After 40 Years, I Realized My Mother Lied:

Rica Ramos-Keenum
3 min readApr 18, 2021

Now I Teach Women to Rewrite The Narrative and Heal The Mother Wound

Photo by Aditya Saxena on Unsplash

I was ten years old, sitting at the table with my math homework, numbers swirling in my mind, making me dizzy. Mom stood behind me, watching me grip my pencil. It hovered over the page and I couldn’t make it move.

My grandma said math made her brain freeze, and I thought we were alike in this way. But my mother had a mind like a calculator and she was impatient, shifting from foot to foot.

The numbers were glaring at me, and I couldn’t make sense of the math. Mom slammed her hand down on the table and leaned in to yell in my ear. I was stupid, so stupid.

Her voice shot into the air like an arrow from a bow. “Stupid. Stupid.”

It traveled through me and then through time, where it would swim in my ears for three decades, pound in my head like rain on a lake. Her words became the lake, and that is how a voice becomes a truth — even when it’s a lie.

Rewriting the Narrative to Heal The Mother Wound

The above is an excerpt from my second memoir. It’s one of the many wounds that bled well into my adulthood. I can’t say when the shift took place in my thinking, when I finally…



Rica Ramos-Keenum

Journalist, yoga enthusiast, author of Petals of Rain and Nobody's Daughter: A Memoir of Healing The Mother Wound. Connect at