Sharing a bit... because so much of this lead me here to Mom Culture
Today's always a mixed emotion day for me. It's my mother's birthday. We're both Aries, and I was born three days after her, so our birthdays were connected-ish from the very start.
Today marks eight years since I last celebrated a birthday with her.
My sister and I put together a 60th bash for her that night, one that wasn’t easy for either of us to pull off, to be honest.
My sister was always a single mother working her ass off-hours some could never imagine so she could provide the money but not the time to plan, and I was just about six weeks postpartum with Fletcher.
I had recovered from emergency surgery to remove a retained placenta that almost took my life. I was in a bad place, but I showed up like I always had, making her day special and unique.
I hauled myself to a bakery with a newborn and four-year-old in tow to design a beautiful custom cake, and we planned the most beautiful dinner at a local winery with a custom menu tailored just for her.
We pulled out all the stops and tried hard to make her feel loved and unique as we always had.
The night was beautiful and turned out amazing, considering all it was a success—a magical birthday for our matriarch mother.
A week later, the toxic behaviors hit. It hit fast and furious and took an all-time low turn even for my mother.
It wasn’t new. It was a game we’ve participated in for years, sadly but what was different was me. I no longer had the tolerance for it or the stomach to digest the abuse she freely threw out.
Mental illness is an actual robber of all joy, and without real tangible help and a desire to get the treatment, it will destroy lives.
My birth of Fletcher, in a way, was honestly a significant rebirth for me as a person, as a woman, and as a mother that experienced changed me inside. I sat dumbfounded how a mother could treat their child the way she was, especially when all I ever did was love her unconditionally through a turbulent, less than stellar childhood I was forever my mothers ride or die and at my most broken place as a person she pounced on me with so much hate in her heart. It was beyond me, and to this day, it still is because I needed a mother to mother me at that time.
That last conversation was my endpoint. I saw her twice after, and as I’ve said before, I had my “moment” the one people who’ve lived with abuse have to have to free their souls from their captors.
When women ask me how I did it and found strength, I always tell them, when you know you've hit the point of no return, and you're done, you know. It’s an actual Moment, I swear.
Six months after freeing myself from a lifetime of mental abuse and toxic behaviors, I started my company. With a baby, a preschooler, and a first-grader, the timing was shit, but man, the timing was right. I needed this. I needed to heal. And doing this started that journey.
Allowing myself to be free gave me back myself. I was able to, for the first time, focus on myself, my children, my marriage, and my desires instead of being worried all the time about when the shoe would drop, and the unbearable dramas and pain would hit next because they always did there was no end until I ended it.
Walking away gave me everything I’d missed out on. It gave me life.
I’m no expert on this topic; I’m just someone who made a choice and took a path that not many find the strength to walk, but I try to share for those like me that feel so alone in this pain because unless you’ve experienced it, first hand most women can’t imagine having a mother or father that causes this level and depth of pain. Hence, they suffer in isolated silence or trauma bonds with their siblings.
Guilt of loving someone you can't help.
A note on mental health. I’m sensitive to her struggle, but support and opportunities for help have always been given, but you cannot force a person into treatment, nor can you love them enough to make them love themselves and seek help. I gave her my entire childhood and a chunk of my twenties, and I chose to live the remainder of my life for me and the well-being of myself and my family.
This was and has always been the most challenging choice of my life.
The stigma of toxic parents
To the mama who knows this pain, I see you, and time hops, photos, and thoughts sometimes need to have a moment like today.
Feel reflect and connect to the pain but remember your why and all you gain from being free.