Mother Mother

Sunday I watched The Diary of Anne Frank. I read this book before I was 13, and I’d seen the movie years ago. I came across it while looking for movies on Netflix so I added it to my list because I wanted to see it again. There’s a scene in the movie where Anne has a bad dream and her mother rushes to her side. She pushes her mother away and asks for her father. Her father comes over and tells her that she made her mother cry and she can’t keep treating her so poorly. She explains to him that her mother just doesn’t understand her and that she can never really give in to her when it comes to opening up.

I can’t recall the exact words of the conversation but that was the jist. It reminded me of my relationship with my own mom. Anne’s situation if completely different but the words stuck in my head. She doesn’t really know me at all and it’s my fault. I never really act myself around her because I always have to be on guard. She’ll hurt me again. I’ll become vulnerable with her and she’ll hurt me again. I feel as though I’m not able to be her child because often times I have to take on a parental role because of past situations that occurred and she has never been the same since. Her issues have caused me pain, and when I don’t understand why someone acts the way they do, I am scarred. Especially when those actions come from the person that you look to for strength, someone who started out leading me down the road we call life and then suddenly they are hurting you. Unexpectedly this person is a weak child. Words are coming out of this person’s mouth that you never thought you’d hear.

Sure, medication can help the situation. But you know what else it does? It makes her different. She is still a child, but just quieter and less hurtful. I can only partly believe that it’s not her fault. I mean, I know medically it’s not but it’s really hard to believe and understand. My childhood with her is a complete opposite of my adult life with her. Where’s her spunk? Where did it all go? And why?

I know my husband desires I could be closer to his mom, maybe because I feel the way I do about my own mom. That maybe I’d call her and have conversations or feel comfortable enough to just be around her when he’s not, but it’s not likely. She’s a great women, and I enjoy spending time with her but I could never open myself up for someone else’s mom, if I can’t my own. And so even though I complain about my relationship with her, it is what it is and I don’t look for any one to replace her, ever. I know she struggles because I’m very close to my Aunt. But she’s not my mom & being close to my Aunt makes me feel very close to my dads side of the family, which I wasn’t for almost 15 years.

I had dinner with a friend on Monday night who lost her own mother just over a year ago. I see the look in her eye when I say what I say about my mother. And I know, I know none of that will matter when I’m no longer blessed with her in my life. But like I said, it is what it is. I can’t expect it to be more than that, although maybe, just maybe I can be more vulnerable.

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