Violent screams take me back to helpless nights spent listening from above, praying he wouldn’t hit her. Praying he would Just. Stop. Yelling.
“You. Are. Worthless.” he cries. His angry words are meant to cut deep. She swallows his screams and the pit in her stomach grows. Both of them live in twisted realities. He believes that he is somehow better than she. She has allowed the weight of his lies to sink deep into her soul over the years.
She believes that she is worthless.
The door slams. I feel relief flood through my veins, then anger as I realize how much he still scares me. My footsteps are light down the hallway to the bedroom. I know that she’s had too much to drink again. Her eyes are hazy and halfway closed. She stares at the TV, but I know she isn’t actually watching.
She is hurt. She is broken.
Sorrow runs through my veins now. In that moment, I feel so small. There is nothing I can do to make it better. What words can possibly express how deeply I hurt for her? How badly I wish I could make her life better? How much I want her to feel joy again?
She is fragile. She is human. She is trying.
Mama, if you ever read this, I want you to know something. I know how it feels. I know all too well how difficult it is to walk through the deep trenches of sadness and pain. I know all too well the overwhelming numbness when insignificance seems to etch its way onto every single bone.
You are not insignificant. You are not worthless. You are so important.
I have never met anyone whose patience could seemingly stretch across the ocean, whose heart for others is so deep and personal and genuine. Your love is sweet. And you had it right the other night when you said that you’re only human and you’re going to make mistakes. It’s a curse we’re all bound under. No one is exempt. Not a single one of us, yet you are still good. You are good, mom.
And you’re trying, so hard. Let me tell you, that alone makes you significant. The fact that you’re trying brings me hope and inspiration and joy. I hope you know that. I hope you know how proud I am.
I’m just like you. I am fragile, I am human, & I am trying too. I make mistakes like, aaalll the time. And to be completely honest, oftentimes I believe the same lies that you do. Sometimes I believe that I am worthless too… but someone told me once that we exist for the sole purpose of love…to experience it and give it.
I am not worthless because I am loved and I give love.
You have loved me as best as you can over these last 20 years and I wouldn’t exchange that for anything else. You are here and significant and full of worth because you are loved and because of the love you have given me and so many others.
I love you, mom. You are worthy and wonderful and I’m thankful for you. You are not worthless.