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To My Mothers - Outside The Box

To My Mothers

To My Mothers

Dear mothers,

I am a mom now myself.  I have an absolutely beautiful and brilliant two year old daughter that I love more than anything in the entire world.  I love her unconditionally and I know I always will.  I cannot fathom anything that my child could possibly do in her lifetime that would make me turn my back on her. It is my job (among other things) to love her forever.

To my biological mother – You gave me up for adoption at birth.  I understand and respect that decision.  You were young and unprepared to raise a child.  You made the best possible decision for both of us. It took me a lot of years to work up the courage to try and find you. When I finally made that decision luck was on my side and by a series of unlikely events I actually found you quite easily. You, simply put, rejected me.  I cannot even begin to explain to you how that felt (just as I could not understand how you must have felt). All of those years I spent wondering, finding the courage to put myself out there and only to be completely rejected by you.  I wasn’t looking for you to be my mother or even to be my friend.  In fact I didn’t even need to meet you.  A simple acknowledgement would have meant the world to me.  You have no idea. Instead you have chosen to completely ignore me, to deny my total existence. It baffles me and it hurts me.

To the mother that raised me – You are my mother.  I might use the word in reference to the woman who brought me into this world but, in actuality, you are the only one I have ever thought of as my mom.  It is that reason that you hurt me the most.  I have loved you, respected you, looked up to you and you have let me down so completely that there are no words in any dictionary that could define that pain.  Although I don’t really remember, I believe you were a good mother to me when I was a young child.  I was a happy, healthy kid.  You taught me manners, helped me with my homework, taught me many valuable lessons that I have held onto my entire life.  But, somewhere along the way something changed.  I grew up, had my own opinions and goals.  More often than not you didn’t support my ideas, my dreams.  You are strong willed, as am I, but part of being a parent (as I’ve learned) is learning to be flexible.  I wonder if there were times you were trying to protect me by being so seemingly closed minded.  Maybe.  But in the process you cut me off from life, from experiences that would help me grow.  You wanted me to be perfect, that much I do know, and that is a heavy load for anyone, let alone a child, to carry.  Nobody is perfect.  We all need the opportunity to try, and to fail. It seemed you rather I didn’t try at all and so I grew up believing that you didn’t have faith in me and that failure was something to be ashamed of.

We had many tough years, you and I.  But I never gave up trying to be your daughter, trying to make you proud of me. I left home at 17, made lots of decisions you didn’t approve of, got an education, started a career, bought a house, and got married.  All though that our relationship was like a roller coaster but I held on for dear life knowing that all roller coasters eventually come to a nice slow stop.  And then, the biggest news of my entire life, I was pregnant.  I was sure this was going to be the one event in my life that you might be happy about, maybe even proud.  I will never forget the day I called to tell you we were expecting. I was so excited to share this news with you. It didn’t matter that we weren’t really speaking at the time. You are my mother after all and this was big and happy news!  That conversation lasted 30 seconds, maybe. It was as if I called to tell you I won $10 on a scratch and win.  “Congratulations, well I’m pretty busy so I better go.” And there it was, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

So, my dear mothers, I hope that you are both happy.  And, I actually don’t say that with sarcasm. You have both made decisions at my expense, have hurt me greatly, and if those actions have not given you some satisfaction, some peace, then what a waste it would be.  I think it’s fate that I now have two mother in laws (yes that’s right two!) that I can look up to , who are wonderful grandmother’s to my daughter and who I trust will never turn their backs on me.  I know that as my daughter grows up she will experience heart ache, that’s inevitable, but I also know that it won’t be me that causes her that pain.  I’m not naive, I know that we will have our ups and downs too.  The mother daughter relationship can be a tricky one.  But I will never, ever, ever, stop being her mother or let her believe that I just don’t care.

This article has 9 comments

  1. Wow, I can't imagine giving up my child, or being given up… I can't begin to understand the confusion, frustration and pain you have experienced. I can understand, though, how much courage it takes to bare your soul like this… I hope you find comfort in the therapy of writing…Linking up from Weekend Showcase… I hope you will also come visit me at jugglingactmama.blogspot.com 🙂

  2. I love this post. I'm very sorry you were rejected, it seems that in no matter the situation, rejection always hurts. I was adopted as a baby, but I was very lucky and was adopted into the family. My biological mother was in an accident and was disabled, but had asked her brother and his girl to raise me, they got married and adopted me, and I am so thankful they did. It took 20 years to look up my step sisters, and I'm so glad I did because we're closer thane very now, but they did not have a very good childhood with her AS their mother. (sent to foster homes, and their father wasn't very reliable). My adoptive mother, doesn't have that motherly instincts, and it hurts sometimes, but she still loves me. I love them both, and they both know I'm healthy, and happy with a family of my own. Sorry if this was a long comment, it had me pondering on my own situation. I had the same situation when I told my mother I was pregnant…not as joyous as I thought it would of been!!

  3. Oh mama. This is so powerful. You just poured your heart out. Thank you. I love that you have taken these painful experiences and decided that your coarse with your daughter will be different. Your baby is lucky to have such a thoughtful mama who will love her unconditionally.~Mama Pants http://www.theadventuresofthefamilypants.com

  4. Wow!! What a post! You and I are a lot a like. I think we even write the same way. While I was not given up for adoption, I did end up in foster care a few times, but finally left my real mother's home at the age of 16. I've had a few surrogates that have taken her place and taught me how to love, be loved and love others. You will be a wonderful mother because of all you've learned and all you've gone thru.

    • Thank you very much Heather. I am very grateful to those people who have come into my life to show me that there really is such a thing as unconditional love. The thing that I really struggle with is my daughter not knowing her grandmother (luckily she has two that adore her). On one hand it makes me sad, on the other I think that she is better off without that influence in her life. I know one day when she is older she will ask about my mother and at the moment I have no clue how I am going to handle that.

  5. Shayna, this is so beautiful. And so sad. I'm so sorry to learn that you have had such difficult relationships with your mothers. No one deserves that. It is so sweet how much you clearly love your daughter, and I love how you have made such a strong point to be a completely different kind of mom to your daughter than your mothers were to you. Great post. Truly.

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