Welcome to Writer's Workshop Wednesday! This is my way of paying it forward to all the people out there who want to start writing, but don't have their own blogs yet, or who are established writers that are looking to appeal to a different audience. I have also opened this up to those who would like to post anonymously about topics that are too difficult to write about publicly. Each week, I will host one or two posts by different writers.
I hope that you enjoy this series, I hope you find some new writers to follow, I hope this helps them out and I hope we can all learn something from them.
This piece was submitted anonymously, and is yet another story from a writer who has a rocky relationship with her mother.
With love and respect, her story.
I don’t know what it is about my mother. But her and I, well we just don’t get along. Or maybe, I should say that the moment she comes around me now – even though I am an adult, I sort of shut down and return to my desolate adolescent shell and feel full of anger, resentment and frustration. I am demoted to the status of a pouty teenager, and feel completely ugly inside.
The thing is, I don’t really like my mom. Yes, I love her (at least I think I do). But I don’t like her. I never have, and I have never really gotten the impression that she likes me either. When I was younger, I was always certain that she loved my brother more – and I never knew how to deal with her angry outbursts, her stomping around the house, her guilt mongering, her criticism of me, her unhappiness, or the generalized feeling of resent that I felt she always had toward me.
Unfortunately, I cannot come up with anything specific as to why (or to justify why) I don’t like my mother because I have completely disconnected from any part of my childhood that involves her. Outwardly, my childhood was just another picture perfect snapshot of life in middle class America. There was no abuse, no drugs – no neglect of any kind that would raise the eyebrows of neighbors. In fact, the only thing that indicates I was different from the kids in my subdivision is the residue of negative emotions that still exist in my heart when it comes to my mother and me.
I do remember a story, and I cannot say for sure where I heard it first – that revolved around my birth. Apparently, my mother while pregnant with me was exposed to the German measles, and she didn’t really want me because she was worried I would be defective. My dad would hear nothing of it – and so, here I am.
It’s an awful thing to admit that you don’t like your mother. It’s not something that you can just say to anyone without being subjected to a judgmental wrath. Only awful people don’t like their mom, right? It’s also an awful feeling to constantly have to pretend that you like your mom when she is around, and to sit quietly wondering how in the world she can be around me without noticing that all my walls are up. Truth is, its best that her narcissism doesn’t allow her to ‘see’ what I feel, because I have no intentions of hurting her now.
The horrible thing however, is that here I am raising daughters of my own. I always imagined that I would have sons – that no God in this forgiving world would give me daughters knowing that I wasn’t equipped with the emotional foundation to raise them with the support they needed. How could I, when I didn’t have that for myself?
Admittedly, I also imagined that if I ever had daughters of my own – they would only end up feeling about me, the way I feel about my mom, as some sort of punishment for my not ‘liking’ my own mother. You know the whole ‘karma’ thing. And this feeling, that my kids may one day feel about me the way I feel about my mom – which can basically be described as empty, is an awfully difficult parachute to mother from under.
When it comes to being a mom to my daughters, I put a lot of pressure on myself, worry far too much, and am so careful about every thing I say or do – hoping I won’t leave a negative hole in my daughters hearts like my mom did, that some days, I can barely breathe.
It has taken some time and a lot of soul searching to come to terms with all of this. A painful journey to say the least. But one thing that I have realized, is that as mothers – we WILL be one of the biggest influences in our daughters’ lives. Whether we are good mothers or bad mothers doesn’t matter – our influence will be massive either way. I have chosen to forgive my mom in order to save myself – and seeing that my relationships with my own daughters are awesome to date, I have actually decided to attribute this success to my mom. While she may not have shown me how to be a loving or supportive mother, she certainly taught my not only why it is so important to do so, but also the things I shouldn’t do in order to connect spiritually and emotionally with my daughters. I can do better for my daughters BECAUSE of her, not despite or in spite of her. And for that, I am thankful.
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