Growing up, my mother and I were not very close, even though she was the person I spent most of my time with. She did all the necessary tasks any good mother would do for their child, but as I got older the interest and care began to deteriorate. Since we were a small family she was the only female role model I had close to me, which as you could imagine became quite damaging. When she asked me questions about school or my day it would seem quite forced and not out of genuine love and interest. Funnily enough, the gap between us did not become apparent until I told her I liked women. She would constantly send me videos of pastors, preaching about homosexuality being wrong. She made me read scriptures from the bible and my family members constantly talked about me behind my back. The last straw was when she told me to leave the family home if I was going to continue being a lesbian, so I left at 17 years old.
Her reaction to me coming out affected me in a way which made me reflect on our relationship and it was only then that I realised we never had one in the first place. I spent so much time with this woman to only realise that she was never really there. Her body was present but her mind, her soul? Absent. The more I thought about it, the angrier I became. I blamed her for everything. The reason why I found it hard to open up? Mummy issues. The reason why I found it hard to connect with people? Mummy issues. The reason why I could not stay committed to a relationship? Mummy issues. The reason why I was so dead behind the eyes? Mummy issues. I believe that the relationships we have with our parents can affect us and set the foundation for how we treat ourselves and others BUT, how long are you going to keep blaming outside factors for your own life decisions? You are in control and you can make a change.
I had to take into consideration that my mother is not only a mother but a human being. During a few of our heart-to-heart conversations, I was reminded that she is not perfect and she has been through some things that I could not even imagine going through. This, in turn, may be the reason why she finds it so hard to show love in the way I solely desire, but that does not mean she does not show love at all. We all have different love languages. I might think because she does not hug me and ask me how I am that she does not care about my wellbeing. When she waves to me from the window every time I leave the house or cooks me a meal, that is her way of saying I love you because that is the only way she knows how.
A few notes to self that helped me as I was growing up as a young pansexual woman was remembering and understanding that although she is my mother, she is also a human being. Sometimes I should show her love first, take her out, give her a hug. Who knows what will come out of it. Also, I took into consideration that love comes in different shapes and sizes. Instead of thinking she doesn’t love me, I should think about everything she has ever done for me. It may not be a lot, but it might be the only thing she is physically, emotionally and mentally capable of, and that is okay because at least she is trying. Last but most definitely not least, I noticed I needed to stop running after women that either mimicked the negative traits of my mother or even the positive traits that my mother was missing. I needed to heal and cater to myself, everything that I was not given by my mother was inside me, I just needed to search for it.
Love yourself x