This is probably going to be one of my most whiny posts, but I think it is important to be truthful with myself and you about what it feels like to be motherless.
I realized yesterday how used to feeling motherless I am. The truth is I have felt motherless all my life. I rarely if ever felt protected, loved, nurtured by my mother. In fact I felt like I was living with the enemy and in fear for most of childhood and teen years. I slept on the floor from the age of 12 to 17 as a punishment, I was chased often throughout the house and beat and even while pregnant I was hit and forced to sleep on the floor..I was living with my own personal torturer, not a mother.
Even after leaving at the age of 17, I never felt like I had a mother. Mother’s Day was so confusing to me. I was never quite sure what to do with Mother’s Day as my mother was often in and out of my life.
And Mother’s Day cards? Just an impossibility to pick one that was not an outright lie.
Eventually I chose not to have my mother in my life at all. This year is the 13th anniversary of making this life saving choice and yet it is still difficult even though I have grown so accustomed to this being my life .
Yesterday when things didn’t go so well with my own daughter and we got into a little tiff, I felt very strongly the feeling of nowhere to turn to and the feeling of being motherless. My daughter and I got through it eventually and it was fine, but there was no mother there to advise me and tell me everything would be okay, there was no mother there to celebrate me as a mom or for me to celebrate…just an empty space and distance that seems to get bigger with each passing year.
Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m missing, until I see it in someone else, until I see a mother daughter and think, oh yeah, that love, that beautiful love was never there.
I see it when I watch my niece with my sister, how she clings to her, and how my sister responds so lovingly and attentively. My head tilts a bit, and I can feel the twinge of sadness mixed in with envy.
I should have had that and then I come back to the reality that I didn’t and yet I survived, however not unscathed.
Being motherless is jam packed with layers and layers of emotions, thoughts, understandings, and parts that need our attention, compassion and healing.
You have the part of you that is angry about what should have been.
The part of you realizes it is your reality and there is nothing you can do about it.
A part of you that realizes the amazing strength it took to survive that and how resilient you are and if you can get through that, you can get through anything.
A part of you that recognizes you did not survive unscathed and you feel pretty altered, maybe even broken because of it. This part of you is really angry about what you lost because of it. it sees the effects even today and how it transformed your life. It gets the heart wrenching reality of how it altered you.
And there are probably a bunch of other parts vying for your attention when you are in the thick of this or when you get triggered.
I have them all and I work on paying attention to them all and honoring all of it. It’s hard and sometimes it is harder than other times, especially around Mother’s Day.
There are certain relationships/roles in your life that are difficult to replace. I feel motherless, it is my reality and even though I have been mothered by many, I know no one can love you like your mother, no one can look for you and worry about you and want to make sure you are okay, like your mother, or like your mother should. And when the person that gave birth to you, the person you should matter to most in the world, is nothing like what your instinct knows she should be, you feel abandoned and alone and maybe a little or a lot of “what’s wrong with me?” is thrown in there as well.
On this day, I allow myself to grieve for the motherless child in me who still yearns for MOTHER and everything that word means.
The Healing the Mother Wound starts Thursday May 16th..join us on the journey of healing our mother wound.