Thanks, mom, for helping me to become tough. You taught me to bear pain.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me independence. You taught that by being aloof and distant, shoving us away all the time.
Thanks, mom, for trying to teach me about sex when I was 7. But I already knew.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me never to say no. Some predators found that came in handy.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me to bear hunger, and to eat whatever I was given. I’ve never forgotten those days of hunger, or the lean times. And I finally remembered the silver spoon.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me not to envy. Watching you and dad eat while I faced an empty plate helped do that.
Thanks, mom, for the few things you did buy us, and making us take care of them. We knew if we didn’t, there would never be anymore. You told us that so many times. I still have toys from when I was one year old.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me that good is never good enough. It drove me to strive for perfection, which can never be obtained.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me I was horrid. I still can’t bear myself sometimes.
Thanks, mom, for locking me in my room for weeks and months at a time. It taught me to entertain myself with nothing but four blank walls, and how to deal with loneliness.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me to work hard and to value money above all things. I just wish my brother could unlearn some of that. I have.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me that if I wanted it, I must learn how to build it, make it, or create it. It was one of the best things you ever did.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me to teach myself. It was a hard road, since you didn’t have this skill – but you emphasized its importance by making me do it myself.
Thanks, mom, for teaching us to be responsible for our own actions, accident or not, by making us pay for every wrong action or thing we did.
Thanks, mom, for making sure we had a babysitter when you would go off. But I think he taught us things you’d rather us not know.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me how to drive through brush and stream. I’ll never forget you plowing through that field that day.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me how to be calm in an emergency. Without the horrors you created, I wouldn’t of never learned to look at danger calmly, and without fear.
Thanks, mom, for giving me a love of flowers. Often, they were the only beauty I ever saw.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me how to discipline my children, by showing me not what to do.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me patience by never having any. So we had to be patient with you, even when you were beating us.
Thanks, mom, for teaching us not to forgive. But I did learn to accept, because there was no other way to deal with the things you did.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me how to deal with insanity, since you showed me what happens if you don’t.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me to control my fear, by making me so afraid. I learned fear never stopped it from happening.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me that death isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you, by showing me what is.
Thanks, mom, for keeping me from bowing to the demands of society; you never followed their rules.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me how little a person actually needs, by giving the least amount you could.
Thanks, mom, for using all our college money to get your divorce. I learned to work for my education; putting myself through school.
Thanks, mom, for showing me futility, by remarrying him the day after your long and ugly divorce was finalized. I knew it was a mistake; I think you’ve realized it was the same.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me not to let your fears control you, by letting paranoia run your life.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me never to ask for help. We learned early on you never get it, and that it is a shame to need anyone.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me to go into danger without a flinch, because you put us in it so many times, and did it yourself a time or two as well.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me to face the disgusting, revolting, and horrid, by putting it there before us so many times.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me that if a kid can get up and run away screaming, they really haven’t been hurt. Its only when they lay there silent that real damage has been done. (I missed getting my stepson’s broken collarbone fixed by this one. Thank God my wife knew better.)
Thanks, mom, for teaching me to hold my head up high, even if I was not proud, by making us hide it in public with a firm slap and a hit to the back of the head.
Thanks, mom, for teaching us about women’s equality, by always putting men down.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me the value of a hug, by not ever giving me one.
Thanks, mom, for teaching me the value of the words “I love you”, by never saying those words to me.
Thanks, mom, for all you did and didn’t do. It could of been much worse.
But it could have been a lot better, too.
(This was written during my “anger” phase on 05/10/2009 (mother’s day) for Tokoni . . . we’ve pretty much moved past that now – not perfect, but working on it – cuz’ you can’t be happy and full of joy – if you’re mad and full of bitterness and hatred, okay? We were angry for soooo long . . . and took it out on ourselves. Not invalidating anyone’s anger – but that anger is just one step towards whole healing . . . in time. And note: despite my anger at her – I found my strengths in this as well – the blessings in this so-called ‘curse’ of ours.)