Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Conflict of Mother's Day

Most of the time I HATE Mother's Day.

All of my friends are posting these glowing tributes to their amazing mothers.

I'm jealous.

They change their profiles to pictures of themselves with their mothers, or just pictures of good ol' Mom.

I never...

They speak of Mother's Day plans, and Mother's Day gifts....

I DO love my mother.
I love my mother the way every abused child loves the parent that abused them.
There is conflict.
The sadness overwhelms me.
I always wanted a good relationship with my mom.
At one point I thought I had a good relationship with her.
And then I started learning what healthy, good parent-child relationships looked like.
And all of the years came crashing back around me.
The abuse.
The control.
The manipulation.
The deception.
Because I was the child, and she was the mother, and I didn't know any better...
I thought that was how I was supposed to be parented.
And now I mourn.
I mourn for the relationship I thought I had.
I mourn for the mother she could never be to me.
I mourn for the mother I wish I had.
I mourn for the relationship my children cannot have with her.
I mourn that she is not healthy.
I mourn that her refusal to care for herself means that on her "bad" days she is nice, and on her "good" days, she is the same negative, sad person I remember.
I mourn that I will never have a chance to have a good relationship with my mother.

And yet.
These are things which cannot be spoken.
Obviously, in the eyes and minds of many, I must have done something terribly wrong for our relationship to be so broken.
When I DO say something, no one knows how to respond, so they don't...and conversation continues as if I said nothing.
When I DO say something, I get told I need to reconcile.  Which reconciliation requires the participation of two willing parties, who both acknowledge their own part in the problem.  And this will never happen.
When I DO say something, I get told to forgive her.  I have.  100-thousand times.
So, I get the message that no one wants to hear that a mother could hurt her children.  That my words and my memories are wrong, because no one saw the horror of how I lived.  That I am not supposed to tell, because to tell is to tear down the image of motherhood...the one she worked so hard to perpetuate, so that no one outside the family knew the truth.

More than 35 years since life descended into a hell no child should ever have to endure, people still cannot fathom why I hate a holiday that stirs up the painful memories.

And yet.
I have 6 amazing children.
And an absolutely wonderful husband.
They love me.
They heap me with praises, and flowers, and jewelry, and so much love.
They love to show me that they care...and they all do a great job of it.
And some of them need the reminder of a set-aside holiday.

So, while some of me is in conflict, some of me also is grateful for the love my husband and children show me on this holiday I hate.

1 comment:

dorothy miller said...

you are amazing my dear! ((HUGS)) to you on this day and as time continues to pass. I am sorry.....