While there were times, when I did not always like my mother .......I never stopped loving her. I never did anything to harm her or treat her in a less than respectful manner. The bible says to honor thy parents and while I have always had a fear of God's wrath, that part of the bible was redundant for me, because I truly loved and respected my mother. My father too, but that is a story for another day.
Because of the way I grew up, when I became the mother of a daughter, I was fiercely protective of her. I loved her fiercely and wanted to shield her from anything that would cause harm to her. I never wanted the evils of the world to touch her. Maybe I loved her too much.... she says I did....she says I do.
I know I never wanted to share her. She was mine and I loved her...fiercely.
From the time my daughter was nine years old and I divorced her father, our relationship was contentious. She blamed me for taking her father away from her. The more I tried to love her, the more she turned from me. We fought, she ran away, she came back and we fought again. I could never love her the way she needed to be loved. And for that, I am so sorry. Don't get it twisted, I was not your average 'Father Knows Best' mother back then, because I was fighting a legion of my own demons. As I look back now, I believe I was quite mad, deranged, in need of psychiatric help. I had never been allowed to show anger. I was always afraid of everything. I just wanted to make everyone else happy and maybe, just maybe, I would be safe and perhaps...even loved. Once I found my anger, I raged at anyone, everyone, everything. My rage became a living thing. It made up for lost time. I could not control it.
There are times ...even now, when my rage peeks out from the darkness that is me, I loose control of it and it destroys.
My children were not exempt. As a single parent I searched for the things I believed I wanted but could not have because deep down inside, I had judged myself unworthy. I am not making any excuses for my anger and actions back then. Only now as I am peeling back the layers of my mind, I wonder, that like an onion, there will be nothing there left of me. Will it all be empty layers? Or will there be a core.. that is me? Even now, as I get the therapy and the medications that that I need confront my past and to tame my rage.
I wonder...is it too late? I am finding the strength to fight for my sanity. But is it too late? I am Catherines daughter, but I am called by another name. Who is she? Is she crazy? Is she just a bitch? Is it too late to break the cycle? My mother lost custody of me. My daughter and I have divorced each other. Who's fault? Does it matter?
Perhaps while I loved my daughter, I gave her too many conflicting signals. Perhaps I deprived her of the balance I have sought for my entire life. She says I was inconsistent and smothering. Perhaps, maybe...I don't know.
My best friend Pam says I spoiled my daughter to much. Pam, my first female friend. I broke one of Catherines rules: never let a woman get close to you.
This is not the story of Pam's and my friendship.
My daughter.... I only know that our relationship has become....... I can't find just one word for it. Loving at times....needy...spiteful...hateful...hurtful.. lost. I accept full responsibility for my part in damaging the relationship. There have been times when loving her became too much and I had to remove her from my life. There have been times when she has done the same to me. We just never removed each other at the same time. We have now.
People say... you will always love your children or you will always love your mother...my daughter and I have proven this to be false. My children and I have proven this false. And I weep. I so very dearly wish that things were different. I just don't know how. How can I make it better? How can I fix it?
God can you help me? I really truly want to fix it. I don't want my past, which never had any type of love in it, to become the present. My present. My children's present. My grandchildren's present.
The great event that brought me and my daughter back together, was the birth of my first grandchild...her son. My Zay....Xavier. We were both so close. What went wrong? My temper? Her conniving? All I know is the first ten years of Xavier's life were my paradise. But like my love for his mother, I did not want to share him with anyone else. I wanted it to be me and them, our own little universe. I was too scared to let anyone else in. Perhaps I felt I was protecting them. Maybe I was protecting myself. I felt I had finally found my "happy ever after". But like a plant that dies when you over water it, my need to have them to myself, wilted everything. ..killed it. My love and my temper and my fear put a chasm between us. Xavier turned away. It is my fault. I tried to hold on too tight. I choked him with my love. I alienated him. I miss him so much. But I cannot find the words to bring him close again. How do I tell him that I always have and always will ...love him.
He is nearly a man...fifteen...and made in his mothers image. Zay and I were once so close...I still love him. But he is his mothers son and this is not the story of him. Perhaps I made him make a choice. Perhaps I made her make a choice. I wonder what will become the story of my daughter and I? In many ways it is the story of sorrow. I weep for my relationship with my daughter. I fear that it is irreparable. That it can never be salvaged.
My son...my relationship with him. But I cannot start that story. It has to keep for another day. My sorrow is so deep, that I fear I will drown in it. But life is about choices. I have always said that. I have made my choices. I have made my bed. For every action, there is a cost . But dear Lord sometimes I find the price is too dear. Too costly and I am bankrupt.
And my Zorie. My only granddaughter is caught in the middle of this. Born at twenty six weeks... I was afraid to love her and now she is my one great love.
Everyone says that emotionally, mentally and physically... she is my mirror
image, my doppelganger. I feel a connection with Zorie that I have never felt with another human being...not even my darling Xavier. Being a preemie, she had a hard row to hoe. But hoe it she did. She is a little fighter. And she has a capacity for love that is just incredible. People say "Mz B....Zorie acts just like you, she talks like you". I would love it when they said that. But it scared me too. I would never want her to fight the emotional and mental demons that her "franny" fought.
Her franny. That's what she calls me. That's what all my grandchildren call me. When she says it...its sounds and feels like love. I feel wrapped in love. She knows I love her to. But her mother fears I love her too much. She fears my love for Zorie is too much and she needs to be protected from it. Three months ago my daughter and I removed ourselves from each others world.
But what of Zorie? She doesn't understand. I don't understand why my daughter would feel I was a threat to Zorie. All I know is, she will not let me see Zorie. All Zorie knows is she can't see or speak to her franny. She is sad. She cries. I mourn. I rage at the heavens. I weep. She sneaks and calls me. She begs for me to come see her. She told me today that she hates the word: separate.
She is seven years old and has come to know what that word means. It is nearly Christmas. It will be the first Christmas she doesn't spend with her franny.
She wants me to make it right. I don't know how to. The separation between my daughter and I is too wide. I tried to bridge it after I spoke to Zorie today.
I called my daughter. The conversation was so false and stilted, it made me physically sick. When I was on the phone with my daughter I could feel the temperature rising around me. I was nauseous. My head was ringing. But I needed to make it right. I have always made things right. When I was a little girl I was good at making people happy. So they wouldn't be mad at me. So they would love me. I need to make things right for Zorie's sake. Lord help me make things right. I don't know how. I am Catherines daughter and I do not know how to make things right. I have forgotten how.