A Mother’s Love
I am under the contention that you can truly love someone and absolutely destroy it in the process. I have seen it with children and their pets, men and their women and sadly and most brutally (as far as I can tell), a mother and her child. I saw it with my sister and her daughter, I have seen it with friends and their children. It is vicious, unintentional and devastating.
Today my mother reminded me how ugly I am. I simply called to check in on her and was greeted with, “you know you have really let yourself go. You were looking so good last year, you lost weight, dressed better, and now. . .” she continued on with me only catching bits and pieces, as I was hoping this would end.
I’m not saying my mother is wrong, she is not. Since March I have been little more than walking wreckage, but this is how I grew up. To hate myself. To find the proof of my opinion’s accuracy in other people’s cruelty. Being taught that someone only loves you when they are unable to let you breathe makes you stop breathing. Being taught that what you have is theirs and not yours makes you the victim in every relationship.
One year I was working in the mortgage business as an operations manager and doing quite well. This was long ago when Forrest Gump came out on VHS (that’s right, that long ago). My mother was enamored with that movie. Just before mother’s day there was the release of the movie and all the tie-ins, books, shirts, candy (a box of chocolate, of course). I bought everything for her spent around $200. A good portion of money. In my excitement to please her, and make her happy I gave them all to her. She was very happy. Still has the movie, in its VHS form. Then the following week it was mother’s day, and I was nearly broke until my next paycheck. So I bought a cake with yellow roses (her favorite), brought flowers and a card placing $20 in it. It was all I could do. She was all smiles when I entered the house and went into her bedroom. She opened the card, and became angry. In her grand gesture she looked at me and told me if that was all I thought she was worth as a mother she didn’t want it and threw the $20 at me. And so the money floated and fell on her bed. Floated as far as $20 will float in a dead air.
I was broken. I was an adult, made no difference. Logically I realized that I was a great daughter and had done far more than most children would. Not just this day but every day. It did not matter, I had let her down because of money, a gift, a lack of grand gesture.
So now I love with what I can do for you, expecting nothing in return, not even a kind word. I love with how much of me I can give, and when what I offer is not what is wanted I destroy the me I tried to give.
The pathetic part of this, is I am so aware of what I have become in all of this, and yet I struggle and fail to release from it all. When I think I have, I fall back down.
My mother was right, I am ugly and getting uglier all the time. Created that way from the inside out.