Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 – A Unhappy Mother’s Day?

Name: Stephen Sanon

A Unhappy Mother’s Day?

When I was only
eleven-years-old, my instincts told me something was wrong. Everyone
I knew had a special bond with their mothers that I couldn’t see
between myself and my own. I sensed something malicious, dangerous,
and difficult about our relationship; but I realized it wasn’t
actually her. Soon after, my mother was severely diagnosed with
“Schizophrenia”, a genetic disorder that affects a person’s
ability to think, feel, and behave clearly. It was severe: she quit
her job, lost her daughter and my sister to The Department of
Children and Families, and forgot the people that mattered.

At a young age, I
never knew that she had this mental illness. Henceforth, my mother
and I had some trouble after leaving her job: financially, she was
never entirely motivated to go back to what she loved doing even
though she was a great nurse; mentally, we didn’t compromise well
and got into arguments; and psychologically, her depression could be
toxic towards my emotions. My mother wouldn’t go to therapy, any of
my school meetings, performances, or sporting events. She even missed
the court hearings for her daughter.

All of this left me
wondering, “Why don’t I have a better mother? Why doesn’t she
care about her kids? Why can’t she find a job and feel good about
herself? Why isn’t she determined to succeed?” When I saw other
people’s mothers, I observed kind-hearted, welcoming, funny,
outgoing, motivated, beautiful women that cared about their kid(s) —
no matter what. I felt as if inside of my mother there weren’t
actually any motherly traits at all, only something unloving that was
incapable of being cured. My mother and her disease became a tipping
point in my life, something unfair for a kid to experience.

I had to exclude
her negativity towards me from my life. And honestly, I’m impressed
that I could, at times, handle her dreadful actions; but eventually,
she made a harsh comment about my education that I couldn’t endure
– “You’re not smart! You won’t ever be good in school. You
won’t go to college at all.” My mother’s comment was explosive.
It blew my mind to hear her speak it. As a seventh grader, I didn’t
know what to do. My mindset didn’t process well. My emotions became
disenchanted, and my brain became numb. Everything went blank, expect
for that one comment. Our relationship was a heart shredded into very
small pieces. I knew that those pieces couldn’t be glued back
together, just like our relationship.

Out of this
struggle, I am determined to turn my life into a success. When my
mother told me that comment, I hastily made changes along the way I
was going about my education to prove my mother wrong for saying
something so demonic. At the time I couldn’t believe that someone
that gave birth to me would say something like this. Shamefully, it
was mainly to prove my mother wrong. Now, at an older age, I realize
it’s the disease that has made her this way. With a disease so
powerful, and with no real cure, my mother is gone forever. I truly
know that this obstacle I face through my elementary and secondary
education, that I swiftly realized, is I’m not like the rest of the
students that have gotten through this situation in their early
childhood and able to feel confident about their situations at home.

Several years later,
I’m a teenager, who doesn’t have someone he can talk or rely on,
have a close and strong relationship with and to receive an
unconditional support system no matter what. This obstacle may be the
most challenging I’ve faced yet, but it will not stop me from
achieving my goals: creating a family that doesn’t have to put up a
situation like I did in my childhood, becoming successful and stable,
and learning how to unconditionally love someone that’s close to