Mother’s Day hangover

I woke up to one of those days. You know the one. Where I could care less whether I live or die. Don’t worry though, I’m not actively planning my demise. Because, let’s face it, that requires work and energy and I have neither. Sad isn’t it? That you’d like nothing more than to wipe yourself off the face of the earth yet you’re just too tired to go through with it.

I was in in a funk all weekend but I particularly noticed a lot of internal chaos this morning. I wonder if it was because I struggled through yesterday biting my tongue and pretending to care about the woman who created me. Mothers Day. My second least favourite holiday. The only one that feels worse is Father’s Day which requires no explanation at all.

I should have expected it. Been more prepared for it. Because it happens every May. People start posting on social media—messages of love and admiration to the moms who are constant and loving and heroes to their children. And I hate it. No matter how hard I try, I can’t help but wonder…why not me? What is wrong with me that I don’t have a mother like that? What have I done wrong?

The days have been no different than any other, but something about them hurts a little more than usual. It’s the seemingly minor things that send the painful jolts of electricity through my body and make me want jump out of my skin screaming. The wayward glances and offhanded comments that I could only imagine must somehow make her feel better about herself and the way things are–the little things that make me feel as though I am less than others and remind me of yet another instance where I’ve felt a burden to her. And the sound of ice hitting the glass as she pours herself yet another drink. It is that one noise that has always been my equivalent of fingers on a chalkboard. Why the sound of ice hitting a glass stimulates such a strong aversive reaction is a mystery to me. Perhaps the reaction to that particular sound is rooted in predator-fleeing instincts from my past.

Why do all of the things she does, and doesn’t do, still bother me so much of the time? Why does it continue to wreck havoc in my life? If I approach the problem logically I know that it’s not my problem that my mother drinks too much. It’s not my problem that she wasn’t capable of providing everything I needed. It’s not my fault that she felt that I was too much for her and left to feel like she hated me for existing. I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t want this life. She was the one who decided to have a relationship with someone who was a mean bastard of a sociopath. Not me. Her. It was her decision. She got to choose. I didn’t get to choose anything. And everywhere I look I feel like I’m being a selfish asshole because at least I have a mother when others don’t. But logic doesn’t always win, does it?

We are constantly told that Mother’s Day is special and that we need to do something to show that we care. But what about those who didn’t have the best mother. Should I try to find something good in her to celebrate? At least I had a roof over my head, right? And food to eat? At least I had the opportunity to get a university education, albeit on student loans, didn’t I? Should I be grateful for those things? Am I being too harsh on her? When I think back to my childhood I don’t get all warm and fuzzy inside. Sure, I had a roof but I didn’t have her to tell my darkest fears to or learn what it felt like to be safe both inside and out. I didn’t expect her to be perfect. I only wanted to feel loved by her. And there’s just no way to sugar-coat that truth.

There is something missing for me. The one thing that ties it all together. If I could only figure out what it is, perhaps life wouldn’t feel like this. I don’t know what it’s about. I’m not sure where to go looking next. I’m not even entirely sure what it is that I’m looking for. And perhaps it is really nothing and I am just grasping for something to hold onto. Maybe the truth is that I am actually just terrified of what I already know.

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