Everything I am today I owe to my mother.
Unfortunately, I have to admit our relationship is somewhat complicated. My mom didn’t have an idyllic childhood which is the reason my own childhood left much to be desired. After many teary, yet eye-opening therapy sessions (THANK YOU Dr. Carrie!) I finally realized my mom did the best she could with the limited love she received as a child growing up in the beautiful, but fierce Dominican Republic.
My grandmother (who I dedicated my book to) had 10 children. Not surprisingly, men never stuck around long enough to even learn their names. My grandmother struggled everyday to care for her children, but the strain became overwhelming and she was forced to make some tough choices. My mother Victoria (being among the eldest of the brood) was sent away to live with an aunt who agreed to take her in. My mom was not treated well. In fact, she endured abuse at its ugliest levels, but managed to survive, and carve out a generally satisfactory life. She left her homeland, settled in New York, and met my father who (bless his heart) loved my mother from the day he met her despite her dark side. She always says giving birth to me and my sister helped her heal many of her deep wounds, but abuse is not something you ever fully recover from and sadly, we got a mother who was damaged –leaving us with our own emotional wounds to repair.
It took years (and the birth of my own son) to fully understand the deep love, yet intense resentment I can sometimes feel for my mom. Luckily, my son makes me smile through the rough patches, and I heal a little more everyday.