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She was a sweet woman and a great mother who deserved far better. She’d been strict with me when I needed it, but never with anger.
Every day of my life, whether I was behaving or misbehaving that day, I knew she loved me. When I’d been five and thrown a mammoth tantrum over something incredibly important that I don’t even remember anymore, she’d carried me up to my room, still crying and struggling and calling her names, and explained through my hysteria she was declaring a time out.
I was to remain in my room until I had spent ninety continuous minutes with no loud noises. She then quietly locked me in and went back downstairs while I continued caterwauling.
When I finally calmed down and had completed thirty minutes of silence, she brought me a brownie, saying, “Well done, sweetheart, carry on.” When I’d reached an hour, she brought me another.
“I just hate how he still makes you feel worthless.
I pulled Mom into a hug and said, “Mom, you’re not a failure. He’s a failure as a husband and as a father.”“Oh, honey,” Mom said, bursting into tears again.“You deserve better than Dad,” I conditioned. ”“Hannah, it was never that black and white,” she continued to defend him.“Mom, ENOUGH!When I was angry, she asked me sympathetic questions and listened for as long as I needed and never offered suggestions until I’d talked myself out and asked for them.When I was good, she just loved me and made me feel like the most wonderful girl in the world.When I’d completed the whole ninety minutes, she came in, gave me a big hug and kisses all over my face, tickled me until I giggled, and took me out for ice cream! In my freshman year of high school, when she’d grounded me for toilet papering the house of a girl who’d been bullying me, our evenings were spent together watching TV or playing Scrabble until she released me from ‘the joint’ a week early for good behaviour, and started taking me to Karate class.A couple months later my bully ambushed me again, but ended up with cause to apologise.