My mother died on March 27, 2010, in a car accident. She crossed the centerline and ran into a truck coming the other direction. It's Mother's Day weekend. I'm supposed to be grief-stricken. I'm just relieved.

My mom had me when she was 17. She always told me that having kids wrecked her life. (I'm the first of three kids.) When my youngest brother went to college, she announced that she was retiring from parenthood. She always drank heavily and used drugs. She encouraged me to drink and use with her when I turned 12. She gave me pot when I was 13 and heroin when I was 14. She let a friend of hers sexually abuse me when I was 11. When I told her that he was doing it, she beat the crap out of me for "trying to ruin a good man." She then sent me to spend the night with him and his wife (no kids my age) to prove to my dad that nothing was wrong. I knew better than to complain when he stuck his hand in my vagina and touched my breasts. She would have beaten the crap out of me again. When I tried to commit suicide via overdose when I was 14, she didn't even notice. She was in bed with a hangover. Three days later, my uncle noticed that I "looked sick."

When I quit drinking and went to AA, I cried for weeks because I knew that if I got straight, I would never have a good relationship with my mother. I quit anyway. She hated my sobriety. She hated my new life. She hated my husband. She hated it when I chose to be a mother. She hated my career. Every single choice I made she took as an indictment of the choices she made. She was probably right. My choices were probably a criticism of her choices.

She's dead. All I can think is, "Thank God." recommended