I’ll help my mother if she gives me the kindness and respect I always craved
Finally, at the age of fifty, I have found peace with my mother. And that is only because I’ve grown up and don’t need her anymore. We no longer live under the same roof, we haven’t since I was 17-years-old. I don’t need her to be my mother nor am I looking for her to act as a grandmother to my own five daughters. In fact sometimes now she needs me. Which is great because now she has to be nice to me.
Growing up as one of twelve, my mother had her favorites. I wasn’t one and so I went under the radar for the most part. Unless of course I was in trouble. Then all hell would break loose, orphanages threatened, I was grounded, cut off from my friends. The only time we interacted was when I was in trouble. There were no hugs, no kisses, no praise, no attempt at understanding this wild child.
I craved her attention, I craved her praise, I often did stuff just to get her to notice me. But she was too busy. She always had a baby on her hip, was always trying to placate my father. All she wanted was to raise and keep us out of trouble.
She did get on with some of my sisters though and that hurt. The sisters I loved and played with everyday, she loved them too. And I knew why because I thought they were great. At the time I couldn’t understand why she just didn’t seem to like me. But now I understand it was a clash of personalities. We were both strong willed, stubborn and determined. She had too much to do to give me the handling I needed.
When I had my own children, I wanted her to be a loving grandmother. I loved my own daughters so much, I vowed I would never treat them as she had treated me, And I didn’t. I love them all unconditionally and differently because they are all such different individuals. I can thank my mother for that because loving my own daughters with such abandon has brought me such extremes of happiness. I have five fabulous friends, my best friends.
And now I forgive my mother. She is older and still a very feisty lady. She has a cranky dependent husband who makes her life hell. She needs help and if she gives me what I always wanted, kindness and respect, I am happy to help her. Finally, I understand my mother and guess what? I like her now.