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I've always heard that a mother's love is one of the greatest things in this world, but I've never experienced it. From the moment my mom got pregnant with me, my life was a battle. From being chased by my anger-crazed grandmother with a shotgun, to being battered around all before I even made an appearance in this world.
Things only got worse the closer it got to my birth. When I finally made my arrival, I had some complications. One side of my head had almost completely collapsed, causing a severe deformity in my head that required me to wear a helmet for most of my early life. My head made a full recovery with no lasting damage, but I wasn't out of the woods yet.
When I was 2-years-old, my mom walked out on my dad right into another man's house. From there, my troubles only grew. Over the next five years, I would move, transfer schools, and almost fail the third grade. But no one knew what was coming.
My mom left the guy that she cheated on my dad with and married another guy, who seemed nice at first. He ended up being the exact opposite. He was abusive, manipulative, and not to mention a drunk. Every other week, he and my mom split up and we would move, which meant I had to transfer schools. In one month, I transferred from two schools 30 times, causing me to almost fail third grade.
One night, my mom was getting ready to leave for her shift at work, and I was going with her. Her husband accused her of going to a strip club and proceeded to punch my mom right in the face, splattering blood all over my bathroom mirror. I ran into my room and called 911 but I had moved so much, I didn't know the address. He cut the phone line, and came after me next. I was hiding under my bed hoping he wouldn't find me, but he did. He grabbed my ankles and threw me against the wall. I thought for sure he broke my back, but he didn't. The police had managed to get our location before the phone line was cut and they got there and put him in cuffs.
My dad got word of this and immediately went to his lawyer to try to get full custody of me. The request was waived until I testified. My mother forced me to testify against my father, who had done nothing but take care of me, the right way. I told the judge that and my dad was granted custody. However, we wouldn't find that out until a few weeks later.
I'll never forget that day. The phone rang and my mom started bawling her eyes out. I was playing Guitar Hero in my room so I didn't think it was about me. Boy, was I wrong. The drive to drop me off with my dad was the longest, scariest car ride of my life. My mom didn't talk. She only cried. We would usually meet at a gas station for the pick-up and drop-off so I saw the familiar sight. I was 7. I didn't know what to say to my mom to make anything go away, so I simply told her that I loved her and that I would still get to see her on weekends. She nodded and I thought everything was okay. I went into the gas station to use the restroom and when I came back, my world turned upside down.
There, in the spot where my mom had parked her car, was my suitcase, and she was gone. Without a trace. That was the last time I ever saw her. I was 7-years-old and my mother left me at a gas station. I called my dad from the gas station phone and luckily, he was almost there. All I could do was cry. In the following weeks, my dad had multiple court hearings to figure out the situation with my mom. My dad promised me that he would always be honest with me about what happened in court, but this time, he hesitated. He pulled me aside and told me that my mom surrendered her rights to me and that she wanted nothing to do with me and that she never wanted me anyway.
In that moment, my world fell away. I was numb, at 8-years-old, finding out my mother never wanted me. Now, I sit here at almost 20-years-old, and I have not spoken to or have seen my mother since that day at the gas station.
I did not have a mother to teach me the ins and outs of woman-hood. I did not have a mother to braid my hair. I did not have a mother to help me get ready for my high school prom. But what I did have was an amazing father who means the world to me and has raised me to be who I am today.
So maybe a father's love is far more precious.