An Important Exoneration for My Mother:
I need to clarify something very important...
My mother and I have a very long history of a love/hate relationship. There were many things she did (and sometimes still does) to hurt me. I want it to be clear that I have been equally hurtful in retaliation to her.
I do believe she was a poignant contributing factor to much of my self-destruction endeavor that lasted from age 9 until age 23 (when the pregnancy with my first child saved me from myself). But I know, that even when I couldn't feel it, she has always loved me.
There are many ways in which she has changed over the past 10 years. We are still love/hate friends but I cherish the relationship we have worked very hard on growing. There are many holes in it that will never be filled... we still have a tendency to hurt each other in ways that no one else can.
We have both worked very hard to heal a very co-dependent, often broken relationship. We will never get all of those kinks worked out, but the point I am trying to make : we both have made countless mistakes. At the end of the day (or maybe a few months), she is now and ever shall be my Mother - and even though we sometimes need distance from each other, there is Nothing I won't forgive her for...
...and I think (and hope) she feels the same about me.