I heard an old song today, and it made me cry. It was a song my mother used to play when I was a little girl, and some memories came – memories of a time I could love her without caution.

For a moment, my heart filled with dread and I thought I missed her. I mistook the sadness I feel for not having a mother to trust, and I confused it with loss.

The truth is, I do not miss my mother.

I miss the who I wish she was. I miss the who I always imagined her to be. I miss the game we played, before I knew it was rigged –  that I was always meant to lose. I miss the space I held for her, for years, in hopes she would step forward to fill it. I miss the hope I had that she might. 

I do not miss my mother.

I’ve reached a point of apathy where she is concerned. I have reached the other side of mourning. I have fully conceded to the fact that I cannot miss something – someone – I never had. I have let go of the anger and heartache attached to the absence. 

For years I set boundaries and reinforced limits and edges. I kept believing the lie that I was under obligation to tolerate the oversteps. She’s my mother, after all, and I had to make it work. I would take space and regroup. I would get healthy and decide I could handle it now. And every time I loosened the reigns even a smidge and let her back into my life, she’d play on my need and inevitably settle right back into the sick routine, and I would find myself holding the bag-o-shame. I felt guilty because I couldn’t live up to her expectation or shame because I wasn’t _______ enough. I was left triggered by some “innocent” or “supportive” comment about my weight, and feeling culpable for her feeling terrible for making me feel terrible.

After some serious trauma-focused therapy, I started to thinking of my mother like a sharp razor. I know what she’s capable of, and if I forget who and what I’m dealing with – even for a moment – I will get hurt. If I’m not careful with her, she will slice me wide open, and I will have no one to blame but myself. 

After a moment I remembered the song wasn’t real. The memory, much like a myth or urban legend told so many times I believed it true — drifted away — and the sadness sunk, like quicksand, into the past. 

I cannot have a relationship with my mother and feel worthy at the same time. I cannot trust her not to manipulate my desire for her to be something she never was, could, or will be.

I know this. 

I do not miss my mother, because I am a better me without her.  


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

I think I can relate, but I’m stuck in trying to understand why it is they I have felt avoidant and fed-up these last few years.
I had a good childhood.
I wanted for nothing.
My mom has showed up a number of times (a new grandchild arriving).
Etc, etc, etc.
Yet…after 5 years of my life falling apart. After many years of caring for a loving a spouse with CPTSD…After finally beginning to accept my own trauma (albeit much, much smaller than my spouse). After 3 years of long methodical therapy…
After all of that, I’m finally seeing who needs to heal, who needs to recover, who needs to let go…and it’s me.
I’m so glad I found you blog. Wonderful writing!

2 years ago

I can relate to what you say Julie – my late mother was a Narcissist and she made my life hell when I was young.
I ended up hating her which was not nice for me but I could not help it.

5 years ago

I can so relate. This was thought provoking and beautiful. Thank you.