I was 7 years old when my mother left. My dad brought my siblings and I home after a weekend at a relatives. We came home to a note pinned onto the kitchen door frame with the simple and final words "If you're staying, I'm leaving". My mother moved in with her boyfriend, and life as we knew it changed.
Always the perceptive type I knew our family was different from other families. My mother was unstable, I was spanked and grounded for menial reasons on a daily basis. She doted on my brother because he was the baby, and my sister was left in the middle to try and get whatever attention was left over. My mom and dad fought whenever he was in town, and the fighting was always loud, and always in front of at least 1 of the 3 of us. My mother's departure from our family unit was traumatizing but necessary, but her continued absence in the lives of myself and my siblings was neither helpful or easy to understand. Even in this day I can never and will never fully understand how my mother or any mother for that matter, could just walk away and not look back.
My childhood was A-typical, my dad raised us and my mother kept herself at a physical and emotional distance. We weren't raised by conventional rules, or with conventional parenting techniques. Brigades of nannies and relatives all had a hand in replacing the mother my siblings and I lacked, but no one has ever been able to replace the woman herself. Hopefully my frustrations and perspectives on this form of maternal neglect can aid others who've grown-up in similar circumstances. My story is like no one else's, but that doesn't make it unique.