By Maya (Guest writer)
Adopted twice. Still motherless.
I’ve felt the agony of not knowing who I was. Of not knowing where I belonged. Of looking nothing like the family I was in. Of wondering where I came from.
I’ve seen the colors of abuse and the lies that cover it up. Of watching the mom who was once filled with rage genuinely repent, only to then lose her battle with cancer. I tended to her needs leading up to death, but we had no time to build what had never been there. Everything just came too late.
I’ve tasted the pain of finally being in the family I wanted. Finally having the mom I wanted. But I wasn’t the daughter she wanted. Too triggered to let down her walls, I quickly lost worth and value. And now her words stick in my head.
I have nothing to offer you.
I don’t want you to have any part of me.
In all of this loss, I’ve walked what feels like a lifetime of shame. A shame that cries out,
What’s wrong with me that I don’t deserve a mother’s love?
Why can’t I have what others have?
Why doesn’t my mom want me?
The hardest part of moving on is letting go of hope. Hope that one day I’ll get to know what a healthy mother-daughter relationship looks like. Hope of quality time with my mom. Hope of reciprocated, healthy love.
I didn’t think I had it in me to say goodbye. But I did. I recently cut all remaining ties with my adoptive mom. I also left the door open so that if any point she desired a healthy change, she could reach out and know that I’d be ready to try again.
Sometimes it’s hard to accept things for what they are. Times like right now when I find myself missing her. Not the mom that she is. Not even the mom that I wish she would be. But just her as a person. The person she was before she decided I was a mistake. And I ask myself, “Where did that person go?”
When it comes to the “missing her” part of mother-loss, I don’t have answers. When it comes to holding on to hope or letting it go, I’m equally at a loss for which is right. Maybe the answer is in simply being okay with grieving. Being okay with feeling the pain instead of trying to push myself to get over it.
So today, that’s what I’m doing. I’m giving myself permission to grieve what’s not there. And to accept what is.