A few weeks back I had a conversation with my brother. We where talking about our mother and her declining health which lead us to the question whether or not to attend her funeral. I know it sounds macabre and of course I don’t wish death to anyone.
People attend funerals to say good-bye and to show their respect.
But my brother and I have no contact with my mother and never will again.
Looking back to our upbringing I clearly see that my mother was overwhelmed with me and my brother. My brother is the oldest and has a different father than my sister and I. He was a typical wild child, my mother a single working mum. Her mum looked after him while our mother worked. When our mother met my dad she pretty much fell pregnant right away with me. So my father, who deep down has a good heart, tried to step up as a dad. My brother wouldn’t have it and rebelled. By the time he was 12 he lived full time with our grandma (my mothers mum) and I can barely remember all of us doing things as a family.
And just like my brother, I was just as wild. And I think that is the reason why our mother did the things she did.
She emotionally and physically abused us.
She beat us blue and green on a weekly basis. Sometimes so bad that our teachers would question us. The reasons? Dirty clothes, home late, bad school reports and not to forget the most important one: Not eating our tea. There was always a big wooden spoon next to my plate! Many of those broke on my bum…
I can remember standing, as children do, in the night at my parents bed, too afraid to ask if I could sleep between them. Afraid she would say no and afraid she would get angry again. At some point she would wake up from me staring at her… often she would send me back in my room.
She would not allow friends in her house, she would not allow me to play with certain children as she deemed them not good enough. I wasn’t allowed to have birthday parties with my friends.
I can’t remember ever going to playgrounds or even play inside with her. During summer she would take me and my sister to the swimming pool, but that was it.
As a teenager she once grounded me for almost a year without tv or my stereo. Why? Because she didn’t like my boyfriend at the time who she saw once! Do you know what isolating a child does to their mental health???
She would say things like, “you will not pass your school exam anyway”. She said the same before I sat my exam to become a legal secretary and when I moved away she threw a big tantrum, again saying, that I won’t make it anyway! By the way, I passed my exams and managed to stay on my own feet!
We where on such bad terms, that I told her through my father (while checking the fridge for food), that I am pregnant with my first child. It was not acknowledged! When I was pregnant with my second child her reaction was and I quote: “Do you actually want to keep it?!” What the actual heck??? So when I hid my third pregnancy and told her on the day I gave birth, she was really annoyed with me. I explained that I did it because of her previous reactions. So I thought she learned her lesson. I should have known better! When I was pregnant with my fourth child she just said “…if that is what you want…” I didn’t have the happy tears, hugging and jumping up and down other daughters receive. Nope.
When I divorced my ex and we decided together with the children our next steps, that we will give them time to adjust and stay with him until the school year is over, my mother screamed at me! It didn’t interest her that fathers have rights, too! She didn’t want to hear that I don’t want to rip my children away from everything they ever new from one day to the next. No, in her opinion children belong to the mother! She, who left her son with her mother, tells me that?!?
The last time my mother saw her grandchildren was before Corona. Three years ago. Not once did she visit us here, despite the fact we would have had room and would have picked her up which she knew! We moved to the UK in 2015!!!
My mother is not interested in anything and she makes everything about her!
I tried really hard to see it from different perspectives. Maybe it was her upbringing? Her father was a drunk who would beat all his 6 children. But then again, she had a very close relationship with her mother. And if you had such a bad upbringing, wouldn’t you try to do it better and not repeat the pattern?
I tried to ignore her behaviour, I tried to talk about it, but the end result is always the same:
There is her way, or no way!
When I was a little girl of 2, or 3, I would start to stay at my fathers mom, my beloved grandmother, every holiday. And every time when my parents tried to pick me up, I would hold onto my gran for dear life, screaming, kicking and crying, pleading to be left with her.
What child does that?! A child that never received the emotional support and love it needed! The same goes for my brother. We are the same. We got punished because our mind is different from our mother’s! And even though I left all those things in the past, it will stay with me forever.
I can’t be in a quiet house, I have attachment problems, I keep on changing everything from jobs to locations and hair styles and there is the need to keep on learning new things.
In the end I just gave up looking for her love and approval as I know she will never give me what I need and she will never change. And because it was so exhausting and because of our last and biggest fight where not only she decided to not talk to me but also my complete family (except my siblings), I through the towel in. I won’t do this anymore. She is out of my life for good and I don’t want her back.
Which brings me to the actual question:
Would I go to her funeral when the time comes? Even though it is a sign of respect, it is a clear “no”! I would be a hypocrite to show up. I can’t pretend to be respectful when so much has happened and I feel the way I do. Surely she will be turning in her grave and the rest of the bunch will think “typical”, but it is what it is.
She never felt like family, my family died when my grandma died! She was the most important person in my life and she will be the only one I will mourn for the rest of my life!
As for me: I will never give up hope! I will never stop loving! And I will never stop reaching for the stars!
Until the next time…