I am a mother without any children. And I also have no mother. Not really. Today has been indescribably hard mentally, though I spent the afternoon at the stables and riding, which was at least a very good distraction if nothing else. It’s a beautiful day today and riding was lovely.
But now I’m back home and the grief and pain is returning too fast. I hate mother’s day with a passion.
It’s been hard over the last couple of weeks, with reminders everywhere about the day. Shops developed a corner full of Mother’s Day cards and gifts. Companies spammed me with emails about buying cards for mother’s day. Pubs and restaurants with ‘book now for Mother’s Day.’ It felt like there was little escape, and each time I saw the words ‘Mother’s Day’ it was a painful reminder of what I, and so many others, do not have.
I miss my babies. So much it’s physically painful; I physically ache with grief. I long for the newborn baby smell again, that milky smell, and to feel their beautifully soft skin against mine. I wish I could groan inside about the cramp in my arm after rocking her to sleep, and not daring to lie her back down again in case she woke up, so just being stuck now with dead weight toddler in my arm for the forseeable future. I wish I had that dilemma again. Move my arm and risk waking her? Or put up with the cramp and let her sleep peacefully? Let her sleep, of course…
I wish I could go back and pause at the second I held my baby for the first time, where the pain from childbirth had momentarily ceased to be important, and I heaved with sobs of relief and love, and made eye contact with this little person, who was now thrashing around and wailing and wriggling against my chest – very alive now. I wish I could pause there, where we made eye contact and she relaxed. That moment where my breath was taken from me as I reeled with the surreal amazement of it all – this little person, this tiny baby, this part of me, had one moment been kicking me inside me, and next moment was crying in my arms. That moment where I drank in her every tiny detail, suddenly painfully aware that every second was precious, that I didn’t want to miss even a moment of her. Her eyes, her cheeks, her face structure, the redness of her forehead and the dampness of her thick hair. I want to be back there. Today I’ve had body memories – my arms felt heavy, as though I was cradling a baby, and my abdomen felt achey, like the day after giving birth. I can hear her first cry – the most incredible sound in the world, because at that point I could relax: I did it. It’s okay, the baby’s okay, I’m done, I did it. We both made it. The first cry is always so desperate, so full, like you can really hear it’s the first real sound of the baby’s life. That is quite profound, I feel.
I miss her smile. I miss her cry. I miss having to splash water over my face just to calm me down after being woken up for what felt like the millionth time that night. I miss holding her and singing to her, and blowing gently on her forehead, watching her eyelids grow heavier, then flickering softly.
I miss her.
I miss them all.
I *hurt*. Everything hurts. I’m in the wrong place. I should be with my children. They need me. How do I know they’re okay? I don’t.
And then, I look at my own life as a child.
So where was my mother? Probably threatened and scared senseless, doing things because she felt she had no choice. Leaving me in the end, because it felt like the only survivable option left.
I don’t know what it’s like to have a mother, really. I still find it odd watching my friend’s talking about, or being around, their parents. That relationship is something which both scares me and amazes me. I don’t miss it, because I never had it. I feel sad I never had it but also feel scared of what I did have, and genuinely feel safer without any parental figures.
My grandmother tried many times to get me to call her mother. I simply couldn’t. Aside from anything else, I saw her as my grandmother and the idea of anything else was weird. But most weird was that her son was my father. So to call him dad, and her mum? EH?! But it drove her mad, sometimes reduced her to tears or screaming matches, and my only relief was when my father and grandfather told her she was being ridiculous. I knew then that it wasn’t me being cruel – she genuinely wasn’t my mother nor was she supposed to be.
But nonetheless, every year we’d have to make her mother’s day cards. I hated sitting at school and being made to make them. Especially as she worked there and all the teachers would seem to make it their mission to remind me how perfectly angelic my grandmother was for having looked after me throughout most of my life. So many times I wanted to scream at them. She was a cruel wicked woman, and despite my grandfather being the one who caused me the most physical pain at home, it is still her who terrifies me…still her who’s words I hear that haunt me and poison me…her I see every night when I go to sleep… her I panic about… her who I’m afraid of. The abuse doesn’t stop because the nightmares are so real, so I’m effectively raped and emotionally torn to pieces every night by various abusers. But she, for whatever reason, scared me more than most of them. She had a particular skill at finding every vulnerable and precious part of my spirit and trying her absolute best to annihilate it piece by piece, leaving me a quivering wreck at her feet.
So mother’s day… I’m lost in grief…and I’m perhaps thinking more about my own childhood, and thus I am grieving for myself.
I know I’m not alone.
To any mother’s who have lost a child, whether an early miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death or later loss of a child, let me sit gently next to you and hold your hand, and we’ll cry together for the little ones, our little ones and little parts of us who are not here, either to hear our heartbeat from the inside as we carry them through pregnancy, or gurgle in our arms as we carry them through their sleep.
To any abuse victims out there who find today frankly terrifying and an unnecessary pressure from society for us to ‘forgive’ and ‘love’ our mothers who may have caused us harm, just follow your instinct, remain true to yourself and your safety, and know that you’re by no means alone.
To anyone who has lost their mother, I cannot empathise with this but I can understand today may well be hard. I’m thinking of you all as well, and hope you’ve got through today safely.
It’s nearly over.
I just want my babies…
Hang in there everyone…