Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Walking Wounded

It’s been nine months and still no word. Most days, I don’t even think about it. I tell myself it’s because I really don’t care. It’s been nine months of drama free living and I’m thankful for it. Yet, sometimes she sneaks into my mind or someone will ask about her prompting a quick laugh and a denial. I haven’t heard from her. It’s been nine months.

I stumbled across a letter that I had written her after the last hysterical, suicidal incident happened. It started off well, controlled and careful, but I noted as it continued on that the accusations started to fill the lines on the page. The hurt and heartache screamed at me from the crisp white stationary and I was annoyed.

At first, I had been so injured by the initial weapons volley that I hadn’t had time to react sanely. I allowed my tears and words to fly, striking out and cursing the very air that surrounded me. Later, the anger would grow and fill my heart with a bitterness that I hadn’t thought possible. It was a biting, sour taste in my mouth and it reminded me of her.

Had it really come to this?

I waited a week before discussing the situation with the Golden Child. I admit that his shocked reaction pleased me. It wasn’t just me. I was vindicated by his response and I couldn’t help but smile. Being the textbook middle child that GC is, he made the phone call, reaching out, exploring, and searching for an answer. What he found stunned both of us sober and we blinked at each other in disbelief.

It’s been nine months since I’ve spoken to my mother. Nine months of silence. Sometimes I feel guilty that I am missing time with my aging father. Other times I am thankful for the peace that this ever widening gap has brought me.

I’ve learned some thing about myself and my mother’s hatred of me. I’ve discovered that regardless of what I’ve done in the past or what I do in the future, that woman will never love me as a mother should love a daughter, her only daughter. It is completely beyond my control to fix her or us. I cannot allow myself to become the bitter, angry woman that she has become.

I will never be her daughter.

Those are shocking words to many of you who could never imagine a rift so deep, so wide, and so treacherous as to keep a mother from loving her only daughter. I envy you. Treasure your mother. Treasure her love, her nagging, her quirky ways. Being a motherless child, even at forty-one is depressing. I will never have what you have and sometimes it hurts more than I can express.

In nine months I have thought of all the things I would say to her if I could; the hurt and anger I would express, the savage depression of never being good enough, the knowledge that I am a failure in her eyes. I practiced my speech about forgiving her, but that I would never allow her into my heart again. I’ve felt my heart constrict when thoughts of her or my fathers death come to mind. And I’ve learned from her mistake and embraced my children closer.

It’s been nine months since that fateful phone call and still friends ask if I’ve heard from my mother. I can only laugh and tell them no, that I don’t expect to. Grief is a funny thing, making us wish that the past were somehow different and that we’d made different choices.

Perhaps if I’d never been born, she would have been a happier person. Maybe she’s happier now that I am no longer a part of her family. I really don’t know. In nine months, I’ve learned to let go of my anger and my bitterness. Yet, the wounds are deep and the Hello Kitty band-aid isn’t quiet large enough to cover it. These scars run deep and I will forever walk among the wounded.

For now, I can only pray for her. That is all I have left to give.

I hope it’s enough.


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Oh, Annie. My heart aches for you. I wish I could kiss the wound and make it all better.

Annie, whatever she says, it's not really about you. She has a terrible problem, a hurt so deep she lashes out at those closest to her. I've seen it over and over again. Wounded people wound others.

Unless they get the help they need and allow Jesus to heal those areas, they push away the very thing they want most - love.

You're wise not to succumb to bitterness and resentment. Put her in the Lord's hands. Only He can deal with her issues.

You are a fine woman, loving wife and mother. I'm praying for you, my friend.


The Sweet Family said...

I feel your pain, however, I am a 39 year old fatherless girl. I haven't heard from my father in 11 years. He met someone after destroying a perfectly good 39 years of marriage to a woman 1/5 of his age. He chose her over his two sons and daughter. Therefore, I relieved everything through your post.

Take care!

Roo said...

This makes me so very sad for you. I'm not as close to my Mother as my sister is (there are only the two of us), but I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't or didn't speak to my mother. I do admire you though for making the change in your own life and with your children. Don't let her nastiness make things bad between you and your children.

God Bless You!

Anonymous said...

I love you Ann....
me :) (wen)