Mother's Day Reflections From a Single Mom: Learning to Accept What I Deserve Isn't Easy, But I'm Ready to Try by Dawn Taylor
It was Mother's Day, and I am once again feeling triggered. My kids are the best thing that has ever happened to me, and me being triggered had nothing to do with them. But the sadness and anger I feel is very real and happens on every holiday or special occasion, not just the one that is meant to honor mothers.
I get anxious because as a child I experienced severe neglect. I remember that most birthdays and events passed without any fanfare. On my 10th birthday I passed my father in the upstairs hallway and he passed me a dollar bill. That was it. Happy double digit day.
I try so hard to give my children wonderful birthdays and holidays so they feel loved. But when days that focus the attention on me arrive, I am 100 percent ready to sabotage the day.
I think I've realized that the reason I do this is because I feel undeserving.
So when I sulk about them forgetting to make a card or that they haven't acknowledged me without me having to prod, I feel guilty and angry at myself for ever making them feel bad.
These feelings though, are valid. This aching is for me and I have to come to terms with the real emotions attached to never feeling special.
There are many families with very little money who still make their kids feel valued and loved every day. That mine didn't know how is OK. I am not angry at them because people make mistakes and I am sure they never meant to hurt me. I know both of my parents struggled, emotionally and financially, and did the best they could but being hungry is the worst thing as a child. I was starving for food and basic nourishment and I was starving for attention. That leaves a child empty and the hole is still there.
It is why as an adult I have accepted horrible treatment by others. It is why I feel undeserving of love and attention, but still so desperately want and need it. It is OK to feel sad, but I need to separate that sadness from the present, and enjoy my family who has nothing to do with my own childhood scars.
I might have screwed up part of Mother's Day, but I think I'm ready to grieve my own childhood so I can accept the love that is all around me – every day.
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