My mom is alive, yet I am a “motherless mother.” You see, several decades ago, our relationship was fractured due to abuse. Not her abuse. Her boyfriend’s abuse toward me. My mom had no idea what he was doing to me until I told her after they broke up. The extent of our conversation was her asking, “Why didn’t you tell me this before?” and me replying, “I thought you would be mad at me.” No counseling, no prosecution, NOTHING. I was so young and confused. I knew we needed to do something, but I didn’t know what. I was angry and sad that she didn’t try to help, but I was “okay.” Plus, I had a baby sister coming. And though she was from him, I was truly excited about her. I originally saw my new baby sister as a light at the end of this dark tunnel.
Until more than once I caught my mom talking on the phone to him, even after she knew. That’s when our relationship was broken. Things would never be the same.
At only nine years old, I lost the mother I thought I knew. Not only did she leave me to deal with the aftermath of the abuse myself, there she was talking with my abuser – civilly, I might add. It has been over 20 years since then, and I remember it like it was yesterday. I’m angry now just typing this. I was too young to know what to do or how to process all of this, so I just . . . dealt with it. Forgave her. Kind of.
We moved shortly thereafter, and my mom began dating someone new. I immediately didn’t trust him, because why would I? Based on my experience with my part-time dad plus my mom’s abusive ex-boyfriend, I had zero capacity to trust that this guy was up to any good. And because I was reluctant to accept him into my life, I was all but pushed out of my family. Holidays were celebrated without me, family portraits that I wasn’t in hung on the walls, and my mother even once showed me her complete and utter lack of understanding of the Bible when she told me,“The bible says for a woman to be with a man and FORSAKE ALL OTHERS.” Me being the other.
Though I was provided a roof to live under and food to eat, which I am grateful for, I did not get much beyond that in the way of parenting or “family.” My mom married this boyfriend, and he really is a good guy. But he had no idea what to do with me or how to have a relationship with someone who was so hurt and distrustful of those who were supposed to protect her. He did the best he could though, and today, we have a good relationship.
For awhile, during my early adult life, things improved between my mom and me. We were never close, but she was there. She would help me on occasion with my children if I needed her, but she never seemed like she wanted to be with us.
And now? Now my mom is supporting my heroin addicted sister, and is deep into drugs herself. Shooting heroin with her daughter? I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised. I don’t know how they got to this point. That sister I thought would be a light ended up being partially responsible for tearing my family apart. My stepdad finally became fed up with their “lifestyle” and left. And now, my children do not and will likely never know their grandmother.
So as Mother’s Day approaches, I feel incredibly alone. I see so many friends praise their mom’s for all that they do this time of year. And I am happy for them. Truly happy. But I have no idea what that is like. What is it like to have a mom who WANTS to be part of your life? Who knows and loves your children? Who didn’t leave you broken and bruised to figure out life on your own?
Then I see my poor friends who do not have their mother’s on this earth anymore, and I feel sad for them. Truly sad. And I can relate to them more than the ones with living, involved moms. They post about their pain and sadness. Am I entitled to post about my pain too? I really don’t even know. I just know that my mom is here, but she’s not. And it hurts.