Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mourning

Posted by Anonymous.

If you'd like to use this space to tell stories/secrets/confessions of your dangerous maternal mind, anonymously or otherwise, send me an e-mail (see sidebar) and you too can enjoy the refuge of the Basement.


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I am a new mother to a beautiful nine month old boy. Every time I look at him I am completely in awe of him. Everyday he teaches me what it means to love unconditionally because before him, I think I always held back just a little bit.

You see I grew up in home that was chaotic to say the least. My mom is bi-polar and her illness ruled our lives in ways that would likely shock you. But my brother and I survived and we have both moved on to become stable adults in loving relationships.

That being said there is a small part of that mourns that I do not have a mother to turn to for support. When I speak with her everything is about her and how hard her life is. When I told her I was pregnant (I waited until I was five months along in case we miscarried) she said "well, make sure you don't fall down the stairs and kill the baby." I can hear you gasping but yes this was her response. [She lost twins before I was born and is convinced it was due to a fall.]

When I asked her what I was like as a baby she said "How can I remember that - it was over thirty years ago." And a little part of me wept because I'll never know when I got my first tooth or if I loved to giggle like my son does. I mourn because I want that so much. I want a mother who is loving and supportive and does not make me feel like I am never good enough. The
reality is that I will never have that, and I'm trying to accept it but for now I just hold my son and whisper in his ear that I will always love him no matter what.

19 comments:

BlogWhore said...

Me, too!

http://aneditorialoflife.blogspot.com/2006/05/motherless.html

MotherBumper said...

I have to start with virtual (((hugs))) because I would really like to give you one that would make you feel better. And I mean that. I cannot even begin to understand the mourning you feel but having felt alone and lonely for my mom who is so far away, many times since becoming mother, I can imagine that horrible feeling is a bit like what you describe. I don't know what the right thing to say is but maybe it might help to create a memory book for your son so he will have a record of his childhood, something you didn't have.

The mom & dad bloggers have helped me often in my times of loneliness and I feel love and support out in the blogsphere. We are here to listen and support and I hope you can feel that too.

bubandpie said...

I think we need/miss our mothers in an entirely new and deeper way, once we become mothers ourselves. A couple of weeks ago my kids were sick, and my mom was leaving town for a few days and I was frantic - not because she would come over to help (she's not really that type) but just because I NEEDED to be able to call her up once or twice a day to vent - I couldn't do what I had to do that day without that. And that made me think of all the women who've lost their mothers (to breast cancer, to mental illness - there are many ways to lose our mothers) and how intensely difficult it must be to parent through that loss.

That said, my mother (who is, in almost all respects, a pearl among mothers) remembers virtually nothing of my infancy, and has only maybe ten baby pictures. That's part of the reason I blog - I want to remember it all, and I want my children to have that record when they become parents themselves.

Gina said...

Can you talk to your mother in law? Does she remember how your husband was as a baby? I know having a supportive and loving mother in law helps me when I feel lost with my own mother.

Emily said...

I was about to say the same thing with Gina, my mother is now disabled and can not support me emotionaly or help hand on with my daughter. I have been so lucky to have my Mother in Law to lean on. It has made us closer than ever. She is not not just a MIL, she is my friend. Also other bloggers are great for creative child rearing ideas, I know I have loved the "community". Annon, you are now alone, there are allot of us who do not have a "traditional" relationship with our mothers, you just need to be creative to fill that role in your life.

Emily said...

Oops, I ment NOT alone. Yikes that took on a completly diffrent meaning. Anyway, sending you interweb love.

DDM said...

Anon, I am sending good thoughts and cyber hugs your way. (((())))

Anonymous said...

I think part of me just needed to express this sense of loss outloud. I don't feel it all the time, but there are moments when I wish I had someone strong and wise to help guide me. My mother in law is a very kind person but it's just not the same somehow. Thank you all for your responses. It means a lot.

ewe are here said...

Firstly, congratulations on becoming a new mom. It really is wonderful, no?

I'm sorry you can't find the emotional support you need from your mom. That must be very hard. My mom is far away, so I look more to my husband's family for support when I need it. Perhaps your husband's family could be more supportive? Perhaps you could find a circle of friends that will provide you with the support you need?

Maybe through journaling or blogging you can create a record of your time with your son when he was little. I'm sure he'd love to be able to read about these things with you when he's older.

Lisa b said...

I'm so sorry that your mom is not there for you to support you though this amazing time of you being a new mom.
You seem to have a good persepecitve that you can only accept who she is and do better for your own child.
I hope that some of the suggestions as to find other mom figures are helpful and contribute to your growth as a mom.

Anonymous said...

This sounds familiar... my mom has, erm, personality issues and our relationship has been difficult for years now.

When we told her I was pregnant the first time around, she actually said she didn't want any more grandchildren. Yeah, I almost fell off my chair, too - given that she'd been talking about nothing but her only other granddaughter...

I'm currently pregnant again (too early to tell people) and I'm already freaked out about having to tell her again.

Anyway. You are not alone. I also miss having a mom to talk to, but I'm just doing everything I can to make sure my daughter and I will have a better relationship. I know it's possible to get advice, support and whatnot from other family members or strangers (like others have pointed out already), but I think there will always be that void where a mom should be.

Enjoy your baby and don't let things get you down too much!

selzach said...

I understand. My mom also is bipolar and although she was relatively stable through my childhood (thanks to meds and an awesome psychiatrist), the past few years have been really bad. We're looking into assisted living facilities for her.

She's the only family within 400 miles and I'm sad she's the only grandparent my son gets to see regularly. She loves him but cannot be alone with him for any length of time and doesn't provide any support for me. Everything revolves around her.

I can't stand to spend time with her because her illness colors every aspect of her life. She's negative about everything.

Her little gem of advice to me: "Have another child. Just in case something happens to your son."

Chicagoland Mamacita! said...

I'm sorry. Thank you for sharing this with us. I've needed my mom more than ever since becoming one myself. It's not always possible for her to be emotionally available, though.

On the up side, I'm aware of how I hope to respond to my son, and am learning from my own feelings toward her. You're already doing this - and can provide him what he needs, which is the beautiful part of your post. And take comfort in blogging...the other comments are right, it's such an amazing outlet for mothers.

Mouse said...

I've been working on a post about my particular issues with my mother and how they became more acute when I was pregnant and now (and my son is 3 1/2). With my mom, I think it's a combo of depression and that motherhod was more of an obligation for her.

I'm lucky enough to have a great mother-in-law, but sometimes that makes me more upset because I wonder why my own mom can't be like that.

T. said...

Unfortunately, I am in your boat too.

My mother is a bipolar manic depressive who likes to go off her meds. And when she is on her meds she is selfish, rude and self-absorbed.

Your story sounds so similar to mine. It's a horrible pain, now that I am a mother myself.

I really miss the woman who could have been my mom.

Track me down and email me if you want to talk.

Anonymous said...

So wonderful to read your comments. My mother left me and my father when I was 3 years of age, for reasons that are still unclear to me. My father "raised" me, but really, I was put in a foster home from the ages of 5 to 10, prior to his remarriage. I have no memories at all of those years. No memories other than being a terrified, cold and lonely little girl.

Now that I am a mother, and love my son with an intensity that awes me, I do not understand how a mother could abandon her child, and not care what is happening to her baby. I am angry with my mother, but this emotion caught me entirely by surprise. For the longest time after the birth of my child, I didn't want her to be in my life, or his life. Even now, 2 years later, I still feel anger towards her, but need to resolve this issue. In some way, I would like to remember that sad little girl, and the unhappy things that happened to her. Perhaps it will help me move on.

All this to say that I spend each and every day thinking about how I can be the best mother possible to my son. To provide him with the unconditional love he needs to thrive, to be soft yet firm, and to help guide him to where he need sot go. Not set him adrift at the age of 3. And every day I whisper in his ear that I will always have my arms around him, and will always be there for him.

It still makes me sad to think of that sad little girl trying to scrape a piece of blanket together on the corner of cold bed she was given at some strangers house.

And, horribly, that little girl is me.

Gillian said...

It somehow seems more cruel to have a hollow, hurtful person in the place of your mother than to have no mother at all. How difficult not to think that 'this time' will be different only to be wounded again. I do hope that someone comes into your life who feels like a mother and a grandmother.

iz said...

My god. I just finished writing about this on my blog and was surfing when i found this. She wasn't bi-polar but she did her bit.

kittenpie said...

It is sad how mental illness can make a person so different from what they were before, or what they might be if they were able to be stabilized one way or another. My own is doing okay now, but the many years of schizo-based turmoil put a major wedge in my relationship with her too, and I just didn't or couldn't really reach across it when I was a new mom, although I'm lucky she was always positive. It's hard not to blame them, but I think I read in here that you know it's her disease talking, and somehow that helps for me.

I think, though, that being aware of the mom you want to be, that feeling full of love and concern for your child, you will give him what you never had. It will make you fuller too, though I know it doesn't replace what you don't have. I hope you can find support in your partner and friends that will help you remember there's lots of love in the world, and plenty of it around you in other people, if not your mom.