For many, Mother’s Day is a time to remember and reflect on fond memories of values and lessons learned from our mothers. The day is filled with loving cards, brunches, flowers, gifts and family time. The media floods the airways with commercials depicting tender moments between a mother and child. This is a day to honor mother.
Roughly 30 percent of the population is survivors of child abuse. They will not have these tender feelings. Many have just the opposite of the memories in the media. Once again we will be faced with trying to forget painful memories of abuse endured.
Survivors long for a loving and tender relationship with their own mother, even while knowing that their relationship may never be that way. This makes it especially painful for the survivor on this day.
They may remember those moments when they made a special project at school, brought it home proudly and like me, It was tossed into the fireplace and burned. Naively children persist in the vision of going home and presenting their gift to their mother and getting a hug.
Their dreams get shattered
The abuse goes on.
They, we, I persist in the hope that Mom will come through and love me.
Mother’s Day can stir all those conflicting feelings and memories up. .
Do I send a card? Do I send flowers? Should I send a gift? Is there anything I can send that will make this better?
Choosing a card! Oh My! I read the cards of how the mother was so emotionally supportive. Not that one.
I read the cards with happy childhood memories. Not that one either.
My mother has been proud of me once in my adult life, maybe in my whole life! I graduated from college at 52 years old. She didn’t tell me, but I found out she bragged about it to her club friends. She told me she loved me once when I was in my 40’s. Those are the words that I would cling to then, and still do.
I wanted her to be proud of me. I wanted her to gently caress my hair as we talked and giggled. I longed for her love.
Some years I send only a card. Some years I send flowers. This year I had my picture taken for the first time in years and had it framed. I planned to send it to her as a Mother’s Day gift. Today is Tuesday. The card I finally picked out, which is nice but didn’t feel like a lie, is still in the big envelope with the framed photo.
I haven’t mailed it. She will probably get it a month from now when I have decided it’s OK to mail. When I do mail it I hope that I never hear what she has done with it. I would like to think that it goes on the wall or the shelf in her living room but it is far more likely that it will end up in a box somewhere.
We have every right to protect themselves from any further abusive remarks or actions. I guess this is how I do it. I buy a card every year; mail it late, call at the last minute all in what is an effort to protect myself.
I hope you all allowed yourself to be pampered on this day. If you are not a mother, pamper yourself anyway. Spend time taking care of yourself. Treat yourself to a manicure or massage. Splurge on yourself, for you certainly deserve it!