Wednesday, July 7
As I posted before, over the past year I've been writing a book about staying positive in the face of adversity. Of course when one undertakes something like this, copious amounts of soul-searching is a part of the deal, whether we want it or not.
In light of things that happened with my parents (particularly my mom) when I was so young, I've often questioned whether she (and my Dad) loved me or not. Doesn't everyone at some point wonder this?
Are there people who've never, not even for a second, questioned the love of their mother or father?
Despite what I consider being rejected twice in my life by my mom, once at 12, and then again at 19, I must give her credit for all of the good things, too. From the time I was about 27 until she died when I was 35, she told me time and time again how sorry she was for leaving me behind as a child, and really tried to be the best mom she could. Now that I've been a mother for 19 years, I have conflicting emotions about it all. On one hand, I understand more what it is to struggle in one's own mind and make bad decisions that affect the people that love you; but on the other, I still can't grasp how she left me behind.
I had a 1st marriage that failed, but not ever for one split second did I consider leaving my son behind. I'd rather cut off my arms than do that, yet I can see where it all began because she was also abandoned as a child.
Probably until I was well into my 30's I worried about "becoming my mother." We hear that sort of stuff a lot; following in our parent's footsteps being inevitable and all that. I've even been accused of dwelling too much on the past, but my defense is:
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." ~George Santayana
What I've learned by pondering the past is to find the good things, embrace and emulate them, and recognize the bad so they don't become holes that wait to swallow you up.
I've come to the conclusion that I probably would have forgiven my mom for almost anything, because her self-loathing was evident to anyone who ever met her, and I truly believe that despite how much she hurt me, it could never measure up to how much she hurt herself. In the end, she destroyed herself from a combination of immense sadness, guilt, and desperation. I wish I'd been able to help her. God knows I tried, as did my sister and a few others, but the damage that set things in motion had been done long ago. What I could do was break the cycle. This blog, my book, my speaking; it's all a part of that process.
I hope I don't come across as being judgmental of my mom. I'd be lying if I said I've never felt angry towards her, but when all was said and done, I love/loved her deeply, and I was there with my head on her chest until her very last heartbeat.
God it's hard to type that.
I wanted her to know I was there, and for her to feel my love until the very end. I hope she knows I stayed. She was so fragile. I think I was always the strong one, and on some level she knew it, and she knew I'd be ok.
Mom, 40 years old
Mom & Grandma
Mom & her 2nd husband, whom some claim is my biological father, but that's another blog...
Posted by Team Chastain at 12:00 AM