Today is hard for me. I see everyone making beautiful posts about their mothers and I attempt to squash a bitter feeling inside me. While my mom and I used to be best friends when I was little, the relationship drastically changed over the years. Our evolution is deeply saddening to me. I've tried to continue on the slow and steady trajectory of growth to become a responsible, healthy adult, while dragging my parents baggage behind me along the way. While I do not accept the responsibility of her current situation, I still feel responsible because I carry the weight. Parts of her pain have become permanently part of me. Parts I am currently challenging myself to heal.
Mom, why are you homeless? Why are you poor? Why are you unhealthy? Why did you hurt me? How could you let this happen to you? To us?
I still see all your strongest qualities in me. Your sense of humor, your laugh, your creativity, your handwriting... also your sadness, jealousy, and anger.
I think about you all the time and try to shove away the pain of the most recent years. I make a real effort to remember the things you’ve done for me, the sacrifices you made, your presence and love. Those moments have a hard time shining through, though.
I have faced the thought about what it would be like if you died. I have wondered if I would feel worse or better. You'd be free of your misfortune and pain, but would I? Would the void grow larger or would you take it in death.
I wish that you took healing more seriously. I wish that you were patient enough to open up and trust your family. To know who's really on your team. To make sacrifices again. To love yourself again. To witness MY pain in your absence.
As I write and reread this I see such a selfish perspective. Perhaps the reader thinks it's wrong for a daughter to be upset at her mother on mother’s day or to not recognize other mother figures. But I don’t wish for a perfect relationship and I would be lying if I said other mother figures could take the place of my real mom. I don't even want a perfect relationship with her. I would settle for just vulnerability or a reciprocation of feelings. I don't want just love, I so badly want healing. I have missed out on the feeling of my mom being genuinely interested or worried about me. And unfortunately no one else could fill that particular hole in me. The hole has existed for a long time.
My grandmother was my mom’s adopted mom, and their relationship also had a tear. The kind of hole that only adopted children feel. I believe my grandmother did everything she was supposed to, but I suspect there was much healing to do that neither my mom nor grandma knew how to address. It created a special dynamic where my mom never emotionally matured and long after her adulthood my grandmother remained the caretaker. She became my mother figure and I reminded my mom of this when we would get into fights. I believe my mom's heart is a cloth with many tears that grew wider and wider. Her relationships have always had unspoken/unknown high expectations and toxic forms of communication. Without getting too into detail, this would eventually lead to her current state. Sick, poor, homeless.
The obvious question is Couldn’t you help her? You’re her family. But I cant fill her void. I have tried to help without becoming financially involved (because that’s not possible for me). Inviting her to live with me would be detrimental to my own mental and emotional health. Our relationship is, sadly, beyond repair. The only thing that would help is if she genuinely WANTED to get better... that takes actual work like being vulnerable, admitting fault, apologizing. More than anything in the world I want her to have the chance to really heal.
My heart aches. I’ve cried a lot today. I just want the best for you mom. I do love you, I promise.