Happy Mother’s Day to My Narcissistic Mother
I know that there are more than just a few who are silently hurting this Mother’s Day. Loss of a child, infertility, those who yearn to be a mother. Then there are also those who can’t celebrate their own mother, the title of mom itself may even be too much considering how they’ve been treated. After many years of hoping for a mother of my own to celebrate, trying to see the good in a destructive tornado of pain and agony, I finally gave in and let go of ever having a mom. We no longer speak, as I’ve found the separation from a toxic and narcissistic parent to be much easier than trying to emotionally believe she is capable of loving me. Some moms may have given birth to their children, but the title of mother will just never fit them. If we did talk, I suppose this is what I would say:
Dear person who gave me life,
Today it is Mother’s Day and I want so badly to call you and smile as I tell you “Happy Mother’s Day, I love you and miss you!” There is an emptiness in me that cries everytime I even think of this day, because I know you will never be that mom. I walked through the store for the past few weeks, seeing flowers I picked out for you, subtle pink roses from my favorite picture of us when I was a flower girl and you were a bridesmaid. I clung to your leg like many young girls do to with their mom, and so often I still feel like that little girl wanting someone to cling to. I had to grow up, it was not long before I had to take care of you and then my siblings. Your emotional instability, recklessness in relationships and life and not knowing what was next. I didn’t get to have a childhood, I was too busy being the best mom a 12 year old could be to her immature mother and younger siblings. The worst part was always knowing I failed but trying harder anyways because they didn’t have a mom either, and I knew they still deserved the best I could give to try and make up for it.
Going through the aisle and then the checkout lines, it was unavoidable to see the mother’s day cards. In fact, I tried to pick one out for my mother in law only to cry as I read the words, each one pierced my heart as I quickly had to put it away before tears soaked its pages. As a mother myself to a son, some of these things have made me smile, because I now know the love of a mother that everyone speaks of, I carry it every day for my own son. But no matter, I will never be able to comprehend why you can’t love me, only that you were just not capable of doing so.
I grew up looking up to you for so long before I finally tried to become a woman you would be proud of. At some point along the way, I then knew, after becoming severely depressed, degraded, and feeling worthless everyday, no matter how hard I tried I could never earn your love or worth. But that stuck with me, still to this day, and if I could I know deep down the little girl in me would do anything for your love. That’s why we can’t talk, that’s why I don’t write, that’s why you’ll never know your grandson.
There were many days I did think you loved me, in fact I know others who think they know you, are convinced beyond a doubt that you are a wonderful mother. Only your kids know what was said when we got home, how you yelled and screamed, how you lost all control of your anger and took out your pain on us. It took being an adult and lots of counseling to realize those words were not acceptable, threats and isolation were methods of control, and your lack of boundaries even as we became adults was unacceptable.
But somehow you forgot those awful things even happened, trying to convince us all that we were the crazy ones!!! Constantly feeling like a burden, you made it know how hard it was to raise us, to feed us, and went out of your way to tell others about all the things you did for “us.” Many thought we were spoiled in the clothes we wore, all the activities we got to do, but no one knew how those clothes were never to be considered ours because how easily they were taken away. Many times what we wore became part of your show, parts in your grand play with full costumes of which we did not even want to wear. Our desires were never considerations and the things we did love we were to afraid to enjoy for fear of how they could be quickly used against us.
I’m not sorry anymore that I am not the daughter you wanted. That girl likely doesn’t and never will be capable of existing. Because pure perfection isn’t possible in any human, but that’s what you demanded. Part of me is actually saddened since you will never know who I really am or what kinds of things bring me joy or even what makes me feel loved. Instead you have your own ideas about what these things should be, which are very mismatched in reality.
Most likely you’ll have others feeling sorry for you today because how horrible you’ve made us appear as children, no one knows the secrets we carry. If even for a moment you feel lonely, I hope you can feel the single second of devastation in having to know your mom will never be there for you, care for you, love you, it’s a lifetime of emptiness no one else recognizes because technically it seems like we had a mother.
This mother’s day I’m going to get beyond the pain of all these years that I couldn’t let go, so I can feel good about the mom I’ve been to my son. Because I never want him to be anyone else but just who he is and I want him to know I love him more than words for exactly who he is. From his first breath as a preemie I have been so proud of the fighter spirit and the compassion he shows everyday. Unlike you, I’m never going to take credit for that, because he owns it, he owns everything hes worked to become even at the young age of 8 years old. And I will forever stand in awe of him so heknows just how big my heart swells.
I can’t wish you a happy mothers day, I’m sorry because that little flower girl wants to. So me and her compromised, instead I will thank you, for giving birth to me and my brothers and sister. They are some of the most beautiful people inside and out I’ve ever know, and you’ll never understand what they’ve overcome to be the great individuals they are. I believe in loving all people, especially those who hurt you because they usually need love the most. Since you have never been able to show love, I doubt you know it, but I love you “mom,” I love you enough to let you go. Happy Sunday.
The flower girl who grew up to be a loving mother of her own.
PS I don’t care who sees this, it’s my truth, and my truth to tell if I so choose. You’ll talk and people can believe whatever they want, but remember there are four of us kids with similar stories and only one of her with a fiction novel that changes plots at every telling.