I did that. I made you.

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Do you ever get lost in a train of thought and by the time you realize you were zoned out you are thinking about something completely different than you started with? And then you're in this weird mood afterwards?

It happened to me this morning after I got off of the phone with my mom actually. 

I talked to my mom on the phone around 7AM.
She was saying that it was Boss's Day and that she had to stop to get her boss a gift. 
She sounded tired and kind of sad (which may have just been her being exhausted and having to go to work for 12-14 hours, but I detected sadness still).
I got sad that my mom was sad.
I thought about how hard she has worked her whole life, and how long most of her days had been. How completely heartbroken she has been since my grandma died this summer. 
I threw up a little prayer quickly that everyone my mother encountered today would be really kind to her.

My mom cares about people. She is a nice person.
I started to think about what a shame it is that my mother cannot see herself through my eyes. 
I started to feel bad that my mom has always felt inferior to everyone else.
I thought about how uncomfortable she is in public settings.
I remembered us going to the grocery store right before it closed when I was a kid because there would be less people there at that hour, and that way she wouldn't have to see anyone.
My mom would never speak in public.
Never wear anything that drew attention to herself.
Never cause a scene.

I got mad at faceless strangers who made fun of her as a teenager and talked behind her back.
I got sad that my mom, the strongest, hardest working person I have ever met was so scarred by other people's opinions of her and their stupid, juvinile, careless words.
So impacted that they permanently shaped who she was to become.
That their judgement followed her and she could not detach herself from it.

My mom was 15 years old when she got pregnant with me.
It was 1979.
She was shamed.
An outcast.
All of her children were born between the time she was 15-21.
She was young.
4 kids.
People stopped talking to her.
They started talking about her.

I knew that my mom was embarrassed by decisions she made all of those years ago. I knew she was hurt. I knew being around people made her uncomfortable, but it had never hit me quite as hard... like a punch to the gut.. as did at one of my brother's weddings 2 years ago. My mom and I were on the dance floor together at the reception (it was crowded and dark or there is NO way she would have been dancing with other people around). She brought me in for a hug and said... "I'm proud of you, baby girl, and I love you SO much." My mom is really affectionate, so the fact that she was saying these things didn't throw me off, so much as how she was saying them. I said "what's wrong, Mama? She looked at me and then down at the floor and said... "Oh, nothing, it's just that there is a woman here that I went to high school with and when I got pregnant with you, she talked about me and was really mean. She acted like she was so much better than me. But, now... here you are, and you are beautiful and you love me so much, and you spoke so well giving your brother's speech, and you're so strong, and so confident, and people love you, and I just thought to myself... take that. I didn't fail. I did that. I made you.

I got those big, fat, heavy tears in my eyes and as soon as I blinked they crashed down my face and landed on my chest.
30+ years later and seeing that woman still took her there.
That shit is powerful. 
I will never, as long as I live, forget that moment.

I know my mom really well.
I knew that she cared too much about what other people said and thought but I never understood, fully understood, how every part of her was shaped by that shit.
Somehow she raised me to be different. It was as if she taught me to have the charateristics that would have made her more bulletproof. Don't you dare give a shit what people think or say about you, because it does not matter. You are only defined by other people if you let them define you.

I love my mom so much.
So fuking much.
It's unreal. Makes my heart feel like it's going to burst just writing this. 


I started to think what a shame it is that kids who are young right now (whether they are being bullied, or just feel generally unaccepted) are being shaped by what other kids are saying about them and how they are being treated. And I just hoped that they have someone in their life who reminds them that it is all bullshit. You can be whomever you want to be. You can look different, act different, make different choices, make "mistakes", move on, grow, and be bold. Some people will like you. Some will not. That's okay. But. Do not. Please do not listen to that shit, or shove it so deep down inside of you that it becomes that soil your self worth grows from. It can change the course of your life. I promise you that it can, and if you are not careful... it will. It will change how you show up in your one, precious life.

I wish.
I wish my mom could see her how I see her.

A Boss Bitch. Today, on Boss's Day... and Every.Damn.Day. 


  1. ***Ugly Tears**** That article was amazing Melissa.... Kudos to your Mother and to You!!! *Flawless*

    1. Thank YOU so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to reach out and say that. VERY much appreciated.

  2. I absolutely love your posts and how you let complete strangers in. I wish your Mom too could see herself how you view her. She sounds like a remarkable person. I know I don't know you personally, but you definitely inspire me (at 23) and I can tell she did a phenomenal job raising you.