Mother and Son Reunited - Chapter 12

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147

I have said good bye to Goldenbridge, the orphanage in which I have spent the last three years. I am nearly nine years old and I am on my way back to 147, the name we gave to the house my grandparents live.

It is a three bed roomed bungalow and it houses my Grandad my grandmother, my Uncle Sean, my uncle Joe the four of us and my mother. There is even a lodger from Cork living with us and her name is Mary. My grand parents feel obliged to keep her as their family in Tipperary has said that Paddy and Kathleen , my grandparents, in Dublin would put her up and they have never learned to say no. I learn from my grandparents how to complain behind people's backs but always smile to their faces.


A very hard soft spot

Mary from Cork has her own room and my grand father doesn't even have his own bed. My grandmother hates him touching her and I see nothing but disgust on her face when he tries to be affectionate. She keeps rejecting him and treating him as though he is a leper.

My grandmother sleeps in the room we call "the girls’ room". She has a soft spot for my brother who is the baby of the family. That soft spot for my brother, however, is not soft enough to keep them from sending him back to Goldenbridge every week. Every Sunday evening we stand outside the house and I watch the little face of my brother waving in the rear window of the car that takes him back to Goldenbridge orphanage. I go into the bathroom and cry. I don't want anyone to see me crying.


Granny

My grandmother smokes constantly and it is disgusting to see the snots hanging from her nose and dripping on to the cigarette in her mouth as she stirs the stew for our dinner. I see my grandmother as a horrible angry old woman with nothing nice to say about anyone or anything.

We stay out of her way and she speaks to me to ask me to run to the shops for her. 



Son, I'm home again!

When I arrive at the house from Goldenbridge I am greeted by my grandmother who ushers me down the hall and into the kitchen.

As I enter the kitchen my mother jumps out from behind the door. I look at her with surprise and then I feel angry.

“Aren't you happy to see me?”,she asks.

I am not happy to see her. She asks me to hug her and I do but I don't want to.

“Who is this woman who thinks she can step back into my life like this after all these years and expect me to forget that she left me in that place without so much as a word?” I feel bitter and resentful.

I pretend to be happy and she relaxes.

This is my mother and I must recreate my image of this woman if I am ever to learn to love her again.



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Comments 10 comments

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

The bonds of trust have been broken, eh? Yes, it is disappointing when those around us do not behave as we wish them to. Too bad isn't it?


Goyakla profile image

Goyakla 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

When a mother abandons her children the fall out impacts the whole world! When that same mother expects you to act as if nothing has happened then you have a serious problem.

Thanks for your input.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Goyakla - I wonder if she compartmentalizes - I mean maybe she thnks if it didn't happen for her then it didn't happen for anyone else either. I don't know?


Goyakla profile image

Goyakla 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Yes, I feel that you are right in your observation. She was a nurse and very good at dealing with the problems of strangers! Though I tried to tell her what happened to us in the orphanage she would not listen. Her eyes would go glazed and I knew she did not wish to hear. When I did eventually meet my father again I started to tell him what had happened to us but stopped when I saw how it pained him to hear. Very different reactions from two very different people. He an Indian Hindu and she an Irish Catholic.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

But did her eyes glaze in horror for what she had done to you? Maybe she could not handle the burden of knowledge because it could not be changed. I know that if I hurt my children like that - the horror of owning it might drive me right over the edge. I am speaking from a woman's point of view and not an educated mentally healthy person.


Goyakla profile image

Goyakla 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Yes you are probably right. There are some things we would all rather not remember or be reminded of.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

Of course you felt angry and for your mother to expect a big hug and happy smiles is just wrong. What would have helped is if she would have had a heart to heart with you and say, "I am sorry." I guess that didn't happen though and you were stuck with confusion again. OUCH!


Goyakla profile image

Goyakla 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

My mother did not have that heart to heart with me and when I brought it up in later life she just didn't want to know. I realise now however that for her to take any take any responsibility for what happened to us would be too painful so her self preservation took over and she remains to this day in denial. You can imagine how my relationship with my mother negatively influenced my attitude toward women and resulted in much heart ache and pain. That is all behind me now and I forgive my mother.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

I am so glad to hear you've forgiven but that does not mean you have to forget, right? Forgiving is healing for you so you can move on but not forgetting it is a huge part in making you the man you are today. I agree that your mom was protecting herself in not wanting to talk about her leaving you. As a gal with a huge heart it makes me sad and very choked up that you have never gotten that from your mother. :-(


Goyakla profile image

Goyakla 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Forgiveness is unconditional and is only achieved when the associated negative emotion has been released. This is the main problem with some of the therapy people undergo. A person's past only continues to influence their present as long as they are emotionally connected to it. I am not emotionally connected to it because I have released the emotion that connected me to it. That is the main message of this series of hubs. This is what I am suggesting you look into. So don't take me at my word. Do it and experience it yourself. Otherwise this series is just another intellectual exercise that serves no purpose.

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