“Would you like your daughter to be different?”
She pauses. She takes a breath, she nods, and with inner resistance she admits, “Yes, in some parts yes”.
That was my mother, once asked in a group of people to answer whether she likes me exactly as I am.
This was a difficult and pivotal moment in my life.
I was not prepared to listen to my mother speak for me in public, I was not afraid of it either. I think this was probably the first time she was doing that and I have never thought of this question being answered by her.
Here I was, sat down at my chair, listening without any warning something that I have never thought of asking my mother directly, but what a question, what a moment.
Finally, the truth was laid out there in the open.
My feelings were mixed. I could feel the entirety of the truth of my mother’s answer, she was telling the truth. The gasp, the time she took to answer, the apology she offered in her effort to make it sound less than it was, all of it was just perfect. Truth is so self-reliant and sufficient. There was nothing more to be said or to be explained. This is my mother’s truth.
And here I was, another human being, receiving the news.
Up to that point, I have always thought that I was the one that didn’t like the other one. I was entitled not to like my mother exactly as she is, but she is a mother, and mothers have to like their children as they are, because they are their children, isn’t this the law of nature?
She has the same right as I have to have her own opinion, to honour her own feelings not only as a mother, but perhaps even before that, as a person, as another living, thinking, valid person in this world. She has her own world of perceiving me as her daughter, as another person in her life and my idea about myself may not be the same she has over me.
Hearing my mother, I also paused. I gasped, I took a deeper breath, I was looking not at her but mostly at a random spot on the ground, breathing consciously the truth that was just outspoken. And feeling so great about it coming out.
Did I know that? I have thought-felt it all my life, yet to hear it was a revelation. Sharp, directly to my heart. I am not the same any longer. I don’t forget that moment. I won’t forget it either in the future. And I am ok with it. It is her opinion and this is the true relationship I have with my mother.
So why a part of it hurts still?
What I don’t like is not that the truth was outspoken, but that this is my true story. That this is the relationship I have with my mother. I don’t like how she is, she does not like how I am. I wanted to have a different kind of a mother and she also wanted to have an easier child, one that is less strange, less difficult and not so detached from the mainstream world. But I am not that child and my mother is not the type of person that I usually admire.
I respect her courage, to have children, to make it on her own, to be brave enough to cross over the difficulties of her life, and she is far more dynamic and hardworking than other hiding-behind-pretenses women of her age, that’s great, that’s fantastic, but I hardly had any meaningful conversations with her throughout all of my life so far.
That is why that particular moment was Grant. Finally, a grant moment with my mother.
All my life has been an effort with my mother. I feel that I am living her life. I am breaking free from her life dreams and goals, to discover who I am, what I like, how I want to live. It should be easier, but this not my story. It has been hard for me.
My mother gave her life to give life to me. That is one of her achievements in her life and upon this, anything of my breakthroughs is small and insignificant. But my world is not a world of family and people, is a world of vision and action in different planes. It is a difficult world, I am also fighting the complexity of my path.
I feel the stream of love for my mother, without being able to admire her as I do for others, to be objective about her and to see her with kindness and humility. There are so strong feelings that overpower me at times and my mental structures around her collapse and I go back to loathing my connection with her and the family I belong to.
I also know what my road to freedom is connected with consenting to my mother and everything that she brings to my life. And unless I do that, I don’t think I stand a chance to finally see who I am, what do I honestly wholeheartedly desire to do and how I bring this to the world.
Hearing my mother getting her frustration of our relationship out there in my face, is one of the good gifts she gave me. Because it’s a damn valuable puzzle to my freedom chart.
Thank you mama for not liking me as I am. Thank you for telling me that with all your love and all your care and all your humanity. This is one of the kindest, most generous and loving things you have ever done for me. I greet your spirit, I honour your presence. And so it is.