Which sounds simultaneously insulting and like an oxymoron, but bear with me.
Most people who meet me these days will see me as a tough bitch who can seemingly handle anything. See resting bitch face photo for reference:
When in actual fact I spent 99% of my time in my messy office, writing, editing, drawing and with coffee in hand and no makeup on. See real life evidence with zero powerbrows (thanks genetics for my blonde blonde features). It’s like I don’t exist unless I draw myself on.
But anyway – this is the less mean looking me, unfiltered, sleepy, and seriously someone save my face from those brows and blonde lashes. P.s. I tried tinting them, it lasts 2 days.
So whilst I sit here looking EXACTLY like that, no I mean it, I just took that, morning puffy lips and all, I want to write about a subject close to my heart.
I used the word child in the subject because when it comes to parents we’re pretty much eternal children right?
I mean it’s a subject close to all of our hearts, as we all have mothers. Whether we see them, know them, love them or not, we’ve all come from one.
Something which a lot of people are scared to discuss is estrangement from family, and even now I shudder at the reminder that once I wrote a tweet about it and it was shared onto Facebook and I was personally shamed publicly by several family members. Writing this now even makes my heart race because I can hear the calls in my head of “attention seeker” and the gaslighting stories that have been told to the people of my past of why I left.
It’s hard to celebrate a day that reminds you of everything bad about you, and I want to let myself be free to write about this. Writing is a huge therapy for me and my journey and to be able to move forward I need to put pen to paper.
So, Mother’s Day.
It used to be hard, it’s been 5 years now having to spend it seeing everyone else posting those heartwarming photo collages announcing that their mum is the best mum in the world, some kids making cards and Dad’s taking breakfast in bed in. The older kids treating their Mum’s to spa days and all day brunches.
You wouldn’t think it would get easier but strangely it does! This blog isn’t designed to be a woe is me post, I’m writing this in the hope that maybe one person feeling the same things out there will read it and realise that they aren’t alone and it does get better.
Even this morning one of my best friends messaged me saying “Happy Strong Women’s Day to you” and my first thought was JESUS CHRIST HOW MANY DAYS DEDICATED TO WOMEN ARE THERE? Don’t get me wrong, I love a good day to celebrate having won the genetic lottery but these are very close together. Then it twigged, I wasn’t worried about it this year!
You know when something plays on your mind and you hear it around you everywhere, eg. you’re having a baby and you see baby stuff EVERYWHERE, you go through a breakup and every song seems to be directed at you, you buy a new car and suddenly you see thousands of them on the road. Well that’s what this day used to be like for me.
I also don’t have a father but he passed away so it’s like society allows me to be sad on Father’s Day. Mother’s Day is a whole other kettle of fish, I feel conflicted in telling people that I don’t have one because I had to walk away from it all, run is probably more accurate. Again, the feeling of being shamed for this post is unreal, so if you’re somehow reading this, it isn’t about you, it’s about how I’m moving on and becoming stronger.
It’s a confusing one when people ask about your parents and you say you don’t have any, but then don’t want to have to explain that you are estranged from one. Especially a mother, it’s almost like people accept it if a Dad isn’t around. People just say how useless men are, and that it’s so common etc. However when you try and explain to someone that you don’t have a mother due to estrangement then you hear these kinds of phrases:
“But she’s your mother!”
“You must try to sort things out, you’ll regret it.”
And so on and so forth. It is never considered that actually you may have made a decision to save yourself, and it’s also never considered that it could be a mother’s fault. As the child you are strangely on the back foot even in a stranger’s eyes, just because of how society views the role of a parent and puts it on a pedestal. Why does someone instantly become worth respect because they aged? Everyone in my opinion should earn respect from one another, we should all give respect but it should never be expected.
I feel like I have spent years fighting to be heard, fighting to be believed, fighting fighting fighting. I was full of anger for so long, anger towards why I didn’t have the woman with the heartwarming smile to put in the collage, the woman who I could call and cry to when my heart hurt. I grieved, I still grieve some days. And a weird notion that people rarely consider is that you can grieve for someone who isn’t dead. Although I wasn’t grieving for her, I was grieving for a mother I never had.
Up until this year (I’m not sure what happened, I had some kind of closure I guess), I would spend this day, and almost every day, questioning myself, my choices, asking myself why I wasn’t loved by the one thing that everyone else seemed to be loved by. It was hard, sad and a very lonely place to be.
So I want to dedicate this post to every child out there with no mother today, whether you are sharing photos of a mother in spirit, hurting deep to the core from estrangement, maybe you never knew your mother? Just know that we see you, we hear you and we love you.
You may just be starting to be your own mother, you may have had to mother yourself for a long time, maybe you’re struggling, maybe you’re flourishing – but what you must do about this day, is make it about you. If you have had to be your own mother, then this is YOUR day, buy yourself flowers, do something that makes you feel good, talk to people, practice self care and most importantly celebrate how strong you are. Because you are existing, surviving and thriving without one of the things people often claim they wouldn’t be able to live without. Look at you, you’re doing it! You’re coping, you’re actually coping, and you will be okay!
And remember, it’s just one day of the year ❤