I always get irrationally angry when people post pictures on Facebook with captions like, “A Mother’s Love is Forever,” and “Nothing Is Stronger Than The Bond Between Mother and Child.”
What a bunch of bullshit. My mother walked out of my life years ago, and never looked back.
I think it would’ve been much easier had she just died. It’s hard knowing that she’s out there, living her life, being mother to her other children, being wife to my former step dad.
It’s better that she’s out of my life. She wasn’t good for me, and my life improved significantly once she removed herself from it. Now that she’s not in the picture, it’s easier to see more objectively just how terrible she really was as a mother to me; my most basic needs went un-met. I’m so much healthier and better off without her in my life.
But, even though intellectually I understand this, not having a mother still stings, and leaves me feeling rejected. I still want a mother. I want a mother to get my nails done with me, a mother to call up when I need marital advice or a good cry, a mother to teach me things, a mother to be a mother.
So how do I deal with it? How does one cope with the loss of a parent not to death, but by parental abandonment?…
The wound gets less raw as the years go on, and I take a lot of comfort in that. In another seven years, maybe it won’t hurt at all. Maybe I’ll be able to get through a Mother’s Day without bitter tears and an all-consuming jealousy of my mothered friends.
Yes, I get so bitterly jealous of my friends who have relationships with their parents, that I start to resent them. And that’s so unhealthy. I’m still working on getting over it. Years of therapy have taught me to focus on the positives and try to forget about her.
Creating a child-free family with my husband has helped me to get over a lot of the abuse and neglect. We have two rescued dogs, through which I get out a lot of my maternal inclinations. And, for the most part, I feel totally fulfilled in life. The hole inside me where my mother used to be grows smaller all the time. I really hope that one day, it’ll be completely gone, because she’s not worth my time.
Maybe that’s what makes me angriest: how much time I’ve devoted to worrying about her, thinking about her, hating her. It’s time that I let go and stop being so angry. I want to turn the page completely, but my thumb and forefinger are still gripping it tightly, unwilling to move on.
This is me letting go. This is me giving the five year old in me a hug and tucking her into a warm, safe bed. This is me learning that I’m content within myself, and that I’m happy for my friends with parents, not resentful. Good for them. I hope they appreciate what they have in their relationships. I hope they know how special that bond is, because my story is proof that there isn’t an automatic biological bond that forces the mother to love the child; the parent makes a decision to love the child or not. Mine chose not to, and I feel sorry for her, because I’m a fantastic person who’s worthy of love, and she’ll never get to see that. She’ll miss out on my whole life, and I pity her for it.
That’s how you move on when a parent abandons you: You create your own life for yourself, feel sorry for yourself for a minute, then learn to pity your parent, and move on.
The missing parent isn’t worth your time or even the energy it takes to miss them. They’re pathetic, they’re nothing, they’re gone. Now’s your time to be strong, build yourself up and just let go.