Mother’s Day. I don’t know how I feel about it this year. In years past, my feelings have been all over the map.
In my early twenties, I felt guilty and ashamed on Mother’s Day. I had been pregnant and had an abortion (never mind that the pregnancy was the result of forced sex by the college boyfriend) and I felt all the pain and guilt of that choice on Mother’s Day. I don’t have the words, even now, to explain it. I’ve made this point to avoid thinking about it or talking about it.
Then, when I wanted so badly to have a baby with hubby, and month after month of failed pregnancy attempts and fertility treatments continued with no results, I felt envious and ashamed of that envy. I hated all those women who had children to celebrate Mother’s Day with. I wanted a baby. The day brought much grief and sadness to me.
When I was 26 and finally pregnant, Mother’s Day was the best day ever. I loved being pregnant, loved my baby bump, and felt amazing. I was finally a mom.
And the first Mother’s Day I celebrated with my daughter, the next year, felt like a miracle.
In all these years, all these ups and downs, I have always celebrated my mom. I’ve always felt it was a day she deserved to feel loved, and reminded of how special and important she is to me. It’s a day I celebrated the friendship I have with her. It’s the day I celebrated the fact she is my mom, and how blessed and lucky I am.
This year…I feel so terribly conflicted. I refer to my mom as my best friend. I have called her that for a long time. In many ways, she has been my biggest supporter, my biggest cheerleader. She has always believed in me. And yet. I feel like I can’t talk to her. I feel like I have to hide who I am, and pretend to be the daughter she wants. She rewrote history a long time ago….if I’m honest she rewrote it as it was happening, and I went along. Her version of our lives is so much nicer, so much prettier, so perfect. But it’s not true. It’s all a lie. We love each other, that part is true. But the rest? It’s not the life I remember. It’s crazy making, to pretend to be someone I’m not. To go along with this perfect version of history. It’s so much more tiring than I remember.
I love my mom. But I’m hurt and angry and confused. She is my best friend, but I can’t talk to her, I can’t share my truth with her. She loves someone who doesn’t exist. I’m still terrified if she knew me, she would reject me, hate me, be angry with me. I’m angry with her, but I love her and need her. A year ago, I would have said that a person can’t be angry and love the person they are mad at. Bea taught me that I can, and it’s okay. Anger isn’t the end of a relationship. It’s not the be all end all. It’s something to work through and to acknowledge, so the relationship can be repaired. I won’t get a chance to work through the anger with my mom. It is what is. Maybe I need to make peace with the fact that she only loves and knows the miss perfect part of me.
As for being a mom, this year I don’t feel like I deserve to be celebrated. I’ve made terrible mistakes. I’ve screwed up. I yell. I ignore my child. I can be mean. I think awful things in my head. I don’t stick to rules I make. I break boundaries. I let her watch too much TV. I dissociate often. I have flashbacks and am triggered by my own child. What kind of mother is triggered by her daughter? No, I don’t deserve to be celebrated.
Tomorrow, I’ll make a Mother’s Day brunch. I’ll celebrate the fact that my mom loves a part of me, that we are friends, and that I love her, despite my anger and hurt. I’ll celebrate the fact that I was blessed with a precious gift; the chance to be a mom. I’ll celebrate the ray of sunshine that my daughter is in my life. I’ll celebrate the fact that all her differences have forced my family to grow in ways I never thought possible. And, I’ll celebrate the fact that my mom and my daughter are both with me.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. Xx❤️