Mothers Day prompted this reflection.
I had a mother, so this is not the plea of an orphan or abandoned child. But so much that is said about mothers leaves me out of the dialogue. I feel isolated, alone and saddened. I want to say you are lucky to have a loving mother but please do not assume all mothers are the same or that I am mistaken when I tell you about mine.
My mother was distant and distracted and uninvolved with me. I wasn’t physically abused or harmed. I was fed and clothed, all that was lacking was love. I can’t remember ever being hugged or told that she was proud of me.
Perhaps it was that she came to motherhood late at the age of thirty-nine or that I was an accident. I can remember her once telling me ‘ I never wanted children.’Those words ate away at me, she hadn’t qualified them with’ of course now you are here, we are happy to have you.’ They pain me still.
I knew my dad loved me and was proud of me, he was the one who said ‘goodnight’ and tucked me up in bed. Maybe mum suffered from postnatal depression? In that case, it lasted years. I can remember we had an aunt-my mother’s sister come and stay with us for a while.
I tried everything to please mum, my stories were for her, the flowers I picked were for her.
One birthday I must have been about eight I spent my entire birthday money on a brass ornament for her, as she collected them. She smiled and put it to one side.
Nothing worked, I realised you can’t force someone to love you, in the end, I gave up. When my mother died six years after my father, I mourned her of course I did. But it wasn’t with a sense of devastating loss, because she had never really ever been there.