Let’s Talk About the Time My Mother Abandoned Me on the Side of the Road.
Every memory I have from the ages of 17–18 is contained in a little black book. The cover, smooth, bears bold, metallic numbers along the binding. The year I graduated from high school. In the center, the name of my school is emblazoned with the familiar cardinal beside it.
It’s my senior year scrapbook. One of the many expensive memories that made my school year just a little more difficult.
In it are all the major events of my final year of compulsory school. Pictures of my rugby games. Ex-boyfriends. Ticket stubs. Oscar night. Debate wins. Newspaper appearances. Trapping and trimmings of the smiling, successful girl who was getting ready to put her best foot forward into the real world.
Sadly, I remember little of this.
My senior year of high school was a living nightmare, and looking back, I remember little of what happened because of the trauma that was going on at home.
That was the year I got taken away from my mother.
Not officially. No. I was never that lucky. Instead, I was pressured out of the home by my mother’s increasingly deranged outbursts and into the arms of another (less-than-ideal) family member.
It was all done very hush-hush, and I’m still not sure if anyone knew but my best friend and (maybe) my boyfriend of the time. Everything was turbulence. Everything was murky. But none of it blanks the memories of that day on the dirt shoulder when my mother abandoned me and left me alone on the side of the road.
I’ve written about my mother and what it was like growing up with a covert narcissist. She was a nightmare. Everything and anything came back to her, her ego, and her wounds. Kathleen Johnson could do no wrong, and she couldn’t apologize or take responsibility for anything that she did.
My senior of high school, this all came to a head — along with my mother’s many mental conditions.