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When I was young, I constantly walked on eggshells around my mother. Similar to an unpredictable storm, she could explode out of nowhere at any given moment, and I loathed her because of that.

Throughout my childhood, I never felt like I was enough. No matter what I did, I never felt like I could do enough to earn her affection and love.

Her fits of rage were terrifying and while I knew deep down inside that I was not to blame for them, they weren’t any less horrific.

With that being said, the older I got, the more I realized that even though she was a damaged person, I needed to get away from her. All of my attempts to earn her love failed time and time again. I felt broken as long as I was around her.

Even in my most vulnerable moments, when I thought I could get her to support and love me, she would shut me out and tell me to stop being so dramatic. I never felt supported or loved by her.

When I finally was old enough to get a job, I did. And I worked a day in and day out to save the money that would one day save me. And as soon as I could, I fled and never looked back.

You may think this was cruel or emotionless, but I watched my mother’s storm destroy everything in her path, and nothing was left untouched by it. I didn’t want my life to continue to be a dark hole, and I knew as long as she was in it, I would never have a chance.

Even then, I swore I would never become her and I would never do to my children what she did to me. My children would know they were loved, adored, and supported. And thank God, they do. Now, as an adult, I have a functioning and happy relationship. I can’t say I am perfect, but the people in my life know that they are loved, and most especially my children know that.

And If I ever did anything right in my life- I most definitely followed through with my promise to myself and my (then) future children that I wouldn’t become her.

Now and again I think of her, and while I know she is still out there somewhere, she never tried to find me after I left. Honestly, I feel like that was the best thing she could ever do for me, and that by setting me free, she gave me the kindness I always deserved in my childhood. And even though she couldn’t give me that gift back then, or wouldn’t, if she is somewhere out there reading this, I hope she knows that is the one thing I will always thank her for.