What does it mean if I accept that my own mother cannot give me the love I need or needed?
It means that I musts do this work myself-- take time to love and nurture that part of me that needs her love and acceptance. It means I take time to embrace the fairness in loving myself in her stead. It means that in the end I will strive for a sort of forgiveness of us both. I wish I had known more fully that it was OK to admit my mom was narcissistic, a long time ago, so I could heal earlier. I must accept and forgive my denial, and find my way to look for the good in me. I need to find ways to have that love given to me by others who are genuinely caring mothers and who find nothing wrong with me. Or if they do find things wrong, they chose to engage my strong qualities when they address the lacks, so that my strong characteristics may endure the time of grief that lies ahead, in practicing acceptance.
What it first means to me, when I see that my birth mother, who raised me, was so lacking in her ability to love me as I needed, is that I am left knocking on a door that won't be opened. It means I get tomatoes thrown at me every time I engage with her on this truth. It means I had to confide to others about my mom and have the fact that I was not given what I needed be validated by someone else. It meant that I only selectively shared my truth with my mom, at times when she admitted her inadequacies. I tried hard not to rock any boats. But of course, I was always taking a chance when I agreed with or accepted mom's apologies. So I learned to be cagey. What it meant was that when my mom admitted an error I often held my breath, held the message and wrote it up privately or told the story to a friend or myself or to my husband. In this way, I moved forward.
Do I struggle with what it means to me that my om did not give me what I need? Do I struggle with acceptance? You had better believe I struggle with both. When I think about what it means to me that my mom did not give me what I need, I wonder if I am worth giving it to myself. In fact, I have no clue as to how to give myself what I need. It is like those words are written in a different language. I like to think I have given my son what I needed, but now that he is a teen and turning away from me, I wonder if I really can care about him. He seems to want me not to care, not to intrude, and yet, there he is, in his room, needing more stimulation than I can give him. Was it like that for my mom. Is all her technicolor accusations of my being a bad daughter, based on regrets she has about herself as a mom, back when I rejected what she tried to give me as a teen? Boy did she do a confusing job, neglecting me and then smothering me. I find I don't even want to talk about this~