“Your mother gives you your identity as a woman” (Iyanla Vanzant) hmm-mm I don’t know…Is this really true? I will be able to agree or disagree at the end of my release. I have been rather hesitant to write this post, and the others that will follow, I agonized over the wording, what should I reveal and what to hold back until further notice. What will be considered offensive, how will this be perceived? Will my actions be understood? The reason this particular post proves challenging is because it’s solely about my first relationship, my first role model, my first love, my first heart-break, my first betrayal; this post is about my Mother! I LOVE my mother yet for years I battled with various emotions, how could this woman who I adore cause me so much pain! I RESENTED this woman, in equal terms, with mixed emotions, one part loving the other part resenting! But I knew underneath it all… unconditional love was always looming.
I watched and listened over the past few weeks her responses to my choices, her attitude fluctuating as she’s not sure what, and how to feel, when or how to speak, or how to act or at times verbally approach this situation of me publicly speaking about the sexual abuse I experienced as a child. I watched her as she rode her waves of emotions, not knowing at times if she wanted to support or condemn me. I listened and observed as she tried to accept and find her footing when she realized there was no stopping me. My mother as usual laid wait, waiting for others to react, to know how to feel it seems. The support from her didn’t come until she saw the support of others rolling my way. It seems she found the courage to follow suit though apprehensive.
Little did my dearest mother know, this, my speaking out, my taking action was happening with or without her approval, because I was tired and I was about to blow. I have tried for many years to be respectful of her, holding in my true feelings toward her, taking into account she has been through so much, and I didn’t want to hurt her any more than she had already been hurt. Throughout this time I have been annoyed and irritated with her child like cowardly behavior over the years, and I have held her responsible first and foremost for the deepest parts of my hurt and the pain that I carry. I never felt protected, I never felt important, I never felt like a priority, she made me feel like an obligation she had to fulfill, the deepest and hardest part of my test, and the times I needed her to stand with me and weather this storm she bailed, she succumbed, she reverted, she acted like a weak and puny, coward child, giving in to everyone’s demands but mine, standing and siding with everyone but me…
Not having my mother’s support over the years killed me over and over inside, with each dismissal of my pain I was made to relive, to retell, to revisit old hurt, I felt trapped, I felt suffocated, and the more she and others asked me to suppress the torture I had to endure, the more I started to resemble my weak and feeble mom…I knew it was happening and I hated the thought of becoming the spineless coward people pleasing person that my mother was or had become. Little did I know…The story was yet to unfold!
I knew that once I started making the abuse public, it would be hard for her as it is ridiculously hard for me, however it’s all a part of my healing and I must heal completely not just a fraction. I must come to terms, accept and release it all en root to my end result, my ultimate goal of healing and forgiveness.
My relationship with my mother has been one filled with many highs and lows, smooth sailing and turbulent, our relationship mimic that of many mothers and daughters, our disagreements and butting heads were many, as with ever parent and child we had our occasional blow up and blow outs. We fought but our fights though at times tense our fights were considered mild-mannered compared to some of my peers. My mother and I somehow managed to remain respectful and dignified… I believe like her I fought hard but with caution, trying to refrain from saying what we truly felt and what probably needed to be said. Throughout the years though it was extremely hard at times for me because even though I loved and respected my mother so much our relationship was strained. I thought and still do think the world of my mom, for the most part “but” there was that side, the side where my love never wavered but my respect did. I had my moments of being extremely happy that she was and is my mom, yet at times I found myself torn between love and deep-seated resentment!
“I am not my mother!” The first time I uttered those words I was seventeen years old, and after a major fight with one of my aunts I recall her (my aunt) explaining her dismay, total surprise/disbelief that I reacted, (fighting back after she punched me in the head) according to her because I fought back, I had no manners or respect. She stated that had my mom, her elder sister hit her she would not have fought or hit back…I was livid, I had done nothing wrong to warrant the abuse, so while she tried to accept the reality I had had enough of her and fought back, and she was ever so correct I had NO respect for her NONE but… (Another post). I was steaming over the fact she compared me to my mom! That was my first time saying it out loud “I am not my mother!” but had not been the last time, in fact it resonated over the years… I refused to be my mother, I am not my mother and will never be my mother I would tell myself and repeat these five little words time and time again. I thought my belief, I thought my refusal to pattern my mom’s ways were as a result of her demonstration of self throughout her relationship with my dad and while this held true, it was not my only reason.
Imagine my surprise when in my adult years I finally realized that the way I felt about my mom was a combination of things. I knew I didn’t want to be her because she didn’t protect me as a child, in addition to how she reacted to my dad’s ill-treatment. I resented my mother, and I resented her deeply. It’s something I have battled for years, and yes, while I had my moments I realized I loved this woman tremendously but for the most part I didn’t like her! I did not like my mother! How and why you wonder? Well at five years old the first time my grandmother’s husband stuck his slimy nasty disgusting tongue down my throat and fondled me to the point he ejaculated from the pleasure he received. The moment I returned to safety the first person I told was my mom. What happened next was not expected even my five-year old brain knew something was off…My mother, yes my ‘mom’ proceeded to pull my underwear down, check me to see if he had penetrated, pull my undies back up and uttered the words “do not tell your father, do not tell anyone!” I was too young then to comprehend the profound impact and the magnitude and/or toll that this decision would have on my life in the years that followed. I had my first experience of extreme betrayal then, from the person I loved and idolized the most. My first lesson was that this man, her mother and others were more important than I was. The five-year old me needed my mommy to show up and out for me. This was the beginning of a steady decline in our relationship as I would come to realize my mom placed the feelings of others first, her feelings as well as my own we were second in command. The saga continues…
Releasing old hurts, relinquishing resentments, dismissing old beliefs, surrendering to healing and journeying to free… Join me as I/we Journey2Free
From my heart to yours