Mother Love

Yesterday would have been my mother’s birthday, the fourth that has passed since she died.

This year I acknowledged it, but didn’t cry, and that in itself made me incredibly sad.

Time passes so quickly…

My mother and I had a difficult relationship but I always knew that I was loved.

We were both complicated and conflicted and spent much of our lives finding some sort of happiness and comfort within the world.

I grew up overshadowed by this huge, bright beautiful and charismatic woman who tried to leave me space to develop into who I was meant to be, unlike the way she herself was brought up; but she still ended up dominating me.

I rebelled, and my rebellion took forms that needled and prodded her greatest fears.

When I was 13, our family doctor advised me that the best thing that I could do for my own mental health, was get away from her. This advice was reiterated by many parties over the years.

I never consciously took the advice,but I adopted a lifestyle that created the distance necessary for both of our survival.

In my 30’s we reconciled, and both of us worked hard to build a good and a non destructive relationship.

In some ways it was easy. I loved her, and I also liked her. She was intelligent and funny, and had similar quirks and interests to myself, with a unique way of perceiving and interpreting reality.

Other aspects of our relationship were more difficult; breaking patterns, standing up for myself, asserting my individual nature and path.

I was 37 when I first stood up for myself and said NO. There was a long silence, and then she congratulated me, which was disconcerting but marked a surge forward for both of us.

I was with my mother during the final stage of her illness. I stayed in her hospital room for the last week of her life, helping the other members of my family support and love her into death, without fear.

Since she died I have fallen into pieces, but also become myself.

I finally feel as if I am the person I was meant to be.

My mother and I both fought so hard for the relationship we gained with each other and I am honoured to look into a mirror and see aspects of her flicker back at me. However part of the process of losing, gaining and losing her again, means when I look in a mirror, I also fully see and accept myself.



About charlottejane2002

Author of 'P is for Prostitution', 'The Bloody Sacrifice' and co-editor of 'A Contemporary Western Book of the Dead' which are all published by Mandrake of Oxford. Italian publisher Roberto Migliussi has recently released 'The Sky is a Gateway, Not a Ceiling', a book of Charlotte's collected essays printed alongside images of his own art work. Charlotte is also an artist who creates spiritually directed art works from road kill and found objects. She has had her written work printed in anthologies and various magazines and on line publications and has given presentations at many events and institutions including Edinburgh University and Brooklyn's 'Museum of Morbid Anatomy'. Her art work has been exhibited widely including at London's Chelsea Gallery and The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute, and is soon to be shown in New York.
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