Everyone is born with the right of the undivided love and affection from their Mother, Or so I thought.
That was a thought I had for the most part of my life. For a huge part of that time I even thought I really had that love, I mean, how could she not love me when every year I 20+ presents on my birthday or lavishes me with constant shopping trips for ‘quality’ Mother/Daughter time and other such luxuries.
All that though is (or was should i say) a smokescreen. A play to the outside world that masks the real nature of what mine & Mothers relationship really was.
The moment I realised the true nature of it was as enlightening as it was devastating. In one evening I had realised a lot, something a few could see many years before. I could finally see that my Mother didn’t love me, not in the way a Mother was expected to love a child. Of course this was heartbreaking, difficult to understand and just really very sad. Especially as I was expecting my second child at the time.
The events that led to this December night, a week before Christmas began in the September before. I was 22 years old, four years into a relationship, Mother of a two-year old and two months pregnant. Life was almost perfect in my mind. I had everything I had always wanted. Of course the moment you start to think that it all goes tits up. And tits up it did, In a tragic way.
A friend called us early one Saturday morning. So early my Son was still sleeping. Another friends three-year old Son had died that night. It was one of those gut wrenching, life will never be the same again moments. In more way than I realised at that time. The whole group of friends had gathered at one house waiting together for news. It was all very emotional and difficult, but we were all there together, supporting each other. Unfortunately I had to fess up about my pregnancy. A difficult time calls for a lot of alcohol consumption, I am normally one of the heaviest drinkers so it was noticed immediately. Anyway, to cut a long story short everyone apart from me got drunk. I headed to bed only to wake in the early hours to find my boyfriend wasn’t in bed. See, we had stayed at his friend’s house. His best friend no less, only to find him still downstairs with his mates Wife. To put it nicely, they were up to no good. Too many years have passed now to even care. Saddest part of it all is that a 30 year friendship was destroyed in a moment and two relationships broken. It really was a dark time for a lot of people, all while we were grieving for a little boy. I had my children to give me strength. I had to stay strong for them right? Keep it all together for them as best I could.
I wish I could look back and say I had the support from my mother. She said all the right things at first, that she was there for me no matter what and she just wants me to be happy. But the more I spoke to my boyfriend the quieter she became. After a few weeks of intense talks I had decided to forgive and move on from the whole sorry mess. That’s when the silence from my Mother started.
The main part of my relationship with my Mother was her setting a standard that I had to meet. whether it was having a spotless bedroom or washing up the dishes perfectly as a child or decisions I’ve made about my life as a young adult. I’ve written them as a pretty vague thing purely because that’s what it always was, vague. I never really knew the standards were. Being grown up now though I thought we were past that. I thought that she respected me as an adult, respected the decisions I make for the good of my little family, my children. But no, the standards had moved again and by forgiving I had made the wrong choice it seemed. I had shamed her apparently. Shown myself to be weak and I was letting him walk all over me. It was late September when I last heard from her. I tried so hard to get into contact with her, it was bordering on harassment at one point. All to no avail. She didn’t want to know,no explanation, nothing. My Son was missing her hugely. How do you explain to a two-year old boy that his much-loved Nanny just doesn’t want to see us? I felt guilt, confusion and hurt. This went on for what felt like forever. My bump was growing, Christmas was impending and I was becoming more and more worried about the lack of contact.
Then that night came, a week before Christmas. That night changed me forever. I’ll never forget it, it still fells like it was yesterday.
I put my little boy to bed, it had been a long day. We were both on edge for most of the day. I was all anxious, he must have felt it from me. It was like I knew what was coming. I ran myself a bath. I needed to relax, aware that the stress was no good for the baby. And that’s when it came, the text message that signified the ultimate rejection. I wish I could remember it word for word but that memory is long gone now. The general gist was that I am a disgrace as a Mother and Daughter. I was winded just by reading it, which quickly became a panic attack. My boyfriend calmed me down and reassured me that he will get this sorted once and for all. He called her, even from where I was sat sobbing I could hear she was drunk again, ranting down the phone full of spite and pure nastiness. Saying disgusting things about Him, his family, my family, and me. The last straw came when she started slagging of my Son. I had enough, lost it. I let myself loose with her down the phone. She got a few home truths from me. Everything, right back to when I was 6 years old and I was rejected by her for the very first time. It all came spilling out, 16 years of pain and rejection. It all started to become clear.
Not one little thing was ever my fault.
That was the moment I was done with it all. I was never going to put myself through it again.
I’ve said it before, when I was still young. the seeds have always been there in my head. But the sudden fear that the same was happening to my Son was the final nail in the coffin. How someone could do that to their adult child was one thing, But to do it to a two-year old grandson is just heartbreaking. I’d sooner sell my soul to the devil if I would ever let her do it to him again.
So that was that, my boyfriend took my phone away, hung up on her while she was mid rant and we turned our phones off. That moment I knew I was never going to hear her voice again, never be hurt by her and that I didn’t have a single regret.
The next day I got a new phone with a new number. Just as she did to me when I was 15. I never looked back.
The next day I got new phone with a new number, just as she did to me when I was 15 years old and I never looked back.
All of that was 7 years ago, a lot has happened in that time. Of course I went on to have the baby, a daughter. My and my boyfriend went through some very hard times and we split a couple of years ago. I wont go into it now, That’s a whole story in its self. And I’ve most recently turned thirty. All landmarks in my life that I have should have shared with my Mother, all I had gotten though with out her.
I’ve been very lucky that i have had the most wonderful stepmum, who I now call my Mum. She has that true unconditional love for me as her child, which blows my mind quite regularly. I mean how does someone do that? I’d never felt it from my real Mother but it’s so strong and real from her.
It’s mostly credit to her for how I’ve learnt to deal with rejection and the fear of it I had developed. Shes always there no matter what, as is my Dad.
One downside is that they live 6000 miles away and have done since I was 17. That’s sometimes hard. I used to feel abandoned by them but I soon realised that it was transference of feelings about my mother and it was easier to take it out on them.
But anyway I’m going of track, the main point of this is to talk about how I dealt with realising my own Mother doesn’t love me. well not in a natural way at least.
It’s something I’ve thought about over and over in the last 7 years. Although it’s still hard now it’s certainly something I’m at peace with now. See, I’ve come to realise that it’s not my fault, nor is it the fault of my Mother. We’re both victims of her mental health. Sadly she is incapable of truly loving anyone. The same has happened to my younger sister and I’m pretty certain it will also happen to our baby sister also. Once I had come to terms with this it became easier to deal with.
Do I still think I have the right to love? Of course, most days. I watch my children grow in the most fantastic way and see all that see is missing. I feel myself grow stronger as I get older and I achieve things, I grow a strong sense of ambition, plans of what I’m going to do with my life. All things she has no idea about, every little thing she has missed and will miss in the future. It makes me sad that my son doesn’t remember her and my Daughter has never met her. all that is in the back of my mind. Now that not saying for one moment that I regret anything, not one little bit but I’m not angry anymore. I’m filled with enough love, care and affection from my children, parents and family.
Not having her in my life anymore is something I have drawn strength form. I’m no longer living in fear of mental abuse, failure and hurt. As the years go on I’m getting stronger, becoming clearer on what I am doing with my life and who I want in it. I can see any kind of toxic behavior a mile off and I’m very good at protecting myself and my children from it.
Of course there are still people out there that will never understand why my life has to be this way and I know many people who have relationships like this that have been able to work in one way or another. For me though it’s a to big a risk to take. through all of this I have learnt a lot about myself and how my mind works. I know that when I’m around my mother I become mentally weak, easily manipulated. If I was to let her back into my life I think the old patterns of behaviors will soon reappear. I’ll slip back into the constant striving for acceptance and love and never really getting anywhere. I know full well she hasn’t changed at all. apart from push more people away and hurt them. The common trend is everyone is used until they have nothing left to offer her. It’s not exclusive to her children, but her brothers, sisters, husbands and friends. The whole thing just makes me sad for her.sadly the is nothing anyone can do apart from draw strength from the experience and use that strength to make their own lives something worth the hurt and pain in the first place. And that’s exactly what I’ve spent the last 7 years doing and I will continue to do. Most importantly I’ll put that strength into my own children. Push and encourage them to do amazing things with their lives without the fear that they are not good enough because those two are worth the world and more.
I’ll finish on these song lyrics. I feed from music, it’s like it runs through my blood. The band, Mumford and Sons (not everyone’s cup of tea i know) have been hugely instrumented in the events of my life in the past three years. The following lines are from their song The Cave.
‘But I will hold on hope,
And I won’t let you choke,
On the noose around your neck.
And I’ll find strength in pain,
And I will change my ways’
This song came on as I was writing this. Hit me like a ton of bricks to hear it today. The whole song is perfect to put with all of this but those works are the most powerful.
My last words are this…
Everyone has the right to love and be loved. By who is something everyone has the right of choice.