My mom was far from the checkered dress and pearl wearing mothers of black and white TV programs. I did not come home to her anxiously awaiting me with a plate of after-school snacks and a ready ear to listen to my day’s events.
Although she was married to three different men before I graduated from high school, I always considered her a single mom. She had to work to support us. Both of her husbands after my dad left were of little use financially or with any child rearing needs.
Over the years, I have struggled to accept responsibility for my mistakes. I blamed my mom for allowing me to become addicted to drugs and alcohol at the frighteningly young age of 13. I blamed her for giving me too much freedom, where I could pollute my body and soul with these substances and boys that took advantage…
My forgiveness journey with her didn’t start until after I got sober at 30. Somehow, I continued to blame her throughout my 20’s as I continued my addictions. Deep down, I must have known then it wasn’t her fault, but placing the blame elsewhere made it easier.
In more recent years, I have been able to see my life for what it was — a journey to become the woman I am today. If I didn’t go through every single moment of my past, I would not be here today, reaching out to try to help others fighting for their freedom from addiction.
With this revelation, I can finally allow myself to let go of when, how, or why my addiction started. I can move past all the pain and traumatic events associated with those days. My mother is being slowly released from the captivity of blame.
This has not been an overnight process by any means. My forgiveness is still a work in progress. I find myself getting angry with her sometimes, only to realize it has less to do with the matter currently at hand and everything to do with those years and mistakes made so long ago…
Becoming a mother has made me realize those women from black and white TV shows only lived in those little boxes. They were never real, dealing with the problems actual life brings. There are no perfect mommies.
I fought so hard to save my children from the mistakes my mom made, I allowed myself to ignore the ones I was making. My kids will someday be able to sit at a computer and blog about the many things I did wrong in their childhood.
I choose to remember more every day about what my mom did right. She was twice the homemaker I am, always having our house in a condition ready for company. I, on the other hand, find myself running around like a crazy woman hiding laundry and dirty dishes when my kids invite someone over.
I remember the day she found me in a hospital at 22 when my body finally shut down from the drugs I continued to pummel into it. She had been searching for me for months. I will never forget when she walked in the door of that dark hospital room. A halo floated above her, slightly tilted and tarnished, but a halo nonetheless…
I remember when I became a divorced mom in my late 20’s, completely broke spiritually, physically, and financially. She took me and my daughter in and nursed us back to life…
In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s choose forgiveness. May we all focus on the beautiful moments our moms gave us, not the mistakes they made.
Forgiving our mothers for those inevitable mistakes of the past is a necessity for our emotional health. The mother-daughter relationship is one of the most complex unions we will ever have. Change your focus and move forward in love with your mom today.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.