It feels as though my heart is truly broken. Like all those things people have said in the saddest of love songs – a heart can break. I’m not speaking of a romantic heartbreak, too be honest I have been blessed in that way. It’s a deeper heartbreak. A much darker kind of break stemming from years of abuse and neglect. From the dozens of times that my belongings and self were left at the end of a driveway for someone else to have me. From the age of six months I was being tossed about as though I were trash on consignment. Nothing broke my heart more than losing my mom; my foster mom Ang that I lived with since the age of 12 years. Not even the “loss” of my biological mother did the damage that was done when Ang walked out of my life.
You see, I had to walk out on my biological mother’s life for the sake of my mine and my family’s safety. My real mother, Carla, she is not a good person. Honestly, she terrifies me to my core even today. Ultimately, I didn’t want my children to ever meet the real her. I would never trust her with my children, so how could it work? It’s a choice I will never regret making, but I do still struggle with missing the idea of having a relationship with my real mother. I miss the fantasy of it – because it was never real. My mother always has an underlying disgust for me. She has hated me since I was in her womb, she has told me that herself.
Technically I lost my mom the moment I came into this world. I have just been fighting to be whatever it was that she needed me to be as to attain her love. Someone that would be worthy of protecting. This just never happened. Until I met Ang. This little brown lady with a heart of gold – well she saved my life. She always said that it was me that saved my life, I was the one that made the choice to stop the cycle. She said I did the work – I have fought for my own life. Ang is the one that tought me about my resilience. She is right that I was never given a silver spoon throughout my childhood – but I could never, ever have done it though without finding shelter from my storm. Ang gave me shelter. She gave me peace. She NEVER hit me. And she NEVER sexually exploited me. Really, that’s all I needed. Actually, she also gave me love. Ang made me feel safe. She allowed me to have a voice. She believed in me – and eventually got me to believe in me too.
She promised me year after year that she wasn’t ever leaving me. That I would always be her daughter, nothing could change that. It took me till I was in late teens to completely let my guard down and believe her. I thought out of everyone in my life that the earth would have to swallow us whole in order for her to stop being my mom. But, I was wrong. It’s been almost three years now that she is pretty much out of my life, yet the ache in my heart is as raw and heavy as the first realization of what was happening. I was losing my mom. I have lost my mom. Sometimes, when she see’s me on the street she doesn’t even recognize me. She will refer to me as her old foster kid. Not her daughter as she ALWAYS did in all situations. We used to talk every day, especially each evening before bed. Now we can go months without speaking to each other. The worst heart break for me is the fact that she didn’t just walk away from me…but also my three beautiful children that loved her dearly. She would be their first heart break as well.
I always thought nothing can make me from living with my full heart; may it be crumbling – I can always rebuild. Now I am coming to the realization that I may have been wrong…and that breaks it just a little bit more. Now what’s left? How do I find the key to living the life I always dreamed of? I was dreaming of it in the middle of a tragic storm that practically swallowed me whole, leaving me exposed like a raw wound in the salty sea.
But I fought. The only way I knew. I dreamed of what could be. Sometimes I wasn’t sure that there would be a future longer than hours – but I dreamed there would be. That I would find whatever strength I needed to get me through each traumatic moment to the next. I just believed. I knew from very young the only way I could survive was to find faith in something. Even if it looks impossible- believe that you can survive anything, one moment at a time. I’ve always said – and I used to believe it wholeheartedly; NO DREAM IS TOO BIG! I just had to keep believing in the good -even when it would take nearly all the courage and strength my little body could take. And, I never relied on just one thing or most definitely never just one person.
Growing up the only constant I could count on was knowing that people leave. Everybody leaves… I did receive a reprieve from that belief being with Ang for over 14 years, but just as I was no longer waiting for my bags to be on the edge of the driveway it happened again. I have to believe that I have some ownership in the fact that I have lost the love of two mothers in my lifetime. In the past year I was in a fight with what I thought was a very close friend at the time. One of the last things she said to me before the end of our friendship has really stuck with me. I hate too admit that I let it take up so much space in my heart – but I think what she said to me had a lot of validity… She said “Don’t you get it Carrie? Both your mothers didn’t even want you – doesn’t that tell you something?”
Growing up various people in my life have explained all the heartache and trauma that I went through as simple anomalies. It wasn’t normal what I had endured, in fact most say my story of survival is rare. It’s unbelievable, and it couldn’t possibly happen more than once, especially not to one person. Right? People tell me over and over again that all that heartbreak is in the past. That I should let it all go, move on. But, the heart breaks that I suffered as a young child – well those weren’t just anomalies like I thought. I kind of think I must have really fucked up in a past life – and that all this is for punishment. I’m supposed to learn something from all this, I’m supposed to become a better human being. I don’t know that the heartache will ever go away. I’m beginning to believe that pain is going to be my cross to bare for years and years too come, if not forever.