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What My Mother Doesn't Know
1. Never give yourself to anyone or anything other than yourself
This lesson is tricky because I believe my mother did the best she could with what she had, but her selfishness was always prevalent no matter how hard she tried to hide it.
For example, when I was fourteen, my mother allowed her boyfriend to put me out of their house. (I won't bore you with the details.) She didn't fight for me to stay, she just let him put me out and she stayed with him for the rest of the year. I didn't stay mad at her. Actually, I don't recall being mad at her.
After that situation happened, I learned that being selfish was the right way to live my life. However, I never allowed myself to be selfish in all aspects of life.
For example, I do dedicate time to philanthropy. I have a dream to make this world better than I found it. Therefore, this lesson didn't stick.
2. Family doesn't always mean the people you share DNA with
Growing up, my family was never close. I've been on this earth 22 years and my family has only had one family reunion. For some odd reason, the people in my family just can't seem to get along. I never questioned why. I just accepted it.
I have never seen my parents be loving to each other. They were in a relationship before I was born. However, the relationship fell apart shortly after I arrived. I always thought their relationship ended because of me. (I have never told them this.)
Now that I think about it, I probably never understood the value of family because my parents never taught it to me.
I would always try to stay as far away from my family as possible. I went to college two hours away from my hometown. (I didn't want to be too far away.)
Being away from home, allowed me to adopt a new family. My friends and pastors were like my brothers and sisters. To me, they were my "true" family.
I never wanted to abandon my biological family, but I chose to because I felt loved and wanted around them. My biological family always treated me like an outsider. (I never knew why.)
Because of this, I was forced to find love and acceptance elsewhere. Although my mother probably didn't want this for me, it happened. I'm pretty sure she loved me, she just never knew how to show it.
I'm grateful for this lesson because it shows me that you actually can choose your family.
3. The only one who truly cares how you feel is you
This lesson is painful to write because it discusses a pivotal point in my teenaged life.
When I was sixteen, my little sister died due to heart complications. My world was shattered. I was angry all the time and I didn't want to be around anyone. Everyone, including my mother, knew how I felt about my sister.
There were times when I would get really upset and cry and my mother would see me. She never consoled me. She just watched me cry and did nothing. Maybe she didn't know how to comfort me, which is fine. But all I really wanted was to know someone cared.
My friends tried to offer support, but I wanted my mother. I wanted her to take the pain away, but she couldn't. I'm not mad at her for it, I just took it as a lesson.
From that experience, I vowed to always have a big and open heart. I never want anyone to feel as though I don't care about them when I truly care about everybody.
My mother may have taught me to care about myself only, but I will never be that selfish.
4. It's okay to settle
For as long as I can possibly remember, my mom has always had a boyfriend. I don't think she has ever been single for an extended amount of time.
When she dates, she dates guys who she really don't want to be with. It's almost as if she doesn't want to be alone. She says she doesn't have a problem with being alone, but I know better. Maybe she has low self-esteem or too much self-esteem. Whatever it is, I always hated that about her.
Why couldn't she be okay with just being a mom? Why did she have to date?
Seeing her do this, I vowed to never date just for the sake of dating. I want my relationships to have meaning. I never want a guy in life just to cure my loneliness.
I love my mother a lot, but her lessons weren't always wise lessons.
5. It's okay to forget you're a parent
For this lesson, I don't have any concrete examples. However, I do recall my mom not being around a lot when I was between the ages of 3 through 6.
She said she was working a lot. She was a young parent.
While this may be true, I do remember her saying, "There were days I just didn't want to come home." That's what she did. She stayed out and partied.
When I heard this, I thought to myself, "You had a child. Whether you wanted to come home or not, you should've come home." (I never told her this.)
I will never accept this lesson because it shows how selfish she was/is. If I ever become a parent, I would always put my child(ren)'s needs above my own.
I want you to know I love my mother dearly and I would never do anything to defame her character. I never want to see her hurt and I wrote this to reveal the truth about my heart.
I am not bashing her. These are the lessons she taught me and I don't think she realizes she taught them to me.