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When Mothers are Victims, Too

When I was seven years old, I was sent away to sleep away camp for the whole summer. Two months away from home as a child seemed like a lifetime to me. I was made fun of in my cabin because I didn’t know how to wash my own hair or even cut my toenails. But the best day of camp was going to be visiting day because I knew that once my parents got there and realized how sad I was that they would change their minds about the full eight weeks and let me go home with them. I packed up my trunk the night before and quietly slipped it back underneath my bunk before anyone could see what I was doing because I was too ashamed to say I was leaving after only three weeks. The next day, as our blue and white Buick drove up the path to the camp, I was waving and already had begun to cry. Mom was crying, too, as she threw her arms around me and held me to her. I kept crying as my father told me to eat my cafeteria lunch and to stop spoiling our nice visit. And he said, “If you don’t stop crying this very minute, I’ll really give you something to cry about.” When we walked outside, my parents were supposed to meet my counselors and see my artwork, but my father took my mother’s arm and led her toward the car. I was really sobbing then and pleaded with my mom to let me come home with her. I held onto her skirt and then her leg as he pulled her closer to the car. He told her to let me go, but she couldn’t because I was holding on so tight that they ended up dragging me along the dirt. After he shut her door and locked it, he swiftly got into his side and drove away without looking back, and I never got to kiss my mom goodbye.

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Writer and copyeditor. “What doesn’t kill us gives us something new to write about” ~ J. Wright

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