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Life Without A Mother. How To Be, And How Not To Be One.

Updated on May 22, 2013

Gone But Not Forgotten

I am a 21 year old female, in this busy place we call life, living on this sphere we all call home, where we 80% of the time, aren't even sure what that means. I have a story, just like everyone else; a truth many people often forget. My story breaks my heart, and I've been told it has done the same to those around me. It's honest, and the best that it can be, it is humble, it is true, and it is captured, forever in my heart.

Here is my story:

My mother is still alive, and she still breaths the same air I do, every single day...that is one thing we still share. She lives a minimum of three blocks away from me, and I haven't spoken to her in 4-5 months. I am starting with this, merely for perspective sake.

In this very spot, I started to type out my life's story, my parents life, their arguing, the events that took place with my sister and I, and all of us and I realized, that I'm so far beyond exhausted with repeating the same old story to people, that that's not the one I want to tell here, because that's not my story to tell anymore. However, this is not because I don't want to share those parts, this is because I have finally grown past it all, and understand that a past is a past, and so it should stay that way. I don't want this writing to be a sob story of my life, I'm tired of being sad, I'm tired of being hurt, I'm tired of being emotionally distraught over something that the person causing me to be this way, doesn't even give a second glance back on. I want this to be something that someone can look at and merely just understand, I want this to be something mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, and grandparents can look at and just know that shit happens, and THAT'S okay; I'm living proof of that. Things often have no fault, very often they just happen. Parenting doesn't come with a handbook, and I understand that, back then I will openly admit, I didn't. Although I am deeply hurt, I do understand, and I do care. I will however, always be hurt, and I will always be a work in progress, this I know.

I followed my mother around everywhere in life, beginning with her going to the bathroom, straight through to being with her while she was with her boyfriends, directly into spending night after night with her after a death of her potential soul mate, in which we will now never know if that truly was the case. I followed her until I couldn't follow anymore. She left me, and as much as she tried to hold on, as much as I tried to hold on, she was already gone; physically and mentally. And I didn't even know it yet. My mother is mentally ill, and my sister who lives with her who has a beautiful baby daughter, is mentally ill as well. Both of them do not know how to love, because they were never given a chance to appreciate themselves, and they were never given a chance to appreciate themselves, because they never took that time, and now its too late, and they don't know how. Its sad, I know that.

On my end of all of this, I have taken it out on myself, I see a lot as my fault, I today, often do not feel good enough for anyone, or anything, and have had countless broken relationships I let destroy me and ones I cut out directly before they had the chance to turn reckless. Through all of this and my growing however, I can proudly say that I did not turn to drugs or alcohol to mend the gap, instead I turned to writing, and I turned to hope, and I asked it to just help me understand. It told me that this wasn't my fault, it told me that sometimes people are just incapable of loving something, someone. I asked it how a mother could forget to love a daughter, I asked it how to move forward. And then it told me to put one foot in front of the other, and so I walked on, and here I sit. My legs are tired but my soul is strong, and my heart is damaged but it is mending.

Mothers Day just passed, it was a very hard day. I tend to be overly sarcastic, I joke about a lot as a defense mechanism, however, the joking didn't stop the pain that day in the end. My lock wouldn't open at the gym, and I sat on the floor and sobbed, punched the door until my hand was swollen, I realized I wasn't okay, and so I sat and cried for 45 minutes. Both the locker room and a very dear friend of mine consoled me a lot more than they both know that day. You see, the thing about it all, the sting, is all of the lost time. All of the god damn lost time. Right now, anything can be mended it takes a second, a split second, it takes one step; I know because I've taken many of them. All she has to do is follow through with any of her over 1000 broken promises, pick up a phone and call. "How are you?" would break me into so many wonderfully unfortunate and beautiful pieces. But that's a hope that's too high to reach, and in fear of falling I plan to stay planted on this solid ground, for no one other than me.

It terrifies me every single day, that I know she is unwell and she may just go to her deathbed one day with all of this lost time on her side, and all of this hurt on mine. And that's gut wrenching. But here's the truth, how long are we supposed to chase for? How many times of a teenage girl telling her friends that she was sick and that's why she didn't go to the mall with her mother like everyone else, does it take? Where is the line? I'll tell you, its in yourself. When you're losing more of yourself than you know you can ever get back, its time to pull back, guilt free. When a mother cuts the umbilical cord, loves in an unfit manner, and watches her daughters eyes fill up with tears at the window as she waves, and that mother keeps walking; m
y darling, it is time to grab hold of your heart and brace yourself for the very rocky ride ahead. The good news is, every rollercoaster brings you back to ground level, and it does end. The even better news is, you only throw up a couple times from being mentally stressed out as well :) that's a bonus.

So, world, here I am in all my glory, motherless, proud of all my mishaps, joyous with all my misfortunes, positive about all my broken unhappy endings, because I know it gets better, I know everything happens for a reason, I know if you're still breathing, it's a good day, and you can make anything of it. I know what it means to be resilient, and I owe that to my mother. I also know what it means to let go, in which she also taught me, in retrospect she did teach me a lot, in which she will never know.

So the big question, how do you be a mother? Well, I can sure tell you how not to be one, har har. In all seriousness, mothers of the world, every country, every nook and cranny, wherever you are, here is the golden rule: LOVE AND BE LOVED. Us as children, we can sense these things, and we can sense when they aren't present, and when they are. Don't forget to teach us the basics as we grow, like how to be polite, share, and love, these are not traits we are born with. Don't overdo it, you don't have to go out of your way to show us what we need to do and know, we'll find our way. Be a strong, independent, loving woman, we'll catch on, and we'll admire it. Also, I assume some days we'll say we hate you, but we don't mean it, odds are we don't even know what that means if you're doing your job right.

I am speaking from the little girl in me who never had a chance to say these things. To all the mothers out there, I love you. I love you like I don't know how to, I love you for the daughters that you don't have, for all the ones you do. I love you for all the things you do and don't do, I love you for all the mistakes you make, I love you for being a mother, I love you for being a human being. Daughters, appreciate what you have, your mom was young once too, when you think and tell her she doesn't understand...she does, she's just trying to be a mom the best way she knows how, and trust me, its easier to walk away from that task then to take it on. Love your mom today, for her strength, for the energy she exerts daily, for the love she generously offers to you. Love her for me, love her for those of us out there that can't. And for all of those, you know who you are, stay strong and don't give up. Keep your eyes to the sky beautiful, life is a miraculous journey.

Forever In My Heart,


Resilience, With Love.


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      zaitun hassan 

      2 years ago

      i can understand what you going through... i lost mum when i was very young,,my uncle took care of me though his wife and family never counted me as on of their kind, i went through a lot in my childhood a lot of difficulties and loneliness my schoolmates were the best thing i ever had i cherished school days rather than holidays.. but in this world GOD IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL. i completed my university education i chose not to go back to my uncles place and i should now fight for my own identity despite the difficulties iam going through sometimes i got no one to learn on when iam in the matter of fact i don't have a sister or brother...what is more important that i have come up is i made a lot of friends of which some of them are like my bloody relatives i love them dearly perhaps iam a little bit selfish i cant share any of my problems with any one.. i cant beg for something until one discovers iam in a problem n choose to assist... i wish i could have my mum with me i believe i would much successful she would hold my hands and help me out to a new stage.. love you mama

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      You are not alone. I know how you feel :) She loves you, but being mentally ill also make her very selfish. She can't care for herself, which gives her no time to care for others. But in her heart she loves you.

      I also have a sibling living with my mom, whom is also not turning out so great. I feel helpless.


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