Write To Inspire
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Write To Inspire

On Having An Emotionally Absent Mother & Finding Self-Healing

I tried to understand her, though it wasn’t my job at all

Photo by Stefano Valtorta on Unsplash

“What’s going on with my talented daughter?” I was caught off-guard when my emotionally absent mother expressed her deep concern for me a few weeks ago through Skype, as I slowly began to walk the route to depression.

At twenty-nine, I had never thought that I would hear those words from my mother. Because she was never emotionally present in all those years when I needed it. All this time, I couldn’t imagine that she would do it. Never.

After we ended the call, I couldn’t help but sob while wondering how and why she did. Because for more than twenty years of my existence, being emotionally involved wasn’t her thing. I tried to remember any event when I felt comfortable sharing myself, especially my thoughts and feelings, as early as four years old. But I couldn’t.

I tried to give my all to please her — making sure that I’m always at the top spot and showing exemplary perfection in whatever I do, although it took a great toll on my well-being. It was as if I had to pay the price just to make her feel proud of me.

As her eldest daughter, my journey wasn’t easy. It wasn’t only because normally every eldest offspring in the family carries the burden. But because no matter how others, it seemed that it wasn’t enough for her.

When I Started To Ask Tough Questions

I did everything that I could even if, at times, it was against my will. The word self-sacrifice was unknown to me until when I was in grade school, sitting in the corner near the playground alone and hungry was a daily routine.

While watching my classmates and schoolmates laughing and teasing each other, I often asked myself difficult questions without certainty of knowing the possible answers.

Unfortunately, I had no answers. For me, even when I had straight As in most of my school life, I failed to make her smile. It was painful to remember those moments to see how disappointed they were to know that I failed to reach the first place.

Though I did my best, her eyes don’t lie. While the crowd clapped their hands, I was in tears when I saw my mother turn her back on me, as my name was announced on stage. It was the first time I felt like a fucking loser.

When I Made A Difficult Choice

Fast forward to the last day in sixth grade, my mother made me promise not to fail her again, especially in a new school. I did everything that I could, but I was only a few percentages behind the first rank. So, in the end, I was only the second top student.

Do you know what happened next? How will I forget that moment when I had to apologize for it?

“Promise me, you will be on the first honors list in high school,” she said while forcing me to raise my right arm high with my palm open. It’s funny and odd to tell you that I felt relieved when she gave me another chance.

When I Faced My Breaking Point For The First Time

At this point, I gave my all. I did everything that I could, good and bad, to secure my spot. That precious spot. Yet, in another school, I wasn’t the favorite student. An unimaginable fear taunted me day and night to such an extent that I cut my wrist for the first time at fifteen.

For most of my life, I became obsessed with being at the top place in everything even outside my academic life. I tried to fix myself, as perfect as I can be, to become that someone my mother wanted me to become.

When I Finally Found Self-healing

I guess it’s not too late for me to reconcile with myself and change my perceived thought of her as an emotionally absent mother. I know that it would probably take a lifetime for me to understand everything about her and her reasons for giving me that picture of a mother. Probably, not.

Life is definitely teaching me something in her ever-cunning use of paradoxes, which often leaves you speechless, if not, dumbfounded. Sometimes, I recall those moments when I put myself in the lowest possible state right now. Somehow, I couldn’t believe that I had placed myself on a borderline between sanity and insanity, simply because of wanting the mother’s love that I craved when I was young.

All throughout my childhood, she tried everything she can to mold me into what she defined “perfection” in however she had in mind. All the extreme efforts we both made were all to cover up a deep-rooted sense of insecurity.

Her absence in my emotional growth and maturity, in my eyes, has defined two things:

  • First, her deep sense of longing for a mother to confide with.
  • Second, her hidden lack of self-worth and self-esteem.

My mother had a rough childhood. Her mother died when she was only seven years old. There’s almost nobody she could feel the love only a mother can for her children. Her father, on the other hand, took a tragic route by taking his life in their backyard. So, she clearly doesn’t know how proper parenting should look like.

By trying to be in my mother’s shoes, I have been able to evaluate the irrationality that depression brings to people. Although the impacts it has on me were colossal, I have been trying to pull myself up through this approach. It’s not an easy quest, I tell you.

It’s not an easy decision to make, especially if your brain has been fucked up for a long time. However, one thing is certain. You tried to live because you’re alive. Not because of seeking love from others, but within.

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Mecyll Gaspary

Mecyll Gaspary

An INFJ Author & Self-Publisher. LATEST UPDATES HERE: https://tinyurl.com/y2xe2rwh

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