For the past few days, I have been processing a lot of my emotions about my mother–the deep pain I feel about our broken relationship, the memories, the tears. I do not feel the urge to reach out to her but the lingering question of why always haunts me. Why does she feel the way that she does about me? Why did she never attempt to love me unconditionally and only seem to tolerate me?
The topic of mothers always brings me heaviness. I see people sharing loving memories of their mothers, the sweetness of it, the lessons, the joy. I learned lessons from my own mother hard-there was so sweetness or softness in my experience. And I used to cling to the rarye moments in which it seemed that she was being nice–the time she taught me to ride a bike, the time when she played dolls with me for a little while, or when she told me she was proud of me when I graduated high school.
She is a joy to almost everyone except me. There are countless people that blame me for not having a relationship with her and typically do not believe me when I tell them she has nothing to do with me.
It seems ridiculous that I can only think of a few occasions in which my mother seemed to be a mother to me. And over the years, my disdain and resentment only grew. I was never pretty enough, never calm enough, never enough like “everybody else”. I remember wishing I had been born to a different family, my “real” family, because the one I was in did not seem to fully accept me. My grandparents were the only ones who encouraged my intense curiosity and odd pursuits.
As the years have passed by, I have pondered the what ifs as well. What if I hadn’t been a teenager mother, would she love me then? What if I didn’t look like my father, would she love me then? What if this, what if that. I have come to the conclusion that none of that matters. There exists a legacy of separation between mothers and daughters in my maternal line.
For the past 10 years, I have researched and compiled family history-from maternal and paternal lineages. One major discovery is a theme of separation between mothers and daughters through death and more. Here is the breakdown–my mother and I have no relationship (I was pretty much disowned); my mother was not raised by my grandmother. My grandmother went to work and live in NYC and she was raised by her grandparents. My mother never called her mother momma/mom, she called her Lillie because her grandmother had been her mother until she was 16. My grandma Lillie was not raised by her mother. Her mother, Gracie, abandoned her and her older sister Betty when they were 3 and 5. My grandma had been raised by her step-mother, Caroline. Mother Gracie was not raised by her mother. Her mother, Bettie Alford, hemorrhaged and died after childbirth. So, as you can see, there is a theme.
I have 2 daughters, Ayanna and Aaliyah. I cannot imagine them not being in my life. I cannot imagine not being their mother. I cannot imagine not seeing or speaking to them. They are my legacy. I have sons but, those girls–those girls will continue carrying the legacy of womanhood after I am gone. The theme of separation stops with me.
My ancestral mothers have meant so much to me as I deal with all the hurts of the past. They have been showing up in my dreams, encouraging me, chastising me, guiding me. I have been given many mothers over the years, in one form or the other and I am grateful for them as well.
Maybe she did the best she could with what she had. Maybe she didn’t know how damaging she was to me. We did have a long conversation in 2016 when she pretty much laid out how much my being born had ruined her life and that she wish she hadn’t had me. That conversation almost sent me over the edge mentally. I have never recovered.
There is not much I can do about the situation between Queen and I . She used to say that we get along better when we are not around each other. I guess she got her wish. And maybe she was right. I wish no harm upon her and I do not seek anyone’s sympathy for my predicament. I chose this life. And I will flourish in spite of being a motherless child.