Hands Off my Mom: A Mother’s Day Depression
5/11/19 – the day before.
After weeks of bombardment, reminders from media, FB, Twitter, every other ad in every newspaper, I woke up this morning from a long, emotional and so damn real dream of Mom. Mom who was everything that is love in my life, in my dreams again. So immediate, usually so welcome, always touching every nerve in my body even as I sleep.
Discussions of mothers naturally trend this time of year, and it’s not so great. Really, it’s not just me. So many of us – daughters, sons, husbands, even mothers – don’t appreciate the Hallmark holiday that drags us into the shaded, layered, and sometimes painful place where family relationships dwell. The weight this false idolatry places on normal humans may be unintended, but it has existed from the start of the honored second Sunday in May.
To be honest, I always felt the need to acknowledge the day. But my own Mother just hated the false holiday. It could be a long essay on its own, her own family life and mother issues, but in truth her reasons were solidly based on caring about how this fakery was being used to manipulate society, and to manipulate kids. She was right, and as we have begun to hear more and more, many people agree with her stance.
So on Twitter and Facebook and all other platforms, as this assinine haze of emotionally charged advertising covers the country, we suffer flashbacks, good and bad, all to support. . . making money for corporate America.
Thus, it is a solid bet that I will have a night like last night, reliving situations where my brother and his world consumes my Mom with his problems, his traumas, drug alcohol and health crises, and I flop around in those dreams wanting her attention and love, feeling guilty for putting her in that position, and resenting and fighting with my abusive father who does his narcissistic best to have Mom focus only on him. In other words, reliving my life in relation to family.
Is this unique? No. Not at all. What is more fraught than our family connections? It’s our first loves, our first fights, our first confusion over being led by parents who turn out to be human, etc, etc. If your family was perfect, either a) you’re exceedingly lucky or, more likely, b) you’re exceedingly forgetful/in denial.
Mother’s Day isn’t like Administrative Professionals Day, or Take Your Pet to Work Day, an excuse to excuse for paying a low wage or to enjoy some puppies. It’s so much more.
Therefore I did not sleep well. I woke up angry and depressed, and I remain so. I miss my Mother more than I can ever express. We were robbed of so many experiences, laughs, travels together, talks and resolutions, that I can never recover. Deep grief returns in awful dump-trucks-full, sharp glass shards of memory and murky swills of emotion, pouring into my soul. I don’t choose to live this, it’s forced upon me every year.
And I hate it.
So for those who share this pain, who know this mire in which Madison Avenue drags us, whether your mother is alive or gone, an angel or an angry harpy, I feel you. You aren’t alone. There is no way to fight the scourge, but we can mentally hold each other closer and understand. My Mother isn’t for sale. Don’t use her, don’t use me.