, so my biological mother was never bashed. I didn’t have some skewed image of her as a horrid woman who selfishly gave up her child. At a young age I had come to believe that she had done it because it was the right thing to do, and I still believe that to this day. It wasn’t until that summer; when I met her that her true colors came out. The colors my parents tried so desperately to conceal from me.
These colors were dark, nothing bright and vibrant like I had hoped. That hot summer day things were going well until she began talking about my father’s birthday. But when mine was brought up, she mumbled something and changed the subject. She didn’t know when mine was. Something snapped inside, why could she remember his and not mine? It didn’t end there though. Slowly she began moving closer to my father, conversing only with him. It was assumed, and yes, even expected that she was to be catching up on decade and some years she had missed, not catching up on the good old days. I stood there baffled, gritting my teeth at the fact that I was being ignored. It hit me then, the most hurtful thing anyone can do to me is ignore me, and it was because she had ignored me all these years. I have never been able to disregard someone, it’s impossible, because I would by no means want to hurt another person like that.
Now I had recently found out the amount of which she pays in child support. A meager 25 dollars a month, and for 12 months for 18 years adds up to a nice sum of 5,400 dollars. But for some that is one month of child support. She had made me feel as if I was only worth that. My life had been sold on clearance, for 25 dollars. There were never any holidays such as birthdays/Christmas/Easter presents, not one single card. I was non-existent to her. This, in turn, made me hyper vigilant to those around me and their feelings. Every year I write heartfelt cards to my family members, and their tears of joy are enough to know that I’ve accomplished what I had hoped to. This was to express just how much joy they bring to my life, and how much I love them. For I would never want another human being to feel as worthless as I had felt.
She still doesn’t know the moment that door clicked, the moment I couldn’t hear her soft steps anymore, those salty tears escaped me. Not because of how hurt I felt, but because I knew I could never hate her for what she had done and continues to do. So instead of holding a grudge, a chip on my shoulder for the rest of my life, I make it my goal to make everyone I interact with feel cared for, significant, and left feeling warm. All because of her absence in my life.
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