I have so many special people in my life. I have so much to be grateful for. It frustrates me how shattered I can suddenly feel, out of nowhere, in the most random of moments. I was putting away my “Fall” themed kitchen towels, and getting out my Winter/Christmas ones. I came across this one towel, mixed in with all the others. It’s just a white tea towel. It has the words Mrs Claus written on it in silver, cursive letters. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was at my mom’s house. She had just bought these towels. She gave me one. Just a couple of months before that, I had found a cute kitchen towel that I knew she would like. It had cats on it, I remember. She’d gotten wasted and been very hateful and said some cruel things to me, but I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to her, yet. I was afraid to knock on her door, so I put it inside her mailbox, along with a little note. She’d been so fucked up on all the shit she was putting into her body, she didn’t even remember the way she’d hurt me. She couldn’t understand why I hadn’t just come to her door. I made up an excuse, rather than confront her with the things she’d said and done. I told her we’d been sick, and I didn’t want to get her sick. I think that her giving me that stupid Mrs Claus towel, was her way of reciprocating the gesture I’d made, with the one I’d left in her mailbox.
I was in a good mood! I’d been excitedly putting the finishing touches on my Christmas decorations around the house. Preparing to decorate the tree, with my family. Then, I come across this mundane, unassuming towel, and I’m flooded with emotion. It hurts. It’s so hard. How can I find myself still missing my mother? I miss those times, when she made me feel loved. That stinking towel is just another random thing that brings me back to a feeling I miss more than words can describe here. I grieve the loss of someone I truly, never even had. I long for something my mother never could really give me. Unconditional love. The kind that I feel every time I think of my own children. The kind that I instantly felt for my new baby niece. It’s very hard not to listen to this little voice, inside of me, that whispers, “It’s your fault. You weren’t enough.” All the love I get from my husband, my children, my family, and my friends, it still cannot seem to fill the hole my mother’s absence has left inside of me. Knowing your mother doesn’t want you, unless it suits her. She attempts to worm her way back into my sister’s life, at this vulnerable time in her life. She’s just had her first baby. Of course she would wish her mother was here! Meanwhile, all our mother does is use her to hurt our dad, or me. She uses all of us. We’re disposable. Unless we allow her to use us like pawns in her “game”, we’re useless to her. So, I find myself sad, furious, lonely, and desperate to make it stop. I can only push it down for so long, and then, I do something like find a kitchen towel, and those emotions are all rushing back to the surface. Still, I can’t make myself get rid of things like the kitchen towel, because I know there won’t ever be another. I will never get, even the tiniest bit of assurance that my mother loves me, ever again. I don’t know how to proceed. Somehow, she still haunts me, especially when I’m truly happy. As if, I’m not allowed to feel that good. I don’t deserve it. That’s what that little voice whispers to me, anyway. It reminds me, too often, that the love of my most cherished people is not a guarantee. They too, might leave, if I don’t serve a purpose for them. I’m left desperately wanting to be needed, and never quite feeling I’m enough.
I know what a juxtaposition this must be from my last several blog posts! That’s the point. It’s such a shock to myself, too! Suddenly, I’m so incredibly sad, and it’s the last thing I expected.
3 thoughts on “Just Get Through This Moment”
I wouldn’t get rid of the towel. It’s a stark contrast, how it reminds you of this little tender moment and at the same time the utter lack of tenderness in your relationship. It’s okay to have the reminder, because it’s a reality worth grieving.
You’ve seen firsthand how substances mess with someone’s mind. I think it’s clear from the memories you’ve shared your mom has some part of her that is trying to love you. That part of her that loves you is like a tiny flower, and it’s getting crowded out by the weeds and thorns of substance abuse. Its soil is dry because your mom maybe doesn’t know how to water it. Its petals are being cut off by her own inability to have healthy attachments and relationships. But somehow that flower has existed, and maybe it’s covered entirely in trash now…
My point is, mourn that the flower isn’t the towering, stable tree it should have been, and at the same time be comforted because despite everything your mom fought for you… even if she couldn’t manage to clear the weeds, move the trash, or water that flower of love for you, a few times in your life she’s managed to get it out in the open enough for you to see it.
Nobody’s love will fill that gap in your heart. It’s a huge cross to bear. But: you are needed by all your people. Just like you still need your mama, no matter how much she’s failing, your family will always need you.
You can’t be good enough for your mom because you can’t clear the weeds for her. It’s not because you are somehow lacking. She hasn’t been strong enough to weed and water and clean in the past and nobody can do it for her. It’s her issue, not yours, even though it affects you deeply.
You will never lose your kids’ love. Or your husband’s. Things may get messy, painful, whatever, in your relationships, especially if one of you goes completely off the rails, but the love doesn’t end. It’s just sometimes we get behind on weeding and watering and then we have to do the work to help them grow again.
Sometimes relationships break beyond repair, but don’t forget God became a human being and died because of that. All our life is in Christ. What we can’t possibly restore is set right by Christ. Not always in this life but sometimes God is working in ways we can’t see. No story is over yet, not til Christ raises us from the dead 🙂 and to Him we are always worth everything and then some.
I’m thankful your niece was delivered safely! She’s beautiful! ❤️
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Have you considered getting rid of the towel? That won’t get rid of all the bad memories but it will help prevent recurring memories at Christmas – the happiest holiday of the year. I know you save at least one item reminding you of a good memory. Hang on to that if it’s pleasant for you and you want to keep it but that towel may need to go.
Needed? You’re needed for much much more than cooking and cleaning. Your family feels and needs that tremendously strong and that deep love for them which is unconditional. They don’t have to worry about losing that love . They don’t have to earn it. That is one
thing that you give them that no one else can. They love you and need you more than you seem to know.
Adam and a lot of other people including azpop1 and I are impressed and proud of you. Relish and enjoy the happiness flowing from that.
Thanx so much for such a revealing
and touching post!
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Eve, emotions are never easy to deal with, Simple things bring up good or bad memories, you have Adam, Jackie and your kiddos who all love you very much. Sometimes you need to draw on their love to help you thru these difficult emotions. Sometimes we feel we are never loved enough, but you are, you have Adam, Jackie and your kiddos. Make a special place in your heart to remember the good times you had with your mom and think of those. We are so proud of how far you have come, you are awesome, keep it up. Sir 🙂
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