The thought of my mother not loving me is finally settling in. The mind is so strange. As a fact, it’s always been there (we were technically neighbors since I was 8, when she bought a house two doors down, but I remained with my grandparents). As a feeling, it’s always been there. Cold shoulders, dismissals, not wanting to see me (both literally and metaphorically). Because some things are universal, and one of those things is the fact that the more you see someone, the more you’re prone to like them.
And I couldn’t really impose my presence on her, you know? So I was kept at bay, in all ways.
With my dad, my conclusion was: I don’t love him. So his feelings for me don’t matter (now, because growing up, of course it hurt), because I could never love someone who groomed the underage housekeeper into having sex with him. Rape, I believe, is the word. I don’t know when that shit started but I know it was (in her eyes) a full-blown affair by the time she was 19. I feel so sorry for her. He’s someone that brought more misery than joy in his lifetime, so if someone could travel back in time, I’d absolutely support him never existing -even if that meant I as well wouldn’t exist.
But with my mom, and her peripheral existence in my life, I just assumed she cared. I mean, what child wouldn’t? Especially when no one disabuses you of such notions, and instead make excuses for her? Shoddy, barely-rehearsed excuses, that you gobble up anyway because you don’t want to think about the other possibility.
I’m so fucking grateful for my grandma, omfg. She took care of me. She was there for me. Love means having a life but still making sure you’re there for someone. There’s no anxiety about whether that person will be there for you or not. In a way (perhaps in many ways), I took her for granted. I was wrecked with anxiety growing up, but not about her. I knew she’d play boleros on the radio to wake me up so I’d go to school in the morning. I knew she’d be home when I came to school and we’d eat lunch together. I knew that in the afternoon I’d have to do my homework and then we could watch House on the Prairie (which she loved) and then Walker Texas Ranger (which my grandpa loved). I knew that we could go to bed at night, her in her single and me in the bunkbed. I knew that that was my home.
I think children are meant to be selfish. They don’t know any better, you know? Meant to take things for granted. And I need to have compassion (not pity) for my adult self, that wishes I could replay all of those moments and savor them, every last drop. I didn’t know those hugs and kisses would be the last time I experienced unconditional love.
I’ve now spent half of my life without her. In a way, I feel free, because if a new love opportunity could come up, I could love anyone freely, I’ve got zero permanent ties to people now. In a way, I also feel untethered. With no ties to a place or community, souls wander.
I don’t feel aimless at the moment, but I am trying to keep both feet firmly grounded on the floor. I feel calm, at peace. For some strange reason, having this cognizance makes me feel less afraid of things in general. More willing to engage with others, and less suspicious of strangers (fear and distress about running into the nutjob of my building or his friend, that, sadly, remains unchanged). But I mean, I guess not all realizations help with everything under the sun, right?
It’s been 2 weeks since I realized this was my reality. I’m glad I now cry much less about it. The thought is sinking in. Even in the greatest moments of despair it caused, I actually felt more grounded than ever. The world felt like it made sense.
I’m now also much less heartbroken about the fact that such a realization (my mother doesn’t love me) has brought so much inner peace and made sense of my world.
In a way that only the truth can.