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May 08, 2011

Mothers Day





In two months my mother will turn ninety years old. She and I have had our ups and downs and I didn't live with her after I was twelve. We have stayed in touch most of the time and lived in the same area some of the years, but most of the time there have been many miles between us. That wasn't what really distanced us though. I held resentment in my heart, which was unhealthy for me and prevented me from having a true mother/daughter relationship with my mother. It was so unhealthy that when I spoke of my parents they were referred to as "the mother" and "the father". It goes to show how far I have come that I can now speak in the first person and acknowledge "the mother" as my mom.

My mother was not the only person to disappoint me when I was a child. My brother still holds resentment and anger toward her and the few times he mentions our childhood he says if it had been today, our parents would have been arrested for abuse. We were four people living together for a few years but we were not connected to each other emotionally. The parents who were supposed to be the adults were ill equipped to be parents. Consequently, my brother and I did not have an example of what a family could be. We lived isolated lives and remained on the outside trying to understand how to fit in but not knowing who we were or how to participate in a well balanced life.

Both my parents came from lives of poverty and abuse. As I came to understand what their lives must have been growing up, it became clear to me that they didn't know how to break the chains of abuse in order to equip their children for a better life than they had.

Learning to forgive entails more than one aspect. Forgiving for me meant also letting go, forgetting the unhappiness. It meant letting go of anger. My anger affected every relationship in my life. And while working the twelve steps in a codependency recovery program, I admitted to myself that blaming others for my behavior is so lame. I knew I wasn't perfect, but facing truths has helped me to accept myself as a struggling human being, and at the same time accepting my mother as a woman coping with a life she detested.

My mother did the best she could. That is all any of us can do. She won't read this post because she won't use a computer. It is important to me that she knows she is cared about and I send cards and sometimes flowers to her. There is no sorrow in this post. I write this as a way to remind myself how far I have come and that I too am doing the best I can do.

To all the mothers out there, I wish you a day of love and appreciation.






25 comments:

Ms. A said...

Technobabe, that was beautifully said. You are truly blessed to have made peace with things you couldn't change. Change can only come from within. Everyone should be so fortunate, including me.

Roxy said...

Learning to let go is difficult but the benefit of letting go is powerful. It is necessary for our healing. Thank you for sharing your story Techno. Happy Mother's Day wishes to you as well!

Jerry said...

We are so shaped by our environment and 'the time' we live in. The influences are intense and sometimes unshakable. Your parents didn't have access to outside influences that could offer support and guidance. You do. I am glad that you took advantage of it and it has led to a more complete understanding and acceptance and the clear need to move foreward.

Brian Miller said...

i hear you techno...there were years for me that i felt much the sam e...resistant...and still even attimes with my sister, but my mom and i came to a good understanding years ago and today i honor her...happy mothers day!

Maggie May said...

Happy Mother's Day. (We had ours earlier).

That description of your mother in your childhood was very well written.
I think there were many of us in my age group, who in in the present time would have been called victims of abuse but standards were very different when I was young.

Maggie X

Nuts in May

DJan said...

Yes, you said it very well. Forgiveness is good for YOU, and whether or not she knows it doesn't really matter. You matter to me, and you have said it very well here. Thank you.

Anne H said...

Here's to a beautiful day for you and yours!

Kristina P. said...

I don't have a good relationship with my mom, and there has been a lot of abandonment on her end. Forgiving her is still something I am learning to do.

Jillsy Girl said...

TB...you have an outlook on life that all people should possess! Happy Mother's Day to you!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Well said straight from the heart. Dysfunction is hard to overcome. Happy Mother's Day! :)

Lou said...

Back to reading you after a long absence and you do not disappoint! Wonderfully said, without back handed recrimination.

I have learned a lot about forgiveness the last decade. Now I can see the reason events occurred as they did.

blueviolet said...

I'm so impressed with your ability to see beyond the hurt and pain of your past and realize she did what she could.

Happy Mother's Day!

Jayne said...

There definitely many of us who grew up in the age of corporal punishment. Fortunately, we've come a long way. This post is so touching. You should wrap it up and give it to your mother so she can read it. Just lovely. :)

Mama Zen said...

Beautifully said, Techno.

lisleman said...

To say I enjoyed this post would be the wrong expression I guess. However, underneath the obvious sad parenting story is the enjoyment of knowing that it is possible to break that cycle. Evidence that people can overcome emotional trauma. People are amazing. There are many families with problems. You should be very proud of the hope your story gives. Thanks and Happy Mother's Day.

Margie said...

I hope you had a beautiful Mother's Day!
This was written from the heart!
You are a caring and loving person!

Owen said...

I guess doing our best is all we can do, getting over the mountains of baggage we carry with us from our childhoods, letting go of pain, is not easy, and can be a lifelong challenge.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Forgiving is the hardest thing on earth for me, even though I understand well the real reasons for it, and the dangers of not doing so. Sometimes I think I am there, then memories come back and take possession again. But, like you, I remind myself often that they did the best they could, that they, too, were damaged, and that hopefully, although far from perfect myself as a parent, I helped just a little to show my children a healthier way to live and relate. Happy Mother's Day to you and your mom, Babe.

Hilary said...

Beautifully expressed, TB. Forgiveness and understanding is as much of a gift to yourself as it is to your parents. Probably more. I hope your Mother's Day was lovely.

Cricket said...

Well, a happy belated Mother's Day to you. Hope it was a good one.

There is much to admire in this post. That's something. :-)

Netherland said...

Hi there. I really appreciate the points you made. I don’t think I’ve actually thought about it in that way. I can really appreciate how you approached the subject matter and what you said really gave me a new perspective. Thanks for taking the time to write this all out.

secret agent woman said...

I struggle with this. I have fully forgiven my father, but my relationship with my mother is more complicated. We seem to do fine until she starts reminiscing about a happy past that did not exist.

Donna B said...

Please email me at donnab6464@gmail.com with an email address. I have written something to share with you...thank you!

terri said...

It is a testament to your own strength to be able to look back and see your situation for what it was... the result of factors beyond your control. Good for you for being able to rise above it all and to be able to love and allow yourself to be loved in spite of the difficulties, pain and challenges you experienced as a child.

Marla said...

Oh Techno, you are so very wise. If only we could learn this lesson of forgiving and letting go sooner than later.

Have you ever read The Glass Castle?