Estranged on Mother’s Day

A Mother’s Love
I envy people who have close and loving relationships with their mothers.
I even envy people who are bereaved and mourning the loss of the mum they loved and were loved by.
They have known maternal love.
I didn’t. I don’t.

My mum and I are estranged.
I grieve for her, yet she is alive,
She is earthly but out of reach.
She lives around the corner, yet I haven’t seen her for almost two years.

My mum loved me once, but it was a jealous and fickle love.
It required me to be the humble servant; obedient, compliant.
Never questioning her actions.
Constantly judged for being different to her.

I grew up in a permanent state of afraid, a bystander to her destructive yet intoxicating relationship with my dad.
I looked at my parents and knew exactly who I didn’t want to be.
What was worse? The physical beatings or the spiteful name calling?
The love withheld or the shame and self loathing she caused me to feel about my teenage body, my sexual feelings?

My adolescence was overshadowed by the weight of responsibility for her and my brothers.
I was an expert in picking up the pieces.
No matter how much they took advantage of me, I loved them completely.
I thought they loved me too.

But I made a terrible mistake apparently, because I wouldn’t accept my Lot.
I wouldn’t be quiet.
I wanted to know who I am, I needed to understand myself.
I wanted to be a better version of me and so I expected them to be better version of themselves.

‘Don’t punish your wife for your affairs’
‘Don’t abandon your children, don’t take their home’
‘Be a Dad to your long lost daughter’
‘Stop bullying your wife’
‘Don’t take money from Mum that she hasn’t got’

It turned out they didn’t like being asked to look in the mirror.
It turned out that my well intentioned pleading to be better than, more than…just made them resent me.
How crushing it was to watch them repeat the mistakes of our parents, and worse.

So I went on my own journey…
I discovered my true self.
I live well with my mental health issues,
I live well without alcohol and without the false intimacy it brings.
I embrace my identity as an Autistic person.
I do a job that I love for little money because it means I can help others like me.
I have the most wonderful husband and two uniquely gorgeous, special sons who love and accept me for ME.

It turns out I am an absolute Rockstar of a Mum!!!

But all this came at a price.
I had to estrange from my Mum.
She was hurting me so much, so badly, it made my head want to explode.
She made me want to hurt myself.
She lied to me,
She lied about me, again and again.

I didn’t want to say goodbye.
I just wanted her to STOP. To LISTEN. To SEE all the sadness and fear she’d caused me.
I wanted her to CHANGE. To say SORRY. To be a Mum. To be my friend.
I loved her so very much.
I wanted her to love me back so that I could stop feeling angry at her, so I could stop fearing her next rejection.
I wanted her to be a Nanny to my boys.

But she refused to talk.
She chose to punish me instead.
She built a wall of silence and used my brothers as bricks and mortar.
She concocted elaborate lies about me to drive a wedge because me, my siblings, my grandparents.
What a shock it was to realise how fragile and shallow our relationships were, how little I was valued by my birth family.
How easy it was for them to discard me once I stopped playing the role of caretaker.

It’s been almost two years that we’ve been apart.
She has reached out once.
A message to declare her love and share confusion about why we are in this ‘situation’.
That message set me back weeks.
I cried an ocean.
How can she not understand?
How can she not apologise?
She birthed me and yet I am invisible to her, my needs, my truth, just a fantasy in her mind.

But here I am.
Against all the odds.
A much loved Mummy to my children, my World.
My children are cherished, respected and nurtured.
My children have a devoted Daddy; a playmate, a provider, their rock.
My children are safe.
My children are involved in decisions that affect them.
My children laugh a LOT.
My children are loved UNCONDITIONALLY.
My children are their own people. They are not my possessions.
My children will follow their hopes and dreams because we will show them how.

You don’t need a Mother’s love to be a good Mother.
But I’ll always miss not having a Mother’s love.

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