But you know what? Even underneath ALL THIS CRAP, I loved my mother like no one else on Earth and I still do. I would never have admitted it in a million years. I remember being 13 years old and crying at school, in the corner, because I wanted to go home and be with my mummy and cuddle her. Like a little child. I knew/thought I knew that this wish was pointless and would never be fulfilled because she did not love me at all, that she loved nothing better than to reprimand me and hit me.
I felt like a dog: no matter how much you mistreat a dog, it will still come to you the moment you show it a smidgeon of kindness. I LIVED for any compliment she gave me, any moment when she might show me kindness (but not love because I had been told never to expect that), any positive act - a gift she had found in some random shop in town, when none of the other children received anything, being allowed to stay up ten minutes/half an hour later than the other kids, even being spoken to as if my opinion was worth something.
She could laugh at one of my jokes and I was in heaven for the rest of the day. I loved her so much but couldn't show it. I never expected her to love me back but hung on almost every word from her in the hope that she might like me.