I have felt very sad since I discovered a secret about my mother that I am sure she would not have wanted me to know. You see, my mother divorced my father after 33 years of marriage, because I was happy on my honeymoon. The negative impact of that you just can’t imagine – on me because of her using my marriage as an excuse to leave my father, and the impact of the divorce on my whole family (my older brother has since been twice divorced).
‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’ Reference here.
And out of our whole circle of friends, I am one of the very few whose parents are divorced. And I am certainly the only one whose parents divorced because they got married. Or not that I married, but that my marriage was used as a catalyst for her divorcing my father.
And it shames me.
And it shames me that my mother can use every and any situation to draw attention to herself – to make it about her.
And I feel sad to know that I will never, ever have a good, solid mother/daughter relationship with her.
And I feel completely inadequate to give to my husband and daughter that which they need from me to make their lives healthy, happy and whole – due to my lack of role model and mentor (which should have been my mother, but clearly cannot be)…
I think that if you come from functional families, you automatically learn a filter system of what is appropriate and what isn’t, what is good and what isn’t. I don’t feel like I have this filter – everything that my mother does has to be analysed to learn its sincerity, reasons and justifications.
And then if it is good, only then can I engage whatever it is.
There are too many secrets, too little forthrightness and too many reasons to distrust this one woman who is supposed to love and care for me like no-one else can.
And I have no doubt that in her way she does love me.
She just loves the drama of her life so much more and using me as a pawn to get what she wants.
I feel sad just typing this.
I am not hurt. Or angry.
I can’t trust this woman who I call mother and even though I deeply want a good relationship with her, I know that it will never happen.
A while ago it came to light that my mother has a second cellphone. A mysterious cellphone of which she refused to give me the number. My hubby at that stage still said that a person only gets a second secret cellphone for a reason, but he said it in front of my mother and it was said in jest (to make a point) and I got the point, but I don’t think I ever took it seriously. Then on Sunday, I fetched my mother with Baby Girl so that we can go down to The Herald cycle race, and as I was pulling into the parking lot, her secret cellphone rang. My mother couldn’t get out of the car quick enough – but not quick enough for me to hear a male voice on the line. She immediately walked a distance away so that I couldn’t hear, but her body language told me enough. Then Baby Girl innocently asked if a lady had phoned her – and my mother answered yes.
And I confronted my mother.
The gist of it, according to my mother, that nothing inappropriate is happening, but that she has a friend who has helped her through a very bad patch. But, she ended the call with an I Love You.
Now, I know that I read her body language correctly, and I know that there are only three men in this world she can say I love you to and have it be appropriate – my two brothers and her husband. None of which were on the phone with her on Sunday.
She avoided all conversation with me for the rest of the morning. And if there is nothing to feel guilty about, then why all the guilt?
She is married. MARRIED!!!
Where does she think this secret relationship is going to go? With this secret man of hers! While she is married to her second husband?
No wonder I don’t want her socialising with my hubby’s parents when they come and visit from Cape Town who have been married for 46 years. I’m too embarrassed. Too ashamed. And deeply saddened by these turn of events.
And then I realised, after my post on the Author and Finisher of my Faith, that I can only rely on God and His Word to teach me the things about life and being a wife and woman who my mother has failed to teach me on. And He has led me to many great blogs and authors where I have learnt so much already and I pray will continue to learn more on being a strong Christian woman, devoted to her husband and daughter.
And while I am saddened by this, and while I do feel completely in adequate to be the woman my husband needs me to be, the mother my daughter needs me to be and to the Christian that God needs me to be, I hope and pray that I can always make it be about God, and my family – and not about me.
And I suppose just having learnt that lesson (or rather – in the process of learning and understanding) perhaps is enough to put up with the sadness that I am now feeling.