Hello all! I had a wonderful and extremely busy weekend, with both a favorite cousin and a dear friend in town, and am just now getting back into the swing of things here.
First and foremost, I wanted to note that I have added a contact form on the About page of this site. Inquiries sent there will be routed to my email. Please note: this form is primarily intended for media and business inquiries. I will make every effort to respond to other messages, but I cannot guarantee a response, given the volume of messages I have been receiving and limited time. As ever, though, your comments and tweets are deeply inspiring to me; thank you so much for choosing to share your thoughts and experiences with me.
Over the past week, I’ve twice woken up to mysterious emails in languages I sadly neither speak nor write – Portuguese and German. A quick trip to Google Translate informed me that translated versions of “Motherless by Choice” were appearing on Brasil Post (link) and Huffington Post Deutschland (link). I feel very fortunate to be able to share my writing across different languages and cultures, so thank you very much to the staff of both publications!
As I said above: thank you for all your comments and tweets! I mentioned in my interview that no one wants to choose to be motherless; I certainly didn’t want to be. It’s inspiring to read about how those among you who have had similar experiences have manage to grow and find strength and love elsewhere. The vast majority of comments have been positive, but there are a few which call me out for supposedly spreading a message of hate and lack of forgiveness. I am expanding this discussion into a new piece of writing I hope to share in the near future, but for now, let me say this:
As I have said throughout, I do not hate my mother. I do not wish anything bad upon her, and writing this piece was not revenge toward her, but catharsis for me. I have specifically chosen not to name her and to give as few identifying details about her as possible. Her last name is different than mine, which helps with that. What I want more than anything for my mother is for her to live a happy and peaceful life, however she chooses to define it. It will just not be a life that overlaps with mine, because from childhood through my mid-twenties, whenever we did come into contact, those interactions gave rise to abnormal, unhealthy levels of pain and stress. People do not change simply because we wish they would, or because (as in my case) we bend over backward trying our best to accommodate their behavior, until we are too twisted to function healthily. Sometimes, as much as we don’t want to, we have to let go.
Please know that to be motherless is to be grieving a loss, whether death or estrangement. Commenter Kathleen Blair put it beautifully a few days ago: “The hole will always be there and you will not fill it because it cannot be filled by anything other than a mother’s unconditional love, which you are fully entitled to, which your mother owed to you, and which you were cheated out of.” You are not happy when you choose to be motherless because of your trauma. You are just choosing to survive a terrible injury, bravely.
2 responses to “Contact form, translations, and some thoughts on forgiveness”
Thank you so much for your article. Although our torture has differences it has far many more similarities. Throughout my life I have felt alone with my feelings about my mother except for the one friend whose mother was equally evil. The rest of the world seemed to not understand not only those feelings but my decision at 14 to never have kids because I was afraid that evil lived in my DNA . Today, as a school counselor my skill in understanding my students’ issues comes more from my past than from my training. I understand how they are feeling whether I am making a CPS repot, suicidal thought,depression,anxiety,drug use,toxic relationships et all. Been there,done that. 10 years of my life that I call the lost years. Through a lot of therapy, a wonderful relationship,good friends and a job I love helping others, I too have a fulfilled life. Thanks again for the group therapy. Someone finally understands.
Hi, I apologyze myself because of my English, however I think that you will understand. I am from Brazil, This is exactly how I have been feeling since the last september: “A soul in tension, that is learning to fly”. I am 44 years old, and after two years in theraphy because of panic, hard depression, many diseases in my body and soul, after trying suicide for at least three times last year by psychotropics, trying hard to stay away from the inside pain… just now I am realizing the damage and the evil that I have been through all of my life because of my mother and the disfunctional family we were.
I have my own family, a great and understandable husband, a seven years old girl and a ten years old boy, and just a week from now I decided not to be in contact again with my mother and the people she managed to bewitch, like my sister and my brother-in-law.
The hole inside me is immense, indescribable, beyond the feeling of guilt and of being misunderstanding. At this time, I think that it would be much easier to continue to feel guilty than to internalize that I have a perverse mother with a disfunctional family. The scapegoat role (expiatory bode) I’ve gotten used to all my life seems to be easier at this point than to face reality. Many times a day I still doubt myself . Although my husband supports me and my analyst, the rest of the religious family to the extreme (they are protestants, missionaries) seems to see nothing or do not want to be aware of reality. I feel alone on this journey of being the first to question the facts of a perverse family for generations.
My sister was chosen as the golden girl. After my father died five years ago, my sister and I fight and we distanced ourselves, she lives with her husband and the children right next to our mother, impregnated of the evil until the soul. My sister (she is 51!!!!) does not seem to realize that she herself has played a perverse role through lies, manipulations, and exaggerated attempts to control all family members. I know she suffers, but she wants to continue being Mom’s little girl, even though she herself knows it’s a fake role in which she and her family are constantly being persecuted if they do not do exactly what our mother demands. Anyway, my sister seems to have ceded her life to our mother to the point of appearing more and more to her.
It is sad to realize so late and to have wasted so many years subjecting myself to the evils of this kind of mother and this kind of family. One of your articles that I found translated into Portuguese and it brought me here to congratulate you for bravery and courage. I also hope to maintain the strength and sanity to take care of myself and protect my own family from these perversions, recovering the joy of living again. Sorry to bother you with so many words, I totally understand if there is no answer of you. The answer lies in the wind, uniting the hearts of every person who has to go through realities like ours.
Big hug. Keep going!