MOTHER, MAY I?

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MOTHER, MAY I?

The anniversary of Mom’s death is coming, May 3rd. I sadly remember those last few weeks of her life in the nursing home. I didn’t drive to city.

My son says, “You don’t want regrets.”

I went up the very last week of her of life every day, 1, 2, 3, and that last day held her hand and apologized for my life of raging at her. I think now of my failures as a daughter, yet interspersed are the good things I did too. I did rag at the weekend nurse and insist on a special chair so she could get out of bed. I did move her bed out of from the wall so she didn’t have to lay on one side only. I had the super open her apartment and gather a few mementos to decorate the one half room she shared behind the curtain in the nursing home with the women who had no legs. It was so hard letting go that I stayed away until that last week.

So thank you dear son, you gave us one last moment of love, where I looked in her eyes and felt loved; finally. And I can carry on knowing that she loved me best as she could, just like she’d said all along; “I did the best I could.” Boy, how I hated that expression. It stopped me, which was the point. Shut me up.

I left a remark on a blog this morning that I’m sharing because it hit me so deeply: When You’ve Been Abused 

Saying the actual name or names of my attackers is like vomiting.
And the older I got the less I liked anyone bringing up ‘family’ because I couldn’t play the game and pretend anymore, I would sneer and mumble my sarcasm under my breath, still too afraid to speak the truth.

One of the favorite comments when introduced as Mom’s daughter with seven brothers, with her by side glowing with pride, “Oh, seven brothers, you must have been so spoiled!”

And when young I dutifully smiled shyly believing that must true if Mother says it is. But as I got older, I’d say to myself, “Yeah, spoiled, but not in the way you think.” At least I’d begun to see the truth as it is.

I won’t say their names if I don’t have to. I protect myself from evil, or a kinder version, due to their youth, very bad choices

 

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6 thoughts on “MOTHER, MAY I?

  1. I am really glad you had that week with your mother and felt her love. I am learning to believe that my did the best she could as well. It is a process. The abusers names do bring up a sick feeling even today. I try to let the feelings pass right through me. I tend to be reminded about them every time I hear about abuse. I don’t think it ever goes away but I am more adept at handling the emotional reaction both mentally and physically.

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  2. I’m a big proponent of moving through the healing process in whatever way works best for you. Every person has their own trigger points, or their own haunting memories, or their own way of insulating themselves from continued pain. We each figure out what works for us, and if that includes refusing to speak their name, then it is each person’s right to embrace whatever works for them. I had to learn that the hard way, because one of my sisters uses rage and anger as her buffer of insulation against her pain. Eventually I had to learn to accept that if it was working for her, then I needed to be okay with her choosing that path. Every person finds their own way.

    One of mine included calling my abuser by his given name, rather than ever addressing him as Daddy or Father. Saying the word Dad or Daddy felt like poison in my mouth, and somehow creating that distance by calling him by his given name helped keep me from going completely crazy whenever I spoke of him. From the time I was about twelve, I called him by his given name, and it’s only been in about the last five years that I’ve become more comfortable with referring to him as Dad or Father again. But that’s after years of working through repairing whatever could be salvaged of our relationship, and it’s also been many years since he passed away. Habits and history can be hard to change. To this day, I automatically think of him by his given name, and have to intentionally try to form the word Dad or Father in my brain in order to connect one to the other. I’ve always said I know I was one of the luckier ones, in that we moved towards forgiveness and healing while he was still alive. Many people never get to cross over that bridge. For me, I had to face him on my own terms, hear him take responsibility for his actions, see him express genuine remorse, and then accept that my own healing required that I let go of my anger and poison. All that anger and poison wasn’t hurting him at all, but it was killing me. Thankfully, in my case, I’ve been able to work through some of the history, and am in a much better place today.

    That’s all I hope for when it comes to anyone working through their own pain. That they find their way to a better place, so that they see some days that are peaceful and free of the constant pain. Every one of us deserves to know peace. Every single one of us.

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  3. It’s a huge process and I am still healing…
    I’m happy you found peace with your mother and it gave you some peace in your life.
    I have finally forgiven my mother, she made some terrible weak choices but I accept that it was all she was capable of at the time. At one stage I hated her more than I’ve hated anybody or anything, I never knew such anger. I felt she robbed me of my life, but I now see people do the best they can.. I can’t say I respect her but I accept her and I forgive her.

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