This post is mostly for those with CPTSD. Complex PTSD often, but not always, steeped in childhood abuse. Sadly, one of the worst abusers can be your own mother. Even more confusing is when that mother is sweet and wonderful to everyone except their targeted child. Becomes even more confusing when some of the children are treated one way and others are treated completely different. For some people, no celebration on Mother’s Day is OK. I was guilted with the ‘she-gave-you-life’ guilt trip. However, she also did so much to destroy my life. She talks proudly of how she manipulated me. She is aware that she treated me differently and has no problem reminding me I was not on the favorites list. Yes, I learned things from her. Yes, she gave birth to me. No I will not celebrate Mother’s Day with her this year. I went through the motions for years. This year is different. She talked to me about how she used threats of suicide to control me and make me do what she wanted. Years of guilt and shame that I didn’t do enough for her fell off my shoulders. Her threats were not real. They were a means to an end….controlling me. I felt the shame of not doing enough fall to the floor and crash into a million pieces. I walked out of her room with zero intention of ever going back. Later on, months or years from now, I may feel a need to see her….but right now I don’t. No celebration with my mother.
Then there is the flip side. My children celebrate Mother’s day with me. Gifts, dinner, and time together is joyful for some. Others, I am still on the naughty list. Mothers screw up. I mended many fences but not all. Some of my children will not contact me on Mother’s day. I’m sad but I understand. I work at changing my behavior. It takes time and effort on both sides to build a relationship. Some of my children have done this with me. Some have not. I will celebrate with those I can and pray for those that still see me as a threat to their happiness. The one thing I can say, I never intentionally hurt any of my children. I deeply regret my mistakes and desire to make restitution where possible and build a type of relationship that is worth celebrating. If you are not celebrating today, know that you are not alone. For some, mother day celebrations is one huge reminder of what they didn’t get in a mother. Giving birth is just the beginning of the responsibilities of a mother. Giving life is so much more than getting a baby into the world.
Another aspect of Mother’s Day that is painful for so many are those that through varying circumstances do not get to be mothers. Some people have no desire to be parents and that is OK. However, some women the deepest wish of their heart is to be a mother. The grief of a still born child can rip them apart on mother’s day. The sadness of never having the opportunity to have a child can be devastating to so many. Staying home, turning off movies about mothers, and other choices to get through a difficult day are all strategies for survival. A person outside your grief may be totally bewildered by your sadness. No need to enlighten them. Self care is an important thing to do on any day that causes triggers. Hugs to all that find mother’s day a day of grief with no celebration.