Re-Mothering Ourselves

sculpture detail, ceramic


The advent of Mother’s Day left me feeling both wanton and peaceful, oddly enough..

My mother is probably the one thing I haven’t approached writing about here.


Well- Our relationship was broken. She went in to it broken. I broke along the way. Lots of other people in my life were/are affected by that very brokenness.

She died a number of years ago and I felt relieved.

Her last words to me were: “I love you darling.”

This, after asking me if I’d like to lie down on the couch with her and make up for all the lost time…..(I was 46 and we had barely touched each other physically in my lifetime).

Makes me both want to cry and vomit.

So it goes- mothers. daughters.

If we didn’t get it when we deserved to, should have, expected to receive the very basic level of foundational support a little being needs to thrive

What do we do as adults trying to be adult-like?

Because of this foundational lack I make big messes in my life at times.

I used to wear the damp and impossibly weighty cloak of shame wherever I went

And I’ve said “I’m sorry” way more often than “I love you” but I’m making up for that now.

These days- after a lifetime in therapy doing the excruciating work of separating myself out from her

I am at peace.

Yes.. let the bells chime across the land!

I am at peace.

I forgave her. Forgave myself. Still at it.

That is the ‘re-mothering’ ticket to peace- forgiveness.

Still don’t like her. I understand her better. I left the thing she slimed me with at the side of the road to fertilize something ‘other’.

I walked on- am walking on wearing red lipstick and a softened and much lovelier face than I ever thought I could get to. The one I grew up with was so terribly hardened.

It’s all EARNED.

Not a given.

I decided to celebrate myself this Mother’s Day.

I’ve done a very good job.


3 Responses to “Re-Mothering Ourselves”

  1. Irene on May 14th, 2014

    Thanks for this post, Cathy. I too have done the work–crying an ocean of tears, grieving, being angry, etc. When my mother died, I remembered a few good things, and then moved on. Surviving a toxic parent isn’t easy. Congratulations on celebrating “you.”


  2. Barbara McDaniel on May 16th, 2014

    Beautifully and powerfully written dear! Good to read your soulful truth, and to hear your voice after so many years. I thought I’d subscribed some time ago, but apparently not. Love to you, my soft and courageous friend!

  3. Jann on May 17th, 2014

    Loved this, I know you so well, I can see your face as you say you will mother yourself this mothers day. Somehow, that seems so obvious. Of course, so obvious.
    Thank goodness I once met your mother, I would hate not knowing her face as you talk about her, it was a very hard face, Cathy. Not soft like yours. Love you sweetest person, also love to Olivia.

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