Okay, so I was scared to go back and re-read the articles I wrote about my relationship with my mom. I thought for sure I would find horrific complaints and degrading, abusive language. I thought perhaps I had gone a little blank while writing and reverted to my teenage notions of blaming and hurling insults. I looked and looked. I re-read the three that I thought could have upset her the most and what I discovered was strange. There were no reckless accusations, no malice. In all of them I say emphatically that I love her and forgive her, ultimately… There is one article in which I was upset from a visit and talk about not liking her physical touch and I can imagine, as a mother myself, that would be particularly hard to hear. However, outside of that, I feel they are extremely diplomatic. I am not talking about her so much as I am about my reactions to my childhood and not having the coping skills and awareness I do now. I talk about how my overwhelming feelings of “not enoughness” led me to numbing through drinking, drug use and abusive relationships, but I take responsibility for myself in the end of each of the articles. My mother was merely a catalyst for growth and change in the end and I see it as a good thing now.
I wish she could read the deeper meaning of my posts. My dad texted me saying he read one that she forwarded to him and he thought it was “very honest” and that I should keep writing. I want to point out that I do not always paint my father in the best light. I highlight his vices and mention that they have impacted my development as well. Yet, he has been able to see that honesty, and my writing my perspective, does not change his willingness to support me. I am grateful to have him and his love in my life. I do not know that I would have survived without it. From about 14-24 she and I did not speak. We only argued when we did talk. I was furious with her and how she treated me. I hated her. I hated that she rejected who I was and emotionally abandoned me when I needed her. I am trying not to be angry now. I am letting it go as Ram Dass would say. Even though she has abandoned me all over again. At 38 years old. Instead of working through the pain of the past, or even the discomfort of the present, she would rather dismiss her child altogether. I understand she must be in a world of pain to do that to her child. More pain than me. So much pain, that she cannot look at or even imagine talking about. I will try to let her go. There was a time, I would have apologized profusely and forced my way back in. I would have thought I was wretched and been bad again. But this time I will not do these things. This time I will just see that sometimes by being me, wholly, who I believe the Universe intends me to be, that some people will not be able to remain in my life. Some of those people will be family, most will not. It is a sad story I think, but it is not the one I want to tell. I would rather tell the happy story of the woman who became herself, despite all the roadblocks along the way. Despite all the world that told her to be quiet, do not stand out, do not be honest, she looked within and decided that no, she was perfect just as she was made. She would dance, she would make art, she would go to all the places and meet all the people, and she would meet her soul family. That is the better story. The more helpful story.
You see, I am a lot like her in so many ways. I am extremely sensitive emotionally and physically. Small outbursts from others, or even loud people wear on me after a short amount of time. So recently, when she said she did not think she wanted to be in my life anymore, I experienced some grief and loss. In one of my articles about her, I say she is my best friend and I love how consistent she has been since I got sober. But that balance has shifted for now. Perhaps to make room for something new.
Recently I have been interacting more on social media with strangers. Just saying, “yes, that is me too,” when they post something brave about motherhood or traveling or any other brave subject. And you know what, I have gotten some replies. I have started to put out my feelers and have begun to connect in this small way. I have made little friends recently. I hope to someday develop that into big friends, but it is only the beginning. Recently I have started to be happier about who I am and where I am going. I do not know if it is connected, but I have also been able to say no to some destructive food habits lately. I have turned away from some of my favorite processed foods in lieu of more nourishing options, even when going out to eat. I am becoming someone I do not recognize, in a good way. I am happy to report that I must ultimately have some kind of faith in Something Greater Than Myself because despite recent events, I am okay. Not as okay as I want to be, but more okay than I ever knew how to be before stepping into myself and being honest about that.
I hope that whatever you are going through, you too, can step into the light, be honest about your own unique beauty and gifts. I hope you keep giving to the world because I believe you have a lot to give. If you are here, then there is work yet to do. There is more to be revealed, and my, what a strange time and place to be present on the Earth. Keep shining, keep living, and keep loving. Amen