Pictureless

A very personal story about growing up with a "horrible" mother.

Among the many mysteries I still don’t understand, there is one big fat mystery named “Sandra”.
Sandra is not myself, she is my mother and today is her birthday.

I don’t know how old she is, I don’t know what she looks like now, I don’t know where she lives, and I don’t own a picture of her. In fact, I don’t think a picture of her and me together ever existed.
She doesn’t like me, she never did, or at least I thought so.

I never understood her. I always thought she would change over the years, that when I was “big” she would like me and wouldn’t hit me, but that never happened.
When I was 14 I became convinced that my mother didn’t love me like other mothers love their kids, and I decided to test my theory by running away for an entire weekend. I wanted to see how many efforts she did to find me, efforts that would demonstrate her love. But she didn’t care and went to a party instead. My grandparents walked all over the city trying to find me, but not her. After that weekend that confirmed my "theory", I simply took off.

For years, I wandered homelessly. I hid from the system to avoid orphanages until I was 18 and got sick, really sick.
The police contacted my parents who had to take me back into the house.
A week went by until she started hitting me again. I was older this time, but she still made me feel small, and fragile every time she talked. I froze in fear, every time she screamed, and she screamed for everything.
Finally one day I had the audacity to tell her she was one of those people who enjoyed seeing others suffer, and she said that I was right. She broke the stick of the broom on my head and I fainted from the pain.

That was the end. I took off the next day and I never looked back again.

All these years of motherless living, in a world that glorifies motherhood regardless of cultural background, religion, country, gender, or age, have been the best thing that could ever happen to me.
I am stronger, and more resilient because I am alone. I am sensitive and empathic just so I don’t end up like her,  and I’m purposely humble so I never forget where I came from and where I have been.

My mother suffers from Schizoaffective disorder. Today is her birthday: Happy birthday to my horrible mom, the one who taught me by the example the exact way I do not want to be and pushed me to turn my caterpillar past, into a butterfly future.