It’s hard to fathom the levels of manipulation I’ve been subject to. As I walk this journey, I’ve learned that I must grieve the things I’ve lost.
Tonight I realized that one of the things I lost was my mother. She didn’t die, but she wasn’t there growing up.
I spent so much of my life in the paradox of knowing that she too was abused but blaming her for not being there.
It hurt. I was hurt.
In this journey, I’ve learned a lot. I recently read an article about grieving what I lost as a result of the abuse. This is a difficult process because there’s this ever-present voice telling me to “quit feeling sorry for yourself.” That voice is the voice of a liar and an abuser. I don’t have to listen to that voice anymore.
As I reflected, it occurred to me that Mom didn’t leave me. She was taken from me.
All these years, on some level, I blamed Mom for not being there when I needed her. I blamed her. Tonight as I realized that the abuser took her from me, several memories come to mind that was designed to manipulate me into blaming Mom.
One Easter, dad dressed us all up in white and we went to Nana’s to see Mom. I have a picture from that day. I later learned from dad that he did it to try and convince Mom to come home. She refused.
On another occasion, dad took me to Nana’s to spend the weekend with Mom. He demanded that she decide to come home that day. Mom said no. dad didn’t let me stay. I cried.
These are two vivid memories that I now realize were part of dad’s manipulation. He made me believe that Mom didn’t want me. These were deliberate acts. It was designed. By him.
My Mom was not there because she was taken from me. She didn’t leave because she wanted to. She left because she had to.
As I grieve this loss, I also celebrate.
I lost Mom to lies. She lost me to the same lies. She has understood that far better than I have.
Recently I had an anxiety attack and Mom was there. She knew exactly what was happening and stayed with me throughout. Mom held my hands. She told me she loved me.
What Mom didn’t know was that the attack wasn’t about the person we were there to mourn. My attack came from seeing dad. He had actually spoken to me when I was leaving the church. I ignored him. Seeing him again at the repast when I was alone made me feel vulnerable and unsafe.
Mom was there. She was there for me. She was right there when I needed her. Because she wanted to be.
Dad took my mother. And now I know that.
Thank you, Mom. I love you. I thank you. And I am so sorry that we were manipulated by such hate.
I am a Freelance Criminologist and Online blogger writing under the pen name Tsuhai Nzinga. In 2018 I graduated from Immaculata University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and published my debut book titled “Tsuhai Nzinga f.k.a. Tia: The Memoir of a Black Girl.” In addition, I host a blog titled In Rogue. I specialize in researching and writing about subjects related to the field of criminology from perspectives ranging from historical to current events. More recently, I have begun what I call my journey to wholeness and I use writing as part of that process. Personal life events inspire much of my writing which also features poetry.