I’m still amazed at some parents’ total unconditional love for their children. I’ve always wished I had that – instead of feeling that if I displeased my parents by not being who and what they wanted me to be, they wouldn’t want anything to do with me. (Little did I know ….)
I was conditioned to believe that being me was not okay which is why I tried so hard to be who my mother wanted me to be. But when the blinders came off, I could not help but wonder who I might have been had my parents/family actually loved me unconditionally … I wonder where that might have taken me – but I can’t let myself go too far with that thinking – it gets depressing thinking about things that would or could never be, things that cannot be known. But what I do have is the power to give my kids what I didn’t with the knowing of how much it hurts when kids don’t get those things like love, kindness, respect, and a voice; I didn’t want them to know what it was like to be constantly gaslighted and manipulated and made to feel guilty about things people should never feel guilty of (like having privacy for instance.)
I could never figure out why she couldn’t and didn’t love me. And I brought this to God so many times in prayer. Then comes the day of my oldest’s 4th birthday party – my mother humiliates me yet again – in my home – in front of my friends. I was kind yet firm, but I still stood up to her. I was so hurt and so tired of being humiliated and embarrassed, and even degraded by her publicly all the time. When I confronted her she went white out of shock because us kids were never allowed to stand up to her because she taught us that standing up to parents, sticking up for ourselves, was construed as disrespect (which it clearly isn’t.) And I didn’t stand up to her often because she often retaliated later in such a way as to fear me into silence for fear of me being despised or disowned – which was of course done with no one else around. Little did I know – I already was despised and disowned – I just hadn’t realized it yet.
After everyone left after his birthday party, I started crying and, no word of a lie, God speaks. I hear this voice in my head not my own that says, “There is nothing you could ever do or say that will ever make her love you.” He knew how hard I had tried to love her into loving me – and for how long. It didn’t work. It was hard those next two months battling with omitting her from my life – to either put up with it and keep the peace; or for my own sanity and mental health, run and live. I chose the latter. After much, much prayer and the Lord giving me two visions in regards to my mother, I then did what I knew in my gut I had to do, it was extremely painful, and yet, I never expected to be so blessed by it.
It’s such a hard thing to accept – that your mother/parent doesn’t love you. Very hard. But after confronting her and attempting to move on, I was determined to love my kids and give them everything I didn’t – love, kindness, respect, a voice – those kinds of things that any loving parent would give their children. I knew what would damage them – I think that even though it sucked for me, being despised, hated and rejected, it made me keenly aware of the hurt and damage this kind of abuse causes. I did not want this for my children and did not want my children exposed to it.
Because of God stepping in to be the Parent I never had, and Him leading my husband and I to take a Christian-based parenting course, I was able to lay the foundation I needed for which to build on a healthy legacy. It is all because of Him and Him alone that has made me a better mother than the one I was given.
~ Saoirse Quill