No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. --Eleanor Roosevelt, 'This Is My Story,' 1937
Some folks live to make others miserable. My mom was very much like that. She made it a sport of humiliating me to the point that when my college friends came by the house, they’d ask me in secret if I was adopted.
There are lots of folks like her. Some hide their meanness behind righteous words and roles of leadership. Others are right there for world to see like my mom. They’re supposed to love us, but the ones that know us best can turn into the vilest of haters.
Maybe because no one hugged them. Or gave them cookies. Or maybe they weren’t breastfed. Who knows…
Mom wasn’t evil. She was…difficult. And self-destructive. I think she was a victim of her own demons and secrets. I know I’ve described my family as dysfunctional but the truth is…they’re my family. Crazy. So not perfect. They are family, for better or worse. And I do love them. I want to make that clear. Sometimes love is destructive.
There comes a time when you find you have enough courage to leave. You don’t mean it to be harsh or cruel, but some relationships turn ugly and to save them, you have to get away.
I don’t know if my parents ever got that. Of why I had to leave Florida. My parents are both gone and truthfully I left a lot of things unsaid, especially with my mom. But I had to go. I had to stop being the victim and become victorious.