I lost my mother in 2 ways – emotionally from birth, and then to death on February 9th 2008, the day after my birthday. She died unexpectedly 4 days after I gave birth to my 2nd daughter. So with medical issues, a 2-year old and just having had a baby, I don’t remember too much. I don’t believe I ever had the chance to grieve. I thought I had; I was sad, but then I moved on.

When my mom died, I was upset that I would never have a mom to help me. I also grieved that I never had nor would ever have that connected relationship with a mom. I hoped that, if she’d lived, maybe someday it would have happened.

“God must have wanted you here for a reason.” This is what my mom would always say to me. She constantly reminded me that I was never wanted in the first place. My biological dad threw her down the stairs and she said she should have miscarried me, so God must have wanted me here.

My mom and I never got along. Growing up, I remember always wishing that she was not home. I thought I needed to do things for her to make her love me and want me around, but this was a losing battle; everything I did upset her and made her yell at me. I was emotionally abused, put down and sometimes physically abused. However, I always had my grandma, with whom I spent most of my time. I remember going to grandma’s room in my many times of need. But grandma got Alzheimer’s and by the time I was 13, she had to go into a nursing home. Through motherless daughters, I realized that my grandma was my mother figure and that losing her meant yet another mother loss for me.

While I was growing up, my mom was always on the newest diet. When I was in the 4th grade, I started to get a little chunky, so she made me go on a diet. I had to do weigh-ins and meetings at Weight Watchers every week and she watched everything I put in my mouth. Over time, I started to hate what I looked like. I felt fat and disgusting. Kids in school were not nice, either, which made me feel worse about myself.

But by the time I reached 13, I learned how to become skinny. Body suits were the new trend and my mom said I could not wear one unless I lost a lot of weight. So I became anorexic and bulimic. I lost tons of weight and my mom was very proud of me. She bought me body suits and everything was great; I was skinny and my mom was proud of me for a short period of time.

Eventually she figured out my ways and threatened me to stop, but because I had a problem, I could not. I spent my high school years in therapy and in and out of hospitals for the eating disorders. My mom would fire any therapist she did not like. Now I see that it was the ones who mentioned her behavior towards me who were the ones she fired.

In 10th grade, my anorexia was bad, so I was put in the hospital for several weeks, where it got even worse. I got out, but during my 11th grade year, the day before Thanksgiving break, I could hardly wake up. I weighed only 85lbs, so I was sent to Children’s Hospital for a few weeks. I tried to call my house on Thanksgiving Day, but my mom refused to talk to me. She told me later that she would not speak to me because of what I “did to her on Thanksgiving.”

It was during this visit that my insurance ran out, so apparently my parents took out a loan against our house to keep me in there. Unfortunately, I had to hear about this repeatedly until the day she died, when I was 29 years old.

The same year I was released from the hospital, I was in a major car accident, trapped in my car until being released with the Jaws of Life. My injuries were significant, but to this day, I know that there was an angel in the car with me. Once again, Mom brought up the wonderful fact that God must really want me here, and for a moment in time, I believed that she did, too. Blessedly, the accident, combined with another subsequent brush with death in the form of attempted suicide, brought me closer to God, putting me on track to find my way in my faith.

When my mom died, I became heavier, never losing the baby weight. It was like I had a free pass not to have someone there telling me to get fit or watch what I ate. Then I got pregnant again and had more medical issues, including a weight gain to 250lbs. At that point, I was miserable with my own weight.

I had been a fitness instructor for several years and knew I wanted to do that again, so I got busy and kicked my butt and lost the weight the correct way with eating right and exercise. I thought the weight loss would make me happy, but it did not. After a huge emotional breakdown, I knew I needed help.

I researched and went to the Eve Center. The minute I walked in and saw the Motherless Daughter flyer, I knew right then and there that I had to be in this class. It was like God had spoken and told me to go.

I attended the class in the fall of 2011, then again in spring 2012. It was so over-whelming the first time, I had to repeat it! I learned so much about myself and actually learned to forgive myself for my life mistakes. While I still struggle with being angry with my mom, I am slowly beginning to forgive her. My work with MD has even helped me realize my dream of becoming a nurse. In spite of a lot of self-doubt, I decided to listen to God and follow my calling. I begin classes in January of 2015.

In 2012 I decided to become a facilitator for motherless daughters. It was a healing emotional adventure. In the beginning, I had no confidence and the spiritual attack was beyond overwhelming. Somehow through all that pain, I healed a little more. I forgave my mom and a few others in my life who had caused me harm. My mom had her issues because she was abused in horrible ways as a child and never dealt with her issues. I know she loved me the best she could.

It has taken me more than 6 months and a lot of fighting with myself to write this. God kept tugging at me to write. In the midst of this, my pastor gave a sermon on telling your story, so at long last, I am. I can only pray that it reaches people and helps them find their way in healing and to know that they are not alone.