Mama
rating: +20+x

Mama,

Sitting across from you, social worker glancing between us nervously, I can’t help but think about how much I hate you.

I hate you for how you walked out on me as a child.

I hate you for spending all the time we had together taking pictures to post on Facebook.

I hate you for insisting your boyfriend come with you every time you show up to my birthdays.

I hate you for being high right now.

You know I can see it.

I see it in the way your fingers frantically tap the table, anxious, desperately praying for something to break the uncomfortable silence.

I see it in your slightly unfocused gaze, your paranoid expression as you search for anywhere to look besides me.

Your watery brown eyes flit around violently as your breathing picks up.

I lean forward in time to see a bead of sweat trickle down the side of your cheek.


“You look just like your mother.”

It’s the first thing people tell me when they see me. Almost always accompanied by that same pitying look.

“You are just like your mother.”

I find familiarity in you, despite everything.

I find it in your hands, short nails, and bitten cuticles.

I find it in your eyes, slightly downturned and that same soft brown.

I find it in your tics, the way you worry your bottom lip and grind your teeth.

Just like me.

What separates us really? Not any walls, not the drugs, not any inherent sense of morality that you may lack.

What makes us different?

Anger has contorted us, it’s made us colder. We’re withdrawn, bitter, unwilling to admit our faults. To accept love.

There’s always that small part of me that wants so desperately to reach out to you, wipe away your tears, and hold you in my arms forever, give us both the love we lacked when we needed it.

I hate you. Not for what you’ve done, not for who you are, but the fact that whenever I look into your eyes,

I see myself.

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