My relationship with my mom was complicated but I’m guessing if you’re a woman, chances are you can relate.
I was born in 1965 to a 37 year old mother and 42 year old father which is so common in today’s world but back then? Not so much. If you had a lot of kids it wasn’t unusual but there were only three of us. My siblings were 11 and 15 when I was born and my dad was on the road all week for work. My brother left for university when I was three and my sister got married when I was six and it was just mom and I for most of my life.
I don’t have a lot of memories of my childhood but thankfully I don’t have any really bad memories of my younger years. By the time I was about nine my mom was going through menopause, we lived in London, Ontario and the sexual interference from my father had started. She didn’t seem to know anything was going on and subconsciously I resented her for that. She should have known; she was supposed to protect me.
When I was young, I was full of energy and loved to sing and dance and entertain. I was quite a chatterbox and my mom was always trying to get me to quieten down. That’s when it started. She tried to get me to be a “good girl”; be quiet and do what I was told. You know … be seen but not heard. She consistently told me to “stop holding the floor” and being so self-centred.
I developed really young … in a training bra at nine and my period started at ten. Thankfully she had an honest conversation about periods and gave me a couple of books to read as well. That’s when it all started. I was always too fat, too thin, my hair was too long, too short, too dark, too blonde. My tops were too low cut or too tight; my skirts too short. At thirteen I was a 36DD and boy did I attract attention from the guys … of all ages. Then I started modelling school at fourteen and my makeup was too heavy and I dressed too maturely. It seemed that no matter what I did she was never satisfied.
She didn’t like most of the boys I dated; most of whom were quite a bit older than I was. I dated a black, 19 year old British guy (it wasn’t his age that was the issue … my father was very racist), then lost my virginity at 13 (she didn’t find out for several years) to another guy. I tried so hard to please her but it seemed like I was always trying and never succeeding.
But it wasn’t all bad; we had fun too. When I was young we would have tea parties and play dress up. I would jump into bed with her for a bit in the mornings to just chat … I did that from time to time until I was married and living in my parents basement and she was in her 70’s.
She had a long list of health issues and by the time she was 75 the dementia had progressed to the point where she had to move to a nursing home. It was the hardest decision of my life and I felt an enormous amount of guilt althoughI don’t think I ever acknowledged that until just now.
When she died, she was alone in the nursing home; I could have been there. I went to see her the day before but she wasn’t responsive. The next morning (it was a Saturday and of course we had to have our usual routine of breakfast, latte and chilling) and hadn’t gotten going until it was too late. I received a phone call at 10:00 am telling me she had passed. Her biggest fears were ending up in a home and dying alone, both of which came to fruition.
She’s been gone almost 14 years and it wasn’t until today (June 27th) that I realized she was still in my head. I have been holding myself back (unconsciously) because I allowed her to stay in my head telling me I wasn’t good enough; that I was too much and I should stop being selfish and self-centred and to stop seeking attention.
I resented my mom for a lot of years … I wanted to break free from her.It wasn’t until this morning when I was thinking about how people’s faces light up when they see me that it hit me. I’ve been putting myself down for so many years even when I’ve come across as being confident (which I’ve done for so long it’s ingrained in me). I was always “too much” for her … and most of my family.I had lost myself.
It was like lightening struck … and I realized I needed to finally let her go and get on with my life.
I’ve done a ton of work on myself in all areas of my life; this was one area I had unconsciously avoided. It’s time to FINALLY step into my power and just be myself with no apologies. I let her go finally today and the timing is perfect. Tomorrow is the new moon; a time for new beginnings.
At the end of the day I believe my mom did the best she could with what she had. I don’t resent her anymore; I thank her for pushing me to be a strong independent woman and for that I will always be grateful.
Goodbye mom; be at peace. I know I am.