My former beauty queen mom became obsessed with my looks after my father left us. She blamed me for everything, but she finally realized something years later.
Ever since I can remember, my mom, Vera, was obsessed with her looks. She had won several beauty pageants in the past, and her fitness habits never dwindled. Most moms take a break from harsh exercising after giving birth, but my mother trained even harder.
I also remember my father complaining about everything around the house, and shortly afterward, he left forever. “Roger, you can’t leave me! We’re a family,” my mother yelled at him.
My mother would blame me after my father left and wanted me to get surgery. | Source: Shutterstock
“I’m sorry, Vera. I can’t take this anymore. This is not what I wanted in life,” I heard my dad, and that was the last time I saw him.
“Mom, is dad coming back?” I asked her a few days later when she was finally done crying and making me breakfast.
“Paige, I’m afraid not. Your father has left us. I have no idea why. He will never find a prettier woman than me,” my mom answered. I was just 10 years old at the time and tired of my mother’s obsession with beauty.
I asked my mother about my father. | Source: Pexels
“Maybe he was not happy here,” I commented while eating my toast and eggs. My mother seemed to think about my words for a second and looked at me intensely.
“You’re probably right, honey,” she finally said with a strange look on her face. Later that day, I heard her talking on the phone with someone. I hoped it might be my father, and she was convincing him to come back.
But what I heard changed the course of my life for a long time. “Roger didn’t give me a straight answer. But I figured it out after much thinking. I think he left us because Paige is not that pretty,” my mom said on the phone.
I heard a conversation mother had with someone on the phone. | Source: Pexels
I continued listening to her conversation. “Yes, that has to be it. Paige inherited too much from him and not enough from me. Roger loved beautiful women above anything else. What am I going to do now? What if Paige ends up alone when she grows up?”
In retrospect, my mother’s words sounded crazy. But they really did a number on me when I was a child. I thoroughly started to believe that my father left us because I wasn’t pretty. Since then, my life became all about being beautiful.
I let my mother chose most of my clothes, and she showed me how to do my makeup, or at least what was allowed for a pre-teen girl. “Don’t worry about anything, Paige. When you’re older, we’ll get plastic surgery, and everything will be perfect,” my mother would often say.
I tried to fit into my mother's standard of beauty my entire life. | Source: Pexels
When I started high school, I hung out with girls who dressed like me and were obsessed with beauty. I wanted to try out for the local teen pageant, but Mom said I was too ugly for that yet. But things only turned worse after that.
“I think we might be able to get you plastic surgery now that you’re 16. Then you can compete in those pageants and be just like me,” my mother said one day.
“That sounds great, Mom,” I answered, resigned. She made an appointment with a doctor that week, and we went to see him.
We went to see a plastic surgeon. | Source: Pexels
“Hello, ladies. I’m Dr. Clarke. What can I do for you?” the doctor asked us. My mother immediately started giving him a list of procedures she wanted to be done on my face. I didn’t understand what most of them were, but that didn’t matter to her.
“Honestly, Ms. Burton. Your daughter is too young for any of those procedures, and the truth is that I don’t see why she should get them at all,” Dr. Clarke finally said after listening to my mother for several minutes.
“Of course she needs them! Otherwise, she’ll be alone for the rest of her life,” Mom told him.
The doctor refused to approve my procedures and wanted me to see a therapist. | Source: Pexels
“That’s not a kind thing to say in front of your daughter. Paige, do you want to get these things done?” he asked me.
“Ugh…I guess,” I answered.
“Listen. I cannot approve any procedures on minors without an evaluation. I think Paige needs to see our therapist,” Dr. Clarke finally said.
Seeing a therapist was the best thing that ever happened to me. | Source: Pexels
“That’s fine. She’ll ace that test easily. Right, honey? You’ve always wanted to get surgery,” my mother said encouragingly. So, I started seeing a therapist who worked at the same clinic as the plastic surgeon, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
After a few months, I finally told my mom that I didn’t want those procedures. “Mom, surgery is not for me, at least, not right now. We’ll see in the future,” I told her after plucking up enough courage.
“Paige, but it’s what you’ve always wanted!” she exclaimed.
I started to dress the way I actually wanted to. | Source: Pexels
“No, Mom. Please respect my wishes,” I continued. I could tell I did not convince her, but she let it go for now. With the therapist's help, I finally understood that I was not responsible for my father leaving. I also saw how toxic my group of friends was.
I signed up for art classes and began choosing different clothes that I actually enjoyed wearing. Slowly, I started to enjoy life and not just coasting by waiting for my mother to make decisions. Sadly, she was not happy with my change.
“You can’t go out without makeup! It’s your birthday! What will people say?” she told me one day.
I felt prettier now, but my mother still didn't understand. | Source: Pexels
“Mom, my skin is healthier now without it. And I’ve finally started to accept myself. I don’t want to dress like a preppy girl, and I don’t want to do my makeup all the time. This is who I am, and I am pretty!” I replied.
“I still think you should wear something nicer and maybe put on some BB cream,” she continued. I sighed and turned to leave for school. “Well, at least remember that we’re cutting your birthday tonight. It’ll be just us girls.”
“Alright, Mom,” I said.
My crush, Callum, approached me and we started talking. | Source: Pexels
Later that day, I was standing by my locker picking up my things and getting ready to leave when someone tapped my shoulder. I turned around to see Callum, one of the most handsome boys in school. “Hey, Paige,” he said.
“Oh hey, Callum. What’s up?” I said, hoping he wouldn’t notice how nervous I was.
“Nothing much. Are you doing anything tonight?” he asked.
“Well, my mother made me a cake for my birthday, but it’s just a little thing. Why?” I answered and asked.
He asked me out. | Source: Pexels
“I didn’t know it was your birthday. Happy birthday! Do you think we could hang out after that? Maybe see a movie?” he continued.
“Thank you. A movie? Like a date? Is this a prank?” I questioned wearily.
“What? It’s not a prank! It’s just…you’re so pretty, and I’ve been dying to ask you out for a while. You look even better without so much makeup…I mean, you were always pretty…but…I…I’m ruining this now, right?” Callum replied.
My mother had a gift for me. | Source: Pexels
I couldn’t believe it. Callum had a crush on me, and he was nervous too. “No! You’re not ruining anything. You’re actually right. I feel so much better now, not obsessed with makeup and trying to be pretty. Also, I would love to see a movie with you tonight,” I said.
We exchanged phone numbers, and I went home. “Happy birthday, sweetie!” Mom said when she brought the cake over. She sang me the birthday song, and I blew the candles as customary.
“I also have a present for you,” she said and gave me an envelope. I opened it and discovered a special certificate for all the procedures she wanted me to get. “Now that you’re 18, that stupid doctor won’t be able to deny you anything.”
I told her that was not what I wanted. | Source: Pexels
“Mom, I don’t want to get surgery! I told you this morning!” I cried.
“You’re just saying that because that therapist is filling your head with silliness. You need these done, or you’ll be alone for the rest of your life,” she continued sternly.
“I DON’T NEED THIS! I’m beautiful just as I am! You’re the one that filled my head with awfulness all my life. You blamed me for my father leaving, and THAT WAS NOT MY FAULT!” I continued.
Callum showed up with flowers. | Source: Pexels
“What? I never blamed you,” my mother said guiltily.
“Yes, you did. I heard you on the phone. It was not my fault, and I’m beautiful without makeup or surgery. Let it go because this is not what I want,” I finished just as the door rang. I answered, and Callum was right there with a bouquet of gorgeous flowers.
“Hi, Paige. This is for you. Hello, Mrs. Burton. I’m Callum,” he greeted us. My mother was shocked to see a boy at our door because that never happened before.
I went on my date with Callum. | Source: Pexels
“Thank you, Callum. These are beautiful. Can you put them in a vase, Mom? We’re going to the movies. Don’t wait up,” I said and placed the flowers on the kitchen table. Mom still looked surprised when I left with Callum. But later that night, she changed her tune completely.
“I’m so sorry, Paige. That conversation you heard years ago was a huge mistake. I think it was my grief, but now I realized how much pressure I placed on you. Of course, it’s not your fault, and you’re my gorgeous daughter,” she told me when I arrived from my date with Callum.
“It’s ok, Mom. Will you go with me to therapy so that we can grow from this?” I asked her.
My mom and I made up and became closer than ever. | Source: Pexels
“Yes! Yes! I need to get over this obsession, or I’m going to lose the most important part of my life, you,” Mom answered.
“You’ll never lose me. I love you.”
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