During my upbringing, I endured consistent s*xual and physical ab*se from my biological father. It was deeply distressing to know that my mother was aware of the situation yet chose to turn a blind eye. Her response was often to blame me, stating that it was my fault for not resisting forcefully enough when he forced himself upon me. When my father passed away when I was only nine years old, my mother unjustly held me responsible for his death, as he had taken his own life.
Seeking solace, I confided in my friend’s mother about the abuse I endured at home. She took the initiative to involve the authorities, leading to repercussions such as my father losing his job. Although I wasn’t immediately removed from that t*xic environment, word spread about the situation. However, instead of finding support and protection from my mother, she resented me for years and subjected me to constant ab*se.
The torment didn’t end there, as I also faced bullying at school for being perceived as “dirty.” Tragically, the cycle of s*xual abuse continued in that environment as well, and my mother, once again aware of the situation, chose to ignore it. Her primary concern seemed to be my perceived s*xual orientation rather than my safety, as she believed that the assaults were a result of my potential homos*xuality.
At the age of 17, I finally reached a breaking point and ran away to seek refuge at my girlfriend’s house. Surprisingly, my mother made no effort to contact me during that time. Over the years, our relationship has fluctuated between periods of no contact and sporadic communication.
This pattern persisted, where she would manipulate my emotions, convince me to reconnect, only to repeat her abusive behavior time and time again. Roughly eight years ago, I made the difficult decision to sever ties with her permanently. Although I am now estranged, I’ve heard through certain family members that she continues to search for information about my whereabouts, including my place of residence and work. Additionally, she sends me a card every year, which I promptly discard.
Around a year ago, I received word that my mother had been diagnosed with cancer. Initially, I chose to ignore this information. However, one of my cousins, whom I trust, reached out to inform me that she was in hospice care and expressed her desire to see me before she passed away. Despite my cousin’s heartfelt plea, I declined the opportunity, standing firm in my reasons. It was then revealed to me that my mother had drafted a will stating that she intends to leave her entire estate, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars, solely to me. However, this inheritance comes with a condition: I must visit her, or else she will remove me from the will.
While this prospect is tempting due to the significant sum involved, my underlying desire remains unchanged—I want my mother to face her impending demise knowing that I have found happiness without her, fully aware of the damage she inflicted upon me. My cousin insists that she has undergone a transformative journey, investing significant effort in therapy, outpatient programs, inpatient treatment, retreats, and counseling.
Yet, to me, this situation feels akin to emotional blackmail. Part of me contemplates taking the high road, accepting the inheritance, and burying my anger. Perhaps she genuinely has changed, and I am allowing past grievances to dictate my actions. Or, alternatively, am I justified in my stance, protecting myself from a dying individual who caused immeasurable harm?