Thursday, June 21, 2012

Giving birth does NOT make you a mother!

This is not going to be my usual informative or quirky post.  I recently went through an emotional trauma, and need to voice my rant.  If you are offended, I will apologize in advance.  If you are moved, saddened, irate, etc, then I hope it moves you to be more aware that you should be kind to all, for everyone is suffering their own battles.  This is also the hardest post I have ever written, since I have made it my policy to not bare myself emotionally naked to anyone. 

My birth mother died 3 weeks ago today.  She was never a "mother" to me.  She was guilty of atrocities that in today's society would warrant her losing parental rights and perhaps even being charged with neglect/abuse.  This post is not about MY history of abuse.  It is about breaking the chain and putting on your big girl or boy underwear and moving on.  It is not easy....not by a very long shot.  Everyone can't do it either, I know this and I accept that fact.  I consider myself one of the LUCKY people.  I have always had a brain that divided everything up into "logical" and "illogical."  Sometimes, that made it even harder to deal with.  I mean, what little girl doesn't want her mommy to love her? To buy her Christmas or Birthday Presents? To hear the words "I am proud of you?"  Those are things I never received from my birth mother....and now, the little girl who still resides way deep inside her armoured house has to deal with the fact she never will.  But, the "logical" part of my brain accepted and embraced that I was better off without her in my life.  I have a wonderful life with a loving Partner, and 3 talented, beautiful, and kind children.  Am I perfect? No, I am far from it...I do know that I have some lasting psychological damage from my early childhood that I fight daily...I am insecure, defensive and hold people at arm's length.  I strive daily to overcome these, and frankly, I believe that almost everyone who KNOWS me would be surprised to hear about the circumstances of my childhood. 

I firmly believe I was saved because SHE did manage to give me up to my Dad when I was 8.  This must have been a huge thing for her....not because she harboured of any love for me, but because of the money she lost from child support.  I am sure that could have purchased her a lot of booze and drugs, because heaven knows she never spent a cent of it on me when she did have custody.  She made the decision that she wanted to run off somewhere (Alaska, I think), so she gave up custody to my dad.  Thankfully, my dad was, and is, a wonderful person.  He was hard and had extraordinary expectations of me, but I know it was because he was fearful that I may become a lot like Her.  And truthfully, I am still unsure of if he even knows everything that SHE did to me when I was with her.  She would threaten me with even worse torture if she ever found out I told anyone.  And I believed her....who was I to not?  She was my supposed "mother" after all.

Unfortunately, the circumstances of HER death were horrific.  She was murdered by a 23 year old drug addict in her own bedroom.  Because of these circumstances, the police and DA from her area have found and contacted me as her "next of kin."  I find this very ironic, because honestly, if you would have asked me 4 weeks ago where she was or if she was alive, I would have had no clue or care.  In my mind, she was dead to me over 20 years ago when she dropped off the face of the earth.  Now, however, I have had to deal with the police, the morgue, the coroner, HER family (most of whom never attempted to contact me either), the mortuary, the victims of violent crimes task force, and best of all the damn media...all over a person who didn't give two shits about me. You cannot imagine the awkwardness of the conversations with these people who are looking for information, of which I have none.  Hell, I think I only have 1 or 2 pictures of her and they were from when I was an infant.   

The DA even mentioned that I may be subpoenaed for his trial.  I couldn't keep the sarcasm out of my voice when I asked "as a witness for the defence or the prosecution?"  I had to honestly tell him that any testimony he received from me would most likely not garner any sympathy for HER from the jury.  I told him that I want justice, as I would for any stranger who died in those circumstances, but that as far as personal investment in the case, I would give it as much effort as she gave to being a mother to me.  I somehow do not think I will be subpoenaed any time soon.  Yes, this sounds harsh, but I have worked hard to have a "normal" life, and more importantly to create normalcy for my precious children...none of whom she ever even saw a picture of and probably didn't know existed...just like they don't know about her.  I will continue to work hard to protect them from her and her "family" for as long as I live.  My kids deserve happiness and the confidence gained by being loved unconditionally, and not to be like me and always waiting for HER words of "You are a ugly horrible person and no one will ever love you" to come true in my life. 

At the end of the day, I firmly believe I have thus far lived my life in a way to make my DAD proud.  I KNOW that when I die, people will not be fighting over who HAS to take care of my remains, and I will not be a burden that no one wants to shoulder.  My epitaph will hopefully read:  Here lies a woman who brought joy, love and humor into the lives she touched.  And, hopefully, it will be a big party with lots of wine, laughter, and joyous stories of experiences shared and enjoyed. 

So, I guess this turned out to not really be about being a mother, but more about accepting that your past does not have to be the mold for the rest of your life. Accept that it has happened, figure out what works for you, and then move on to become the best authentic person you can.  There will be obstacles in the path, but if you keep you eye on your goals, you can get there....With some help from friends, loved ones, and perhaps a little vino wouldn't hurt either!


P.S.  If you are one of my wonderful in real life friends, I'd appreciate your discretion about this when I am with my kids.