I wanted unconditional love from my parents for a long time. My father never gave me it; my mother eventually did however, only once my sister became distant with her.
After the revelation that my father was the man my mother always said he was, I began to see her in a new light and although my sister kept an emotional cage around her, I was desperate to climb in. The love that was always there, strengthened. The bitterness and anger left immediately. All of her actions and behaviours were forgiven if she would just take me back.
But she didn’t.
She wouldn’t. She wasn’t allowed.
She wouldn’t fully forgive me and made several points about me changing. I needed to change to gain her trust and love again.
I couldn’t figure out how. With no guidance, I was expected to turn myself around. I wasn’t even sure what was wrong with me to begin with. My mother separated herself from me.
On seeing Ma after the America trip at her new house, I longed for affection, attention, love. I reached out to her, past the fears of “I told you so”, past the worry of “you made your own bed” but she only rejected me.
Where was unconditional love?
One day, I hugged her in her kitchen. My sister was in her bedroom refusing to make any contact with me: the traitor. I remember my mother’s arms firmly by her side as mine draped around her warm body. I was sixteen years old. A time where most teenagers wouldn’t show the slightest of affection to their Mum but I was aching for love, any sign of love. It was certainly lacking from my father.
Despite her unwillingness to hold me, she eventually gave me a small touch with one hand, and on my back she began a gentle rub. She was crying silently. I couldn’t control my tears. It was all I needed to know I was still worthy of emotion, of love. At that point, my sister’s door flung open and immediately my mother’s arms released me. She hurried away from me. As my sister entered the kitchen, her eyes only flicked at me in disgust before she ignored the rest of my presence and talked quietly to Ma. I needed not to be there.
Within moments of her leaving, my mother took me to her bedroom. Calmly, she expressed how from then on, if I wanted to hug or have any affection, it needed to be out of my sister’s view. My mother explained that she did not want to upset her older daughter.
By obviously loving me (!)
She did not want to make my sister angry (she was known in the family for a horrible, vicious temper). My mother had just left one wretched abuser and fallen into a relationship with another. I’m sure she never expected it to be her own daughter.
I can remember a time where I was put first. It was when I was a toddler and suffered with convulsions. My mother worried like any mother would. I endured a stay at a hospital, my mother never left my side. I only have flashes of this time, I was very young. My mum usually fills in the blanks. She tells me I cried if she left and that my father was angry at her devotion for me. I just wish that devotion lasted longer.
I’ve always loved you.