Tuesday, March 1, 2011

On Mothers

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Do we really know our mothers? We view them through the emotional eyes of childhood. I have learned that emotions can lie to you. Don't believe me?
Ask any couple after a break up. One moment they're in love and the next they can't stand each other. Which emotion is true? Tomorrow, when they get back together, how do they feel? How can one love and hate at the same time?

Relationships with our mother are the same way. However, because she's our mother, we may never deal with the real reasons or the truth underlying our emotional roller coaster. Why? Because we can't see it clearly.

It may have nothing to do with us as individuals. As a mom, the job comes with motherly responsibilities. Those responsibilities demand that we deny who or what we are as a person, as a woman. It's a struggle searching for a balance between the woman and mother. Sometimes, we succeed. Most often, we don't. Guilt, fear, and embarrassment cloud a mother's judgement as much as a child's.

My mother's milk allergy was pretty evident yet doctors didn't have a clue. Since my mother's first days of school as a child, standing at the bus stop throwing up, she was told it was all in her head. Milk wasn't optional. Good mothers served their child milk, especially in a dairy state, where milk was a cheap source of protein. Decades later, the test proved she was allergic. She'd survived but there had been consequences.

As a child, I had constant constipation. She took me to doctors and had test done. According to the doctors, it was all in my head. There was no physical reason for my pain. Decades later, I, too, am learning to live with food allergies. (Her allergies were not discovered while I still lived at home.) She and I are striving to make our lives better together.

Being told that the pain is all in your head colors your view on life and your relationships. It's a scar I will carry forever.

We all have scars, some more invisible than others. They make us interesting, possibly difficult people to know and love.

What are your scars? What are her scars? You can learn to love each other, scars and all.  Relationships are built on more than love. Trust and respect are key components.

Bridging gaps,
Kim Izzy

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