It is not my desire to vilify my mother. I think she did the very best she could with tragically few resources. I just feel like some final bits are rising up in me for healing & forgiveness. Now, she has been sober for 20 years, or so I’m told. I tend to believe it because I feel like I’m getting to know someone I never knew before; she’s happy most of the time when I talk to her. She’s funny, insightful & takes ownership, as far as she is able, of the crappy upbringing my siblings & myself had.
Since the recent death of my brother, she has shown me a grieving side of her I never saw before. It’s hard to resist her tears. I find myself comforting her as though our roles had switched. She has known as much loss & sorrow as I have & it’s hard to recall her as the abandoning, drunken mother she once was. Now she’s a person who has lost a child & who longs for sympathy which many would deny her. I find myself drawn to this version of my mother, drawn to healing & forgiveness. It’s my turn to show her my belly & trust her not to tear it out. So far she’s shown none of the behaviors that used to drive me to stay out all night in friends’ houses.
I suppose it boils down to this: I love her. She gave me life. She did some very mothering & brave things for me growing up – things a good mother would do. It’s time I began showing her my appreciation & giving her love. Our family herstory is littered with unmothered daughters, lost children, lost or inadequate fathers & lots of sorrow. My unmothered daughter Megan is helping me create a new paradigm.