When I was in 7th grade (age 12), my mum lost her job, fell into a huge depression, and didn’t get another job for 2 years. She lost that job after three months because she refused to do most of her work because it was “beneath her.” So, when I was in 10th grade (age 15), she went out to California for “two weeks” and didn’t come back for two months. She stayed with us for one weekend and then returned to California. She came back for two days at my birthday and then left.
Timeline: She left us right at the new year and my birthday is in June so she was gone 6 months.
In April or May, my dad took us out to dinner because he was so exhausted from running the house as a single parent. We never ever went out to eat because we didn’t have any money, so I thought something was up and panicked. I asked him repeatedly if he was taking us out so that he could announce Mum had left us in a more pleasant setting (soften the blow). He said no, but later told me that he was only trying to protect us. She had unceremoniously texted him a picture of her California driver’s license to indicate that she’d moved. When he asked her about it, she said that she was never coming back and if he wanted to keep the family together we all had to move out there despite (1) her having no job (2) the cost of living being much higher (3) the schools being worse (4) my being in the middle of high school (5) the fact that she was uprooting us from where we grew up and where Dad raised us. So overall it was a really ridiculous demand. All my dad’s friends were horrified that a mother would abandon her children (which is exactly what happened; I’m not sure if I’m explaining it perfectly) and told him to divorce her and stay. But, he wanted to keep the family together so we moved out. When we got there, she denied that any of that had ever happened, saying that she was home more than she was in California. Before my dad came out, he was packing up our house and sorting what to throw out. In a random composition book, he found that she wrote in January that she was leaving the family. So, she planned on leaving and then left and then said she was never coming back. And she still denied any of that ever happened, which I think is the worst part.
It’s one thing to do something awful but then to mess with someone’s memories to give them a false perception of reality that better suits you is just horrible. When I remember a lot of stuff from my childhood, I remember being really sad and unable to do anything. But I never realized why any of that was because she convinced me (and my sister and dad as well) that things were perfect. It’s helpful now to rememberer things the way they actually happened to better understand myself–why I was who I was and how I became who I am.
I don’t really have a moral to this story. Basically just that it’s really important to remember your truth and not let crazy people use inception to warp your reality. Also, being abandoned sucks and if you have a story to share, I’m very happy to listen.