Leaving Behind the Pain

sunrise-sunset-sun-calculatorI never thought I’d write a blog about my mother, but this week’s WordPress Discovery topic,  “The Things We Leave Behind”, was the second instance that brought her to mind in the last twenty-four hours, so I will.  She’s been a part of my journey of self discovery this past year, as I worked to come to terms with my past pain.

Mother died in May of 2014 at the age of 84.  I hadn’t seen her since 1972, when I was twenty years old.

My mother played a huge part in making me the person I am today.  She helped create a loving, caring, compassionate, giving person.  She taught me these lessons as I strove to be anything, anybody but her.  She was a violent, angry person as far as her children were concerned, taking every opportunity to belittle and degrade us, to beat us.  To the outside world she could be a charming person, as long as you didn’t cross an invisible line.  Then you’d feel her sting, like a scorpion’s tail.

She was mentally ill, I’m sure of that.  We didn’t talk about such things when I was growing up back in the 60s.  She was never diagnosed, never treated.  I don’t know what the diagnosis would have been.  Paranoia?  Narcissism?  Definitely.  Sociopathy?   Maybe.  Nothing existed but her and what she wanted.  Nothing.

When I was old enough to escape, I left and never came back.  It was an act of survival.  I was hell bent on self-destruction in those days, and I would have left this world, another death by suicide,  if I had to stay near her.

But I left and found my way, found wonderful people to mentor me and help me heal.  People who showed me that reaching out to others in compassion is how I should be living my life.

I’ll never have the answers to the mystery of my mother.  Was she ill because of a chemical imbalance, an old brain injury, or was her approach to life the result of some deeply seated trauma from which she never escaped, and which she passed on to us, her children?

Mother is part of the letting go I’ve done this past year.  I’m able to talk about her now without a catch in my voice, or a twisting pain in my stomach.  It took a lot, though, to look at her final picture as I was writing this blog, but when I did that, I found that I had left her behind.  Calm.  Stillness.  Finality.

Rest in peace, Mother.  May your next life be happier.

21 thoughts on “Leaving Behind the Pain

  1. It felt a little strange to press like on a post where you were abused. I do like that you were able to let go of it all. I have met so many bitter people in my time here on Planet Earth. I hope that she does have a happier next life. And may the rest of yours be filled with peace, love, and chocolate 🙂

  2. Yes, there are things and people from the past that affect us negatively. If we hang on to them they can cause great distress, anger and more. It is wonderful that you have been able to put the trauma of the past behind you and said goodbye to the one who hurt you. 🙂

  3. Well done on letting go. The 60s were a different place. My mother was angry a lot of the time too and could lash out unexpectedly, but I wouldn’t call it beating. She made a lot of mistakes but so have I, and a lot of her behaviour was selfish but she was anxious a lot too. It took me a long time to let it go too, so once again well done you!

  4. I’m sorry to hear what a horrible relationship your mother had with you. I know other mothers like her. It is GREATLY to your credit that you didn’t continue the cycle and went on instead to be a warmer, caring person.

    • Thanks, Juliann. I think I’ll hand the credit over to all the special people who were my guides to a better way of living. We don’t think about the impact we have on other people. Sometimes even a smile by a stranger can tip the difference to the positive.

  5. There are people that must be given the respect due their position when interacting with them, but do not deserve to be liked or loved, related by blood or not.

  6. Amazing post thank you … well done for writing about it. Many lessons learned, including knowing that this is baggage you do not have to pass on to your relationships. And wondering what baggage she passed on that she could not resolve – from her own past. May she rest in peace and may peace be yours.

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