Skip to main content
PBS logo

The Eclectic Pen - my mom is broken

By: Sarah C. (aleya)   + 13 more  
Date Submitted: 11/12/2010
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs » Memoirs
Words: 420

  I was thirteen when I realized that something was wrong with my mother. I was eleven when the trade centers fell, and I remember every detail. This moment was just as defining. My mom threw a red pencil box against the ground. The moment it cracked I knew.

My mom has always been a talker. Even now, when she calls, I can put down the phone mid conversation and she will happily talk for a quarter hour, unaware. My mom has always been a talker, but she has never needed an audience. As a teenager I would use whatever stimulus I could, concentrating, convinced that I could shut her out of my mind. Sometimes I would put my iPod and turn it up. Sometimes I would wedge my fingernails into my arm. The day I realized something was wrong with my mother I stared at algebra problems on the computer screen.

I remember why she was angry. I had refused to give my old pencil box to my little brother. I wanted to keep it for myself. After all my mother had done for me, how did I turn out so selfish? So bratty? So ungrateful? I could never stop her words. Her loud words ran through my head like the scrolling words on a marquee.

The situation was not unusual until she threw the box. The sharp crack against the tile was like a bolt to my brain. At that precise moment I knew that it was not normal for a mother to work herself to screaming hysterics at the selfishness of a thirteen year old.

I know the problem. But I canít solve it. As an older teenager, and now, as an adult my response is exactly the same as it was that day. I run away. Never far. Never for long. But I canít stay.

I talk to myself. My internal voice can be very practical. Very optimistic. I know not to believe her. I know not to believe the things she says. There is nothing long term that my brain can do. Words from my mother are like blood on white linen, irreversible. From her heart and branded onto mine.

My dearest dream is her final approval. Fixed approval. Irreversable approval. My brain knows that I will never get it. I act like an idiot trying. I canít stop.

My mother is broken. My mother is hurting. I canít fix her. My daddy canít fix her. Nobody can fix her. Dear Jesus, please.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Sarah C. (aleya)

Member Comments

Leave a comment about this story...

Comments 1 to 2 of 2
Natalie G. (natall) - 11/29/2010 2:40 AM ET
Great writing! I hope there is more.
Trish B. (tbecker) - 12/7/2010 10:56 AM ET
This is sad. But at times I am sure most people feel this way. They just need to find a centering of themselves, instead of worrying about what they cannot control. Nice descriptions. Lots of feeling
Comments 1 to 2 of 2