I’ve been focussing my attention on loving memories of my mum the past couple of weeks. Happy memories. I want to honour the good in her.
Since I’ve been in therapy (years and years) I’ve had to get real about my childhood, and that brought up a lot of anger. And then, in addition to that, my mother never changed and the pain just continued. That said, it wasn’t all bad, at all. There were happier moments along side the grins ones. And because my mind tends to focus on the grim at the expense of sunlight, it pays for me to consciously attempt to remind myself that she wasn’t a bad mum at all times. I think she did genuinely do the best she could manage.
I know that she felt appallingly unloved by her parents. She was adopted and it affected her a lot. My mum sought out her birth mother in the hope that she could get some of the attention she needed, but was only hurt more. I know how much pain all of this caused her.
She was very young when she gave birth to me. Mum wasn’t attracted to healthy partners, and suffered from this all her life. She never knew how to look after herself, never mind me. I always knew this, but I still needed her love and being deprived of what I needed wounded me as well.
It does hurt to be stuck in anger at her. It feels like she’s a part of me, and so having all that disappointment and aggression to carry inevitably gnaws away at my own self esteem. I am quite a lot like her.
It’s the anniversary of her death this week, and with all of these thoughts and feelings going on I’ve been wanting to visit her grave and tend to it. I don’t think anyone else does, and I want to translate my feelings of love towards her in a more concrete way. Trim the plants, plant some new ones, maybe light a candle for her. I think this would help me although it also fills me with worry and dread to imagine heading up to the church and attending to her grave.
I’ve thought about asking a local friend for some support, but then perhaps it’s something I need to do alone. It will give me time to reflect and remember her with love. That is what I had inscribed on the slate that marks her grave. Remembered With Love. And that’s my project at the moment. But crikey, it’s taken me so many years to arrive at this point. Better late than never, I guess.