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  • Emily Meagher

the mom i've always wanted to be

a Mother's Day confession

Hey Mom. I never told you this before, but ... all that I am is because of all that you were not.

I do not tell this story very often - mainly because I spent 16 years of my life trying to escape the reality I was born into. At the peak of my 16th year, I stood in front of a judge and pleaded to have myself finally set free. At 16 years old, I was legally pronounced as emancipated. There were many reasons why this was necessary for my mental, emotional, and physical health. The biggest take away that I received from those 16 years of knowing you, was each and every thing I would never put my own family through.

A short year or so after I had began to build my life as an adult living alone at 16, I found out I was going to be a mom. I feel like most people who may find themselves pregnant as a teenager would have had the exact opposite reaction to what I actually felt. From the moment I saw that sweet little bean-shaped growing human on that ultrasound screen, I felt relieved. I felt like I finally had something truly worth living for. It is wild the love I felt already for someone I had not even really met. Honestly, it made it even harder to understand why you never wanted me ...

Just after I turned 18, I finally got to meet her. The most beautiful being I had ever seen. My sweet Abigail Grace. Every moment of Abby's first year of life we were inseparable. I could not imagine ever being upset with her. I couldn't imagine screaming at her. I could never imagine hurting her. I could never imagine destroying her. I am really not quite sure how you could do that to me?

Then I heard it. I heard the smallest little voice say those sweet little syllables.. "ma-ma". I knew then that you could never hold that title in my mind again. To me, being a mom was the most incredible label that I wanted to fully live up to. It was like a new sense of resposibility and I wanted to be the best version of myself, for Abby. I wasn't perfect; I was young and navigating how to be a mom without having any core memories of my own. But when I do think of my mom, I think of the woman who saw a glimse of what I was going through and promised me right then and there that I would never have to go back. A middle school aged girl moved into a strangers home because in the most twisted way- it was so much more safe. It was never her responsibility to do that for me but that didnt even cause her to hesitate. She taught me what it felt like to be treated with respect. She taught me that loving and caring for someone so deeply is a choice that you just simply decided not to make.

Something I can thank you for is showing me how damaging a lack of patience, empathy, and understanding could be. With receiving a diagnosis of Abby's disability a few years later, I needed to be all of those things now more than ever. Because of you - I was able to stay calm when I was screaming with frustration on the inside. I was able to take a deep breath when I wanted to yell "HOW UNFAIR?!" I was able to focus on the incredible human being that Abby is rather than what she may not have the ability to do. Somehow through all of the years of your hatred, I grew to be passionately kind and accepting. I learned to always look for a different perspective outside of the negative one that seemed right in front of me. I grew to love to take care of others because the thought of anyone feeling how you made me or my father feel was unbearable.

You taught me all of the largest lessons I will carry with me for the rest of my life without even trying. I turned your turmoil and toxicity into a beautiful life for myself in a way where you could never take credit for who I've become. While most people's parents are the voice inside of their head influencing their decisions throughout their adult life, you were the voice reminding me of everything I would never forgive myself for being. And this is the most bizarre thing yet - I don't hate you for it. I actually forgive you. I even feel sorry for you. Because I now know what a mother's/daughter's unconditional love feels like and you will never have another chance to experience that. So here's to you, the last time I will probably ever write about you. And here's to me, becoming the mother I always wanted to be.



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