The internet is full – and I mean FULL – of quotes on a Mother’s Love. I am sure there are many people who can relate those quotes to their own mothers, but for those of us who grew up with toxic mothers… those quotes are grim reminders of a great big gaping hole in the center of our soul.
A mother’s love is supposed to be the strongest and most unconditional love imaginable. It should create the basis of the love we have for ourselves, that sense that underlies making good decisions about life, health, romance and friendships.
My mother’s love was not only lacking, it was replaced with cruelty.
Not only did I feel unloved, I felt like I was unlovable.
That feeling of being unlovable, puts a great big black hole where the love of yourself should be. And let’s be honest, without that love for ourselves we are like a ship without a rudder. The guidance of self-love (not self-obsession) and self-esteem allow us to make good decisions about our life. About the people we allow in it, the way we care for our bodies and minds, the careers we establish and the dreams we chase after.
An Easy Life
Earlier this week I was speaking to a very dear friend – and fellow survivor – about a stupid remark someone made about me.
“They think I am just after an easy life” I said, “I am not!”
“Of course you are, so am I. You deserve an easy life. What they think you are after is a hand-out, an entitlement. You’re not”
See, that remark stayed with me ‘of course you are after an easy life’. I wonder if it is true. I would love to be after an easy life, but I reckon that somewhere at my core I don’t believe I deserve it. I still believe I need to work myself into oblivion to deserve even a scrap of life and love. Just like my family made me work for their “love and affection”.
Just Because She Could Not Love You…
It is easy to forget that, just because we were made to feel unloved, we are not unlovable. So when Leonie Dawson shared this image to her Facebook page, my heart wept a little for that gaping black hole in my soul.
I sometimes forget how much that lack of a mother’s love still haunts me. Even though I have built a great life. I am not complaining, honestly. I have a magical family of choice, a loving and hilarious partner, an awesome job that I am excited to get to every morning… I am happy, at some level deep inside though, I am still waiting for the bill to get in.
A childhood spend feeling unloved, unworthy and inherently flawed, dealing with the transactional nature of abuse…
I guess there is still quite a bit of healing to do.
With every day I try to close the black hole a little further, with each smile I get from a stranger, with each ‘I love you’ from my soulmate sisters, with each time my partner hugs me for no reason…
“You is kind.
You is smart.
You is important.”
– Kathryn Stockett, The Help
And today I will tell myself once more: “She wasn’t able to love you, but all that means is she is missing out! On the wonderfully lovable, loving and kind person you are.”