The Hardest Thing about Being a Mother is the Relentless Anger.
I am so fucking angry… angry, mad, pissed, enraged. the anger just sits there. it doesn’t come out in small bits like when i’m annoyed that my man hasn’t said thanks or when i feel like my mothering has fallen short one day. it comes out fully formed…screaming, hurt, wailing, yelling and usually at my children for some offense. i hate myself i think. i look up yelling help. i see a therapist i call a yelling doctor. i repent. i take a few days off. i take celexa. i try edibles (the only thing that works) but then feel guilty that i need a crutch. i think about returning to yoga, working out more. i promise that every night i will look at their pictures to try to sleep with peace and the reassurance that i won’t yell tomorrow. a month goes by and i don’t yell and then i get my period and i yell again. i say i’m sorry immediately. i tell them i love them. i hope they forgive me. i can feel the rage when it creeps up from my belly. sometimes i don’t know its coming but usually i do. sometimes i make it out of the room and breathe. the kids are safe. but tomorrow something gets at me and i scream and send them to their room for whatever they did…
i’m a polished american mom with many comforts. but i am angry. i am angry that a dirty old man put his 70 year old fingers in my vagina when i was 10 years old and molested me for three days. i’m angry that i have two sets of emotions for my mother… one filled with camomile tea and cream of wheat and laughing and us taking on the world as mother and daughter; the other of alcoholic ambivalence, where she didn’t shower or change the sheets or celebrate milestones in my life with the slightest bit of sobriety which in my mind would have shown she gave a shit. i’m angry that there’s this hole in my heart that is big. that i am alone. no parents, no siblings, no uncles, no aunts or grandparents. just me. i’m angry that i was abandoned not once by my dad at 3 years old but also by my mother at 10 when she sent me off to the molester and then again at 12 when i went away to girl scout camp for the weekend and came home to a strange man living in our one bedroom apartment who never talked to me and never left. And again when she never showed up for a mock trail meet or a cheerleading routine. or when she hit me over the head for being late in high school or told me i had a fat ass when i won a beauty contest or throwing up drunk in front of the white house for my 21st birthday or showing up in vegas so drunk she missed the concert i had organized or doing cocaine on my 28th birthday or moving away and never telling me but finding enough time to scold me for not calling her on mother’s day… she’s still my mom after all she would say.
i’m very fucking angry that she is so fucking selfish and yet seemed so strong and vibrant as a young single mom. how now she’s turned into this fat, narcissist who lives somewhere i’ve never seen in florida and sells trinkets at a market i’ve never visited. that she cares so little for me and yet loved me so much in the beginning. maybe she is mentally ill like my father. but i am still alone making all these choices for myself. and there is no one to say good job. there is no one to pat my back or hold my hand or dry tears of sheer loneliness sometime. suffocating loneliness and i put forth a body mind and spirit of strength because i am a mother and a wife who is loved. i am part of a community who likes my work, my writing, my ideas, my innovations. but i am still angry for it all.
what a molester takes from you is your previous life of good and now gives you bad thoughts, bad memories and a bad secret, you feel shame for having been there, for not having bitten him or run away, you feel dirty like you have been taken to a sick place to have your first sexual relationship and a place where you are captive and hurt and made to feel worthless and small and little and now everything around you seems unsafe. you cannot tell your overreacting alcoholic mother because she will be loud and tell everyone and then everyone will know you are dirty and low and you have worked so hard to be shiny and bright. and now you are left with just a secret that sits there along with the secret of your alcoholic mother and your non existent dad and all the mean things your mother said just swirl in your head as if they are true and you are mad now. so mad that a tight pair of pants makes me angry because again i feel worthless. and when my little children, too little to really know what they are doing, don’t listen to me, i get mad because again i feel worthless and now i am 20 pounds heavier and 45 years old and i can’t use my looks to feel worth. my worth has to come from somewhere else but where? i am empty, tired of telling myself i am worthy when all i feel is that i am not. and so i shout not at you my dear children but at the world.
but then… i am watching you outside in grass, playing together and my man beside me and the sky is blue and the season is summer and love is all around and i think i am loved by all of them. and this is why i am scared because if i lose you i lose me for i have never learned to love me the way my mother or my father should have… and i am sorry.