On Fractured Roses


To all the generous, kind, giving, and loving mothers out there - thank you and Happy ‪#‎MothersDay‬. For many ‪#‎survivors‬, it's also important to know this is a difficult day for us, and it is perfectly acceptable for us to speak about this.

I never liked Mother's Day because it always felt like a stab in my heart. It was a reminder of how different my experiences with my mother were from the "norm," and how impossible it felt to actually communicate that feeling to others. I know now that I’m not alone, and that there are many other people who had mothers that were neglectful, abusive, and/or harmful in other ways. Back then, I had no idea.

As a very small child, I had no way of comprehending that something wasn't "right" with my mother. All I knew was that she was angry/bitter/upset most of the time, and all I could do was try to be invisible so that her anger wasn't directed at me. Many times I didn't succeed. Every time mom yelled at me, I was sure it was because I had done something terrible because that's what she said: I was a terrible child for needing so much; I was hurting her because she was doing everything for me; she earned the money she had taken from the savings other family members had put aside for me because no one else took care of her and all she did was take care of me.

My point here is to simply remind those who read this that it’s absolutely ok to feel whatever it is you may feel today.

There wasn't anyone there to balance the darkness in my mom. I didn't have anyone there to reassure me that it wasn't my fault, and that I wasn't to blame for being a small child who by definition couldn't be perfect. Dad worked all the time, and he himself was in a lot of pain and wasn't able to be the protector and nurturer I needed. Other family members simply couldn't be expected to step in more than they did. In the end, that sense of being broken and bad was infused into the core of my deepest self.

In time, I began to see that things were not as clear-cut as they seemed. I wasn't to blame for mom's hurts and her problems, it was clear they were there long before I came along. But I didn't have any way to really process that with anyone. I did not think anyone would listen or understand if I tried to explain what was wrong with my mother. And for most of my childhood I simply didn’t even have the words to express my feelings, my hurting, and my confusion. It wasn’t until I had almost graduated from HS that I finally began to find the words to express everything I had stored inside. Almost 30 years later, I’m still trying to find the words…

My point here is to simply remind those who read this that it’s absolutely ok to feel whatever it is you may feel today.

If you had or have a mother that is a source of beauty, love, inspiration, and wonderful joy - please take a moment to express that to her. I'm pretty sure if she's like most people she doesn't hear that message enough.

If you had or have a mother who was a fractured rose, know that you are not alone. Nor are you any less worthy of happiness and love for not having the mother you needed and deserved.

If you never knew your mother, or lost her early on in life - know that you are not alone either. You too are no less worthy of happiness and the nurturing support that you deserve.

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