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When Mother's Day isn't So Happy

It could be just my training that makes me cringe at these over-hyped over-commercialized Hallmark card holidays. Or it could be my experience of family that causes me to have concern for those who didn't get the mothering they needed, who may have endured much less than ideal parenting, giving holidays like this a bit of a dark shadow.

 

So I just want to say, if this weekend isn't full of good memories for you, hang in there. You may have learned one good thing from your mother that you've incorporated into your life, or you may have learned many things never to emulate. Perhaps there is something you can appreciate even if the relationship was difficult.

 

I'll share with you all a poem a wrote a few years ago that captures my own feelings and experience:

 

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mothers.jpg

 

~.~ Absent and Needy ~.~.
Another Mother's Day Story

Free spirited and liberal I painted
the mother of my fantasy
she of my biology
closer to my age and
understanding that mother
I longed for, hoping,
never expecting,
to know, for certain
strong forces conspired
to keep her forever absent,
shamed and in denial,
afraid and unready
for the unwelcomed daughter.

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~

Adopted yet apart I endured
the mother of my reality
she of her own family-rupture
older in years and mindset
still, battling that mother
I rejected, wanting,
never getting
to feel self valued
wish-fulfillment born
of a wounded, needy heart
suppressed and dependent,
perpetually unprepared
for the daughter she got.

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~

Liberated and seeking I authored
the mother that healed me
she of therapy's invention
adaptive adult, corrective parent,
layers of authentic allium
peeled away stinky
and delicious
rooted in the chthonic
new growth reaching
for satisfying connection
independent and solitary
observant and strong
daughter of Nature's song.

Copyright 2016 Deah Curry

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Thank you for the poem and good advice. My mother loved me deeply but couldn't help hurting those closest to her (Long story) so the relationship was troubled. I never had a dream in which she appeared that didn't end with me waking up in a rage... until 2 days after she died and I had a perfectly normal, dull dream in which she appeared but did not trigger that rage.

 

ANYWHO... long ago I know my mother was troubled and that some troubling mental issues are hereditary but many inherited traits are not done deals, but just a proclivity, and that we can sometimes choose not to permit it to develop. 

 

What I learned from my mother was who I didn't want to be when I grew up. And to do a little cross thread commenting, even my choice of clothing is all about not being my mother. I new she always dressed in neutral colors (black, brown, tan, white) and she made no bones about it. Since my 40s I've been the bright color lady. 

 

But I do remember all of the problems came from her love, an angry damaged love. Poor mom. Sorry you wouldn't go to counseling. But when we did talk about it once, you knew, and I knew, you would quit when counseling came too close to anything important. You'd use the excuse the counseling was too expensive, but it was fear. I'm sorry you lived with fear all your life. But you made your choice not to deal with it, and I've made my choice not to live with it. 

 

I'm not a mother, my mother is deceased, my mother-in-law is too. Mother's day is another day in this home. 

 

But to those who celebrate it - make it a happy one. 

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Hi @ninaTx thanks for adding your story. The more I have talked about stories like ours, the more I've discovered so many women like us have carried the burden of hurtful conflict, bad role modeling, generational trauma, and so on.

 

AND, we all have some degree of innate resilience and can build more resilience to overcome the legacy we were left. Crafting this day in the way we'd like it, I think, is a good exercise of that resilience.

 

Have a great Spring Day. 

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@DeahWA  Extraordinary poem!  Thank you for sharing it.  The line "she of therapy's invention",  ( reframing ) I can definitely relate. ( My birth mother left when I was one and my brother was two and never looked back.)  Difficult childhood.  Mother's Day is bitter sweet.  I have two daughters.  My younger daughter and I have a good relationship.  My older daughter hasn't spoken to me in nearly nine years. ( long story. ) My plan tomorrow is to find a "popcorn worthy" movie on one of my streaming channels, practice some self care, read, play some games with my hubby ( Rummi Kube, Quiddler ) and eat at least one decadent thing.

 

Deah, What will you be doing on Mother's day?  Take care, Christine  

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Thank you @Rhymesometimes I kinda like that poem myself. Sometimes they just flow out.

 

I understand that bittersweetness you refer to. We can be philosophical about it, tell ourselves there's some metaphysical lesson in it, let it teach us how we don't want to be, and still the pain remains. I've befriended the pain. It fuels my writing.

So tomorrow, I'm sure my kids will call, I'll read, write, maybe create some memes for Facebook, probably order in some enchiladas, and count my blessings.  😉 Hope you have an enjoyable day. 

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I certainly did not have a Hallmark mother, but she did give me life. When I grew up I was able to choose the people who were in my life and eventually I had children of my own that I love dearly.

We can't always choose things that happen in our lives but we can choose how we respond to them.

 

I like the Hallmark holidays and all holidays. You don't have to join in the commercial ization just celebrate the way you like to celebrate. If this sounds psychobabble e it's what I do for a living. Have a great Mother's Day.

 

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@KSAA676329 wrote:

 

 I like the Hallmark holidays and all holidays. You don't have to join in the commercialization just celebrate the way you like to celebrate. If this sounds psychobabble e it's what I do for a living. Have a great Mother's Day. 

 

One of the great things about having a mix-religion marriage is we get extra holidays. I love holidays and if I want to join in with the commercialization, I can. But I'm also free to ignore it (we can choose how we respond to it 😉). 

 

Of course we could celebrate ALL holidays and I periodically go to the National Day Calendar website. For example, today is not only Mother's day but it's

 

I like to think lost socks turn into wire coat hangers.  Think about it?  But we have fewer lost socks because I now have a cute blue plastic bucket on my washer which is labeled "LOST SOCKS" 

 

And maybe celebrating Butterscotch Brownie Day might be fun. 

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Now you have me feeling guilty. I have live 77 years and never lost a sock in the washer or dryer. Does that mean I can't celebrate lost sock day. Would it be cheating if I threw one behind the dryer and celebrated anyway? It isn't that I never lose anything maybe they'll have a lost Keys day or lost glasses day. Hope you have a great day no matter what the celebration is.

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@KSAA676329 wrote:

Now you have me feeling guilty. I have live 77 years and never lost a sock in the washer or dryer. Does that mean I can't celebrate lost sock day. Would it be cheating if I threw one behind the dryer and celebrated anyway? It isn't that I never lose anything maybe they'll have a lost Keys day or lost glasses day. Hope you have a great day no matter what the celebration is.


No lost socks. I stand in awe of you.  I would be honored if you want to have a small memorial for my lost socks. Although, as I said, I'm losing fewer as the years pass. But they are still numerous enough to share, in absentia. 

 

I have one of those little things that locates your lost keys on my key chain, and one in my kindle. And I am forever using the "find my device" app on my computer to find my phone, which has the app to find my keys and my kindle. 

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I'm so in agreement with choosing how to respond, and that not responding and opting out are choices too. Freedom to choose, gotta love it. Sounds like you and I have had some similar training, @KSAA676329 😉

 

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@KSAA676329  That is one of the things about getting older, we can choose how we want to spend the day, whether it's the whole breakfast in bed thing or something entirely different.  It's a nice sense of freedom to choose to celebrate or not.  Christine