What do you do when the person who is supposed to be your biggest cheerleader becomes the main source of your downfall?

To give you guys a little background info, a few members of my family (myself included) suffer from mental health issues. That being said, those issues are never an excuse to continually treat someone poorly. For YEARSSSSSSS I have been excusing my mother’s treatment of me because of her issues and trauma that she has faced. A few standout moments on an ever growing list:

-When I was 10 years old she told me “You might as well just kill yourself, you’re already killing your body”. I’ve struggled with my weight ever since.
-When I was a teenager she would blow up and kick me out of the house for trivial bullshit. It’s worth mentioning that I was a good student that never got into any trouble.

-When returning to work after having my son, she was supposed to watch him for a week while he was still a newborn. I got a weird vibe about her boyfriend. I told her I was uncomfortable with leaving my son there if her boyfriend was living in her place. She called me a terrible daughter, that I didn’t trust her, that she would never let anything happen to him, etc. I stuck to my guns and didn’t let him stay. About a month or two later he was arrested for a domestic violence incident. It was also uncovered that he was an alcoholic and this was not his 1st run in with the law. When she finally started talking to me again after taking this man’s side over me…she lied for him. But I’m supposed to trust leaving my baby with her? HELL NO! (Oh and BTW she still deals with him)

-Most recently, she decides to call me while I’m at work and call me crazy for scheduling a small weekend vacation. She told me that I need to get to my psych appointment fast because her and my grandma think I’m losing my mind. That she’s never seen a mother leave her child as much as I leave mine.

I’ve finally had enough.

What you’re NOT going to do is make me out to be a bad mother. I’m divorced, he has a father and other grandparents. How am I wrong for making sure he has relationships with both sides of the family? I fully get how blessed I am to have all the help that I do. However, I am still his mother and I am the one doing all the hard work and making all the decisions when it comes to him. My son is happy, smart, well fed, with a roof over his head and that is all my doing. I didn’t take the mental abuse from my ex-husband and I damn sure shouldn’t have to take it from my own mother. When people like to do crazy/fucked up shit, they have a habit of trying to make you seem like the crazy one. It’s unacceptable.

My life is otherwise great. My son is happy and well-taken care of. I have a FT job that pays my rent, bills + a little extra. My friendships are great and I have a supportive network of people around me. I’m the happiest I have ever been, but all it takes is 1 phone call from her to make me feel like I’m worthless. Nothing I do is ever good enough.

Every move I make, I make with my son in mind. I don’t want him to see examples of toxic relationships. But what are you supposed to do when your mother, the woman who gave you life, is the most toxic person in your life?



Fear of Disappointment

In my life, I have always done what was expected of me. Went to school, got good grades, went to college, graduated, got engaged, got a job,¬†got married, had a kid….in that order. I did everything the “right way”. With the exception of having my son all of those things left me all unfulfilled. (Admittedly, I didn’t always feel that way about having my son, but I will save my postpartum depression stories for another post).

One of the happiest times of my life was when my divorce was finalized. Dark, I know. But I was in a very unhealthy situation. I stayed way longer than I should because I was so worried about the response. We were the couple everyone looked up to. I took pride in being the best wife I could be. I was so wrapped up in supporting my husband’s dreams that I put my own aspirations on the back-burner. Big mistake. When I made the decision to leave my marriage, I left with minimal. I put my (then) 6 month old son in his car seat and packed up some suitcases for us. Since my ex burned through our savings while trying to start up his career, I was only left with $1,000. Starting a new life with an infant, $1K and a stagnant job was no easy task. For a while I thought I was making a huge mistake. Now, I realize it is the greatest thing I have ever done.

I took the leap even though it scared the shit out of me. I told myself I need to take more risks when it concerns my happiness and overall mental health.

So here I am again with another dilemma. I am currently on course 2 in a series of 4 Masters level courses. Thing is….I hate school. Hate it. It was one of those things I did because I had to. I also hate the job I have and these courses are for progression in said job. Why am I doing this to myself? When I asked myself this question the only response I had was that I would disappoint those that were proud of me for going back to school. I’m realizing that’s not a good enough reason.

I want my son to grow up knowing that mommy achieved her dreams. My current situation isn’t my dream. My dreams include my entrepreneurial ventures. I’ve been so wrapped up in a job and courses that I hate, that it’s making my businesses fade into the abyss. Don’t get me wrong, I will keep my job because my kid needs to eat and I have bills. But the rest of my free time should be spent building what is MINE. I want my son to be proud of me. I would never want him to settle for a mediocre life, so why should I?


-Tina Kimani