Mother’s Day has meant a few things to me over the years, most not so positive. I haven’t spoken to my biological mother (though she barely deserves that title) for over 7 years. The last words I said to her were to tell her I was moving out and would live with my then step father to complete my final year of high school. I know she’s in England and I know she’s alive. Well, I assume she is, that side of the family wouldn’t even know if I’m alive.
My relationship with my father isn’t much better. While I do see him at least once a year, it isn’t by choice and I won’t say a word to him. My partner has noted that my whole body will tense when he is in the room.
So Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are events I’ve grown to endure. My biological parents are narcissistic at best, emotionally abusive and neglectful at worst. Sometimes people ask if I would reach out to them, if I would try building a relationship with either of them. More than once I’ve been met with judgement when I say I would not.
People seem to believe that I should forgive and forget, that I should be the bigger person. But why should I? What possible reason do I have to forgive people who don’t even believe they have done wrong? Why should I forgive them when, if faced with the damage they have done, would blame each other, would blame me, rather than admit any kind of wrong doing? Why should I forgive a man who causes an involuntary reaction of fear so strongly in me, I enter a fight or flight mindset being in the same room as him. If he weren’t my father, my anger would be socially justified, but because he happened to provide a sample of DNA, I’m not allowed to despise the man?
Why should I forgive a woman who, when faced with the reality of my self harm at 15, laughed it off as a joke. She told me that I was just messing with my teachers as she drove me home after having picked me up from school. After having been told by the school counselor I had admitted to it, that the counselor had seen the marks to prove it. My mother didn’t ask to see. Didn’t need to know. It was all a joke because her daughter couldn’t be suffering. No, that would reflect badly on herself. The same woman who complained about having to take me to a psychologist once a week when I was 16, but then cried when I was ‘all better’. I’ll never know if I’m a particularly good liar, or if it was a particularly crap psych.
So no, I won’t be forgiving either of them. Be it tomorrow or on their death beds. I have another mother now, a woman who came into my life with only the intention of being a friend. A woman who respected me enough to not want to replace my biological mother when she married my father. A woman who then cared for me enough to see my pain and though I wasn’t her concern or her responsibility, let me know that I was loved, am loved. A woman who kept caring long after she came to her senses and divorced my father.
A lot of people don’t seem to realise it’s not the family you’re born with that’s the strongest, it’s the family you create and fight to keep. So while a part of me will always hate Mother’s Day (even if I manage to have children of my own), I am extremely thankful to the woman who met this messed up kid, put up with me as a teenager and now supports me as a full fledged adult making my own way.