I always end up with mixed feelings on Mother’s Day.
Sometimes I think my mother was just as much a victim as I was. Sometimes I even feel some empathy for her. I don’t know with 100% confidence that my grandfather did the same things to her, but it’s a pretty good bet. Things like that just don’t start.
And then there are the time when I just hate her. She made the choices she did. She walked away when she saw what my father was doing to me. She allowed that cycle of abuse to continue. I’m not saying it would have been easy for her to intervene and get me help. But it would have been the right thing to do. She saw kids day in and day out at work who were going through similar circumstances. She helped them, but she couldn’t help me.
I’m sitting here writing this and I realize just how angry I am. It has taken me years and years to get to the point where I can feel anger. It’s not a pleasant feeling, but it isn’t nearly as bad as I imagined it would be. There are no lightening bolts coming in through my windows. The earth isn’t spinning off its axis. The city hasn’t self destructed. It is really windy outside, though.
I still question whether I have the right to be angry. Maybe I should just suck it up and accept things were the way they were. But just the fact I can feel some anger is a good sign.
I’m angry because of all thing things I’ve lost in my life. I’m angry for the thousands and thousands of dollars I spent on treatment to deal with the hell my parents put me though. I’m angry because it just wasn’t fair. Life is rarely fair, but my childhood goes beyond the whiny “It’s not fair” things.
Okay. I need to go take some Ativan before I totally wig out. I’m still mostly all right, but I can feel the panic rearing its ugly head.
7 thoughts on “Mother’s Day”
I still question whether I have the right to be angry.
yes, you have the right to be angry. you have the right to whatever feelings you are feeling.
and isn’t it cool, how things we’ve feared are often not nearly as bad as we feared they would be?
I’m going to use the word natural a lot in this post simply because protection and anger are programmed in human responses.
“She saw kids day in and day out at work who were going through similar circumstances. She helped them, but she couldn’t help me.”
I felt a twinge when I read that.
“She allowed that cycle of abuse to continue. I’m not saying it would have been easy for her to intervene and get me help. But it would have been the right thing to do.”
No, it would have been the natural thing to do. Most people when they see a child being hurt will help that child, especially if they do that type of work..helping children. Her turning her back on you was unnatural and goes against the basic human instinct to protect those more vulnerable than ourselves.
I for one don’t believe anger is a right, a privilege, sin or any other justifying word. Anger is what it is. It’s what we do with it that often requires justification. Anger is a natural response to injustice or offense. We are were not allowed to express something our mind does naturally so now it feels unnatural to do so causing guilt and the need to justify the natural response to injustice.
you have every right to be hurt, angry, po’d, etc. for all that was done to you and allowed to be done to you. No one has the right to harm a child in that way, no one. You did NOT deserve to be treated that way, ever!
I agree with everyone, but I am also in the middle of beginning to feel the rage at my mother not protecting me even though she had to have known. It is less painful to protect her than to feel my pain, terror, sadness, loss and rage.
Anger is not a right…it simply is a state of being…a feeling just as any other feeling. And keep feeling it and asking those questions and expressing why you are angry. Go, girl, go!!! This is a necessary step towards healing and integration.
Yes, she did make choice and now, so are you…different ones to help yourself and others.
Eek. Sorry that I haven’t responded to this until now. I think I totally pushed this post out of my mind because it was too much to deal with.
I often have trouble with my emotions. I don’t know if what I feel is appropriate. I know feelings just are. But I’m so used to labeling things as right or wrong, I try to put emotions into a bucket.
Must get some sleep. Work is getting crazier by the minute…
While it’s understandable that a mother who was victimized wouldn’t have the skills to protect her child, it’s also important to not that she still had the obligation to do so.
Not protecting you had nothing to do with you at all, it had to do with her not wanting to face her own responsibility. She protected herself at the expense of her child. Unlike the others who’ve commented, I do believe you have a “right” to be angry over that. Anger may be a natural response but it is also a necessary response if you are ever to heal. You do have a “right” to heal and that means you have the “right” to be angry over your mother’s lack of protection for you.
I find you a brave one for this blog. I have a blog also devoted to this topic for myself, but it’s 100% private as I detest hearing the tired, “get over it”, “move on” banter from other people who cannot differentiate whining from a liberating discharge. Just knowing that people can stop by and minimize my feelings is enough to keep my blog private. (It’s on a different server all together!)
Anyway, if you are feeling the anger, it’s there for a reason. Let it be. Emotions and feelings are neither right or wrong – they just are. I’m sure that you realize this, though.
I hear you about the cost of therapy and the removal of so many years of your life from child abuse. I’ve spent over 50 grand and I’m still feeling badly. And I’m 39. I wonder if there’s any hope sometimes.
I’ve had to cut off relations with my mother with the exception of holidays and birthdays. After 39 years of being oppressed by her, I had enough. I feel better without her in my life.
Thank you for being one of the brave ones for speaking out!