By: Nicole Servant
“Of course I’ll wait for you, my dear-I would wait a thousand years for you,” were the last comforting words that I heard from my birth mother whom I located on “Facebook”. I actually became reunited with my real mother back in 2008, when I was incarcerated in the Vanier Centre for Women in Milton, Ontario. Yes, I met my biological mother in the correctional system after a separation of at least 15 years. Once I had reconnected with my estranged mother via internet, I heeded her advice to come to Toronto by her invitation to “have a fresh start” with mom. Well since my 2 year romantic relationship had just faced its bitter end, I thought I could use a loving shoulder to cry on.
I arrived downtown Toronto one snowy day in early March 2010 at the Coach Canada Bus Terminal where we agreed to meet each other. I looked about and sadly, but she was nowhere to be found. I managed a phone call at a payphone and she picked up yet hung up the first time. I gave it another try and she reluctantly scribbled a map down verbally as she hung up the phone. Coming from a small town like Niagara Falls, I had no experience travelling through Toronto alone. It was a miracle I found my way to her apartment. Upstairs beer bottles lay scattered around the
somewhat neat but empty apartment. I gathered the courage to ask her: “hey mom, do you smoke crack?”
The first month on began to seriously destroy and cripple my moral fabric as a young adult; by this
time I was developing a horrible daily drinking problem and an even worst crack and other drug problem. I had paid my mother 100 dollars one month to stay with her but we got into so many arguments about who would get the last toke, beer and so on. Finally one night she kicked me out. Another time she locked me out; so nights like these r would sleep in the stairwell. Eventually she blatantly ordered me: “You can’t stay here anymore-get out! I don’t care if you paid rent, prove itl”
In the beginning I began trusting men who “were different because they cared” that is until they got bored or just wanted me out like my mother. I had been raped countless times, and a few times I had been beaten nearly to death and even strangled a couple times. And it wasn’t so much the city itself that as my mother put it”chewed me up and spat me out,” but the chaotic emotional abuse I endured from my mom in the first year or so, and the prostitution and drugs for rent which never seemed enough for her. Eventually I decided to give up on staying with my mom while feeding her endless appetite for crack.
Sometime through all of this chaos the early memories from childhood which r thought had to be just bad dreams began to surface and haunt me further. Out the fog came familiar situations while in mom’s care as a young child. One morning I sat looking up at what I realize now as a drunk sitting at a table, as the morning sunlight crept in the window. The man picked me up and put me on his knee. I remember looking at all thenearly empty bottles which he began feeding me with. It got really foggy when he took me downstairs into the basement while the man rubbed himself on top of me slobbering his gross tongue down my throat. Another suppressed memory that made me ill to the very pit of me was of a drunken man’s winey voice: ”why you wanna say no, when you know it makes you feel so good?” Emphasizing the last three words persuasively.
All these years have passed since my father had rescued me from my birth mother’s custody, but now sadly I realize that I had just came running back into the arms of my worst nightmare. I thought my dad was just kidding when he said my mother was a prostitute and severe drug addict. I was secure in my life prior to Toronto, now I had nothing, no one, and felt terribly confused and used by someone who was supposed to love me. I believe I was homeless although I lived with my mother–especially as a child, because ‘ have never heard of a home like this.