Small but Mighty!

By on May 4, 2011

By Nicole Montalvo –

I would say that we are very close my mother and I, yet we live very far apart. My mother lives in the Netherlands, where I was born, and I live in Central Oregon. My mother loves to travel and visits often. She educates herself about everything that interests her and benefits her. She is really enjoying her life now. It wasn’t always easy for he, she went through some really tough times.

My father left her when my older sister and I were still little. She met another man and married him and had one more daughter. The marriage to my stepfather was 12 years of misery, emotional cruelty and terrible fights. In my early teens there were many nights I was afraid to go to sleep. I was convinced my stepfather would kill her. The constant tension almost pushed my mother over the edge. She ended up drinking heavily and turned into a complete alcoholic. She would make my sisters or I buy alcohol for her. She somehow always managed to drink even though we never saw her do it. I hated it when she was drunk. She would be “happy” when I would come home from school but when she was drunk she just wasn’t herself. It went from bad to worse. One day, after looking for her for hours, I found her in the shed on top of a stack of seat covers for the patio chairs. She was just lying there and I got really scared. I will never forget that moment. I thought she was dead. After shaking her really hard I finally got a response. She was so drunk that day that she was out for hours. I was so angry with her and just didn’t understand why she did this to herself.

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Amazingly, my mother was able to completely turn her life around. My stepfather always threatened her and told her she was nothing but a drunk and if she ever divorced him, he would take us, her 3 daughters, away from her. This turned a woman small in stature and severely alcoholic into one mighty warrior. My mother knew nothing about finances, had never really been allowed to work outside the house, had never taken care of herself and her 3 children and she was terrified. But she did it. She stopped drinking cold turkey and learned to manage and take care of us and herself. After my stepfather left, it was just my mom and the girls and life was good. We were building strong relationships. Once I moved out of the house, we remained close and did plenty of things together. But, for years, I walked around with questions in the back of my head. I didn’t want to hurt her, but I really wanted to understand what happened. In my early thirties I was finally able to ask her the many questions I had about my father, my stepfather, the drinking, etc. We had many conversations and they were often painful. She felt ashamed, yet she was very open and honest and answered every single question I had. Knowing now how hard it was for her to stand up and take charge so she wouldn’t lose us, makes me love her even more. Women are a lot stronger than they believe themselves. When I found out I was pregnant and would be raising my child as a single mom I never doubted that I could pull it off. I learned from my mother, I am strong. Yes, I LOVE my mom, small but mighty…

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Small but Mighty!