"Good, bad, or indifferent, however you feel about them is alright."

Neither of my parents were in my life. I was raised by my maternal grandmother.

One day, when I was about 7 or 8, I remember coming to her asking why my dad and mom didn't want me. As I started to cry, my grandmother held me and said, "Honey! Honey. Listen to me. Your father and mother are the ones missing out. And they will regret it because you are an intelligent, beautiful, sweet girl who will grow into an amazing young woman. And when they do start wanting to come around and try to make amends? Good, bad, or indifferent, however you feel about them is alright. Don't let me, your aunt, your uncle, cousins, your godparents, your mother, your father, or whoever tell you how to feel."

Years later, what she said did come true. My father has apologized numerous times for not being there and so has my mother. But I'm in my prime, I'm in my 20s. And sometimes they get upset when I don't call them or talk to them as much like I do my grandmother, aunt, cousins, etc. 

But I just ignore both of them because I remember what my grandmother said all those years ago. 

"Good, bad, or indifferent, however you feel about them is alright."

"Why does this shit always happen to you?"

My parents divorced when I was 7. My father, who I loved so much, didn't want much to do with my brother and me after. He'd tell us he'd pick us up on Christmas, then not show up. My mother would offer to drop us off at his place and pick us up, but he'd say he was too busy. 

When I was 19, I was in a car accident, so my mother suggested I call my father to ask him for help, since he was a police officer. I will never, till my dying day, forget his words.

"Why does this shit always happen to you? You're a fuck up just like your mother, and every thing you have is shit. I can't deal with you. Don't ask me for anything". 

I was completely crushed. I cried for days. I never spoke to him again. My children never knew him, and he died alone. I had absolutely no guilt. But when I think of his last words to me, 24 years later, I still cry. 

"Why would you worry about your hair?"

My husband was driving us to the store one day, and I asked him to roll up the window because the wind was blowing my hair too much. 

He responded, "With a fat ass and fat stomach, why would you worry about your hair?"

I was pregnant with our first child at the time. 

I haven't felt comfortable naked around my husband since. It's been thirty years. 

"You'd fail."

"You could have at least worn wings." - My dad, after my performance as the fairy in Velveteen Rabbit in middle school. 

"You'd fail in the army. Your sister would excel and your brother would even do well, but you're too sensitive. You'd fail." - My dad, after I told him I planned join the army after high school.

"She's only going to college because she has nowhere else to live." - My dad, when I got accepted to my first choice college.

"All right, that's enough kids for now." - My dad, moments after I delivered my second child.

"Hey you, I haven't heard from you in a while." - My dad, recently. 

Wonder why.

"Men want to be taken care of..."

As far back as I can remember, I've wanted to get married. 

I got sick when I was 21, and have been in chronic pain every minute of every day in the ten years that have followed.

One day my dad said to me, "No man will ever love you. Men want to be taken care of, not to take care of you. You'd make a terrible wife."

I still think he's right. 

Five Pounds

I picked out my prom dress all by myself. It took me hours to find something that wasn't like anything anyone else was wearing, in my style, in the right price point for a broke high school student, and had appropriate coverage to get the approval from my parents. I finally found a dress that was perfect, and it was on sale! I couldn't wait to go home and try it on for my mom. 

I walked into the house with my first real "adult" purchase, put the gown on and stepped out of my bedroom, prepared for the ooh's and ahhh's. 

My mother gave me two looks and said, "You're going to lose five pounds before prom, right?" 

I've been on a weight roller coaster ever since. Thanks, Ma.


I have two daughters. They are my life and I love them to death. The fact remains, however, that having children changed my body. It has made me so insecure, but I've been trying to embrace body positivity for myself.

I was recently on the phone with a dear male friend, and he was talking about his ex-girlfriend who had a child. He referred to her stomach as "disgusting", "vile", "revolting" and "strange".

It was like all the confidence that I had been building suddenly fell. I can't stop thinking about it. 

"You need to learn how to shut your mouth."

For as long as I can remember, I was sexually harassed by a family member. He sent me dirty pictures, asked for sexual favors, and told me that when I was old enough, he would show me what love meant and more. 

I tried to tell my family multiple times. No one believed me. Every time I spoke up, he would back off for a short time, but when he started again it would be more aggressive.

What stuck with me the most was after the last time I tried to say anything, another family member said to me, "You're nothing but a liar who likes to cause drama, and you need to learn how to shut your mouth." 

After that, I kept silent for 5 years before finally trying to tell someone else. 

"Despite your circumstances..."

I went into foster care when I was 16. I made the choice to do it, not wanting to go back to my abusive father after being taken from my drug addict mother. 

I had switched schools twice that year and got diagnosed with depression and bipolar. I felt depressed most days because of my parents, being at a new school, etc. 

But I had one amazing teacher who was always commending me on my schoolwork. I remember one thing in particular he said to me: "Despite the classes you're taking, and despite your circumstances, you're still managing to kick ASS in my class." 

That comment still makes me smile to this day. 

He ended up writing me a letter of recommendation for college and calling me over the summer to see how I was doing. This was back in 2010 and a thank you letter to him is long overdue. 

There were lots of horrible things that my parents said during my time in foster care which stuck with me too, but I wanted to share something that actually made me feel good about myself.

"I'm going to make sure my grandbaby isn't going to hell."

I started dating my now-fiancé when I was 16, and his mother hated me from the start. She has said many hurtful things over the years, but one in particular sticks with me. We were barbecuing at my fiancé's house, and he went inside to help his dad, leaving me alone outside with his mom.

Ever since I told her that I'm agnostic, she's always gone on about how I'm going to hell. But that night she brought up children and baptism. I told her that I would not be baptizing my child because I believe it's a choice to be left up to them. 

She put her hand on mine and said, "You won't be there, but I'm going to make sure my grandbaby isn't going to hell, too." 

I never told my fiancé what his mother said, but it makes me scared to have children.