(I wrote this post a few months ago when my mother was sickly. I was afraid of posting it because it is personal but I think this is great for any one that is going through it now. My mother is doing well and we do communicate.)
Since 14, my relationship with my mother has been estranged, to say the least. I don’t know exactly why we never hit it off, but I think it was a result of disagreements, personalities and my mother’s own personal marital problems with my dad. Another factor that influenced the outcome of our relationship was my admiration for my father. I was a daddy’s girl, but not the devious get-what-I-want type of girl; I was more of a daughter that liked to spend time with him as much as I could.
I’m planning to call my mother in the next hour, and it’s killing me. Unlike the assumed stereotype, I witnessed the emotional consequences of having somewhat of a deadbeat mom. And while that word stings to the core, I’d rather be blunt than passive, that’s my day job. Since I’ve existed in my double digits, my mother has been a constant “discourager” in my life. From friends to my academic career, she has disapproved of me. And while I probably have the earthly right to never speak to her again, grace and faith have led me to a moment I always knew would come; just not so early. She’s having a surgery on the threshold of being life-threatening. For the sake of peace, I’d rather bury the hatchet instead of being too late and drown in regret. So here I am, deliberating every verb and sound I will make to my “enemy”. Or maybe adversary is a better title. I don’t know…
While I’m sure there will be some form of understanding; it’s only the surface. I want to express my respect, but I cant ignore all the damage I endured from her hurtful words and actions. I don’t know what to say and how to say it. How do I tell her that puberty was a dark and frightful stage because she ignored me? Or when I had my first fallout with my best friend and cried for three days in agony with no one to console me? Or not confronting all the micro-aggressions and insecurities of being young, black and female in a world that fails to notice me? How do I tell her how much I needed her without inflicting guilt? It seems impossible and overwhelming.