The Twisted Cord

When did this happen? When did the tides turn and our roles reverse? Was it when I became a mom and you passed on the torch? Or was that just the moment I began to realize the faults in our love and the gaps in our relationship. The excuses I had made for you no longer made any sense.

You were supposed to be here, beside me, not so high above that all I can see is the flare of your nose and it stands straight up towards me. The judgements just because you can – that defy all logic and just keep me planted deep into the ground. That’s where you like me. 

For many years before kids, I was lost. And I was your mistake. An easy way to categorize me. A self destructive mess that you could pour your own feelings of self criticisms and anxieties into. 

Had you known the depths of my troubles, would it have changed your mind? Probably not. It’s much easier to just blame than understand – to just accept things as broken rather than to see the complexities of behaviour .

You were supposed to be my support and not the one who wrote me an email listing all the better ways I could spend money rather than on my wedding day. 3 round trips to Disney Land and a new couch set sure do sound like fun… but so does the most important day of my life. We were supposed to plan that day together and not me hiding every detail to avoid confrontation. My wedding day, the best day of my life, was just steeped in shame and the feeling of selfishness because I didn’t want to hold it in the local legion for a buffet. “Think about your daughters’ education funds – and then some…”

I’ve written your eulogy a million times in my head – out of the foreshadowed grief I know I would feel. This keeps my anger in line and allows you to continue to glaze over me. For one day I won’t be able to answer your phone calls when you need to vent – or keep you company when you go grocery shopping – and the thought of this shatters my world already. 

You are my mom. But somewhere along the line I became the nurturer. The unconditional love between us has allowed us to ignore our identities as people and to just fall into these roles that are locked in the guilt and hurt that strikes me at the core…. over and over and over again. 

And there’s nothing left to say. Just this intricate dance we do to desperately hold on to the twisted cord that connects us.

And as I vow to never let my daughters’ hands go empty – or to never whisper those words of self doubt in their ears – I am already mourning for the mom I so desperately needed. And yet I carry the weight of ungratefulness as I realize that you carry my unmet expectations as I do yours. 

To love is to hurt is to love is to feel joy. My mother, my love, my hurt.

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