Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my mother. Some days I think of her and just miss her. Some days I feel sad; others I am angry. Sometimes I just feel sorry for myself that I don’t get to raise my kids with my mom in my life. I am about to have my first daughter. I am my mother’s first daughter. I know there is something so special in that … a beauty we should be sharing in.
She is an imposter.
The real tragedy is that my mother lives just 30 minutes from me. But that’s not my mom; that’s an imposter. That lady is a person so changed by addiction and mental illness that she is no longer recognizable to me. That lady is not the same one who came into my room to wake me up on my first day of kindergarten with such excitement and made sure I had my favorite breakfast ready (french toast). That is not my mom, the one who made sure I had a new special outfit the time I was the MC of the school talent show. That imposter is not the same person who spent hours analyzing and helping me decorate my first dorm room. That mother is gone.
She was replaced by someone else entirely.
My mother is not the same person who slapped me after I had to bail her out from jail, or the person I refused to continue to bail out the next times. My mom is not the person I have visited in mental hospitals all over South Louisiana. She isn’t the person who texts and posts on social media incoherently all hours of the night. That person is not the mother I knew.
It’s hard to properly articulate the emotional spectrum of our relationship the last 3 decades.
To some, it may be hard to imagine being in a relationship so unhealthy it makes you completely shut someone you love out of your life. It’s hard and it hurts. It hurts in places so deep inside you. Small things can be a trigger for you to realize the chasm that exists in your life.
There are moments when I feel embarrassment from it all.
How do I respond when someone references my mother or asks me how she is? Or when I am making friends, and they are talking about their mom? How do I clue someone in to what my world has been like for the last 15 years trying to come to terms with my relationship with her?
It’s just impossible.
As far as I know, a relationship with her is just not possible. It’s so unhealthy for me and for my family. There are times when guilt and doubt creep into my mind. I don’t know any other way to best care for myself and for the people I’m responsible for. I know in my mind that none of this is my fault. I have tried more times than I can count to my own detriment to help her … to make it work. I can’t; it doesn’t.
I am resolved. This is a situation out of my control. I have been asked, “how will you feel when she is gone?” I suppose I cannot know that with certainty until that day comes. I do know I tried so very hard. I gave so much. When I had nothing left, I took it from other relationships to pour into my relationship with her and that still wasn’t enough. I cannot do that. It isn’t sustainable. This is how it is, and I am powerless to change it. I cannot make something counterfeit genuine.
I love my mom.
I will miss her every day. I will always long for who she was and will continue to struggle with the burden of letting her go.