This is very hard for me, my mother basically raised me and looked after my blind Father at the same time. He was let go from work about a year after I was born, money was always tight during my entire childhood, and I was very much aware of it. For Christmas, I wouldn’t ask for much after I found out in Primary four that Santa was my parents, and I never expected anything on my birthday.
Before I started High School (age eleven in the UK) my disorder had started to manifest itself, I’d felt anxiety before but it never truly manifested itself, instead of appearing at a time when I was scared it started to hang around all the time and I would get so emotional about everything, to the point that my Dad thought I was acting.
I was ashamed of these emotions so I pushed it down, my brother had all but in name moved into his girlfriend’s parents house, and my mum was constantly stressed. When I pushed my emotions down they would eventually come up, I was never angry but so heartbreakingly sad when this happened.
I would go to my parents for help to guide me through, but it always ended with my mum screaming at me and a full slap across the face. My mum is deaf, she would mishear something and go full berserker on me. I used this as an excuse for a long time until she tried it again when I was twenty-eight.
This time I had someone to defend me, as I never defended myself, I am sure I could have, but I was never going to hit her. My partner stepped in front of me to take the hit, she almost hit him, and I erupted. I told her the way she treated me wasn’t right when I was a child, she was the reason I couldn’t talk about my feelings.
I swore right at her which is something I never do in front of my parents, she cried, and I walked out. Then something weird happened, she apologised to me, not just for that time but for every time she hit me. This was new territory but as I care a lot for my parents I just got on with it and would just ignore the now semi-occasional dig from her.
Then I had my second miscarriage, I nearly died, and was housebound for about a week after it due to the complications. A few days after my miscarriage my mum went shopping with one of her sisters, they had a good day until my mum passed out on her way home. Rushed to the hospital, her blood was very low, and she was about to get a transfusion.
She was incredibly sick, yellow, thin in the face, and we all thought she was going to die. After doctors appointments, colonoscopies, and as much steak as we forced her to eat, we found out she had a stomach full of tiny ulcers. She got put on the right medication, and it took almost a year for her to get better.
After my mum got better she changed, I don’t mean she pretended to change, I mean she actually changed. A glimpse of death had finally changed her into that caring and loving person I kept hearing everyone else talk about. I never saw that side to her, but now it became the only side to her.
Instead of putting me down she started being supportive, instead of telling me she wished I was never born she would tell me a funny joke, and instead of hitting me around the jaw she would hug me. It was weird, for nearly a year I’ve been waiting for the ball to drop, for her to go back to loathing me and everything I stand for but she hasn’t.
My therapist then helped me to forgive my mum, all that resentment I’d been carry about it inside me I didn’t even know was there, and I didn’t know what to do with it. We spent a long time on my mother, longer than I would care to admit, and way longer than my abusive ex. I realised that only I had the power to forgive her, and I did.
Now if she ever goes back to her old ways I’ve already forgiven her for it, because she’s my Mother I held her to a higher standard than anyone else in my life. Now I understand that she is only human, she had her own problems, and she for the good and bad actually shaped me into who I am today.
It wasn’t easy, it took a lot of work to get over what she had done to me, but I eventually forgave her.