I read those words posted by a new found friend and fellow warrior, Grace. Those words have been circling around in my head ever since.
From a quick Google search…
Why do we need counseling for children who feel their parents hate them? What is wrong with this world?
The longer I am a therapist for teens, the more emails I get from desperate teenagers. The emails are most often about a painful incident that makes a teen believe their parent(s) hate them.
Other reasons I get emails from teens:
1. Looking for help: How can I get my parents to say yes?
2. Looking for help: How can I make my parents like me more?
3. Looking for help: Why won’t my parents trust me?
4. Looking for help: Why won’t my parents let me be myself?
I KNOW THOSE WORDS.
Brian and I went up to TMC to see his new granddaughter. She’s over a week old, but there’s a problem with her blood sugar so she has not been able to go home yet. She was taken to Tucson where the specialists can run some tests. Mommy and Daddy have not left her side. They have many visitors, both friends and family. People bring them necessities and goodies to snack on as well as little gifts for the baby. There is always somebody there checking on them and making sure they are hanging in there. That is LOVE. Love is helping them travel the difficult path they are on. As I sat and observed, I felt out of place. I have not known Love like that.
I DO NOT KNOW THAT LOVE.
When I was hospitalized during my pregnancy with Angel, no one sent me flowers. No one came to visit. No one checked up on me. No one cared. When I lost Angel, no one came. No one called. No one cared. Some people came to the funeral, but they weren’t there for me. No one offered me comfort. My own mother was there. You know what she talked about? I allowed her to hold Angel before I put him in his forever bed and she said that holding him was helping her put her miscarriage behind her. My mother wasn’t very far along when she miscarried a pregnancy before I was born and after my brother was born. She was in her first trimester and she tells me about how she went to the bathroom one day with terrible cramps and it just came out. She flushed and that was the end of that. I don’t want to downplay what she may have been through, but this was not the place nor the time for her to make the day about her and how she can finally recover from a miscarriage that happened over 25 years prior. Why does she always do that to me? I have a tragedy. I am in need of comfort. I need a hug. What do I get from her? A story about something that she went through and how it affected her. The day with Angel was not a miscarriage. I had a baby and he died. There is a difference and on the day I am burying my baby, I don’t give a damn about her miscarriage or anyone else’s for that matter.
WHY DO YOU ALWAYS OVERSHADOW MY TRAGEDIES WITH YOUR OWN?
I was thinking about that day while sitting in the hospital waiting room and watching this wonderful, loving family interact. It seemed so disgustingly pathetic and mushy. It is a beautiful thing. It angered me. Why would witnessing so much love and comfort within a family anger me? That doesn’t make sense. What is so special about her that she gets so much attention? Wasn’t I worth somebody caring about me like that? Don’t I deserve some type of compassion or am I invisible?
I AM INVISIBLE.
I sat in sadness, remembering how I felt the day I lost Angel and the months and years that followed. I prayed to God that these people do not have to endure what I have endured. They asked me if I wanted to go in to see her. I declined. They asked why. I simply said, “I will see her when she comes home. Grandpa should go see her one more time before we leave.” This day was not about me or my loss or my fears. This day was about them and I was not going to do what my mother did and soil it for them. It’s hard enough for them as it is.
I WILL NOT BE LIKE MY MOTHER.
I was angry because I wanted what they had, but I learned long ago that I will never have it. My mother is my mother. Maybe she loves me but does not know how to show it. Maybe she hates me but does not want to admit it. Maybe she never really wanted me in the first place. My mother is who she is and she is not going to change. She will not be the mother that goes shopping with her daughter and has lunch on occassion. She will not be the mother that comforts and wipes away tears. She will never be the grandmother I had hoped my children would have, as I have most wonderful grandmothers. I recently asked various family members if my mother had always been that way or if she just hated me. It is not me, my aunt assured me. My mother has always been cold. They attribute it to her being the oldest of five and havng to do most of the work on the ranch and help with the other children. “It is what it is”, my aunt said. It is life. Stop trying to make her proud. She will never say those words. Stop tryng to please her she will never be pleased. Stop waiting for her to see you.
I WILL ALWAYS BE INVISIBLE TO HER
Of course, I have people in my life who care and that is great but it is not the same as having my mother be there. At least, that’s what I think when I try to imagine how it would be if she could see me.
I have read many books that discuss the mother-daughter bond. Each time I read a different volume, unexpected tears would stream down my cheeks. For I could not recall attachment, closeness, memories of the scent of Mother’s perfume, the feel of her skin, the sound of her voice singing in the kitchen, the solace of her rocking, holding and comforting, the intellectual stimulation and joy of being read to.
If you read this…Do you read my writings? Do you even know that I write? This is my perspective. This is how I feel. Remember shortly after you and Dad divorced, on your birthday, I had Ginger’s mom bake your favorite cake, German Chocolate, for me to give you? I made a bunch of little note cards, ‘clues’, with directions, telling you where to find the next clue. The ‘clues’ took you to your surprise, the cake, was set up with candles for you. I tried so hard that day to make it special and get a thank you and an I love you from you. You didn’t even care. You blew out the candles and then left for the bar. Remember the pair of slippers I ave you that you turned around and gave to somebody else? I spent a lot of time and effort picking those out for you because I love you.
MY LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL.
You now all of my perfect, 4.0 report cards? I worked hard to get those for you, but they never seemed good enough. Everything I did was to please you and get you to love me. I didn’t have to work that hard for the 4.0. I was pretty smart. I still am. Did you know I was in the G.A.T.E program? Did you know I tutored the younger grades? Did you know I was in a lot of plays? Did you know that I went to church almost every Sunday with Mr. and Mrs. Taylor who lived on the corner of the cul-de-sac? Did you know the older boy, Danny Nelson, molested me in our home while you were out with whichever boyfriend? Did you know that my brother and I were awake that night that Jerry Scangorillo (sp) raped you and we heard everything? Why did you keep bringing strays home to live in our house, give them my bedroom and make me move into my brother’s bedroom? I was a preteen and I needed my privacy. You never cared to talk to me about anything, not even about my future, boys, college, sex, etc. Yet still, I love you. You’re my mom.
DAD TAUGHT ME UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
Dad was there for me. Dad was always there. Dad loved me. Dad taught me unconditional love. Dad wanted me around. I remember the first time I told you I wanted to go live with Dad. You poured tears, accused me of not loving you, told me how much I was hurting you, asked why I wanted to break your heart and then proceeded to tell me bad things about Dad. You made me feel guilty for loving my father and wanting him in my everyday life. Did you know, after you moved me up north and changed my last name and forbade me to speak to Dad, that I cried myself to sleep every night because I missed him so much and it hurt so bad? Then, you moved me to Arizona and I couldn’t take it anymore, I had to run away. That’s why I ran away. I couldn’t talk to you because last time I tried, you made me feel like garbage and you would never have let me go anyway. I hid from you while Dad took care of the court paperwork. You tried telling the judge I wasn’t old enough to choose, but he saw through you. You couldn’t manipulate him like you could others. You know what, maybe, just maybe, you are the first abusive relationship I have experienced. Maybe it was you that taught me to be comfortable in bad situations and let me fall into that pattern of abusive relationships. Yet still, I love you. You’re my mom.
YOU’LL ALWAYS BE MY MOM.
I’LL ALWAYS LOVE YOU.