Typical. End of half term and I fall ill. Started with a sore throat, possibly tonsilitis, a loss of voice, and then developed into ‘flu. So my half term break started three days early with sickness. I’m feeling a little better today, so will soon be back to my usual well self.
I dislike being ill, but have learned that to get well I have to stop and give myself time to be ill, for the illness to work its way through. If I don’t I lose my voice for at least one week, sometimes two, which is not at all good.
I was hoping, really hoping, to make it through one half term without any illness, but working in a school and coming into contact with teenagers who carry all kinds of diseases makes it nigh on impossible!
I think the stress of having to deal with family issues (my mother was rushed into hospital and is really lucky to be alive, so far; she’s still not out of the woods) relating to having to communicate with people I share some DNA coding with and who think the word ‘but she’s family’ makes everything all well between us all.
Bonds of love and respect are earned not given just because you happen to have been brought into this world by someone (or, rather, some two people) and happen to have inherited half your DNA from them. As a child, I was not shown love or affection, nor was I given a sense of being valued as a human being. That attitude didn’t change as I entered adulthood, and as an independent person I’m now strong and well enough to assert my right to associate with who I wish.
In general, other people don’t get this, certainly not most family members.
‘Let go, it’s in the past.’ ‘But she’s seriously ill.’ ‘You need to sort your head out.’ ‘But she’s your mother.’
‘Mother’ is a title that is earned, in my opinion. It is a word that represents a care-giver, a nurturer, protector, defender, and if that wasn’t the case, if the opposite was often true, then how can respect or love be given?
I can be grateful that I was given enough food to live, or, rather, more than enough so that I have a life-long problem with weight and my relationship to food as it is used to numb uncomfortable emotions. I can be grateful that I was clothed and allowed to go to school, that I was provided with things.
The important things of love, affection, concern and a sense of being something of value to others and to myself were never there and were never fostered. She never helped me to fly, if anything she did what she could to make sure I was firmly tethered to the ground in a very limited space, hidden, unseen.
The stories I could tell are many, but to dwell on them is never good, they are in the past.
Yes, I have let go of the past by realising that I can bestow the title of Mother on those who have acted as Mothers to me through my life (oddly, mainly men, but then the archetypal Mother presents itself in many ways through many people). My mother of chance because we share DNA has not, in my opinion, earned the title of Mother.
I can be grateful that the experiences I’ve lived through have made me who I am, even though it has taken a lot of personal work to get through the dross of the past (and I am under no illusion that it is all done with, not by a long shot; with each new situation in my life, more is likely to be uncovered that needs to be examined, lessons will need to be unlearned, especially with the great challenge of ‘relationships’ of all kinds) and to discover the truth of me that lies beneath the lies of those I, as a child, placed my trust in, who I looked up to for guidance and support and care.
Does this seem harsh? Perhaps. However, I can only speak the truth of my experiences and my position.
I did visit her in hospital, twice, before I became unwell and am banished until the dreaded lurgy vanishes. She was consciously unaware. I felt no bond, no love for this woman. Neither did I feel any hatred or pity. It worried me I felt nothing, until I realised I feel compassion that no human being, or living thing, should suffer, not even my genetic mother.
Perhaps that is the best I can hope for.