I am my mother’s daughter.
Today I want to tell you a story about me and my mother. Everyone has a different family right?! And no one’s perfect. I am feeling impartial and semi-cheated out of childhood being my mothers’ daughter. Well, that sure applies to my family and specifically to my mother. My life was really bliss growing up from birth through about age 9. For most kids, that’s probably not very long considering most people will be raised in a stable household (I don’t know stats on this, but I think it’s majority still). But my house became anything but stable shortly after. I was a truly naive kid and in an effort to rehash that- I’m starting here. I am my mothers daughter and my name is Nora.
I am my mothers daughter.
- My parents always made sure I was truly taken care of (through age 9). I was always clothed, fed, clean/bathed and felt truly loved. They were the best parents (Mom) ever and I felt so blessed.
- My birthdays’ were always a huge family bash and both sides would come to celebrate/visit with me. I was so lucky to have SO many people who loved me growing up. Food, fun, and laughs were had by all. I was a spoiled child (truly) and I didn’t realize it when it was happening but looking back; raising me- it took a village. Everyone really pitched in to care for me and because I had older sisters- it seemed more of the focus was on me, for some reason. I was the youngest child after all and I made sure everyone knew I was damn near helpless. ( I was kinda a brat.)
- The household fun was had by all: this is more of a side story but it applies here, in the good column. We loved Dirty Dancing and Patrick Swayze and all that awesome dancin’. So most nights we’d blast the soundtrack or oldies in the kitchen as we all lent a hand in cleaning up or having a chores day. I don’t even remember what we did besides all the dancing and singing along at the top of our lungs. It was fun and everyone (except dad- reading or napping on the couch) joined in, even the dog!
- I had a lot of certain freedoms being a 90s kid; growing up a little ahead of all the true freaks in our world- they still existed but the FEAR mindset wasn’t nearly as bad. I walked a block or two to my friends’ house and I have always been driven the three blocks to school. Later on, I was allowed to ride the bus with the neighborhood boys (the stop was at the top and bottom of our street). I could walk to the corner store two roads up by myself and walk back without feeling threatened. I could safely play outside with other kids and in our neighborhood not have to worry too bad about stranger danger or busy streets/cars speeding (thank you speed bumps on 32nd). I could be dropped off someplace and I knew buddy system was best. I knew to trust the authorities (police, fire, security, etc) and I’d be safe. I had the trust of my parents and knowing that felt good. I am my mother’s daughter.
I am my mothers daughter
- So here’s where things start to slip (age 9/10), I noticed more yelling between my parents, more slanted glares, more sighs and “humphs!”- you could really cut the tension with a knife. And not long after I turned 9, there was a night full of screaming, arguing, slamming things and open threats. To a kid who’s hiding in her room- that doesn’t mean much when you don’t understand what’s going on around you. But as soon as I heard my mom dial 911 and my sister came to swoop me up- I knew something was really wrong. D-I-V-O-R-C-E. (I hate this word with an almighty passion) And so it happened. My good little wholesome family is now torn apart.
- I was automatically set to live with my mom. I was under the age of 15? I think is when the judge gives you the right to choose. The go-betweens started and I hated it. Tell your dad this. Tell your mom this. Well, she can just.. He should just…. I really hated that part of being the center and the only kid stuck in the middle of it. I tried to tell them to quit it- to argue or fight with each other. But it never stopped, only in addition to he said, she said.
- My mother was also the one who never was an active parent which to me- is very important. She was never on PTA, didn’t bring treats to school or sign up for the dance committee. I missed her being at my events and supporting me through school and getting to know more about that side of my childhood. I am my mother’s daughter.
I am my mothers daughter.
- The number of times my mother and I moved would shock the hell out of some people. In a matter of 3 years we must have moved 8-10 times or MORE. It was hard living out of boxes and always wondering about making rent or not getting kicked out as a kid. It was horrible and also just kinda fun always being in a new space- but I also never ever felt settled. In addition to other events- not controlled by my mother- I attended 4 high schools and had many friends, again never feeling like I fit in really anywhere. I began to feel aimless and disjointed at times.
- My mom had a drinking problem. We all knew it. I knew it. And yet, I was living with her. Why? I don’t know. It happened slowly and then all at once and then more stressed she got, the worse it got. One night, I awoke to a policeman at my door and cops outside putting my mom into a cop car. I was half awake, about 11 years old and I was scared. My mom went out in the middle of the night leaving me home alone (to get a beer), and on the way back had hit 3 or 4 parked cars and was weaving up the road when she got pulled over in our apartment complex and cuffed for DUI charges. And when she didn’t/couldn’t pay the fines when she needed to. She in addition, spent 60 days in jail. (I was living elsewhere by then.)
- There were many nights when we would go to visit her friends or be out with her current boyfriend. and we were often out late and I, to be honest at 11, 12, 13 yrs old was not always supervised. And was usually then late for school or slept in past the time to wake up/missed school days because I was up late- not getting sleep and/or not getting my work done on time. I had resulted in many, many absences and tardies for which they wanted to hold me back in the 7th & 8th grade. Forever, I am my mother’s daughter.
This is in NO WAY trying to completely bash my mother or anything of the sort but, it was not a walk in the park either. She had a lot of problems and honestly still does. But I love my mother and she will always be the mom-the one I could watch tv with and the one who would make all my boo-boo’s better. I am my mother’s daughter and I always will be. I have my own personal issues and the years we did not speak for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s healthier when two people do not communicate and/or do not love each other. It gets to that point sometimes. I love my mother- I do but it sure is complicated. She has put me through the wringer and well, she deserved to be ignored and not included. I am my mother’s daughter for the anxieties she passed onto me, the fears of the world on my shoulders, my naivety, and my helpless nature. She did not empower me, she did not lift me up, she not teach me the bright side of things- all quite the opposite. But at the end of the day
I am my mother’s mother. I am the parent.
If you’d like to change and/or fix your toxic relationship with your mother or mother figure; here are a few ideas.
- SET BOUNDARIES
- SPEAK YOUR TRUTH (may not be the same as their truth-that’s okay)
- CELEBRATE SMALL WINS WHEN YOU GET ALONG OR HAVE A POSITIVE CONVERSATION
- FORGIVE, DON’T FORGET
- UNDERSTAND WHERE THEY ARE COMING FROM (GENERATIONALLY)
- PASS ON THE RELATIONSHIP, ENGAGE LESS, GIVE YOURSELF HEALTHY SPACE
I may even order this book and take a read. This is something I still struggle with so I hope you don’t feel alone or to blame. A relationship especially a strained one is a hard thing to cope with. Wishing you grace and knowledge that something in this post helps or relates to you.
please remember to repin!