In my mother’s eyes, I failed to see how fortunate I was, which contributed to her justification for abusing me. For example, my mother loved to cook what she called “salmon patties and I could not stand the smell or taste them. (I get nauseated at the smell to this day) I would sit and dawdle at the table for hours, every once in a while, trying to get a bite down my throat without gaging. I knew what awaited me if I didn’t finish.
Somewhere around midnight, I would be grabbed up by my arm, my legs flailing for the floor in an attempt to get away from her other hand with the paddle. As I squirmed to get away, it didn’t matter to her where the paddle landed, my head, knee, hand, etc., just as long as it landed. I was ungrateful. There were starving kids around the world who would love to have my salmon. I didn’t understand why she didn’t send it to them. All I could do was cry and beg, “Please Momma, please don’t!” as each blow landed. It was only when she was exhausted that it stopped.
I try to understand her life. Growing up in an orphanage, her point of reference was vastly different. I’m not sure what kind of food or the amounts that were served. I know that compared to her life, mine was one of privilege. To her, it must have seemed as if I were turning my nose up at that privilege.