Sometimes when my daughter is happy a piece of my soul dies.
Every once in a while when she gets a new toy, book, or even a bowl of ice cream I find myself envious of the life she has in comparison to the childhood I never had.
No ice cream for me. No hugs for me. No words of encouragement.
Everything came with a price.
Every hug (when someone was watching of course), every gift (special occasions only) came with a price. It came with threats and accusations.
‘YOU BETTER CLEAN YOUR ROOM OR I’M TAKING IT AWAY.’
YOU UNGRATEFUL CHILD, YOU DON’T KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE.
For a long time I thought I was adopted. This is the way my mind tried to cope with the abuse from my mother.
Adopted. Not hers. Not hers to love and cherish.
Motherhood is challenging for those with abusive mothers. The fear.
The fear of becoming HER.
Kids are angels. And they are also demons, especially when you’re standing in a queue. They test your patience push your boundaries, trying to find their place in the world. But when you grow up in an abusive environment you question yourself when you enforce discipline. You question yourself on those normal mom days of wanting to run away.
Am I becoming HER?
Its very overwhelming to be in charge of shaping a human soul and everything that goes along with that. There is no manual for parenthood and even more so when you come from a broken or dysfunctional home. Because you have no frame of reference. You are literally taking each day,each experience as it comes and deciding what kind of parent you want to be. But one thing is certain, you know exactly the type of parent you do NOT want to be.
As much as it pains me sometimes, I love planning little surprises for my daughter. Although I never received one single thoughtful gift from my ‘mother’ I am quite skilled in the art of gift giving. Even if I do say so myself. There’s nothing I love more than seeing someone open a gift that they love. That magical mix of surprise and thankfulness gets me every time. I am not so good at accepting gifts though.
Seeing my daughter interact with my husband, her father is something that can dig right into the depths of my soul asking ‘why couldn’t my father love me like that?’. It’s hard. It’s hard being a parent when you grew up with abuse at the hands of your own parents. You ask yourself HOW, and WHY? You finally realize that how you grew up was not normal. When you finally know what love is, your know that you never had it growing up.
As much as my childhood sucked,as much as adult life without a positive mother figure sucks,that legacy cannot become my daughter’s. I am dedicated to breaking the cycle. So while I cant go back and reclaim my childhood I can look forward and pave the way for my daughter to experience unconditional love and acceptance.