She sped up through the carpool lane in her red Focus station wagon and rammed the car in front of her. As she stepped out to look at the damage, I remember her screaming incoherently at the man in the car she had hit.
One by one, faces turned to observe the scene and began whispering. I stood there in the crowd, desperately trying to hold back tears, and briefly considered joining my peers and their parents as they subconsciously judged my mother.
I remember thinking that it would be so much easier to pretend I didn’t know her than to walk over and identify this drunk, mentally ill woman as my mother.
Instead, I made a choice that day—a choice I would be forced to make time and time again in my complicated relationship with my mother and her mental illness. On that day, unlike so many other days when I would sit by her side and try to calm her down, I turned away from her and walked myself home.
My mother wasn’t always like this. On days when she was sober and well, she was my best friend— I couldn’t get enough of her.
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