Today is Mother’s Day in the US. I’m sat by myself. One kid is in Georgia. One is in North Carolina and one is in bed. ‘im indoors is across state prepping our other house for sale and I’m on the sofa with two fat cats, a farting beagle and a 10lb chupacapra who is hogging the blanket and snoring.
I don’t know how she does it. I swear she’s got hamster DNA. She burrows down next to my bum (pretty risky to be honest, I ate a whole thing of broccoli with hot sauce last night and shi.. stuffs about to get real) She never learns. You can tell she’s my dog!
Anyway furbags aside, I’m on my own. It’s cold and gloomy and the rain is boinging off the roof past the window behind my head. I’m feeling.. sad doesn’t cover it. I’m very tearful, it’s a strange day. I’ve been thinking about my mum more and more lately. We didn’t have the greatest relationship, in fact it was pretty toxic. She didn’t like me, she told me to my face as a child many times that she didn’t love me and never would. She was always disparaging and yet, I tried constantly to please her. I kept her as out of our lives as possible after a remark about how my children should have been cot deaths (I kid you not) and how she wouldn’t cry if they were in an accident.
I wasn’t exposing them to the self doubt and worthlessness I felt. I’ve grown up fine. I don’t have any resentment, just pity for what we both missed out on. I’m envious of others relationships with their mothers and grateful for the relationship I have with my kids. I may not have got everything right – no parent does but I did my best and I’m okay with that.
My mum died in 2016. I was sad at the time and felt a lot of grief at what I missed out on and glossed over a lot of the ugliness. I still do. I don’t need to dwell on stuff I can’t change. I’ve learned that’s a futile waste of time.
I’ve come to realise my mum was a tormented person. She was a Jekyll and Hyde character just like her father before her. He was a bully and she learned to be the same and like him, chose one kid as the victim and favoured the others. It meant her and her brothers were divided just as me and my siblings were. We’ll never be close and honestly, they still see me as “less”. It’s conditioned into them.
My mum lacked the courage to look into herself. I think she had a personality disorder and could probably have been helped but would never admit to any ‘weakness’. She was a strong woman, she was clever and funny and hard working. I think she felt inferior to others so strove to NEVER let anyone see her as such and in the process, never let anyone see the real her.
I think she was afraid I could. She hated being shown any compassion. Something I’ve only just figured out after years of reviewing my memories and her reactions. I think she loved me but didn’t know how to show it and because she couldn’t admit she was wrong – and would NEVER apologise for anything.. I think she suffered. I’m sure she felt guilt, I think that made her react even more badly each time, injuring herself in the process even more than me.
In death I can do what I never could in life. I can forgive and give her the pity she would never accept. I can hurt for the pain she caused herself and I can regret the lost time knowing each other. I can learn and hopefully any of you with a less than stellar relationship with parents or kids can too.
Life and people are never simple. We all make mistakes. We can’t take back pain that we cause but we can try to rebuild. Scars exist but we can fill them with gold. They’re still there. They’re still visible but the chance exists for all of us to make a thing of beauty from that which is broken.
Happy Mothers Day Mummy. I love and miss you.