An Excerpt from “Scars”

Feet

“The next three years were a constant blur of me fighting to earn one word of praise or respect from her pinched and disapproving lips.  Those words never came or, when they did, they were conditional: “You’re such a pretty girl, but you need to lose weight.”  “You’re so smart! Why didn’t you ever do anything with yourself?” “You’d be a great catch for the right guy, if you weren’t so damn picky.”  Each time she offered the carrot, I trotted after it.  Like one of Pavlov’s dogs, I salivated – silently hoping, maybe this time, the condition wouldn’t be attached.  But I was always disappointed.

On my 18th birthday, I left.  My mother, forever playing the victim, will tell you that I ran away again and left her in a financial bind; but in my mind, I wasn’t running from anything more than I was running to.  I didn’t want to be like her. I needed to find out who I was and the only way I could do that was by removing myself from her influence.  I wanted so much to find my place, somewhere I felt comfortable and held no ghosts to haunt me – a fresh start.  So, I hopped on a plane at Logan Airport bound for San Francisco – just as far away as I could get from the emotional death-grip she had on me – and I never looked back.

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