~ “If you just walked away, what could I really say? And would it matter anyway? Would it change how you feel?”…. “I am the mess you chose. The closet you cannot close. The devil in you I suppose, because the wounds never heal.”… “But everything changes, if I could turn back the years, if you could learn to forgive me, then I could learn to feel.” ~
I know that song is written more about a failed romantic relationship, but it also makes me think of my mother. These lyrics speak to my soul. A lot of different song lyrics can do that to me. Music is a big part of how I express myself. It can be a huge “release”, when I’m full of pent up emotion. It can express words I’m not yet able to form for myself, in the moment.
I still consider reaching out to my mother. I’ve thought of writing her a letter. Then, I think of how that worked out when I was a child. She threw away letters I’d written, without even reading them. She read one poem I wrote her, on Mother’s Day, when I was about 10 years old, and she never stopped making fun of me about how dumb the rhymes were. I never wrote her any poems, after that. I imagine writing a heartfelt, emotional letter. I picture myself addressing it. Applying a stamp in the right corner. I would carefully put it in my mailbox slot, with the flag up, alerting the mail carrier to take my letter. It would travel several states, until finally, it landed in her mailbox. She would see it was from me, her oldest daughter. In my fantasy, she would excitedly open it, and read my words. She’d have tears in her eyes, as she felt and understood my words. She would feel something. Sorry? Maybe she would miss me? Or, maybe she might sit and write me back a truly heartfelt expression of her feelings. She might describe a version of her story that could help me to understand her. Words that I could read that would give me a sense of security, that she does love me. At the very least, some closure.
My realist brain is aware of how this would actually play out. I’d spend days pouring my heart and soul into a letter to my mother. She would see it in her mailbox. She’d probably open it, because her curiosity wouldn’t be able to prevent that. She would probably laugh at me. Then, if I heard anything back, it would be hateful. She would rip my heart into pieces even smaller than she already has made it into.
Adam, my beautiful babies, Jackie, my Dad, my sister…they have helped me to put the pieces back together. If you imagine a torn piece of paper. You could glue or tape it back together. The image is still there, but there’s marks where it’s been ripped apart. The tape is showing, where it’s been pieced back together. You can still see the original drawing, but you also know it’s been damaged, and repaired. I can’t allow myself to give my mother the opportunity to damage my picture anymore than has already been done. For this reason, I simply hang onto the fantasy. It helps me to get through, on the tough days.
4 thoughts on “Everything Changes”
Truly it is very simple to see your mothering. It’s in your words, your food, your home, and in your children’s faces. Love does not lie. Childhood trauma is what it is. I wouldn’t change my life (as bloody character building it has been 😂) as it gives me insights I would never have otherwise. Out of suffering comes growth and hopefully humour. If you can’t laugh you may as well give up now.!!!
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It is heartbreaking to read your post and feel how painful and soul destroying your mother has been in your life. One of the people (and in the beginning of your life the most important) who was supposed to have loved you without condition failed you. I don’t think you can ever really know why she has done what she has done. We can only really be responsible for our own actions and guide our children’s. You have broken any cycle of bad mothering that you could have easily repeated. We often repeat what we know. You have smashed motherhood. You are everything she is not. We cannot choose our family of origin but we can choose the families we create. You have created what you should have had. Be so proud of who you are, and what you and Adam have created. Give to those who give back. I know it’s really easy for me ti say this. I lost my father ti my mothers hatred, alcoholism and eventually his premature death. I can’t get back what I never had but I do have amazing children and now my first grandchild. Love really does overcome all. It’s just a really bumpy and painful journey!!!
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Thank you for saying this! It gave me goosebumps reading someone say I’m a “good mama”. ❤️
It’s tragic how many of us have trauma from our childhood that haunts us well into adulthood. It’s not supposed to be like that!