You are not your parent’s mistakes. You are not responsible to carry their burden.
I have always struggled with this. Living in a small town community, nearly everyone knows your business, baggage and all. The thing about me, though, was that I was so very different that most of the other kids in my high school. When I say that I was from a small town, what I mean is that I graduated from high school with a class of 54. There were only two students in the entire high school that identified as something other than white. When I say there was no diversity, I mean NONE. Zilch.
So to feel like the outsider when most everyone was all so alike, was like carrying a bowling ball in my backpack hoping no one would notice.
I was ashamed of my mom. She was using meth and was in and out of prisons all throughout the state. And I felt like it was written all over my forehead, as if someone could see her mistakes when they looked at me. I felt nervous if someone looked at me for more than a few seconds.
They probably know that I’m the kid of a drug addict.
So my confidence went on the decline. I didn’t give people the benefit of the doubt – I just assumed that everyone could tell what I came from. I thought my mom’s choices defined me, and that held me down for a very long time.
I grew up, moved on, and came to understand that the person she became was not going to be the person that I would become. I wanted different, and I was in the position to do so. My aunt and uncle took me in, taught me right from wrong, supported me, and loved me as their own. All I had to do was believe in myself as much as they believed in me.
It’s hard to distance yourself from something that feels like a part of you. I will always feel the void where my mom doesn’t exist. I will always feel a tingle of embarrassment when someone tells me that they know who my mom is. I came from her. I exist because of her.
And to decide that those things don’t matter is very hard to do.
I am not my mom’s lapse in judgement. I do not have to carry the weight of her misguidance on my shoulders. I am not her.
I am strong-willed and brave. I have a brilliant mind. I am a force to be reckoned with. I am happiness and power, rolled up as one. I am nature. I am beautiful. I am hard-working and resilient. I am me.
There is so much that am, and it has nothing to do with my mother.