I sit in bed writing this with sleepy eyes, sipping coffee I screwed up and made too weak. I’m particularly tired because I’ve been up for hours after my sleep was unexpectedly interrupted.
My sleep is frequently interrupted by an 80lb German Shepard who likes to be let out for a pee in the middle of the night. Either Josh or myself groggily taking the brief trip to let her out the back door, then stumbling back into bed moments later, easily drifting off to dreamland once again. So clearly that wasn’t the “unexpected” part. That came in the form of a Facebook message. A message I had no business looking at half asleep on a routine 4am let the dog out and don’t let yourself fully wake up event.
Oh mom ~ you never fail to get in a good jab or two, well done. After the last message she sent, which in all fairness I provoked by poking the bear with my scandalous tale of “A Mother’s Love” story at this time last year, one would think I would have her blocked, but I can’t seem to do it. Here Josh received one introductory message from her where she selflessly attempted to warn him of his impending doom trusting in a vixen like me and it instantly landed her on his blocked list. Somehow though It would seem the thickheaded, pathetic part in me still wants to make myself available for the day she has the maternal awakening and wants to make right all the wrong <<< Don’t worry folks, not really over here holding my breath.
Her last message that came months after that post, perhaps she had only just discovered my therapeutic blogging activity, admonished me for failing to accept my part of the blame. I had apparently forgotten to tell all those who took the time to read it that I arrived late for dinner, which was the reason why she’d have to take a cab or get a ride from my boyfriend. BUT WAIT, for arriving late to dinner was not the worst of my wrongs…The biggest atrocity I committed was the fact that I did not properly appreciate the sacrifice she made by disappearing with for days and having LOTS of sex with the man 17 year old me loved, for she did it simply to show me he could not be trusted. Don’t worry mom, mission accomplished ….You most certainly taught me not to trust. Anyone.
She had begun her self righteous, dripping with justification, finger pointing, self pitying note to me by accusing me of seeking attention. She’s not entirely wrong, just wrong about who I seek the attention from.
I can put whatever good intention, healing path, see the light bullshit spin on every story I scribble into life on a page, but she was not wrong that my motives weren’t pure, they weren’t, nor are they now.
They are the bad motives of a wounded feral animal, a motherless child.
This is 4 year old stuttering, standing in a trailer park, pulling my eyelashes out, me in her face. This is confused 11 year old me trying to get my head around my mothers reappearance into my neighborhood with a 4 year old child by her side who is apparently my sister. A return she made not to come back for me, but to get her other child away from the man who was the monster in all my nightmares for years and years to come. This is 13, 14, and 15 year old me she fed cocaine, weed, acid, and southern comfort to, shouting “look at me” in her face.
I do want attention- hers! I want her to see my words, and read them uninterrupted. I want her to see this through an outsiders eyes, and maybe just for one fucking second she might think to herself “oh what did I do to my baby, I’m so sorry”
And that’s where she got me with this last message. It began “Times change. We begin to realize the mistakes we made.” Of course my heart swelled, my semi conscious state snapped fully awake with the thought, “this is it”. Oh this was something alright, keep reading Dee Dee. She continued…yes, she continued to list MY mistakes is what she did. Mistakes she for the life of her couldn’t seem to understand how I had been forgiven for. Like marrying a man who sexually abused my daughter.
I want to respond with anger, I want to reach across time and space and wring her neck for the things that sentence just made me feel. The anger is what I summon to protect me from the pain that one line inflicts.
Does she or anyone else think I haven’t contemplated this myself? Does she think the fact that history has repeated itself in so many ways has been lost on me? That I too have played my part in the passing down of generational traumas in more ways than one…
Let me be clear, I hide nothing. I own all my sins. And any I glide gently past, even when it feels pertinent to the current content is for one reason and one reason only…Appropriateness to my children’s comfortability, but make no mistake, they are and will always be free to share whatever stories are theirs to tell.
I breathe. I try to stop shaking. I continue to read. The list of my many shortcomings continues until she gets to her “one” mistake. Naming the wrong father, the mistake she believes she remains not forgiven for.
I almost laugh out loud. Oh mom, the irony of this statement, if only you knew.
There is nothing to forgive. When I learned of that, I felt not a single ounce of anger. Amongst the long laundry list of childhood scars I directly attribute to her neglect, rejection, and overall shitty decisions, this is truly, truly not one.
Who am I to judge a teenage girl trying to navigate a difficult situation. I see her. I understand her. Mostly I relate to her.
When I think of her like this the pain dulls. It feels less personal. I take it further as I acknowledge that I’ve been on her side of the fence. I’ve been the emotionally immature parent, with no coping skills, throwing temper tantrums, and aghast that “they”, these beautiful little souls I created, did not understand nor appropriately appreciate the sacrifices I had made or the unfairness I’d been subjected to. My own children have had to bear the burden of a parent who didn’t know how to properly function in a world that overwhelmed them.
I never meant to damage anyone in my path anymore than a storm moving though is doing anything other than being a storm, but thankfully came the day I saw the damage.
It is not her mistakes I can’t forgive, it is her inability to see me. To see the damage. I feel sorry for her, I truly do. Why some days I’m feeling so damn magnanimous that I am overflowing with sympathy for her poor damaged psyche. The emotional, and perhaps physical traumas she must have endured to create such an impervious narcissistic exterior, but I think as I’ve clearly established in this Mother’s Day purge, I’m no saint, and I will continue to protect my peace at all cost.
So there you have it, on this rainy, windy weekend in May where everyone is joyfully celebrating mothers past and present, a weekend where a mother’s lifetime of human flaws are overshadowed by a unique pureness at the very core of their mother’s love, this is my offering to the ones like me.
We are not orphans, we are the rejected. The ones who can gratefully acknowledge all the “like a mother’s love” that saved them through the years. The ones that can find their Mother’s Day joy in being celebrated by the ones who gave them the sacred title of Mother. The ones who push down the thought that on occasion creeps to the surface….The thought, “what is so wrong with me that the woman whose body carried me and brought me into this world, gave me this gift of life, doesn’t feel the invisible tether of a mother to her child?”. We push that thought back down to the dark depth it came from. The place inside us where no matter how much grace we have, the light just doesn’t reach.
Today I feel like honoring that little dark space. It’s part of me, and I accept it. It’s not a betrayal to all that’s good. It just is. And now I need to go make some stronger coffee.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!