The Mother Inside

August said, “Listen to me now, Lily. I’m going to tell you something I want you always to remember, all right?”
Her face had grown serious. Intent. Her eyes did not blink.
“All right,” I said, and I felt something electric slide down my spine.
“Our lady is not some magical being out there somewhere, like a fairy godmother. She’s not the statue in the parlor. She’s something inside of you. Do you understand what I’m telling you?”
“Our Lady is inside me,” I repeated, not sure I did.
“You have to find a mother inside yourself. We all do. Even if we already have a mother, we still have to find this part of ourselves inside.”

The Secret Life of Bees
a novel
Sue Monk Kidd

I followed up on the lead I got on my brother’s father. It turns out that he and E were in fact married but it only lasted three days and was forced by his mother. There was question as to the paternity of “the child”. I don’t even know if he is aware of the fact that it was a boy. Loser. I mean if there was a question fine but a question certainly does not make a fact. Wouldn’t you want to know for sure?! Loser.
He said he had only seen her once since then and that was years and years ago when she showed up “uninvited” to his H.S. reunion. The distaste he has for her virtually dripped off of his tongue. He sounded like he was revisiting his bitter 20 year old self, which I found seriously pathetic.

I think it is safe to rule him out as my birth father. But then again he didn’t seem to be of exemplory character so it is hard to know whether to trust his words either. Another brick wall seems to have placed itself in front of me.

After I got off of the phone I became angry. Angry at the secrets, angry toward the lies and deceit. Is the secret of one’s past, the preservation of ego worth the pain of another? I cannot justify this no matter how hard I try. It is not in my nature to be cruel intentionally. If I know I am causing someone pain I go out of my way to change the situation, even at the expense of my own comfort.

Can I live with the fact that my birth mother is simply not a very nice person? Of course I can. It’s not a good feeling but my feelings do not seem to be an issue for her so that certainly does not change anything. She does not want me in her life, nor does she allow me the opportunity to know who my birth father is and no matter how you cut it that is just selfish. Under normal circumstances I would not allow a selfish person into my life. I see no reason to make her an exception.

There is a part of me that seems to be a bit hypocritical because for my very own selfish reasons I wish the fact that I am just about ready to wash my hands of this whole mess would bring her some emotional discomfort. To know that she felt bad about her actions would honestly make me feel better.

I don’t think it goes against my usually kind nature to want her to feel because I have no power to change the situation. I am not responsible for her emotions. I don’t wish her sadness but her reaction toward me has been so horrible that I can’t help but wish she would feel somewhat repentant. If she did then I guess that would bring her sadness but that couldn’t be helped. It would be a by-product of allowing herself to feel. The only way I truly believe she could feel good about all of this if she were honest with herself and with everyone around her and I don’t see that happening any time soon.

I have to walk away knowing I did everything I could. I was kind and sensitive, courageous and patient, loving and sympathetic. I was brave. Very brave indeed.

I have thanked her for giving me life and thanked her for her time. That’s just going to have to be good enough. I have a mother who, as screwed up as she may be, cares enough to have me in her life, is always there for me. She may not know how to be there WELL but at least she tries. That too is just going to have to be good enough. I guess it’s time I took off my own rose colored glasses. My futile attempts at establishing some sort of bond with the woman who brought me into this world has become a serious waste of my time and a huge waste of love that will be better spent on someone who cares to receive it.

I will always love E but it’s time I found a place for her. Like sticking a love stamp on her forehead and plunking her on a shelf. Take her down and dust her every so often then it’s “back to the shelf for you honey!” Call it self preservation.

At the end of the day I think I need to count only on the mother within for the true needs of my heart. That was really great advice.



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10 responses to “The Mother Inside

  1. A painful, touching post from the heart, Mia. I feel for you. And the advice you quote to find the Mother inside ourselves is totally straight up.

    For me, the Mother is the natural world. It’s also my own efforts to slowly find myself as I drown in the static of past pain and future anxiety. Just take it one moment at a time. That’s the best Mothering we can give ourselves that I can think of.

  2. Mia. Hugs.

    The only way I truly believe she could feel good about all of this if she were honest with herself and with everyone around her and I don’t see that happening any time soon.

    Therin lies the reason my own reunion went South. It is such an impossible, unbending place to be an introspective person who encounters someone unyieling in their desire not to feel, not to heal. I too came to the same conclusion as you: I need to count only on the mother within for the true needs of my heart. It’s a healthy place to rest, but an unusual one in comparison with the rest of the world’s families. Sometimes, it is the very best any of us can do.

    I was kind and sensitive, courageous and patient, loving and sympathetic. I was brave. Very brave indeed.

    Yes, yes you were. And you should be very proud.

  3. Mia

    Rhonda said: It’s a healthy place to rest, but an unusual one in comparison with the rest of the world’s families.

    That is so true. Maybe that’s why it takes us so long to discover our own ability to heal ourselves. It certainly isn’t the norm, or how we are taught it is done. As a society we put SOOOO much emphasis on the family unit and none on ourselves. There has to be a balance and in our cases even weighted more on the side of self perhaps. Some things to think about.

    Thanks Marie. I know my post probably sounds like I am really really sad but in all honesty I am feeling pretty good about things. I try to put it all out there, thoughts running through my head, raw emotion and all of that. I think sometimes in my attempt at honesty I come across a little more in pain than I actually might be feeling. Not that I haven’t been in plenty of pain over this but right now coming to these conclusions is healing and actually somewhat peaceful. Not there yet but working on it! (((Marie)))

  4. Oh Mia, I’m so sorry. I just don’t know what to say. Sorry some of the “grown-ups” in your life let you down. 😦

  5. All I can say Mia is Amen. I know the feeling all too well. By the way I have finally updated my blog to include your link.

  6. I also know that my mother is absolutely incapable of being honest and very good at manipulating. By the way Attila I have added yours. all of us need humor

  7. Rel

    you’re very brave. and i am sure you inspire many people, including me. xo

  8. Mia

    Oh, I’m alright Atilla, hangin’ tough ;o)

    Thank You Amy for adding my link and Rel, the feeling is mutual!

  9. sassafras

    Hi Mia! I’m posting rather than calling right now, and it is me –
    your cousin up the street from your mom. I am so glad you read The Secret Life of Bees! I’m sure it was for that quote I mentioned it, so I guess it worked. Wow. There’s just one piece of this blog I want to comment on – it wasn’t a waste of time! – whoever approaches anyone from a place so pure in their hearts deserves the outward recognition of what they’ve offered and some reciprocation, BUT, it is still yours no matter what she does. It’s yours and lives in you and you are blessed to have and know that kind of love, while perhaps this poor woman is the equivolent of a waif when it comes to love. No, I don’t believe it was a waste of time at all- I believe that it brought you closer to yourself than some people ever get in a lifetime (and you’ve still got much of yours to live!) and I believe it has given you riches beyond your imagination which you instinctively and maybe subtly sprinkle over the lives of your children every day. Because you KNOW what it means to have a mother who loves you, your children will never KNOW what it is like NOT TO.
    Now think of that as a gift for your children, but then realize how one act trickles into the stream of life affecting all others to come, and how each of your children will affect all of the lives of those they interact with, and you’ve given a gift to the world. So F- E, if you know what I mean, you did it for you… and a lot of good has come from it. Too bad she isn’t allowing herself to partake in any of the riches, not yet anyway. Let’s talk soon. R.

  10. Mia

    Thanks R. I love you.

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