Baby Girl, I never knew what it was to be loved as a child. Because of that I was never sure if I would ever be able to give or be loved in the future. I knew from as far back as I can remember that I wanted to have a child of my own. Even though I wasn’t always sure I would or wanted to live to bear a child of my own.
My brother and I were casualties in my parents war. Pawns that were only useful to hurt one or the other. Every time I tried to love them they turned me away. As a child so easily cast away I believed myself unworthy of love. So I knew from early on even if I had a child of my own that child may not love me in return, but at least there would be an existence I would be allowed to love.
In and out of hospitals and foster care my existence was very painful. I tried to kill myself multiple times and I failed each time. Still each time I woke up sick and so very tired I wondered if maybe there was a reason for my existence. Maybe there was something of value within me.
I think I found the reason for my existence, the value in waking up one more day, when you came into my life.
When I found out I was pregnant with you everyone wanted me to abort you. Everyone said I couldn’t raise you. Even though I never once thought of not having you. I was happy because for the first time in my life I had someone to love.
When they placed you in my arms I was so scared. Would you be able to love me or even accept my love? Would I be a good mother? How would I support you? It scared me to think you would suffer because of me.
At first you cried so much I thought you hated me. I was in an abusive relationship with little to no help. It felt like I did nothing, but fail you. I felt sorry for you to have me as a mother.
There was a time when you were 10 months old and the your biological father had us at gunpoint. I really thought we would die that night. It didn’t bother me that he was going to shoot me. My only thought was that without you this world didn’t matter. Because he threatened you I found the strength to leave.
After I left your biological father you stopped crying. I remember the first night in a dirty basement apartment with you. I sat down and cried. We were so poor the basement was riddled with bugs and rat droppings. Yet you came to me and wiped my tears away trying your best to sing the words I used as your lullaby.
You gave me the will to wake up one more day; you gave me the strength to keep fighting.
We didn’t always have enough for food. We had our electricity cut more than once. I remember so many nights I would tell you I wasn’t hungry because there just wasn’t enough food for both of us. I was always so afraid I wasn’t giving you enough. When I didn’t have enough to even provide you a meal I would send you away so you could eat.
I am sorry I had to be gone so much to work. It always made my heart ache when you would cry as I left. I am so sorry you suffered because of me. But I am never sorry I had you. Even though I was young and unworthy when I had you… Your existence has always meant the world to me.
Because I never knew a mother’s love I always worried I wouldn’t know how to show you love. I yelled, screamed and cried. So many times I wanted to give in to the darkness. So many times I worried my existence held you back. Still for the first time in my life I did not want to die. I wanted to watch you grow. I wanted you to know my love, a mother’s love.
I know I messed up a lot and because of me you have suffered. For that I am sorry. If you did not exist one of my suicide attempts would have eventually worked. Without you to push me I would never have come this far. You are an important light in my dark world.
Because you loved me I was able to learn trust. Thanks to the strength you gave me we met a wonderful person who took you in as his daughter. The daddy you wanted added another light to our world. In the years to come we had two more children. Now my world shines with love I am allowed to give and lucky enough to receive. Thank you.
This morning you will turn 18. Some how you survived me. Despite the hardships, you have grown into an amazing and wonderful young woman. I could not be more proud. My love for you has never and will never waver. Because of you I am a better person. (far from perfect, but better for having you in my life.)
We don’t always agree and I don’t always understand, but please know unconditionally I love you. The world born through you has given me so much more than you will ever know. I hope on this, your 18th birthday, you continue to know I love you.
Wherever life takes you I will always be here to catch you if you fall, to cheer for your every triumph, and to guide you when you are unsteady. I will always love you, my sweetest baby girl. Thank you for everything you are and do.
Love for Always and Forever
by Rae Rose (Paiute, Mayan, Japanese, Writer, Mother, Indigenous) @Rae_Rose7