“she/you/your” Fiction. Based on a True Broken Maternal Relationship

“I am fire – if you want something salty and sweet, with no opinion, I am not the woman for you. I spit flames, often.”

by Janne Robinson


Fiction. Based on a True Broken Maternal Relationship

by Noah Taylor

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

This past weekend you finally experienced what it is like to have a real mom. She didn’t chastise you for the poor maintenance of your eyebrows. She didn’t scold you for your poor coping skills, or the purple you colored your hair. She didn’t ask why you lived with your boyfriend even though you weren’t married to him. She didn’t express her never-ending fear of a premarital pregnancy in your life. She didn’t scold you for how untamed you allowed your depression to be while she was here: how late you would sleep in, or how you constantly had to be stoned to avoid feeling emotionally raw around her. She didn’t nit pick you for how little you brushed your hair or showered. She didn’t make you feel like shit for all the stains you had on your favorite clothes or how your pants had grown too tight since you last saw each other two years ago. She didn’t comment on the chub that hung over the top of your pants after you buttoned them, or the roundness of your face. She didn’t shudder when you pulled up your sleeves occasionally to reveal your tattooed forearms.

She listened to all the stories about your cats. She taught you how to speak to an optometrist, and why it’s important that you test for Glaucoma because it runs in your family. She taught you how to navigate the Optical Department of Costco to find the best deals for your contacts. She never once made fun of how anxious you became, or how discombobulated Costco made you feel after your eyes were dilated. She never chastised you for how often you would separate your hair into three, tiny, tidy sections to quickly braid it. She didn’t remind you how poor your posture was, or how noticeably self-cut your crooked hair looked. She showed you a new place to get your eyebrows done that was close to your sister’s house, and took you to get your self-inflicted miscut hair fixed.

She acknowledged how hard it was to be a young person with a belittling maternal presence in your life. She listened to the meaning of each and every one of your tattoos, and was attentive when you explained their importance to your self-image and identity. She respected the decisions you made for three whole days, and didn’t allude to expecting more from you in any sense of the word. She was not disappointed that you had not found the job that brought you joy yet, or that you struggled to get out of bed most mornings. She proved that she was an ally to you, and could show you that surviving your mental illness was possible. In three days, she will have reminded you about the importance of having strong women empowering you. It will be all of your prayers answered, and your faith in God restored, and you did not even know that it was exactly what you needed in your life right now.

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