I remember the day…

[CN: parental abandonment]

I’ve shared this story with two friends today, but I think it’s a story worth telling everyone. Some details will be left out because parts of it are not my story to tell. I have a younger half-sister (my mother’s child, not my father’s child), and I won’t tell that part of the story for her.

I remember the day that I walked into my mother’s bedroom one morning to find her gone. Her bed was bare. Her belongings missing. She had left while I was asleep.

I was 4 years old, or nearly 4. I know it was very close to my birthday.

I had very intermittent contact with her through the years. I would see her for a weekend here and there, and then she would disappear for a while. Then I would see her again for a weekend here and there, and her disappearance and reappearance was never explained.

As a teenager, my father gave me a letter that my mother had written to me on the night she left. She had asked him to give it to me when I turned 21. The reason why my father gave me the letter as a teenager was so that he could show me that not even my mother could put up with me. He emphasised that he was all I had, and that I should be grateful that he had even managed to cope with me for so long.

I’m not sure why the magical age of 21. Did she think that I would have the emotional maturity to deal with its contents as an official adult? I’m not sure. I’m not sure that I would be capable of fully dealing with its contents now on the eve of my 36th birthday. The letter has long been destroyed. Its contents having been too painful to read.

The letter was a firm goodbye. When she left, she had no intentions of remaining in my life at all. She wrote about how much she loved me, and how she had high hopes and dreams for me, but how she could not be a mother to me.

That last part I agree with: She couldn’t be a mother to me. But, love and hopes and dreams? That just seems like a weird way of showing it.

I don’t hate her for leaving me. I don’t hate my father for treating me as though I was a burden. Honestly, I don’t feel much for either of them other than slight repulsion.

So, when it comes to that article shared on Kidspot on Friday, which I will not be linking here because it is my sincere hope that it will be removed, these are my feelings:

While I don’t judge the mother for abandoning her child, I do judge her for writing such hurtful things about him. I judge her for using him as an object in her story, rather than respecting him as a person. I judge her for ignoring his rights to privacy and dignity.

I have empathy. I have cried tears over that article, but my tears, my pain, my hurt is for the child. I cried because he has spent years in a house with at least one person who feels that way about him, and that if the article is not removed, it is possible for him to uncover those horrible words and read them and feel, like I did, the stabs to the heart and soul that a parent’s words of abandonment can cause.

I don’t feel much for the mother other than repulsion.

Mostly, I am just so grateful that the Internet was not around when I was a child.

This post has now been translated into Russian. You can read it here.