My mom is a saint. That’s what I tell people if they ask. She’s the type to give you the shirt off her back if you are shivering in the cold. She’s the type to give up her bed and sleep on the floor if someone comes to visit. She puts herself last. Always. That said, I expected a deeper connection to her than what often seemed to manifest.
Last weekend drew the last straw. I noticed that whenever we would talk, I’d become angry and she’d become confused. I felt like my needs weren’t being met whenever we had a conversation. I’d feel exhausted. I knew that for years whenever my mom came home, my initial reaction would be to just go to my bedroom. Well that weekend, I discovered why.
I told her that for years I’ve tried to get closer to her but often feel as though I can’t. I told her that I am often disappointed and I apologized to her. I realized it was my own expectations I had of the relationship and of her that disappointed me the most. In a sense: greed. My greed. I wanted more and more and more from her and what she did provide never felt like enough. At that moment, I knew it was time to let go. She is who she is and trying to make her into what I want or trying to create a relationship with her the way I want isn’t fair to her and is painful to me.
I understand now that even though she is my mother, she’s not mine. Her job isn’t to make me happy. Even if I knew this, I think subconsciously, my actions (leaving the room whenever she came home, becoming angry and having outbursts when she didn’t react to something in the way I wanted) were proof of my honest feelings and beliefs. I’m not in control of her anymore than she is in control of me. So, I’ll end with this poem that keeps being called to mind.