My mother started leaving me out of family events, and if I did go to one, relatives made hateful comments to me about how mean I was to her. I was always confused. These people didn’t really know me. They knew her stories. In reality, I was extremely quiet, shy, scared of people, a hard worker and an avid reader. Oddly enough, those meek wallflower tendencies are not uncommon in kids who have been devalued and emotionally abused. I was an extreme goody-two-shoes even among my Christian friends, so to have people blast me for being such a horrible person was a shock. And it let me know that my mother was more of a bully, a gossip, and an enemy than a parent. She was competing with me.