I kiss my daughter daily. On her cheeks and on her toes. On her hands and on her nose. I kiss her when she’s happy or when she is upset. I kiss her every morning and night. I will be the mom who kisses her in public when she is in her twenties. Of course because I love her. I am thankful for her. And because I was never given the same affection. So I express my feelings for her as much as humanly possible.
My mother never kissed me really. She barely said I love you’s and when she got me something there was always a catch. She was loud. Angry so much that I thought I always caused it. She did not discuss womenly things. That meant no period talks. No puberty talks. No mention of boys aside from “you can’t date”. We never had the TALK talk. I have never heard my mom say the words penis or vagina. Ever. She was not fond of any of it. I suppose because my grandmother was not either. You would think being one of eight kids that my mother would have picked up on those parenting skills somewhere along the line. But no. She didn’t.
My mother was not much of a hugger or a toucher either. When you did hug her, it was as if her tiny frame of 4′ 11″ squirmed and quivered from the core out. She was less than 100 lbs. Hugging her too tight might even kill her. I did not dare try to. But i did want to. Sometimes I wanted to hug her tight enough to suffocate her with love. To give her some kind of satisfaction out of human emotions. Anything to make her feel alive. Not zombied out on the couch. Its a wonder really that she ever conceived. I do not know how she managed to endure that kind of emotional contact. I swear I am the product of drunk and angry hate sex between my divorced parents. Its hard to ever imagine they liked being even in the same room.
I don’t remember many moments where my mother was proud. It was another emotion she didn’t know how to express. Probably because no one ever expressed it to her. She wanted everything a certain way. The shoes to be aligned in the closet. The clothing to be coordinated and folded in order. If not, it was all taken out and thrown on the floor. To be done over and over and over and over and over again until it was correct. The rooms were all spotless. Her home with my stepfather had to be emaculate. It was as if we lived in a HGTV house. All polished and neat with a dollhouse appeal like no one dwelled in it. That was her picture perfect image. Its what she painted for the in laws. The neighbors. The coworkers. Her parents. It served its purpose for the viewers. However, when they left and the doors shut tight, she was a whole different person.
I never quite got the courage to call the cops or report my parents at school. It would make sense to some people for a child to make a scene about their abuser. To seek intervention and help. But why on earth would any kid want to do that? Have you ever heard the saying “don’t bite the hand that feeds you”. It goes a long way if you follow it. If you don’t, you must pay the consequences. I called CPS twice on my mother. And both times I did pay the price. Through drawn out battles trying to prove to the “help” that I was being abused. After all, its perfectly legal for an adult to have alcohol in their home. Its also hard to prove verbal abuse when there are no bruises to show. So she got away with everything. For sixteen years she got away with everything. Even after I was abandoned and she changed the locks on me while I lived with my aunt, she escaped Scott free.
I had to testify against my mother in court when I sued my parents for abandonment. Did you know you can sue and legally divorce your parents? Guess what? You can. And I did. I was not put up to it. I did not win money from it. They did not go to jail. I was not able to seek “justice” through any instant form of punishment. What I did get was closure. I sat staring my own flesh and blood right in the eyes. I had a microphone to speak through and my little shaky voice gave testimony. I was able to tell about her alcoholism and drug use. About the many times I ran out in the middle of the night for safety because it was safer outside than it was in. I told about the CPS calls and the family counciling we all had been forced to attend which was ditched after about three months. I sang my heart out. She looked into my tear struck eyes and denied it all. ALL of it. That was the day I realized why I was not hugged or loved the way an only child should have been. She did not love me. She did not love me because she did not love herself.
Though I was seventeen at that time I was a smart young woman. I did not feel it then but I know it now. A lot of people looked down on me for every single thing I went through. They did not understand or see the whole picture. I was also pittyed often for my situation. The worst feeling ever is being treated like a sad case. Like you don’t even have expectations from them because you are such a sad case that you don’t need to live up to anything. No one has expectations from you when you are seventeen with an infant and no parents. No education. Your simply exempt from life.
It has been many years since I have had to see my mothers face. It would have been easier to tell people my parents died. To say they battled something mean and ugly. My mother was always battling something poisonous inside of herself. And it won. So I let go. She has been an empty shell for so long that it would be phony to say I miss her. There was nothing ever to miss because it was never there. This is why I hug my daughter. I know that i cannot change a thing about my childhood. I won’t be able to fix my mother and I don’t believe I should have to. She was always way passed rehab and AA. The thing she fights so hard to get away from, even to this day is herself. No one can run from that.
I hug my little girl and I kiss her until she is annoyed by it because I have that ability. I can talk to her about everything. I can tell her about where she will get hair and what her period is. I, thankfully, am not afraid of the word vagina. After all, she came out of one. And she knows it. We can share stories about how we feel. We can celebrate those emotions. The good, the bad and the ugly- we will go through it all together. I do not have to make up for anything or try to fix my life. It is all new. That’s the power of starting over. We get to live our lives how we want to. I get to break the chain.