Last week, I couldn’t find the words to write about the struggles that so many dissociative survivors have on Mother’s Day. Sometimes, Mother’s Day is a very painful day.
In response to that, a dissociative survivor emailed me, and has given me permission to post their thoughts about the painful side of Mother’s Day.
Maybe you will relate to these difficult thoughts and painful feelings.
Every year on Mother’s Day we as a society get inundated with movies about mothers, sappy Hallmark card Mother’s Day commercials, endless rounds of advertisements on ways you can show your mother that you love her by buying her something. On Mother’s Day many churches do tributes to moms – handing out charm bracelets, giving out flowers, and preaching sermons about how families are wonderful things to have and how you need to be so thankful to your mother for raising you and putting up with you. Mothers are celebrated as though motherhood is the be all and end all of existence. It’s required that you show appreciate to your mom, grow up to be a fantastic mother, or show tribute to all the mother figures in your life.
But what if Mother’s Day is just full of pain?
What if just the thought of your own mom brings on fear and anxiety, or what if you have lost a child, or what if you are unable to have children, or what if you don’t even want children of your own? What if while reading praises about other people’s lovely mothers just brings you to tears filled with jealousy or an aching in your heart? Or what if thinking about your own mom doesn’t conjured up love, but perhaps obligation or hate or even terror?
This is side to Mother’s Day that just doesn’t get discussed very often.
If you’re blessed to have a good mother, that’s wonderful. But not everyone wants to hear about it – especially on Mother’s Day. The day brings up too many intense feelings, especially if you want to be a mom but cannot be, or your mother hurt you, or your mom has died.
There are mothers out there for whom you can’t find just the right Hallmark card. “Thank you for being such a precious mom who I am so grateful for” just doesn’t cut it. How about cards that say “You were never there for me.” Or how about “Thanks for never stopping dad / your boyfriend / your brother from molesting me in the bedroom next to yours.” Or what about “I know you never even wanted me.” Or perhaps, “I never even knew you.” Instead of thankfulness and love and gratitude, there should be cards that express fear, anger, stress, and hurt.
Instead of spending Mother’s Day taking your mom out to dinner and to the spa, some people spend it curled up on the couch, just trying to survive the day. Some spend the day trying to cope with flashbacks; giving into painful behaviors such as cutting or over-eating; feeling lost and very, very alone. Some people spend the day aching over the grief for children they can’t have, for the mom they always wanted but don’t feel like they deserved.
What if Mother’s Day is one of the worst days of the year for you?
What do you do then while it seems that everyone else in the world is celebrating?
Well said. That is exactly the kind of emotional pain I was thinking about, but said so much better by this trauma survivor.
Their pain is palpable.
How do you relate to these words?
How would you answer these difficult questions?
How difficult was your Mother’s Day?
And what ideas do you have for Mother’s Day cards that haven’t yet been written?
I wish you healing…. especially in the tender places.
Copyright © 2008-2020 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation