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Why I Used to (Really) Hate My Mom

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One day in my sixth-grade science class, a discussion on albinism came up. Albinism is a “group of inherited disorders characterized by a reduced or lack of pigment that normally gives color to the skin, hair and eyes.” It’s a term that’s been thrown around my whole life, even though I don’t show the usual characteristics of it unless I’m in the chair at the eye doctor.

My teacher went on to explain that typically the mother is the main carrier of the albinism gene. (Although I later came to learn that it commonly takes two carriers to create the spark that brings the recessive gene to life.)

Add the feeling that it was your mother’s fault you were born screwed up to an already questioning time in your life and it leads to a recipe for disaster.

I hated my mom. I mean really hated her.

Some people say I get my personality from her. The kind of woman who would beat the snot out of any wrong doer. A Wonder Woman on steroids. A woman who fights for what she feels is right. A woman with true emotion in everything she does.

But put the both of us in a room and you got a showdown of epic Jerry Springer proportions. I hated her for bringing me into this world as a struggling person just wanting to be accepted. To me that hate stemmed from a belief she did it on purpose. Like she wanted me effed up as a way to torture me.

Up until my mid-twenties, I never quite understood why she would embarrass me by becoming my voice when I let my stubbornness get in the way. She’d say, “She’s blind, so read the menu to her,” at restaurants, when I would rather high jack an order from the dude in front of us just to look like I wasn’t stupid.

Then I realized she did all this to help me succeed.

She was always there for me in my darkest moments, from dealing with bullies to getting through my time in a mental health facility after experiencing panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. Never once did she judge me for my weakness, even though I judged hers. Through recovery, our relationship grew more than it ever before.

Needless to say, Mr. Science Teacher got it all wrong.

OK, he did get some things right. I got the strong-willed, fun-loving, gentle-yet-fierce spirit that can only come from Mom.

Genetics can never top that.

Thanks, Mom!


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Originally published: May 10, 2015
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