About the Author

Tonya Ingram is a poet, Cincinnati native, Bronx-bred introvert, mental health advocate, kidney transplant hopeful, Lupus legend, cat auntie, and lover of Tom Hardy and The Office. Tonya currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you so much, it was food for my soul. I cannot express how this lift a burden from my soul. My mother has done so hurtful things towards me but I humble myself by reflecting on good things she has done to help me become strong, faithful and independent. I realized that I had to let go of all the hurt and walk in unconditional love. I had to peel off each layer of the onion and it made me cry. It was a healing and restoration process but now we have a healthier relationship. I thank God ,he help me to let go all the hurt and pain

    Thank you for sharing. .

  2. How I can relate to this, but with my father. Reading this brings tears to my eyes, but life can be like an onion one layer at a time one day at a time. Great read!

  3. What a touching story, all children need a mother’s love and nurturing. I admire Tonya for sharing her story and she has found strength in living her life.

  4. This story was so very heartfelt just like an onion, so many layers.
    Yes, it can sting like the juice of an onion. Thank you for your story

  5. Growing up, I had no voice… it was taken from me in a subtle way at the age of 8 years old… I was molested… I released it by telling my mother (who also had no voice-see the cycle?) but nothing was done… healing was not present in any type of way. Today, I still FIGHT to have a voice, let alone be/feel heard. I have made some progress (lots of writing lately) but a lot needs to be done personally. The cycle of being silenced runs deep in my family which is why my mom did not know how to handle the situation… living in a small town people talk… everybody knows everybody… it would have been a MESS… anyhoo. That’s ONE of the layers on my onion.

  6. As someone currently doing this work and having been through this process you expressed this experience so well. It such a hard and mind boggling experience to feel at your core you are loved but have to find the instances to support that theory. I too can’t recall the last time my mother has said I love you….I know she gives me birthday gifts, wants to know everything im doing, sometimes likes to see me…and I choose to believe that means something

  7. I had to peel back the layers of my mother to understand how we go to a place that I moved out at 16 to live with my best friend and her family, but i believe around the age of 45 or so I started that process and learning so much about her life that i had not known before. This does not give her a pass for be an alcoholic, but it does help me understand the why a little more. Her alcoholism was awful and came with a lot of trauma for me. Thank you for sharing these words.

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