Mommy Dearest.

Aww man! The last few days have been liberating, motivating, inspiring, challenging and scary all at once. I read the articles posted about my father's sentencing and amidst the inaccuracies, paraphrases, truths and opinions, the thing that stands out the most to me are comments from people about my mother. I guess where contrary to my father's position in my life, my mother is still very active and present. We talk every day; she always calls me for advice. We shop together, I wash my clothes at her house, she has a relationship with her grandchildren, and we go to church together. So to have the public (and some friends) condemn her along with my father (though I know they do this out of concern), almost makes me question my own interaction with the woman that brought me into this world.

A painting that I love called I Remember, by the amazing artist RepDavinci
No, she did not protect me or my siblings from the man she chose to marry. Yes, her actions were selfish and unacceptable. No, I in no way condone her behavior. And definitely, it's a direct reflection on her ability to parent; yet I still forgive her. I am not responsible for her path in this life, so I take no responsibility. I maintain a relationship with my mom because I know she is regretful, and remorseful and does her best to atone. It took me a while to get to this place within myself; to let go of the past and focus on our present relationship, and sometimes I even find myself regressing; but, I tell you it's liberating and freeing as heaven to know that it's all under my control.

Emotions like hate, resentment and animosity take a lot of energy. In the long run, the person holding on to these feelings is the one that suffers. You think my dad is sitting in his cell right now giving a shit if I'm mad at him or not? But if I walked around still angry and hurt I may not be able to function. And as for my mother; when I was younger and I acted out towards her because I didn't know how to process what was happening to me, she didn't care. She punished for "talking back", "being feisty" or expressing emotion, as she busied herself trying to please her husband.  If I dwelled on those and the other mean and irresponsible things she did, I would still be mentally existing in that period. I'd still be thinking about the 'what if's', and 'could have beens', hindering my personal progression. 

And here lies the key. I can talk about my experiences, and write about my challenges because my heart is no longer in the time where my suffering took place; I am no longer there. I acknowledge the pain I felt and the confusion I suffered, but I've moved and continue to move passed them. I'm not afraid to look back, because I can truly appreciate that, that was then and this is now. I am no longer a victim plain and simple.

My mom and I have very candid conversations about the past; things she did wrong and why she did them. I tell her all the time she is the perfect example of what NOT to do. What I feel lacked in our relationship, I make sure to include in my relationship with my own daughters. The way my mother surrendered herself to her love for my father, I am conscious to not do that with any man. And the blind faith she followed him with, I reserve only for God. 

Some doctors believe that pedophilia is a condition. They suspect that to be aroused by a child is a sexual orientation that establishes itself during puberty. If caught early in life it can be treated. And yes, it's found mostly in men and rarely in women. I have my own reservations on this theory. I don't like giving people that have the gift of choice, an excuse of having no control. But that's just me. Either way, I truly believe in most cases, it is the mother's responsibility to protect her offspring. But not all mother's have that natural ability, and those that do still need help. I have read many books on parenting but I've yet to find one with a chapter on 'how to protect your child from sexual exploitation' and/or 'what to do if this happens to your precious one'.

I hope that through all of my experiences good and bad, and by continuing to use my mom as a model of 'what not to do', I will be able to write those chapters myself. 

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