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‘My Daughter Grew Up Thinking We Were Sisters. It Was Hard For Me To Tell The Truth’
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  • Motherhood comes in many ways, and sometimes in the least expected moments, as this letter, sent anonymously, proves with so much heartache from the past but with a lot of hope for the future.

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    I pretty much had a typical dream and idea of a family. Have a church wedding, then about 2 or more kids. That was not the case for me…or I would not have anything to share.

    I got pregnant right after graduating from college. A lot of people would think that it was not too bad. 'Good on her, she was able to get a degree.' Back in the '90s though, 1995 to be precise, it still came as a shock.

    I graduated in March, learned I was pregnant in September. I just started working at an insurance company and still under probation. My parents didn’t even know that I was seeing someone. I could not imagine what my mom will do to me or to the father of my child.

    The only thing left for us to do was elope, and that was what we did. My life literally did a 360-degree turn. I know, I was not ready. I had a lot of things going on my mind.


    When my mom found out, she took me in but did not approve of my child’s father. I stayed with her and the rest of the family during my pregnancy. I had to put my parents’ names as my child’s parents. Meaning, she would grow up becoming my sister. I did not want to agree to this idea, but was left with no choice at the time.

    That was how it had been, and I know my child’s father took this against me. He may not admit this, but I do not blame him. We separated when my child was about 3 years old. What hurts more was I felt I was left alone. I sort of technically became a single mother at 24.

    As my daughter was growing up, it was hard for me to tell her the truth. I wanted to tell her when she was in elementary school, but did not have the courage to say it. When she was in high school, I was scared how she may react to the truth. At that time, she was already capable of running away.

    I left for New Zealand when she was in junior high school.  I tried to tell her when she turned 18. But she simply said, 'If you have something to say, I do not think I am ready.' I was a bit hurt, but I respected that.

    I went home last 2017, she was to graduate from University that year. She got sick and had to be confined in the hospital for 2 weeks. She missed her graduation. It was the turning point in our mother-daughter relationship.

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    When we were in the hospital, she initiated 'our' conversation by saying, 'Did you not have something to say to me the last time you went home? I think I am now ready to listen.' And…that was when I told her everything.

    Amidst all the crazy things that happened in my life I had my regrets, but I think I have more to be thankful for. I am thankful that my daughter grew up the way she did. She is definitely not perfect and has a lot of room for improvements. I am all but proud of the woman she is right now.

    In its totality, I don’t think I had done enough to be a good mother to her. Up until now, I’ve always felt a barrier between us and I  don’t know how to break this. I try to do what I think is best for both of us.

    With COVID turning our lives upside down, cliché as it is my perspective changes. But some things will remain the same, first and foremost, I am a mother and will always be one. I try to be a mother to her in the best possible way, even if we are from different sides of the world now.

    Motherhood comes in many ways, and sometimes in the least expected moments. You can never be ready for this. There’s no Motherhood for Dummies book. You just have to get on to it and enjoy every bit of it.

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