Repeat After Me: I Am Not My Mother

Well are you?

Depends on what you mean when you say it. Are you the guardian of your own well being? Are you the nurturer of your spirit and soul? Are you sheparding your own growth as an individual?

If yes, then maybe you are your own mother- but you are not YOUR mother, or the woman who raised you. Say it again.

We all have so many fears about repeating the mistakes that our parents made. And as wives and mothers ourselves, we have very special fears about becoming our mothers, especially now. We judge them so harshly for their shortsightedness, their weaknesses, their insecurities and their blindspots.

But they were supposed to be perfect for us, and for our fathers and our brothers and sisters too, weren’t they?

They weren’t supposed to make us feel small or ignore us or overshadow us- or tell us things about us that weren’t true but made us believe them anyway.

And we’re still supposed to keep them on a pedestal.

The funniest thing about “the mother” is that they are untouchable, yet still the most criticized, revered, but also judged people in our world.

You only have one mother you know, you’ll regret it when she’s gone.

But will I?

I’ve written this entire post so far in the removed- but I’m about to get personal.

I have mommy issues. If you do too, you’ll get it. Cause trying to explain to anyone else who doesn’t is like trying to explain the grammatical system of a Slavic language.

The relationship I have with my mother is the most complex relationship I’ve ever and likely will ever experience. Your mother is supposed to be your world- and when she gives you a really backwards world, it affects absolutely everything.

The thing about my mother is that she held it together really well for a long time. When she was my age she was in almost the identical spot that I’m in- and that shit is scary as fuck. You’ll understand when you hear what happened next.

She had her own business, she owned a home with my father and was in a happy marriage, she was pregnant with her second baby, she was healthy and fit and everything seemed to be coming up roses.

Then her mother died. Two weeks before my brother was born, and everything crashed.

I learned recently that my grandmother had almost the exact same experience. Her mother died when she was pregnant with my mother. If you’ve ever heard of ancestral trauma- that probably sounds pretty fascinating.

The funny thing is, when my grandmother was on her death bed- she said, don’t treat Emily the same way I treated you….As you may infer, they also didn’t have a great relationship. My mom left home at 15.

I think what happened after that could have easily been labelled postpartum depression. But it was likely just the straw that broke the camels back… along with some insane timing. First came the depression, then the drugs, then the suicidal tendencies and the cycle went from there.

How can such a vibrant, smart, funny, strong woman go from having everything to being a skeletal shell of who I used to call mom?

I guess it goes back pretty far.

The thing is, I’ve tried everything. I’ve spent so many years trying to repair this relationship. But everytime I laugh, or tell a joke or sometimes when I look in the mirror I see her.

No matter how much a parent can hurt you- it’s so hard to cut off all feeling. It’s the same thing with any abuser isn’t it?

When it’s your own mother it’s incredibly hard to let yourself go and to live life freely not shackled to the what if’s. What if she gets better, what if it’s different this time, what if I do regret it?

I’m coming to this crux, because I know she’s not well. I know she doesn’t have much longer and I’m so afraid. We’re planning to have another baby- but the problem is, I don’t trust her.

I don’t trust her for a second. And I keep hearing Brene Brown’s voice in my head saying don’t show people your “stuff” if you don’t trust them.

She has always and will always hurt me. She’s volatile. I can’t have her near my family.

So the choice is this, do I let her in at all or do I keep my walls up and protect my fortress? I have no way of knowing what’s right and neither does anyone else. It’s all about boundaries- but what are the right boundaries to set and how do you know when to give a little? When to have a little more compassion as to not seem like an ice queen?

How do you not become your mother?

I’m preparing for a battle and I don’t know whether to go in guns blazing or to lay down my weapons.

All I know is- I am not my mother. Whatever I decide, whatever YOU do or say to try to help me with this decision, no one is my mother and that’s the reality of the situation.



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3 Comments

  1. Riley Mcmasyers
    November 29, 2018 / 1:04 pm

    If things went south around the time when your mom had her second child personally I’d wait a bit longer as you’ve mentioned you are exactly where she is.

  2. November 29, 2018 / 2:48 pm

    If your mother has truly changed, she’ll recognize that she has put you in an untenable scary position by demanding what failed two generations running. If she balks at waiting until after you have adjusted to your second child, she’s proven your own fears.

    • eatloveevolve
      Author
      November 29, 2018 / 5:10 pm

      That’s a very interesting way to look at it! I appreciate your comment ❤️

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