My Promise

She told me:
“One day you won’t need me,  
you won’t want me around.  
You will want to be with friends.”
I said:
“No, Mommy— You’re my best friend.”
So for the rest of my life
I was spent—
Holding on to that promise I made.
When Daddy trashed the house.
I wiped her tears and held her face.
When we had to run away;
I always went with her, never tried to stay.  
I was her keychain attached at the hip-- The backpack.
Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Florida and back.
I will go—
I will fly—
She’s my mom and I’m her little sunshine.  
And late at night, she would tell me:
“You’re my number one.  
I’m doing this all for you.  
So we can have a better life.  
I’ll get us a family.  
I’ll make everything right.”  
And I believed her.
Stars in my eyes.
Wishes in my heart.  
And she would go out.  
New job—
New boyfriend—
And she’d become a new person
Morph and change
Jekyll to Hyde.  
And I would adjust and adapt.
Little chameleon trying to hide from new predator attacks.  
And the lines blur and overlap.
And reality would distort.
They say:
“Divorce is normal—”
“Moving is a part of life—”  
“Don’t you want your mom to be happy?”
"Swallow your selfish pride.”  
And I would nod and say okay.
Because that is how the abused are trained.  
“Ungrateful daughter—”
“How could you say those things?”
Laying awake.  
Wishing to die.  
The bad daughter who never left her mother’s side.  
I was twelve years old.  
The bruises had begun to fade
But the scars remain.  
I got out of the cage
And thrown into the wild.
All alone.
Lost girl.
Nowhere to call home.
She left me.  
Days turned to weeks
Weeks turned to months.
Spring ended  
Summer came and went.
It felt like she died.  
But she would call me and gloat
New job—
New car—
New boyfriend—
New life—  
And his child replaced me.
Mentally diseased—  
Basket case—  
My mother was free.  
I turned 13.  
And there was a battle.  
Mother and father fighting over me.
And I chose her.
Why? Why? Why?  
What had she done?
Left me for six months?  
I was conditioned for her to always win.
There were broken coffee tables.
And ripped posters.
Books without pages.
And more bruises and cruel banter.
There were evil eyes staring me down
Eat everything on your plate
Or it will be against the wall.  
And even though she knew it was wrong.  
She made us go back.
Not once but twice.  
I told her the second time.
I finally found my voice.
“If he comes back I will hate you.”
She did it anyway.  
My threats falling off ears turned deaf.
Her eyes gone blind.
And a memory stands out—
Door slamming open
And him yelling:
“Your mother’s leaving you.
And she isn’t coming back.”
They had an argument.  
She needed to cool off.  
So she left me, asleep.
With him whom hated my guts.  
And every time I tried to go away.
Through blood and razor blades.
Or attempted escape and running away.
I always had to go back home.  
No one could save me.  
My friends—
My father—
Even the Crisis at the hospital—
“Listen to your mother and stepfather.”
“Stop acting out.”
"Your parents no what’s best for you.”  
The word abuse is defined by split lips and bruises.  
Not defiance and rebellious actions.  
I was not being abused.  
There was something wrong with me.  
I was the bad daughter.
The evil spawn.  
Otherwise why would she let this happen?  
I was fifteen when it ended.  
But did the pain stop?  
She continue games with my mind.
I was a bad child who hated myself.  
And my mother was a victim in a victimless crime.  
My fists became my only way to get my pain across.  
Maybe walking around with a bruise will make you feel like I felt.  
When my heart was ripped open.
My hope lost somewhere between then and now.  
All those states and places.  
All those houses and faces.  
We accept the love we think we deserve.  
I fell for people I would never be good enough for.  
A guy who wouldn’t pick up a phone.  
Like my mother did when she went on dates when I was a kid.  
Then a girl who lied and used me.  
Turned me into a joke and shell of my former self.  
I was her doormat.  
Her crutch.
Her crying shoulder.  
I gave her everything.
But I was nothing.  
It was okay— I was use to it by then.  
Every Ophelia becomes a Gertrude in the end  
Friends abandoned me.  
I let them.  
I told my mother she was my best friend.  
And even she abandoned me.  
I came to accept I was not good enough for anyone.  
Even now.  
I am 23.
I should know how to take care of myself by now.
But she told me I needed her.  
And she needed me.  
So I stayed.  
Through arguments—
And disagreements—
And failures—
And tragedy—
And she would say:
“One day you won’t need me anymore.“
And I’d shake my head:
“We’ll always need you. We’re family.”
And he would say:
“We have to grow up.  
We don’t need her to live with us forever.”
And I would say:  
“We’re not ready.  
Besides I can’t leave her alone.”  
How could I do that?  
She was my mother?  
I’d be a bad daughter if I left her alone.  
The conversations blur.  
The world tips sideways.
Everything goes black and white.  
As she stops coming home.  
And then she visits with a ring on her hand.  
And I’m free falling through the sky.  
“I won’t move out for a year...” she lies.  
I nod and agree.
But don't meet her eyes.
Please, don’t prove me right.  
But it’s been months.  
Here I sit, writing.  
Half losing my mind.
Half wanting to die.  
As she blames my boyfriend for the flaws in my life.  
As he tries motivating me to get up and try.  
But I can’t hear him.  
Her words sear my eyes.  
The bell jar descends.  
He asked me once:
“Did you ever think your mother was abusive?”
I shake my head.  
Because no.  
Abuse is defined by split lips and black eyes.  
Not trying to find us a better life.  
But she found hers.
Her happiness is no longer mine.  
She dragged me around my entire life.  
What is childhood?  
But remembering every tear you cried?  
Every scar you earned?  
Every time you wished you died?
But I drag myself to adulthood.
Broken and bruised
Fucked up and disturbed mind.  
Now I can begin my real life.  
But things crash and burn.  
And obstacles appear.  
But you fight and you claw.
Your natural instinct to survive.  
Swallow your selfish pride.  
We are a family.
We will never leave.
We will never break.  
We will make it to the end.  
But we didn’t, did we?  
I stand on a cliff in the dark corners of my mind.
Looking at all my failures.  
My mother has left me far behind.
“Time to grow up—” she texts.  
I stare at the words.
They don’t make sense.  
She never prepared me.  
For this moment in time.  
She just left me in the dark.  
Too broken and tired to find the light.  
She never kept her promise.  
Never gave us a better life.  
But, on the other hand, I kept mine.  
I never, once, left her side.

Written by Page_Writer (Mad Girl)
Published | Edited 15th Sep 2017
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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