Ladies Room Confessions
The maternal instinct is an automatic response that drives me daily. Even before birthing my beautiful daughter I felt like a mother. I often allowed healing waters to flow through me and wash over every hurting person in my path. It is just who I am. I probably chose to be the source of comfort for so many because on the inside I desired a mother.
I took a job as a teacher because taking care of those children served as a form of pleasure for me. It was my way of drying every tear I cried as a result of the role reversal between me and my mother. Caring for those little ones was the highlight of my day as I struggled with internal rage. How can you birth a child and make that child take care of you?
I remember telling friends that I couldn’t play outside because I needed to clean the house meanwhile my mother lay in her room watching television and puffing on Newport. She was probably seeking an escape from deep-seated pain herself. Yet, I can’t help but honestly conclude that what happened to her was not my fault and I shouldn’t have been made to become a parent at the age of 12. But there I was, cooking every night and cleaning the home from top to bottom while she enveloped herself in an apathetic cocoon of cigarettes, mind numbing television, and guilt.
Now here I am nearly 6 years after her death with a one year old. I study her immensely; watching her spunky personality evolve. She is so beautiful, strong, stubborn, determined: she is my mom. I wonder if I can right the things that went wrong with my mother. If I can rear my child to use her strengths as a source to impact the world, instead of selfishly hoarding her. I wonder if the sensitive nurturer within will be enough to suffice her independent nature. Am I good enough? I am not sure at times.
When I quietly creep into her room and caress her little face, tracing over her features, I ask myself if I would ever commit the selfish acts of my mother; Use her strongest characteristics to somehow bridge the gap of guilt and shame. Be it far from me.
These are the heavy burdens I carry in my soul. The things that I make-up, clothe, and eat to escape.
I love my mother, she had many great qualities, but I do not want to be like her. For that I feel even worse.