Something I need to forgive someone for…this is both easy and extremely difficult for me.
I know who I need to forgive, but putting it in words, wow! I need to forgive my mother for not being the mother I needed her to be. It sounds harsh, since as a mother I know a mother can only do the best they know how with what they have available to them, but I honestly feel, at many points, my mother failed me.
Let me explain. Since as young as I can remember I was always my father’s favourite, now, I know parents are not supposed to have favourites, but for the record, and so we’re clear, this is not a choice I made, I never asked to be favoured, I was a child. So because of this my mother felt the need to always give me a little less than my siblings. They had nicer birthdays and were given more negotiation room on daily stuff, like bedtimes and curfews and sleeping out. Honestly, it didn’t worry me that much, well not until my dad died when I was 15.
I felt as though the bottom of my world had fallen out, my dad was gone, and boy did she let me know. She said something to me once, that plays in my mind, adds to my self doubt, and leaves me wondering just how awful I must be for my own mother not to love me. To quote her, “You are a spiteful little bitch who expects everything and takes everything for granted because your father always gave you everything you wanted.”
I need to forgive her. She is not a bad mother. She just didn’t get it right with me.
I was kicked out of her house for the first time at 17, tiny baby boy in my arms and not a clue how I was going to get through it. I did.
She has always held me to a higher standard, she does now even. My brother and older sister scraped through Matric, joyous celebrations ensued. I got through with 3 distinctions, despite having taken a term of in std 9 to have my son, and completing my matric year a mother. All I got was a half hearted, well at least you passed kinda speech. Doubly hurtful since when I fell pregnant she had wanted me to quit school and get a job, had my older sister, bless her soul, not insisted I finish school, I would now be a high school dropout, likely checking your groceries and Pick n Pay or the likes.
We have fought. We have name called. We have not spoken for loooooooong periods of time. I have never hated her. I have always just wanted her approval. She has never said she is proud of me, 25 years later. She makes me want to be a better mother to my own children.
I love my mom. But she is not a mother to me. Great with the siblings. She has her moments with my kids. She has had a hell of a hard life. I think I represent my father to her, so much resentment and no one to direct it at except me.
I have tried to let go. Have found gratitude for me, since without all of this, I might be entitled and full of myself like the siblings can be. My character, all that it is, is built on foundations of difficulty and is forged of life lessons, mostly learned the hard way. I am me, for all she has not been to me.
So I guess. I am sorry for making it so hard for you to love me. I forgive you for your short comings as I hope one day you will forgive me for mine. Thank you. For forcing me to learn how to be independent. For my strength. For all that is me