— Robert Brault (via alighthouseofwords)
I really hate Mothers’ Day. Being motherless fucking sucks most of the time and I don’t love the reminders.
Sometimes I just need to talk about the grief of motherlessness but I feel like it’s not becoming, not grown up, not welcome. I feel like I live with so many privileges; economic safety net, white-middle-class ladyhood (although to be sure the class thing feels precarious, being as I am an imposter, a first-generation migrant into middle class status). I have the most amazing kid. I repeat, the most amazing. I am deeply in love, enough that the pain of geographic separation doesn’t take away the lucky feeling. But there is an ache in me where there should be at least the memory of a safe maternal pillow to land on.
So a couple months ago I had a breakdown, is the easiest way to put it, an archaic but not inaccurate expression. My mind broke and I was down. I went to the woman who is meant to be my mother, the one I’ve always called on mothers’ day, and she hurt me instead of helping. And then she blamed me for it. So there is no one to call this year. It’s almost a relief.
So much of what I have needed in the past year is what I see — or maybe imagine seeing, I don’t even know how the reality of mothered people’s lives is — people with mothers having.
I have needed someone to hold me and tell me I’m not broken.
I have needed someone to cook for me.
I have needed someone to let me rest, properly rest, not rest-a-bit-knowing-that-housework-and-food prep-and parenting-work-and-paid-work-are-waiting.
I have needed someone to say, I’ve got your back.
I have needed to cry and be held. I can’t cry. I think I’m afraid to be alone in case I don’t stop.
I have needed someone I could call at 2am and not have them resent me.
I have needed someone who knew little girl me to say, you’re still here.
I needed someone to be happy when I am happy, to be thrilled that I am loved well.
I have needed someone to say sorry. Sorry I wasn’t there. Sorry I didn’t stop it. Sorry you were raped. Sorry you were abused. Sorry you were lied to. Sorry they didn’t believe you.
I have needed someone to say, your child will be safe, I will love her too.
I have needed someone to buy bread and milk.
I have needed someone to put on a load of laundry.
I needed someone to actually pick up the phone when the police called at 3 am.
I needed someone to let me sleep.
I needed someone to say, you have a good heart, you should trust it. It’s ok to trust it.
I needed someone to stroke my hair.
I needed someone to say don’t think about dying.
I needed someone to say I will help you fight to keep your child.
I needed someone to babysit.
I needed someone to come for dinner on a Friday and make me feel less alone.
I needed memories of being mothered so that I can trust in my own mothering.
I am doing okay without these things (and with some of them; I have a few loyal friends and a lover) but it feels unfair, somehow, to have to make do. I am always so good at coping. I am tired. I can never just lie down. Now, more than ever, I have to be responsible. It is heavy to carry this without even the memory of someone shouldering my burden without obligation the way those who love us unconditionally are supposed to do.
Mostly I’ve just needed help, and love, and a person in my own corner. I know even basically good parents can be disappointing pains in the arse and often are. But it is so lonely not having any. Never underestimate the depth of that pain, which is only exacerbated by reminders of being an outsider, excluded from the family club.
Motherless women know what I am talking about. Sometimes we recognize each other. It’s a specific, wary kind of sisterhood.
I would like to do something to mark mothers’ day for us, the orphaned and abandoned ones. The neglected and abused ones. The bewildered ones. The aching ones.
I don’t know what.
I’d like to sleep, first.
I will inhabit your love like a dress
snug against the curve of my breast
warm across my buttocks
close enough to my hips to draw the eye.
To see me is to know
I am yours
enveloped in the fabric we have woven
here around us.
And I will think of you, naked,
adorned and claimed by my blood and breath
waiting to begin anew
our love-making, our life-making.
You will stitch your name into me
and I will wear you well.
Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction (via neopiacentral)
I really hate Bret Easton Ellis but this, yes this.