When you and I logged on our social media this morning, we have seen hundreds of posts for Mother’s Day. Pretty much all of them will be describing to the world the absolute best moms. Beautiful, heartfelt and touching testimonials saying how grateful they are for such a loving, generous, caring mother.
Posts will celebrate the foster moms, the step moms, the moms of miscarried children, the soon to be moms, the moms that have crossed over, the moms of furry friends, the grieving moms, the surrogate moms, the solo moms.
All of those moms deserve the recognition and the love coming their way. They are genuinely good moms. And I am with you celebrating those moms too!
But have a thought, at least for a short minute, of those people that have abusive, toxic moms. Those that have moms that are not loving and generous. Those that want to puke when they read over and over how great all moms are. Those that feel enormous amount of guilt because they don't feel that way about their own.
My catholic upbringing made it very clear that I should honour my mother. But nowhere did it specify that this mother needed to be a loving mother in order to be honoured. Anyway, I don’t follow any rules from that upbringing, they are just meant to perpetuate abuse...but that is a whole other storyline that I will not get into today.
You are probably starting to figure out that I don't feel part of the Happy Mother's Day movement!
If you know my mother, you are most likely absolutely shocked at thinking that she might not be as perfect as she presents herself to the world.
Have I been open about this? I've just started to accept it as it is. Opening up about it is not easy. Extremely good friends have been there to offer good advice and a lot of love. But a lot of people simply don’t want any part of this discussion. They do not want to hear any of it. They look at me, disbelieving, as though I have three heads. But I can’t really blame them, they see her public side, they see her well dressed, smiling, laughing. They don't see her private side, like I do. They haven’t seen what she’s capable of. So when you don’t see it, it didn’t happen, right?
Just let me ask you this: have you ever witnessed a man sexually abusing his daughter in public. No! But the sexual abuse still happened. How about the woman that beats her children till they are black and blue? Ever seem that happen in public? Not likely!
Now, when these children (sometimes they are now adults) decide to go public, you can imagine the amount of effort and courage this requires, knowing that they will not be believed. How could that generous and funny and friendly man/woman harm his/her child this way! But it did indeed happen. It's easy to understand that sexual abuse exists behind closed doors, isn't? Easy to believe that physical abuse happened out of sight.
Well, I’m here to tell you that the very same thing applies to emotional and psychological abuse. She wants to appear to be the perfect person, she craves attention, she has a strong need to be admired. She seems generous, self-sacrificing, loving... but it is all self-serving in the end...to make you believe she’s a good person, to get your approval.
But I know what I know. And it took me years to figure all of this out. Years to shine a light on it and not keep it in the darkest part of me. I was trained to believe that I was never doing enough. I was never good enough. I was never present enough. I was never patient enough. I was never intelligent enough. I was never generous enough.
I was never enough.
Years of training went into creating this belief. It will take me years to undo all those cords that are tying me down. Years...
The following quote comes from The Invisible Scar blog... pretty much sums it all:
'Whenever you see your mother, she belittles you, emotionally abuses you, treats you like a peasant, and demands to be fawned over like a queen. After you spend time with her, whether in person or on the phone or even reading an email from her, you feel very, very tiny and insignificant.
You hurt inside, where no one can see. You are invisibly cut and scarred again and again.
You can hardly remember more than a handful of times (if that) when you enjoyed your mother’s company. You can’t even really recall feeling nurtured or loved unconditionally.
Yet you have spent your entire life trying to find the mythical and magical key that will open her heart to you and unleash the maternal love you’ve always longed for.'And this article gave me strength today...
Especially this part: