When I was little I was the girl who forced the neighborhood boys to be my fake husband and marry me. I had a picture perfect image in my head for what my wedding would be. My mom would do my friends’ and my hair as we talked about how excited we all were in our silk bathrobes. My prince would look at me with tears in his eyes as my dad walked me down the aisle. The reception would be so much fun filled with dancing, alcohol, and laughter.
Around age 13, I realized that the wedding of my dreams might not be how I had pictured it. My mom was an alcoholic. I would watch her get so drunk and fight with everyone and every thing around her. It made me question how she could ever behave for my wedding. I always just shook it off in my head saying that my wedding was years away. She’d grow out of it or she at least wouldn’t get that drunk on my wedding day. She was my mom, she had to be at my wedding and sober enough to remember it.
It wasn’t until I was 18 that I realized her alcoholism wasn’t just a phase. She wouldn’t just grow out of it. She needed to get help and she needed to be open to it. As with most addicts, she wasn’t. I knew then that I either had to accept her and accept how negatively she affected me or I had to cut ties with my mother. I chose the latter.
Even then I was naive enough, or I guess you could say hopeful, to think that maybe one day we would repair our relationship in time for the huge milestones that came with being an adult.
The years have passed and my boyfriend and I have been talking about getting engaged. All the engagement talk made me realize, my biggest fear as a little girl will come true. I will get married without my mother there.
She won’t be there to help me pick out my dress with tears in her eyes. She won’t do my friends’ and my hair while we drink mimosas. She won’t be in the crowd as I say I do to the love of my life. She won’t be there because she chose drinking over me.
At first, the realization was hard until I remembered she hasn’t been there for years. She doesn’t know the way we met. She doesn’t know where I work. She couldn’t even tell you how long my hair currently is.
I’m lucky though, the women who will help me with my wedding day isn’t the one I imagined growing up but she is the one I want there- my boyfriend’s mom. My boyfriend’s mom taught me to drive. She has listened to all my life drama. She watched me fall in love with her son. Most importantly, she has always treated me like her daughter which my own mother never did.