She has to be right, to be wrong meant too much pain for her in ways I’ll never understand.

If one piece gets out of place, the entire structure may fall into a heap.  Houses made of cards are fragile, meticulously created.  Her queen of heart locked inside, protected.

She doesn’t see the fright, or see the scars that weren’t healing in her own daughter.  She can’t reach me, she can’t try.  Not because she doesn’t love me, but to do so would be to open the lid she’s had slammed shut for 50 years.  Without knowing, she gave me the tools to fight my own battles.

For years I’ve tried to do my part, overlook the sickness, overlook my own needs.  One sided relationships are very difficult to maintain.  When it was just me, it was a lot easier.  Now that I’ve got my own family with my own heartache, there hasn’t been as much room for me to serve her.

I love her, I admire her, I am grateful for her.  I just can’t give any more of myself or I’ll have nothing left for my own life.  You can only tell someone you love them, you appreciate them so many times before you realize that it won’t make a dent and at some point you have to let go.

For years I lived by her definition of good, I followed her advice, her suggestions.  I did what she told me to do and when I wasn’t with her, I’d hear her voice in my head.  She was my internal thermometer to lead me to the right path.  Not realizing it at the time, I was trying to gain her love and acceptance.

She didn’t mean to hurt me; she froze me out because that’s the only defense she had against the things that were too hard for her to see.

As her daughter, I thought it was up to me to try and repair the sins of the past.  To be the strong woman that she aspired to be, the woman that desperately wanted to let herself feel and give love, to live her life.

Nothing was safe for her, everyone and everything had an agenda, and that agenda was to hurt her.

I’d give anything to fix that in her, anything.  I thought for years that was my purpose, to fix her.  My choice, not hers.  She never asked for help, to do so would mean defeat in her eyes.

Before I ever fully understood any of this, I’d absorbed enough of her fears and problems that eventually set me up as a candidate for the same abuse that she experienced.  This was not her goal, I know this now.  The things we try to hide are projected onto others.

I certainly don’t blame her for that.  Not now.  For a while I did, I blamed her for not loving herself enough to get out from under her mountain of abuse and mental illness.   When I became a Mother myself, I grew even angrier that she didn’t think we were worth fighting for.

She fought for us, but in her own way.  It’s good to remember that when people love us, it won’t always look the way we expect it to.  It doesn’t mean they don’t love us.  It means their way of loving just looks differently than the way we love.

When I finally realized she did the very fucking best that she could, with what she was given, I was able to see her outside of the injuries.  To see her for the beautiful, smart, creative, loving and amazing person she is.

My strength is her strength, my compassion is her compassion, my love is her love working through me.  She succeeded in making me stronger than she was, to question, to reach.  I see her more clearly now than I ever did before.  Still unable to convince her how amazing she is, no matter how many times I tell her or write to her.

Maybe she meant to cover more ground, to be more and do more.  I know I’m making mistakes that my children will one day be hate me for.

It doesn’t mean I didn’t try, or that I don’t love them.

No, that doesn’t mean that at all.

Posted by moonflower on October 1st, 2010
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