The Day When Everything Changed
My Story of My Mother Calling & Lying to the Police
I Was Falsely Arrested for Assault
Time Commitment: 60-70 minutes
Before I share my story, it’s important for me to share a few important points before embracing my story into your soul.
What is a Mother?
I will refer to the person once known as my mother as Carlene. My definition of a Mother is based on the observation of individuals who works hard to provide, raise, love, support beyond measure. Being a mother is just not about giving birth, providing, or even raising a human being. It is the continued development of a relationship with a child at all stages of life. When a child grows into an adult, it doesn’t dismiss the responsibilities of being a parent. Children do not ask to be in this world. I did not ask to be here.
Carlene has been one of my faculty when it comes to understanding what love is within myself, my friendships, romantic relationships, connections with extended family, classmates, colleagues, and acquaintances. Based on the phenomenal book All About Love by Bell Hooks, proclaims very clearly “To truly love we must learn to mix various ingredients—care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust, as well as honesty and open communication.” My relationship with Carlene lacked so many of these and became progressively less as I aged.
Let’s be clear, this is MY STORY the way I see it. It’s not about casting blame or not taking accountability of my role in the Mother-Daughter relationship. This is my full experience. It’s important to remember that I am the child in this scenario, and again I did not ask to be here.
“But she’s your mom!”
“You only have one mom!”
It’s never “Wow, what could a parent do to cause their child to make this decision?”
It’s never” They’re your child. How could you treat your child that way?”
Why is it that the responsibility of the relationship is placed on the child and not the person who created and raised them?
I NEVER asked to be here.
For those reading my story, let’s be clear. I will never have a relationship with Carlene again. Perhaps after you read my story it may bring clarity why I came to this decision. I do not care what happens to her. I do not even want to know when she dies. As of January 26th, 2023, I am now working on letting go of Carlene. All the excuses could be made for why my decision is extreme. I hope that by reading my story, you can understand why this decision is essential for me to heal, forgive, grow, and flourish as the incredible power deeply soulful being that I am.
If at any point of reading my story, you have the urge to make a reason or an excuse for Carlene’s absolutely horrible and disgusting behavior, keep it to yourself because if you cannot truly see or feel my words that I bravely have laid on these pages, we too cannot have contact. In fact, if you feel necessary to remain in a relationship (in person, social media, written, whatever) of any kind with Carlene, regardless if you are family, friends, or whatever in between, we (you and I) can no longer be in any form of a relationship. If reading my soul through my words doesn’t touch yours and loyalty trumps behavior, emotional abuse, neglect, violence, and lies. Let’s be clear, WE CANNOT be in any form of a relationship or contact. Do not even try. I will not only shut down the conversation. There is NO conversation.
No Slander or Defamation
My story and my life experience is how I’ve experienced the world. My story is not to slander or defame Carlene. My story is not accusations, exaggerations, or said in bad faith. My story is to be clear, truthful, and unambiguous. I will share family secrets to give context affects throughout my life.
As I study to become a psychotherapist, a valuable lesson is speaking up and speaking my truth. I’ve learnt that keeping secrets is about power, hiding, and concealing information. As many recovery programs say “you are only as sick as your secrets.” If I share just some of the truth of our family, it will only continue the cycle of dysfunction and lies. This is an important passage around secrets from All About Love:
I am a truth teller. I am a truth seeker. I am here to share my story and my truth. What I share are accounts of my experience supported by actual documentation to be clear, truthful, and unambiguous.
Healing Intergenerational Trauma, Internalized Racism, & the Aftermath of Slavery
“Be the change you want to see in the world” quote often misquoted by Ghani, actually sayings “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world also changes.”
I started working with my first psychotherapist over 15 years ago to heal the aftermath of my failed marriage. I remember encouraging Carlene to also seek therapy back then. Her response was verbatim “I do not want to do therapy, because it’s like Pandora’s box.”. The challenge with Carlene not taking responsibility and accountability for her trauma gravely has impacted significant parts of my emotional being.
Since being home from living in Korea, I have truly started to accept myself as a beautiful Black Woman. I have acknowledged, felt, and healing all the intergenerational trauma that has been passed on to me from a spiritual, cellular, behavior levels.
The more that I learn how to feel all my feelings that have been suppressed from the narcissists, toxic, neglected abusive ways of Carlene, experiencing and reliving very deep wounds has been unbearably difficult. I know that through my healing I am not only supporting the future of my life, I know it has a ripple effect on my inner community and beyond.
The director of my psychotherapy school says this to everyone starting my five-year program “Speak to your family, and let them know you are doing this program and that you will change. Be prepared all your relationships will change.” I never truly understood what that meant until now. The more that I become the fierce truth teller that I am, the more that I learnt what loving myself feels like daily, the more I build my self-esteem, confidence to be the best person I can be for the highest good, the more my changes threatened and was the downfall of the ending of my relationship with Carlene. Through this work realizing the copious amounts of internalized racism in myself, parents, and family and how slavery has terribly affected descendants of a people from the Caribbean, specifically Black Guyanese in everyday life – our health, our relationships, and our relations with society.
I am here to change and starts with facing myself and some harsh truths. I am here to stop the cycles, the patterns, the awful imprints on my DNA, my upbringing, and the behaviors I endured. I am not writing this story for the fun of it. I am writing this to heal, to let go, to surrender to healing my health, my heart, my soul.
Understanding the Covert Narcissist Mother
I've been asked if Carlene is has been diagnosed with a mental illness. Even though, I am not clear if she has been diagnosed, through my experience and lots of education, I feel safe to say that she may be a covert narcissist.
Here are two videos to explain my experience growing up with a covert narcissistic mother.
This is Written for…
YOU to also heal your heart and soul.
Those who care to read, feel, and connect with my story.
Those who are truth seekers and tellers like me.
Those who may have a relatable story and didn’t know how to express it.
Those who hear what happened, and curious about my story.
Those who may need to come to terms with their own relationship with their mother.
Those who need to reclaim their voices within themselves and their relationships with others.
Those who just want to be with me as I write the most difficult piece of writing I will ever write.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. Here is my necessary and difficult truth.
While privacy strengthens all our bonds, secrecy weakens and damages connection. Lerner points out that we do not usually” know the emotional costs of keeping a secret” until the truth is disclosed. Usually, secrecy involves lying. And lying is always the setting for potential betrayal and violation of trust.
Widespread cultural acceptance of lying is a primary reason many of us will never know love. It’s impossible to nature one’s own or another’s spiritual growth when the core of one’s being and identity is shrouded in secrecy and lies. Trusting that another person always intends your good, having a core foundation of loving practice, cannot exist within a context of deception. It is the truism that makes all acts of judicious withholding major moral dilemmas. More than ever before we, as a so society, need to renew a commitment to truth telling. Such a commitment is difficult when lying is deemed more acceptable than telling the truth. Lying has become so much the accepted norm that people lie even when it would be simpler to tell the truth.
--All About Love by Bell Hooks
The [parent-child] bond which teaches us how to love. We cannot be whole human beings—indeed,
we may find it hard to be human—without the sustenance of this first attachment.
After spending 5.5 years in South Korea, I had a very virtuous thought about my relationship with my parents when I returned to Toronto. My pure intention was to develop a new relationship with Carlene. A relationship that would reflect where she is at and where I am at since we lived apart.
Prior to Korea, I had sold my condo and lived with Carlene for 2 years before moving to Korea. The last six month of living with her, I was quite depressed. I wasn’t sure of the direction of my life. Three of those months, I didn’t leave the apartment. Depression ten years ago was wildly misunderstood, especially if you are from the Caribbean because it was seen as been lazy, a white supremacy construct that was passed on to us. However, with the support of friends and my Dad, and a serious conversation with God something shifted for me to move to Korea. Despite some of the hard lessons I learnt while living there as my Dad said to me “Gill, moving to Korea was one of the best decisions, I’ve made for my life.”. I wholeheartedly agreed.
When I moved back, I stayed home for most of it. I lived off my savings and some governmental financial support, especially since COVID. I spent the first month regulating my sleep to Toronto time. The next three month I spent cleaning like a mad woman. In the six to seven years, Carlene neglected general maintenance of her apartment. I spent these months throwing away, donating, and cleaning decade of stuff. Carlene’s apartment was infested with ants. It took me a year of trying different solutions to get rid of them. I cleaned seven year of bird shit, nests, and families of pigeons that made her balcony cesspool of bird shit. Due to COVID, service providers could not enter the apartment. I researched, put on a hazmat suit and cleared out 3 industrial size bags full off bird shit and my bike that was destroyed from the pigeons. I wasn’t asked to do all this cleaning. However, I felt compelled to do something to show my deep appreciation for Carlene allowing me to live with her.
April 23rd, 2021, Carlene was turning 70 years old. Four weeks prior, to celebrate her within the COVID restrictions I decided to plan something special. I organized many family and friends to say a few words on video and compile it into a gift of birthday greetings. I arranged to host an online tea party with her 8 closest friends. To make this event possible, I spoke to every participant for at least an hour each, arranged another meeting to make sure the technical side was working. I decorated the entire apartment with balloons and streamers. I made a lovely full course breakfast. I arranged and did a photoshoot of great pictures of Carlene. And lastly, I video recorded the entire day and compiled it in a fun creative video called “This is 70.” I did a lot. Again, to celebrate Carlene and to truly show my appreciation for living with her. A week later was my Dad’s birthday. I spoke to most of my Dad’s side of the family and complied a beautiful video and lunch with my Dad for his 76th birthday. By the end of all the birthday preparations. I was exhausted.
To recover, I needed a little solitude, some food delivery, sleep and to be alone. I requested from Carlene that I need the weekend of being silent. I informed her that I will not speak with her other than to acknowledge her morning greetings. She went along with it. When I emerged from the weekend, I found out that she got physically sick because I was taking the time to myself. She claimed that I muted her and was angry with me. I was confused. My request for a weekend to recover wasn’t about her, yet she made it about her. My weekend to recover was in direct relation to bending over backwards to celebrate her. The absolute audacity that my feelings and need were being invalidated, again sent me on a tailspin into a seven-week depression. I was questioning why did I return home, how can all that I did in the past months not equate to my need for rest to be completely invalidated. Also, these old ways of being treated as the neglected child in this adult body was overwhelming. I was in a cycle of what am I doing with my life. Is my life worth living?
Fast-forward to April 17,2022, the beginning of the end. This was Easter Saturday. I got up and decided to decorate the dining room table for Easter. I bought some flowers and made breakfast for Carlene and I. After breakfast, we decided to “old talk”. At the beginning of our conversation, Carlene proceed to tell me that she wanted to kick me out and change the locks. She didn’t like my depressive mood last year when I was depressed for seven weeks. I got quite upset and went through a list of reason why I was depressed in the first place. I was completely confused because for years I’ve been sending articles, videos, and information about what is depression to help her to better understand what I was experiencing. All I remember her stating was “Well, that’s how I felt and I am being honest.” Once again, my feeling was invalidated and I was emotionally destroyed hearing how she felt and continued sitting and engaging in conversation for another five hours. After the conversation, I went to my room and cried so intensely and deep. While I was crying, Carlene asked me to go to the store before it closed. It was a full moon, and I remember sitting in the misty night in High Park looking at the moon begging for understanding of why my feelings are constantly neglected and invalidated. It is the most horrid feeling, especially from someone who is supposedly my mom. I slipped into another deep depression for two weeks. I didn’t leave my room other than to get food and go to the bathroom. I started to have a collection of garbage from the take out containers. I missed a few classes of my psychotherapy school too.
Every year at the end of the school year, my school goes to something called residential. We go four hours north of Toronto and spend a week doing intense therapy. At this point, we haven’t had much contact or conversation since April 17th. Two days before I left for residential, Carlene burst into my room. She started swearing belligerently yelling at me asking me where is her cordless phone. The cordless phone for her landline that is located in her room, that I rarely use as I have my own cell phone. However, the landline is connected to the door in the lobby to allow for food delivers to enter the building. Carlene proceeded to yell at me, and in my haze and utter confusion, I passed my cell phone because I had zero clue what she was talking about. As she continued to yell at me, I just put my head down, shut out the yelling, and continued to watch my iPad. Her final words as she looked at my stockpile of garbage “You better clean up you room.” Which is laughable to me because I pride myself in keeping my living space clean and with an impeccable nose for details and aesthetics. When I am not living that way, something is wrong. Moments later, she called someone and I could hear the person advising her to call the cordless phone to find it, and sure enough, she found it in her room where she last left it.
I sent a very stern e-mail to directed to Carlene and also included my Dad. This e-mail outlined the constant regular emotional abuse that has been going on for years and more so in the last year I’ve been home.
You can also read the compilation of insults and put downs that I’ve been recording for only the last two years. You can only imagine the stonewalling, ignoring, and other toxic behaviors years’ prior for my entire life.
From this point after being told that Carlene wanted to kick me out due to my depression, that she was the main cause of through invalidating me then her belligerently swearing and yelling for her cordless phone that she blamed that I moved. I went to my residential shaking. My body was shaking for four days. At my school residential it was addition there was a traumazing experience due to racism and intensely feeling so many emotions to be able to understand. I came back expecting that the door locks would be changed and I would have to find a new place to live. Luckily the key worked and I stayed in my room.
I made a stern decision that this romantized relationships with Carlene will never be. I realized she is totally consumed by her body aches and pain, is having challenges with getting older, and doesn’t see who I am at all. I decided that I will start to separate my life from hers. I decided that I will not include her in my life. I will be respectful and always say good morning, however, I stopped caring about her. I disconnected our relations through all social media. She does not get access to my life, if she cannot give me basic respect. I wrote an email about paying rent monthly, and how cleaning would be part of my rental payment, taking out the garbage, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning the kitchen from top to bottom, sweeping, mopping, dusting the living room, and doing both of our laundry, would cost a certain amount if she hired a cleaner. And I took that amount off what I would pay for rent. I know my value and worth. I value my time, and regardless if I am her daughter, I am not a maid and will not be treated as such.
As a point of reference, Carlene hosted the son of a family friend. He lived with her for six months and charged him a certain amount. Carlene expected me to pay the same amount and do the all the house work. He did not need to clean, she would to the cleaning. For me that was a fair deal for my time of cleaning to be compensated to be taken off my rent.
Over time, I barely spoke or seen Carlene. A few times she asked for my help to put on jewelry. We were invited to go to a wedding, and immediately I declined attending because of her blatant disrespect and disregard for me as a human being. Then, there was a moment in the fall when I was in the bathroom and can overhear her conversation about why having a son is better than having a daughter and how she wishes she had a son instead. Hearing that just broke me, completely broke me. I left a sobbing message to one of my besties in Korea about hearing that and how I just don’t know what else to do to prove I am worthy of being loved. I wrote my Dad and e-mail about what I overheard to document how I was feeling because I was completely distraught. And continued to disconnect my life from hers and bask in the flourish of my business growing landing corporate clients and building a beautiful new business.
You can read my e-mail here:
The Deep Pain – “You Should Have Been a Boy!”
There is an important part of the history of my upbringing that is necessary to know before moving forward. When Carlene was coming to Canada to marry my Dad, she arrived pregnant. Carlene was always a large set woman and didn’t know she was carry a child of a man she was having an affair with in Guyana. She gave birth to a baby boy in 1974. All I know is that he was given up for adoption. I have lived in the shadow of this baby boy. I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to have to give up a baby for adoption and all the trauma associated with it. This topic is quite a big secret with my parents. No one talked about it. What a painful experience for both my Dad and Carlene.
There is a failed misunderstanding that by keeping this a secret and not talking about it, indirectly the pain of that experience became the root of so much emotional pain for me growing up. I was constantly told that I was adopted or that I should have been a boy. That my name should have been ‘Steven Andrew’. The way this affected me is for part of my life I became a tomboy to find some kind of acceptance for who I am, but the constant belittling that who I am is not wanted has had a very damaging effect of my psyche. This reminder was brought up during Carlene’s 70th online tea party when one of her friends went into a rant about how Carlene always wanted a boy and how I should have been a boy. I just remember sitting there just feeling so defeated and so underappreciated for just being me. I was never enough. I was never wanted. It literally breaks my heart. It’s such a heart wrenching feeling to try and be so much for Carlene and still it’s not enough.
The Day Everything Changed
The day when everything changed was January 26th, 2023. As I continued to disconnect from Carlene, things started to become petty. As I continued to keep my end of the deal by purchasing laundry detergent, softener, and bleach as well as all the cleaning supplies to keep the apartment clean, the toilet paper stock started to dwindle. I refused to replace the toilet paper as I felt that that was a minimal thing to pay for on her end, on top of paying rent, cleaning the apartment, and doing her laundry. When the toilet paper was all done and not replaced, I made a decision that I will no longer do her laundry and sent her a message on WhatsApp. Carlene proceed to send me a message on the group chat including my Dad saying that my rent is increasing by $100. I stated I will not pay that and also asked why she sent the message including my Dad when he had nothing to do with our arrangement. She replied with a nasty message that I refused to read and I exited and deleted the chat group.
An hour later, I decided to put up some art work in my room. I started to hammer on our connecting wall. She knocked on my door asking what all the noise is about. I cracked opened my door and I stated that I was putting up some artwork. She proceeds to angrily tell me that I when I move out I need to replace all the holes in the wall and repaint the room. I rolled my eyes and slammed the door in her face. She attempted to opened my door and proceeded to push her way into my room but my body only allowed for a crack enough for her to reach through. At the time I had long beautiful purple dreadlocks. She grabbed my hair and yanked it as hard as she could. I repeatedly said “Let go of my hair! Let go of my hair!”. When I had no choice but to open my door completely she spat in my face and said “You fucking nigger bitch!” a few times. I kept saying back and forth “Let go of my hair!” and “Stop calling me that”. She attempted to hit or smack me and I put my arm up in defense and she proceed to bite my left arm. With terror in her eyes she said “I’ve been waiting for this! I’ve been waiting to fight you!”.
Let’s pause for a moment here. Carlene was waiting to fight me? Why? I have completely disconnected my life from hers. I gave her zero reason to need or want to fight me. I did my own thing. I communicated when necessary. I minded my own business. Why in the world would Carlene want to fight me? We will get in to the experience of having an abusive narcissistic mother later on in this story.
As the kerfuffle continued she fell backward in the hallway still holding on to my hair for dear life. As I fell on top of Carlene, I told her that she needs to come down. I pinned her down with my arm and my legs and I said we will stay her until she calms down and let go of my hair. When she was trapped from doing anything else and she finally let go of my hair, she proceeded to call me a “presumptuous nigger” over and over. I put my hand over her mouth and yelled “Stop call me that! I am not that! Stop call me that!”. You do not realize how powerful I am!” Then she bit my hand. I proceeded to get up and go to my room. I went into my room for 15 seconds, and then went out and offered my hand to help Carlene up. She asked what I was doing and I said I am offering to help her up and she said she didn’t need my help. I started to share all the ways I’ve been helping and supporting her and she yelled back “Who asked you? I didn’t ask you for your help!” I just kept saying “Who hurt you this bad to treat me this way? Who?”. Then she yelled “ I want you out of this house tonight!” and I said “I am paying rent I am not going anywhere.” And went to my room.
I went to my room and overheard her call the police. I overheard her lie to the police by saying “My daughter is abusing me.” I messaged my school support chat group for support and advice. The police arrived and knocked on my bedroom door.
If you would like to hear the recording of the conversation with the police you can hear it here:
The two officers were calm and kind to me. They were not sure what to do because I said I pay rent, so they will need to call their supervisor. The supervisor arrived and after more deliberation with Carlene, they came to my door and stated I was under arrest for assault. By this time my Dad arrived and stayed by my side. I was read my rights and packed a bag and was escorted out of the apartment. I didn’t argue, I didn’t fight. I just did what I was told. It still blows my mind that Carlene started the fight with me abused me physically and emotionally and I was the one arrested and charged with assault.
When I got downstairs in the front of the building with my Dad and the cops finished up the paper work as I sat on the bench. By this time my best friend Diana pulled up and opened her arms. I completely broke down hysterically in a full body cry. I have never cried liked that before. Diana and my Dad talked to the police while I sat in shock. Diana had to pick up her kids and after I got the paper work from the cops. I walked to my Dad’s car and we sat there together crying. I have never seen my Dad cry that hard before. We went to his house to plan next steps.
For the past six months I have lived in eight different places from friend’s house, Vipassana Meditation center, many Airbnbs, residential for school, and now an Airbnb that feels like a home for me. I’ve spent thousands for a lawyer to get the charges dropped because I cannot be a psychotherapist with a criminal record. I went back to the apartment to pick up some more clothes escorted by the police. That experience was re-traumatizing. What made it worse is the smug attitude of Carlene happy that I am out of the apartment. It’s sad. I am now grieving the loss of my living arrangements and also the loss of any relationship with Carlene ever again. The Universe/God/ whatever you prefer to call it made this happen so I never forget or go back to that apartment to live again. I am a beautifully soulful powerful being. My future has amazing beautiful rich experiences ahead. Carlene is alone. She will get older and she will die alone.
I’ve learnt so much from this experience and I have so much healing in the time ahead.
I’ve learnt that…
Carlene has emotionally, physically, mentally abused me for my entire life and covered it up with this perception that she was a good mother.
Carlene is a very hurt, damaged, and unhealed person who refused to look at herself and take responsibility for herself beyond her physiological needs.
If you don’t take a look of your hurts it manifests into pain and physical illnesses like diabetes, Paget disease, cancer, high blood pressure to name a few.
I’ve been in an emotionally abusive, controlling, manipulative relationship for my entire life.
I’ve been neglected and that created the abandonment attachment style I once had.
Carlene was constantly jealous and envious of me.
Carlene blatantly disrespected me. Through her control and manipulation, I learnt that I was never good enough or loveable and my feelings were invalid and didn’t matter. I do not feel that way anymore.
Due to learning this disrespect and invalidation from Carlene all my relationships platonic and romantic mirror my relationship with Carlene.
Carlene is a hurt, damaged, angry, mean individual who has taken pride for being that way.
It was not ok when she would put her friends’ children’s needs above mine. This is referring to putting a family friend, son’s needs above me.
My Rising Phoenix Moment
The New Life
As absolutely horrible this entire experience has been the love and support that I received during the last few years and the day of and after has been unfounded. I have the most supportive, “I’ve got your back” friends that let me live with them, took care of me, listened to me and did the best they could even if they lived all the way in Korea. It really showed me who really is there for me and loves me for exactly who I am. Those who can see my soul. I have felt so cradled by love and support from my Dad, Diana, Suzanna, Kat, Chris, Sara, and Dom. My school’s Director, the manager and faculty have been extremely supportive and regularly check up on me. Even the police at the station when I was getting my fingerprinting were so kind and surprisingly made the experience pleasant with laughter and jokes.
At school, we’ve learnt that keeping secrets is a heavy burden to carry. That’s why I feel confident to share my story because I know my role in the dynamics of what happened. I have no shame or guilt because I didn’t do anything with malice or ill intent. Carlene vindictively plotted her revenge carrying years of resentment. I am no longer being her narcissistic supply, emotional dumping ground, or punching bag. Be warned, a covert narcissist needs a new supply since I am not there to provide it.
I am telling my story in hopes that maybe there is someone who can relate. Maybe someone out there that’s a daughter of a Caribbean mother who has also sustained an incredible amount of disrespect, abuse, and violence and is building a new life for herself, like me.
I have no doubt that I will rise like a phoenix from the entire experience into the spiritual connected, powerful, beautiful soul that I am. Now, that I am healing and building my new self-esteem and confidence all good and glorious things will enter my life. I will rise, thrive, and breakthrough a new way of being. I already am.
Thank you for reading my story.