I Miss My Mom – Featuring Serenity Ferguson

I know Chuck Bass can’t be the only other person that’s been told they killed their mother at birth… considering he’s a fictional character and we’re still in the midst of a pandemic, I don’t think I’ll be breaking bread with him anytime soon. And I’m not necessarily saying the thoughts of my mother’s death haunts me, but on some days, it’s truly all I think about. 

I grew up hearing stories about my mom; how she’d love hosting parties, how she’d light up every room she walked into, how her smile was contagious, and how protective she was over those she loved.  

My dad got remarried when I was three, so he and my stepmom raised me and my sister until they got a divorce when I was eight. 

You could say that’s when my dad went off the deep end. 

Our stepmom tried to get custody but since she wasn’t our biological parent, the court sided with our dad. 

That year, it was just me, my sister, and my dad… I think I’ve learned to blackout a lot of those memories. 

Also, when I say me, my sister, and my dad, I really mean me and my sister.  We helped each other get ready in the mornings, whip something up for breakfast, and make it to school.  After which, we’d come home to a dark, empty house and start our homework together… then around dinner time, we’d go to the neighbors’ house to use their phone so we could try and figure out if our dad was coming home. 

He always said he’d be there soon, but we always went to bed alone.  

I remember often calling our grandma saying how hungry we were; that we hadn’t seen our dad in days. She eventually took us in, and we moved to Prescott where she’s taken care of us ever since. 

I can’t recall an exact moment when I found out my mom died… I just remember it always being talked about.  

What I do recall, though, is finding out how it happened… that she wasn’t wearing her seat belt because she read in some book that wearing one during pregnancy could harm the baby.  

I was around nine when my questions persisted; I practically forced my Grandma into telling me she was in a fatal accident, which I couldn’t quite comprehend.  I remember looking through the old contents of her purse; there was jewelry, hair clips, her wallet, and other random items, all covered in blood.  Lots of people got into accidents, I thought, and lots of people survive them, so why didn’t my mom?  Did she see it coming?  Did she feel pain?  Would she still be alive if the doctors focused on saving her and not me?  

Once I fully grasped the fact that she ignored the seatbelt because of me, I felt my body freeze, realizing I was the reason she died.  I kept reiterating ‘she wasn’t wearing her seat belt because she was pregnant with me… it’s my fault.’ 

I literally couldn’t think of anything else for days, and that moment still comes to mind almost every day, even if just for a split second. 

I feel at fault for ending the life of my sister’s mother, my dad’s wife, my nana’s daughter, and every other person she touched. 

I’ve always told myself I wish it were me that died in the accident; they could have always made another baby, but my mom’s life… hers was special. 

When I was around 10, my grandma wanted me to go see a therapist, but since I was 10, I was shy and had no interest in talking about my emotions… probably not the right move, considering my negative self-talk has poisoned every relationship I’ve ever been in. 

How can I accept love… true love, when I can’t even accept my life? I can’t feel worthy of love until I feel worthy of my life. 

You could also say my dad has played a role in how my relationships have panned out. 

Because of him, I think love is come and go. I think it’s okay when someone only cares about me when it’s convenient for them, and I actually expect people to walk out of my life.

This has been a running theme through my relationships, but if you were sitting on the outside looking in, you would never know. In high school, I was friends with the popular crowd, I played on the volleyball team, and I dated the cutest boys.

But everything faded, and at 13, I was put on depression medication which made me numb.

It took nearly every emotion out of me, however, the thoughts of suicide continued to linger.  I would drink heavily at a different party every weekend during my sophomore and junior year of high school, most of which I don’t remember.  

I do remember often waking up frustrated that I wasn’t drunk anymore… that I actually had to feel something.

I was 17 the next time I talked to a therapist…  at a mental health hospital which I was admitted to after telling my grandma how I was going to kill myself. 

I’d moved to Phoenix to start my new life and I actually connected with a great group of religious girls, but despite finding God again, I couldn’t help but yearn for a mom… my mom.  

I’d convinced myself the only way to be with her was to end my life, so I went back up to Prescott to see my sister and grandma, for what I thought would be the last time.  

My grandma could sense I was off, so she asked if I was okay and I was about to say, “yes, I’m fine”, but for some reason what came out instead was, “I’m planning on killing myself.”  

That was the first time I said it out loud and as soon as I did, it became real. In my head, it sounded like a solution to my problem, but out loud, it sounded absurd. 

But by that time, I was so far down the rabbit hole that I didn’t trust myself to be alone. So, we went to the hospital and I was transferred to a facility a few days later. I had to be taken by ambulance and I remember there was a paramedic in the back talking to me the whole time. The only thing I remember him saying is, “you don’t seem like the type of person to try and kill themselves.”  

I had become so accustomed to faking happiness that even in the lowest time of my life, I still looked like your typical teen, without a care in the world. 

The things that I saw and heard in that hospital will haunt me forever.  It represented my idea of prison; I was constantly cold, people watched everything I did, and I heard these horrific screams all the time.  Girls would talk about how they planned to end their life once they got out, showing the group the scars from their cutting, which seemed to be a source of pride.

I would pray to God and talk to my mom every night; I would apologize over and over for taking my life for granted. I continued to promise myself I would never be in that position again. 

And I worked diligently to stay mentally healthy but over the next two years, I felt the poison start to creep back in.  

When I was around 15, my sister and I got in a fight; I have no idea what it was about but I do remember what she said to me; she looked me dead in the eyes and told me that I killed her mother. Of course, it was the heat of the moment and she doesn’t remember, or even believe that’s true, but it’s stuck with me since, as it validated my own belief. 

What if I actually killed myself?” I thought.  “Would it really affect anyone that much?”

I remember one night I was crying hysterically to my (ex)boyfriend and all I could get out was “I miss my mom,”… he then grabbed me, looked me in the eye, and told me, “maybe you’re giving her too much respect.”  I had never felt more alone.  

The negative thoughts got more and more frequent, so when I turned 20, I started seeing a therapist, to really dig deep and get to the root of my pain.  

I underwent EMDR therapy which drastically changed my perception of self, and rather than giving me the standard ‘it’s not your fault’ bullshit other people told me, she had me go through it all head-on. She’d say things like, ‘maybe it is your fault… let’s explore that for a bit,’ and as the weeks went by, she reinforced the internal strength I had, which made all the difference.  

It’s been about a year and I no longer have suicidal ideations, however, I still feel alone and misunderstood. I mean, who knows what it’s like to kill their own mother?  I’m actually asking, because as much as my brain has overcome, I yearn for connection… just one person that can truly say, “I know what you mean… I see and understand you.”   

So, let’s consider this my S.O.S.  

-Serenity Ferguson 

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