Honoris causa matris meae
Honoring My Mother
Happy Mother’s Day to my Mother, Nona May, Born 1921 – Died 1999.
Is it possible to honor my mother today on Mother’s Day, 2020 while continuing to reveal my experiences of being birthed, cherished, emotionally abandoned, protected, abused verbally, emotionally and sometimes physically by a woman who exhibited symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder throughout my childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, and midlife? Can love and protection, abandonment, and abuse exist together in the same frame as my mother’s body, soul, and spirit?
The answer to that is unequivocally ~ YES.
I desire to continue to commemorate my mother’s memory and unveil the integrity of the heart she held even as I share my painful experiences while living with her in my formative years. I was the only child out of six that she raised. It was not until 1990 when I received an assignment in my undergraduate program that I began to turn to my past, and in my turning, I began to own the life I wanted to forget. Unexpectedly, this movement inaugurated a healing process in my soul as I began to compile my truths in written form; a narrative integration.
There are three motivations that sustain my energy in the endeavor of publicly releasing my memoir. First, for those who remember my mother “I would like you to understand with compassion why she acted-out in the horrendously, cruel ways that she did.” Secondly, I write on my mother’s behalf as if she perceives me “through the veil of death” since she died in 1999. Lastly, and most importantly, I continue to develop my story as a vital part of my contiguous healing. I found my voice mid-life and I find myself continually fine-tuning my utterances as I offer galvanizing insights to the power of healing through writing my story.
This series was originally intended to offer my siblings insight into why mom abandoned them leaving them with other family members to raise. There are two siblings who remain in life with me: my elder brothers; Jerry and Speed. Sadly, the remainder of my siblings; Kitty, Tim, and Jim have passed through the portal of death.
My personal history as my mother’s daughter shaped who I became. The series, Generational Shame: My Mother’s Story and Mine continues to reveal my path to uncover hidden strengths, end problematic patterns, and continue to chart a course for my horizon through the discovery of spiritual and psychological insights. If the consequence of my story is an illumination to others, it will be a reward to my heart.
In honor of my mother, I would like to share a poem titled ~Of Woman Born
The mother stands for the victim in ourselves,
The unfree woman,
Our personalities seem
dangerously to blur
and overlap with our mothers’
And, in a desperate attempt to know
where mother ends and daughter begins,
We perform radical surgery
~ Adrienne Rich
The task of the daughter is to unbind and heal our feminine wound.
Have we not held our mothers responsible for who we have become, whether the intention was consciously known? We have, I have. For me, it manifested in my determination to become completely opposite of who she was, how she acted, how she manifested love. Her enmeshment was too powerful I did not want to become her. Some women have “become” their mothers and have hated who they have become, passing the same unprocessed anger to their daughters.
Mothers are seen as the paramount force in our developmental years or lack thereof. In my mother’s era she did not experience the father’s being held responsible for their actions when judgments were whispered in family conversations.
In my narrative, my father was the unsung hero who supported us in every capacity of life. My brother’s fathers were never held responsible for their lack of accountability and support among my brothers. Our mother was the object of their scorn. There was no mention of inadequate fathering, lack of their economic support, or providing a safe and secure home environment that was needed.
It is not surprising that many of my clients feel they must defend their mother to me, the therapist. There is a fear that they too will be scrutinized as a “bad mother” thus, they defend their mother in an effort to defend themselves. They fear that they will be judged for their deficits rather than being known and seen in their beautiful actions toward their daughter(s).
May I offer a sweet admonition to the daughters and mothers, Happy Mother’s Day. May you find yourselves together healing your feminine wound(s).
The reticulated feminine imagination of Firefly Horizons and aesthetic architect of its contextual nature. Crystal establishes artful metaphor and metonymy in interpretative language to convey abstract questions to easy answers. Through sovereign reflection, she initiates imaginative beginnings. Read more about Crystal • Articles by Crystal