The assignment was to write our worst secret, the thing we would never live down, the thing that… ‘dismantles your own sense of yourself.’ And everybody knew instantly what that thing, for them, was. For me, it was knowing that my mother abandoned me at the age of 11 years old.
You see, she and my father had lived a very abusive relationship, marred with infidelity on her part, coupled with alcoholism on both their parts. The culmination of the marriage ended when my father caught her with another man and beat her head with a rock. My nine brothers and sisters and I were immediately placed in Child Protective Services. We all journeyed to separate foster homes for over 2 months, while she recovered in the hospital. My father was taken to jail and later got out. He immediately filed for divorce and custody of all his children.
On the day of the court hearing, the robed judge took all of us into his chambers and asked us where and with whom we desired to reside with. We all agreed we wanted to stay with our father. The judge granted this due to the fact that our mother made no appearance in court. The judge declared her an unfit mother, struck his gavel to signify the end of this issue and there I bore the scar and shame of my worst secret.
I was labeled motherless and suffered ridicule from the kids at school. The next few years would prove to be hard times as we made the adjustment of not having a mother around. We all grew envious of other children with mothers, though most of them were fatherless. This secret has resulted in me having the only desire or goal in my life to be a good mother. And a good mother I have been to my three grown children, but at the expense of me losing my own identity.
It wasn’t until I experienced the ‘empty nest syndrome’ did I realize how closed-minded I had been to all those around me except my children. I had no real lasting relationship with males or females. I just shamefully bear my worst secret.
‘Secret #4’ – by mandyxclear on Flickr – Some Rights Reserved