Mothers and Daughters

When you become a mum there are 3 relationships involved. There is the relationship with your daughter, the relationship with your mother and then there is the most important relationship of all. The one with yourself.

The day her daughter was born was a beautiful day. Her daughter was eager to arrive into the world. Her waters broke 2 weeks early and she was born after only a 5 hour labour. Happy and healthy.

Was she ready to be a mum?

She didn’t have the best role model in this area so was she going to make it? Was she going to not fuck up her daughter the way she was totally fucked up?

The moment they placed her daughter in her arms and she looked up with the sweetest smile on her face (yes, she really was smiling) a promise was set in stone then and there. She promised her she would always do better. That she would be the best mum she knew how to be and then do even better than that. Always and forever.

That she would not be the mum that she had.

It was a rocky start. Her years of being a “mum” to many other children gave her a head start but with her own it was different. There were challenges she never faced before. She wasn’t ready for. She wasn’t equipped to handle.

It was tough. It was fucking tough. The lack of sleep, her not feeding properly for 3 weeks then when she finally began to suckle she wouldn’t let go of her boob. For over 2 years! (Yikes!)

But every single frustrating moment was met with ten other more glorious moments. The way she snuggled in close. The way she smiled up at her with a love that was pure. The way she wanted no one else (which wasn’t always the greatest).

It was something she had never experienced before. A love that meant everything to her. A love that could never be defined because it just was.

Here was someone who was truly happy she was there. Who never told her she wasn’t wanted. Who never told her she wasn’t good enough. Who never made her feel as if her existence was not worthwhile.

As the years passed and this love continued to grow she felt a longing inside of her. A longing to understand more about her relationship with her own mother. She had an understanding of why her mother was the way she was. Her own childhood was destructive. Traumatic. Physically and mentally. She never talked about it but the few times she did share a little of her past they were not happy stories. Her parents fucked her up and in turn her fucked-upness fucked her up. Fucked her sisters up. They were just a fucked up family.

What a fucking mess!

And, this mess is what she wants to avoid with her own daughter. To give her daughter a chance to feel good about herself. To love herself and to never, ever hate herself the way she did. Because feeling good about who you are and trusting in that is not a right she should have to work for, it is simply a part of her being.

So, how does she reconcile with someone who cannot see what they have done? That someone who cannot take a moment to at least try and understand how their actions have caused her so much pain?

She can’t. Well, that what she believed, anyway.

She wanted to mend the relationship but she didn’t know how. Her heart was too cold to even know where to begin. There was turmoil. Inside of her and on the outside of her. She was still dealing with her own hatred and was not able to see too far past it.

She did want to but there were too many walls. Too high, too thick, too long. The damage was immense. It took her years to build those walls. She was never going to knock them down in one day.

There was actually a part of her (a huge part) that didn’t want to. The tenacious side which seemed to rule most of her thinking was never going to let all that hurt and anger go so easily. No way. It was hers to hold onto and hide behind. It was easy to stand behind her walls than use all her might to break them down. Especially when it came to her mother.

Yet, some of her walls were beginning to crumble. Because of her daughter. Walls she knew she had to break down because the relationship with her daughter was too important. She cared too much about it. She never really cared much about anyone before. Why would she? No one seemed to care about her (how wrong she was about that!)

She understood the relationship with herself was of significance and she was going to move heaven and earth to heal herself but the relationship she was to form with her daughter meant everything to her.

The thought of her fucking up her daughter the way she was fucked up filled her with such anguish and sadness she could hardly breathe.

So, everyday she held onto that promise she made in the hospital on the day she was born.

It was so fucking hard, though. Hard because her own insecurities and self-doubt had a life of their own. When she wasn’t looking they took over her mind and her body causing her to behave in ways she wanted to forget.

It was the pain and the hurt that left her stuck in those insecurities. Her doubt about being able to do it shrouded each attempt at being the mother she wished she had growing up. She wished she had now.

It made her sad because she couldn’t go to her mother for advice. Their relationship was never like that. She made it like that. Her mother made it like that. She made it like that because she never felt comfortable enough to share herself with her mother. The guidance and support she longed for as a teenage girl definitely didn’t manifest itself into her life. She was on her own. Alone. Alone with her thoughts, her feelings. Alone to work out all the hard bits of life. Alone when all she wanted was a hug and to be told she was ok, that everything was going to be ok.

She pushed her feelings to the bottom of her being and left them there to rot. They became putrid and rancid sitting inside of her. Until one day she could no longer take the stench. They had to go.

Despite her wanting to heal her wounds, the wounds from her parents were harder to accept. They were supposed to love her no matter what. They were supposed to keep her safe and warm. Give her the world. Let her know she is their world. Guide her through the notorious world of being a teenager. Be there for her when she was feeling upset or in pain. Teach her how to be a woman who loved herself and knew that her place here on earth was worthy of every beautiful moment given to her.

None of that happened. The opposite happened. She lost trust in who she is. She lost sight of her goodness. She felt her presence in this world was a mistake.

Her heart grew hard and cold. She built those walls to protect her heart. She would never again give her heart to someone so willingly. Until the day her daughter arrived into this world with that beautiful smile upon her face. She didn’t get a choice in the matter. Her daughter took her heart anyway.

And she allowed her to keep it.

Which is why the promise remains today. She can’t (or won’t) build a relationship with her mother so she will ensure the one with her daughter holds strong for the rest of her life.

They say you should repair relationships that are damaged. But what if they can never be repaired. What if the damage really is too much? That those billions of pieces of what was once a relationship are too many to work through, and each time you think there may be a chance to put them all back together again they immediately shatter.

Some relationships can never be resolved. The pain it causes is too much. And what is there to go back to? Where do you pick up from? Do you start all over? Do you pretend none of it happened? Do you live with the thought of knowing that there’s no acceptance for the past that once was and still is?

How do you completely open yourself up to someone to let them know how much they hurt you? How can they ever truly understand when they stand in front of you looking at the life you shared with them from an entirely different perspective?

Feelings are hard. Her feelings are hard. She’s never really wanted them because they cause too much anguish. Yet, now her daughter is in her arms she wants nothing more than to access those feelings she has ignored for so long.

She thinks about her time as a child and a young girl. She can’t really remember. The feelings are there but the memories are not. Did her mother (or father) tuck her in and read her a story each night with love? Or did they simply put her to bed and leave her there? Did either of them play with her when she asked?

When she does these things with her daughter she often wonders if this was what her childhood was like? All she seems to summon up are the bad feelings she has towards the two people who raised her.

That can’t affect her role as a mother. Oh, no it can’t. Not now. Not ever.

She believes in herself again. She believes she has what it takes to be a good mother. She believes she has what it takes to be the woman she knows she is. She just has to allow her to come through and push past all the bullshit in her way.

She knows she will never get to have the mother/daughter relationship with her own mother she wanted to have, so she’s going to give it to her daughter.

There’s no one to copy from. So she has to make it up as she goes along. She has to trust her own guidance and her own instincts. So far so good.

But, yet, the sadness fills her when she does fuck up. When she gets angrier than she intended, when she gets annoyed for the umpteenth time, when she feels as though she is spiralling with nothing to grasp onto to hold herself steady, when her mind becomes a bloody massacre and there is no one to help her clean it up, to stop the bloodshed. That’s when she longs for her own mother/daughter relationship. But the longing stays just that, for she knows too well it won’t ever happen. Not when there is denial accompanied by an unwillingness to understand and to see and to open up to the possibility of all the pain that has been felt.

She gets it, though. She gets how her mothers pain ruled her life. That’s what happens when the pain is not acknowledged, not dealt with, not given the love and attention it deserves. It festers until it bubbles up and causes explosion after explosion. This is what happened to her so she recognises that pain in the woman who raised her.

And, now that woman is gone. The pain was so much a part of her that in the end it ravaged what she once was. She became lost in the recesses of her mind while her body was tormented from all of the hurt she suffered throughout her life.

Her mother is now at peace. The hurt and the pain can longer attack the woman she was. The woman she wanted to be. The woman she tried so hard to be.

She couldn’t see that at the time. She couldn’t see how her mother did her best. All she could see was the pain she was experiencing, so she rejected any bit of love her mother offered because if she gave in then that love would be taken away in the very next moment. So she began to build those walls as high as she possibly could.

Knowing all of that, being aware of such horrendous pain and what it has done to her and to her mother, she is more determined than ever to ensure the same fate does not fall upon herself (from now on) or her daughter.

It just can’t. That is not the life she wants for herself or her daughter.

Healing is the only way forward. Discovering what she needs to release all of that stench inside of her before it too eats away at her body and mind.

Her daughter is the most precious gift, so she will not allow her own pain and misery to replace the love and support her daughter deserves to have.

First she must give herself back all of the love that was taken away from her, that she gave away, that she lost. She will forage amongst the hate to find every last scrap of love she knows she has inside of her. Then that love will make its way into her daughter.

Love and healing will give both of them all that they need. It will give her her life back. It will give her herself back. It will give her daughter the chance to live her life full of love for all of who she is.

She will teach her that her own love is the most important love she will ever know. Her mothers love is profound and bountiful but her own love for herself can (and will) heal any hurt she may be holding onto. For this is what she has come to learn.

There is no love outside of her greater than the love that resides inside of her. So she will use her own love to heal. Heal her relationship with herself and (eventually) heal the relationship she had with her mother, giving way to the most devoted relationship with her own daughter.

See, I told you. It’s so bloody complicated.

But each one of them is worthy of love and of healing and of the time and attention it takes for those relationships to grow and expand and fill up with the most beautiful feelings. Feelings rising up from the purest of places a human can ever know.

Knowing what to let go of and what to fight for encourages those feelings to take over and bring peace to each relationship.

Mother’s and daughters are special. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s hard. And, sometimes it’s really fucking hard.

She is aware now. Of all of it. And, she knows her love (and all love) will be the most important healer there is.

Listen to this Story of She here

Mothers and Daughters

Stories of She

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