Don’t remind me how lucky I am to be born in a middle-class family as an only child. Because I’ve been told many times throughout my life, that I am fortunate to have got all the money, attention, and opportunities.
Don’t tell me this so that it looks like I’m ungrateful. I’m grateful, for clearing up my wounds, to have clarity about what I want in life, and to have forgiven you.
My mum refused to learn about basic child psychology even though on occasion she admitted and apologized that she shouldn’t have hit me or called me fat. But she always added a line at the end of a conversation labeling me as “born to be overly sensitive”.
I’m not born this way, and even if I do, I’m not sorry for it.
But I’m sorry that she was born this way.
There is still anger in me when I think about what my mother did to me, but over the past fifteen years, I have learned to take care of my wounds. She has beaten me up, over criticized me and destroyed my dreams and aspirations until today. In other words, she hurt me physically, psychologically and soulfully.
But the damage isn’t what we need to forgive our mothers on, let’s dig deeper, for our sake.
I Forgive My Mother for Not Learning How to Be a Mother
I’ve read so many articles, self-help books and journals to see how many of us are suffering. I found that dysfunctional parent-child relationships are extremely common.
Why? I think part of the reasons is that these parents haven’t done their homework. They didn’t know being a parent would be so hard. Everyone does it: grow up, get a job, get married, get pregnant, get a family going. They think it’s easy perhaps because when they were growing up, they didn’t feel that their parents had made much effort.
But just because everyone does it doesn’t mean everyone does it well. The fact that so many of us are hurt proves the case. I find it strangely comforting to know how many of us are in pain. It makes me feel less lonely, I’m not the only person going through this.
Our whole generation is now questioning how our parents parented. Yet, if you flick through any psychology book, you’ll find that many sound theories and experiments had been done since the 1920s. That’s way before most of our parents’ time.
My mum probably didn’t know these existed. She probably didn’t know they needed to read these. She also didn’t know generations of erroneous parenting have passed on unbearable pain and wounds. You can’t blame someone who doesn’t know better, so I choose to forgive her ignorance.
I Forgive My Mother for Her Poor Execution
Precisely because my mum didn’t do her bit of learning, she has hurt me, haunted me, and cost me so much money on therapy. How’s that forgivable?
I guess I am a grateful person. I can see that my mum’s intention wasn’t malicious. She hit me on my back with a stick not really because she had violent tendencies, but because her mum did it to her, and she was worried that I won’t do well in life. This does not make it okay, I condone any form of violence with all my heart, but I can see beyond her merciless actions.
She wanted so desperately to be a good mum, and this turned her to become a monster. Her love is burdensome, and she loves me really badly. Just because someone shows their love badly doesn’t mean the act doesn’t come from love. A creepy man’s love is also love, it’s just very poorly presented.
She’s not like the evil stepmother in Snow White. She’s no evil, just an incompetent woman with the worst execution skills.
I Forgive My Mother for Her Unconsciousness
By now I can pretty much confirm that my mother has her share of mental illness, and she probably isn’t even aware of it.
To know the lingo for ego detachment, emotions naming, anger management, require years of cognitive behaviour therapy. I am sure many of you aren’t strangers to these, but our mothers are. Her generation didn’t have that. Mental illness was a taboo, women were subordinated and destined to give birth, their parents might have smacked them on their faces for making a mistake.
It’s true that many psychology resources were available even then, but it wasn’t popular like today, and not everyone is ahead of their times. Logically, for one person to be ahead of their times, the rest of the population will have to be ordinary for their times. My mum is merely a person of her generation without many advancing thoughts or an inquisitive mind. You can’t fault her for that, it’s the majority.
No people can act beyond their level of consciousness. — Eckhart Tolle
As long as I appreciate that my mother loves me, that she was born in the time, culture, and perhaps brain that didn’t allow her to be aware of the deeper meanings of things, I think it’s possible for me to forgive her. To call my mum incompetent and ignorant sound revengeful and savage, but that’s not my intention. I honestly believe that she merely acts at her level of consciousness, which of course, is made up of intelligence, culture, and cognition.
She was born this way that stopped her from being a passable mum. I can forgive that.
So What Now?
The problem is that as long as she’s alive and trying to act on her role as my mum, she continues to create new wounds in me. The biggest differences are that I now know better, and I am no longer attached to her.
Gaslighting, manipulation, victimisation. The more I watch Donald Trump, the more he reminded me of my mother. A self-hypnotised liar, they are confused and they don’t know it.
Practically I’m applying tactics to ensure my safety, security and sanity from my mum. From physically migrated across the globe from her, to abandon means of communication and build a great wall between us, I’ll do everything to protect myself from the one who loves me the most.
Trust me it’s hard because I can see her suffering especially during this testing time. She really wants her love to be reciprocated and sometimes she forced it to happen thinking she still has the power.
I also love her, just not as much as I love myself.
So I will not be manipulated or destroyed again. If you like my writing, perhaps you must know that she didn’t allow me to read many books outside of school work when I was a kid, and she also told me recently not to write anymore because I won’t be able to deal with haters.
She’s my biggest hater, and I’m learning to leave her out of my picture by choosing to forgive the way she was born and bred.