The woman who raised me is not my mother.
The woman who raised me is not a mother.
This woman has a tiny heart, and a smaller spirit.
I have learned this the hard way.
She was always too busy to read me bedtime stories but never too occupied to later point out the adolescent acne that spotted my face.
And now whenever we meet, she laughs and tells me I’ve gained quite a bit of weight.
And then she compares her legs to mine and makes me believe I am inferior.
She makes me believe I mean less.
To understand her, you must first understand the man who raised me.
He always had time for stories and games and long talks over bittersweet cocoa.
He read my poems and stories and made me believe I meant the world.
He also had a wandering eye.
But the man who raised me loves me to no end.
And the woman who raised me resents it, and me.
And today, the woman who raised me resented the gold pendant the man put around my neck.
She stomped her feet quite a bit.
The man who raised me had a gold chain for my sister. He quietly presented this one to the woman who raised me.
And she took it.
My sister’s bauble around her throat.
The woman who raised me has taken and taken, and then taken some more.
I have nothing left to give but resentment.
She is welcome to it.
I always say I grew up without a mother.
I will never be anything like the woman who raised me.