For Mothers and Others Part Two…

It’s Monday and the day after THAT day. There is a subliminal reason I am certain, that I surround myself in her favorite flowers.  She who is not named on Mother’s day. I immerse myself rather into my own role of Mother and Grandmother. But she is always there, in the air, in the walls, in the mirror, even flaunting her presence in the boisterous blooms of roses surrounding my front porch. It is only the day after, separated by hours and choke-held tears that I can call myself “Daughter” and consider the woman who birthed me.

I was the “good daughter” or at least I tried to be for years until I could be “good” no more. I truly believe she tried in her own way to mother me. But mental illness and addiction had stronger sway in her troubled life. There were interludes of insanity that peppered my formative years. And stories of my attempted escapes from it…once into raging city traffic when I was a toddler…another time, seeking the solace of warm cookies and mothering from caring neighbors who found me wandering on the balcony of our apartment complex or at water’s edge near our country cottage years later. It was not uncommon for me to act out in bizarre ways as a youngster, eventually drawing myself into an inner life of mystical imaginings, spending hours upon hours in safe secret places. Nature and spirit guides nurturing me to adulthood. And then I became a Mother to Daughters…

Despite her flaws and demons my mom taught me a few things about myself and the mother I have tried to be. Here’s what I learned…

  • It is okay and healthy to let go…even if it is unbearably painful and hard to do (for mothers) and it is the breaking away that is most frightening and harder still (for daughters). As Mother I have learned to let my own daughters go, realizing that even in their longing to be free, there will always be a need for me, as their mother, to be a safe place to land and a familiar heartbeat to cling to…even if just for a moment. I have learned to ask permission to participate in their lives, giving them room, without the guilt so often attached, to create their own families, traditions and circles of significant others even when it doesn’t include me. I have not always succeeded gracefully in this, but it is my goal to perfect the dance.
  • Children will attempt to parent if burdened with the task, but it is my job as adult and mother to protect their innocence. I learned that I couldn’t help my mother. And more importantly that is was not my job to do so. I have had to draw on my own inner child, often learning what it meant to be a child from my own daughters, and taking their lead.  I have learned to make time for silliness and play while protecting them from the responsibilities and cares of my world. 
  • Mental illnesses…even the types that purportedly run in families need not become life sentences for future generations. Having “inherited” a double-whammy of mental challenges from, not only my mother but my father as well (perhaps we’ll visit that the day after Father’s day…), I have learned that I can change the unhealthy tendencies of my own life. The insanity can and does stop with me. It has taken recognizing and accepting the truth of my upside-down life, hours of therapy, creating new family circles, recognizing mothering from other sources, and grace, lots of grace to get me here. And as a mother, I have developed a keen eye and heart to gently guide my daughters to mental clarity, health and happiness through honesty and the acknowledgement of the realities of mental illness. There is help and hope for those who suffer.

So, this day after…surrounded by your favorite flowers, thorns and all, I would like to thank you Mom, for inspiring me even in your brokenness to become the daughter, woman and mother I am today.  And as an ironic and perfectly synchronistic denouement to this life’s reflection…I present to you Mom, as it was presented to me, this year’s Mother’s Day card from my daughters.  I hope it makes you smile…oh…and thanks for the roses…:) …until next year then… card

kat ~ 11 May 2015


4 responses to “For Mothers and Others Part Two…

  • Brigid Clare

    Oh my heavens. This brought tears to my eyes. I could have written it, except that I really could not. Thank you for having the courage. ❤ (And yes, oh boy, next comes Father's Day!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • kmmyrman

      Blessings and peace to you “Brigid Clare”. Thank you for your generous words of kindness and encouragement. The heart knows what it knows 💕

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  • thegreeningspirit

    Wow, Kathy…I was not aware of your writings until yesterday…. this was so powerful and helpful… I also did not post about “Mom” either…could not yet, or still. Thanks again for sharing your story and your wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kat Myrman

      Thank you dear Christine. This blogging thing is new to me but I felt that it was time to find a platform that would allow me to go deeper than Facebook allows with its open forum, thoughtless drive-by drivel. I just don’t have the energy to debate with close-minded ignorance when there is truth to be told and beautiful words begging me to write them. 🙂

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