This Mother’s Day, as with past ones, I read so many post on social media about mom’s that have been there for their kids. Moms that are greatly missed. Mom’s that are their greatest role models.
I have a spectrum of emotions that come up when I read these.
I know that I’m not your typical child. Since I am adopted, and also the child of divorce and remarriage, I have had 3 mom’s in my life:
- The mother that gave birth to me
- The mother that raised me
- And the mother that gave me the foundation to become who I am today.
My Birth Mother
I was put up for adoption immediately after my birth, and have never met my birth mother.
But I will be forever grateful for her giving me 9 months of shelter and nourishment within her body. I know that letting go of me was the best decision for her, whatever the reason. I hold no anger or animus toward her. I hope her life has gone well I wish her nothing but love.
My Adoptive Mother
The mother that raised me. Now there is a complex subject. In all truth, she probably should not have been allowed to adopt a child.
I know she looked good on paper. She was a white collar professional (as was my father), they were upper-middle class, living in the suburbs of LA. Owned a home, childless and in their early/mid thirties. They were just what the adoption agencies were looking for.
But not in her bio was a drinking problem and a history of mental illness in her family, which was genetically passed on to her.
Of course, back then, those things weren’t discussed in polite society.
My mom was an incredibly broken person when I came into her life. I’m sure she thought having me would help to put the pieces of her life together, which, of course, they did not.
Before I came along…
- Her father basically abandoned her and her mother and sister when she was a child, choosing to work a thousand miles from their home.
- Her first husband died in WWII. I’m guessing she was only 19 when this unspeakable tragedy occured.
- She was brilliant, which was probably not the easiest thing in a day when women were supposed to be barefoot and pregnant, not engineers with the Space Division of a NASA contractor.
And add to all of this was her undiagnosed bipolar disorder. She self medicated with gin, back when the 2 martini lunch was a staple of her profession. And then when she returned home at the end of the day.
After my dad and her divorced, she went from one bad relationship to another. Her third husband had her thrown in jail when she dared to pick up a knife to defend herself from one of his tirades.
When she died nearly 15 years ago, we hadn’t spoken in over a decade. I had to break free of her to save myself.
Yeah… a lot of baggage here… I know… but all relationships have baggage. It’s how you unpack it that counts.
I had a lot of anger at her for most of her life. She wasn’t the mom I wanted. I wanted support, unconditional love, to just be myself and be loved for just that.
I have come to realize, that was just something she couldn’t do.
And that’s okay. Heartbreaking, but I understand now.
More than anything, I wish she could have just had a better life. She deserved it. But it just wasn’t meant to be that way.
I don’t know why. I never will. That’s just part of life on this earth. We just have to accept that sometimes there are no answers, and move forward.
I know that now she is happy and her demons are no longer controlling her. This brings me peace. I look forward to meeting her in the next world and getting to know the amazing spirit she really is.
Now my step-mom is why I’m still alive and in good shape. She really is the best… my Godsend…
She came into my life at just the right moment.
She has always been there for me, unconditionally.
And she is still here for me, as a mom and a friend. I am forever thankful for her presence in my life.
So I guess what I am saying is this….
No matter what your childhood was like, you can learn from it. You can learn the right things to do, and the wrong things…
I have learned something important from all 3 of my mothers.
- I have learned that it is okay to make a mistake, and that you should forgive yourself, handle it in the best way possible, and move forward.
- I have learned that life is not always fair, even to good people.
- And I have learned that there are people that come into your life that are truly your guardian angels.
I have also learned that before your Mom was your mom, she was a person. She already had baggage, some or most of it she never wanted.
Accept her. She is doing the best she can, even if it doesn’t look like it. Even if what she does can be damaging. She can’t help it. She may be struggling.
And it has nothing to do with you.
Remember good things, even if you have to search hard. There is something, if only a moment. Sometimes when there is so much bad, it’s very difficult to see it. I understand.
Know that her spirit was wrapped in layer upon layer of protective coating that she needed to apply just to survive. Long before you were ever a thought.
It wasn’t you.
It was her life.
She loved you, even if she couldn’t properly show it.
And above all… love yourself. That’s your most important priority. Without this, you can’t do anything else properly.