I have been wanting to do this post for quite a while now and have been putting it off. The opportunity to make this treasury on Etsy has compelled me though, to go ahead and get it out there. In all of these photos you see mothers and daughters in such sweet relationships. That is as it should be. But this has not been the experience with me and my mother.
Just so you know, I don't have some sick need to embarrass my mother, or to use this blog as a gut-spilling area! The simple fact is that from the very beginning of my doing this blog I have left a poem at the end of each post. My own poems. They have run the gambit from silly to serious. But I have not shared quite a few of them because they are ones having to do with my mother and my very traumatic childhood.
My mother was a physically beautiful woman. I remember as a child sitting and watching her, in awe, as she put on her 'going out' clothes, and fixed her hair. She was very petite, very personable, and a 'Man Magnet'! Her and her best friend hung out at military posts on the weekends, partying.
Unfortunately, as she was a single mother for most of my childhood, we became very familiar with her boyfriends. They eventually became our sibling's fathers! She was pregnant a lot. And my siblings all have the different last names to prove it! That is neither here nor there though.
The impact of her having men in the house all of the time, and having little girls, was the problem. I became a casualty. A victim of repeated sexual abuse from some of the men in her life. It made for very awkward relations with my siblings when some of these men were also their fathers! It's an on going struggle, even at this age, trying to have a conversation with my brother or sister about their father, my molester!
My mother also was, up until just recently, an alcoholic also. And her best qualities, and yes...she had many...didn't show themselves when she was drinking. In fact, her behavior with us children bordered on sadistic at times. One of my sisters refuses to even open a card or letter from our mother even today! She has not visited our childhood state since we left, and doesn't even talk about it with her children...Her memories have cooked, as if in a simmering pressure cooker with the lid held tight, all these years. And I chance the lid blowing off and scalding me every time I even mention my mother's name to her!
My poetry has been my saving grace. All of my feelings, good or bad, about my childhood have been chronicled in my story-telling style of poems. That's the reason I'm writing this post now. I have gotten down to some of the darker, more emotionally revealing, poems of mine now that I've shared a poem a day for all of this time. And it would not be me to not share the rest of them.
So, as you see future poems that SEEM dark, angry, emotional, or mean-spirited, I need you to know that these are poems from my past. They are NOT who I am now. In fact, they are completely NOT who I am now. But in the same vein, they are who I was, and what I felt, and what I needed to put on paper at the time. I'm sure that as an abuse survivor I'm not the only person that has gone through these feelings. I hope that my poetry helps someone to deal with the emotions a little better. It is possible!
I give much thanks to my God, Jehovah; my husband Jeff, of almost 29 years; my dad; and my many adopted mothers over the years, for all of their healing words, strength of character, loving spirit, and listening ears. I am much stronger and happier, come what may, because of all of you! I think my life and my poetry also reflects that.
My mother and I do not talk to each other now. I always inquire about her, and wish her a good life and an active conscience. One day I have hopes of resuming the relationship we had when I was a naive child, where she spoke and I hung on every word and I knew that my world revolved around the peace I got from her. I said I HOPE for that. I don't EXPECT that. She lives with too much guilt to admit that this was our experience, and I live with too much reality of it to waste even one more minute of pretend conversation with her about it. So that's where we are. And that's the way it has stayed for many years now.
To all mothers and daughters in strained relationships, it will sound strange coming from me, after what I just revealed, but treasure the relationship you have! Love can be hard, but it's worth the trying! In my case, the trying didn't work. But I am centered, loving, strong, and ME because I know I did everything, short of pretending to be someone I was not, to heal the wounds. Communication is such a precious thing. Say what needs saying...Today! Tomorrow is not promised to you. Don''t live with 'What if's and 'I wish...'es. Those kind of things can eat you alive a memory at a time. Let John Mayer's song compel you, as it does me every day, to "Say What You Need To Say".
Excuses To Forgive
You have abused-been down-right rude
to all the memories that I had.
With one swift thrust-you've slain my trust
and all the warm thoughts of my dad.
You have excused-while I accused,
and want 'Old Sleeping Dogs' to lie;
But with my heart-I just can't start,
not at this age, another try!
We both know-that with life's flow
will come new heartaches yet to live,
But heartaches, 'Old', have left me cold,
without a wanting to forgive.
If you get sick-will it all click?
Will I, then, want to care for you?
Will I understand you better then?
For both our sakes, I hope I do!
I give my God the final nod
on whether there will be a change;
Emotions flee-to think of me
thinking of you! Its kind of strange.
Maybe forgiving is just living-
respecting life-respecting his!
Believing every life is sacred,
and no matter what life it is!