Posted by: bourbonmama | 05/05/2009

Mother’s Day or The Hardest Post I’ve Written

Mother’s Day has always been a sore spot for me. It was a day that we were required to buy my mother a gift and tell her how great she was. As soon as I was old enough to make the decision on my own and also openly defy my father, I stopped celebrating my mother. She was not a good mother, she was a good drunk. She didn’t deserve flowers and cards, she deserved a slap in the face and a kick in the pants. My father never brought up the fact that mine was the only card missing from the pile. Never asked why I stopped honoring her. I guess he knew the answer and didn’t want to hear his teenage daughter actually say it. He may have to actually acknowledge that his wife was an alcoholic.

I am scared shitless that I am going to become her. All my life I’ve been told how much I am like her. It makes my blood boil to hear it. I tell them, “No, I’m like me.”
Then, they say, “See? You’re just like her.”
I can’t stand her, I hate her, why would you tell me I’m like that? What did I ever do to you? I have worked my entire life not to be her.

I envy other women who have real relationships with their mothers. I can’t even imagine what comfort that must be. To be able to have a true, honest relationship with the person who brought you into this world.

When I was 14, I came to talk to her about some issue I can’t even remember now, but still, I came to her searching for some sort of motherly guidance or whatever. She didn’t have an answer for me. Instead she tells me I should call one of my friends because she “was put here to be your mother, not you friend.” I can still smell her. A blend of menthol cigarettes and cheap beer. She gave me blank stare from behind those huge glasses. I could see my own eyes reflected in them. I remember looking at my eyes on top of her eyes and seeing if they were the same. Searching for a part of me in her. That was the night I vowed to be a better mother than her. To never purposefully cause my children pain or embarrassment. That day was also the day I gave up on her ever being a mom. A real mom. The day I stopped taking care of her when she was drunk, putting up with her insults, I stopped telling her that I loved her.

Mother’s Day, 2001, I decided to try again. I gave her a painting, that I had painted, my second one ever. She barely looked up from the book she was reading, “That’s nice, dear.” Never. Again. I don’t even call her on that Sunday in May.

I feel like this year is supposed to be different. Because she’s actually sober for the first time in 20 some odd years. But, it doesn’t feel any different to me (probably because she has yet to acknowledge any of the past). My card will still be the one missing from the pile. I’ll be busy making new memories, with my own family.



  1. HERE HERE!!

    while my mom wasn’t a drunk, we have issues. she does. it’s complicated. she’s not our mom. she’s not the mom she used to be. she’s a brainwashed — ugh — thing. and i hate mother’s day. i don’t have any kids, and i’m planning on spending much of mother’s day with my boyfriend and sister at the movies.

    i’ve been thinking about posting about it, but i don’t want to sound bitter. which i am.

    i’m thinking about calling her, but i had a dream a few nights ago where javier bardem said not to. so what’s a girl to do?

    this was a wonderful, heartbreaking post. i feel lucky to be in your company :D

    and you’re not your mother. we aren’t our mothers, we are ourselves. in spite of them. and because of them. we are ourselves.

  2. I can’t even imagine the horror.

    Don’t get me wrong, my family is six kids of f-ed up, but we’re tight.

    I love your spirit and desire to make sure your son doesn’t have those thoughts/feelings/memories.

  3. happy mother’s day.

    love your new header :D

  4. I was 16 when I gave up on my mom. On my seventeenth birthday I started a count down to my eighteenth. I don’t recommend anyone ever do that. It turned out to be the longest year of my life. I moved out and literally half way across the country three days after graduating high school. My mom isn’t an alcoholic though. She’s just that bad without it.

    I didn’t stop telling her I loved her until after I moved out just so I didn’t have to deal with the drama.

    I dread mother’s day and every holiday for that matter.

  5. Oh, I understand your pain and I'm so sorry. I too get so angry if anyone ever tells me I'm ANYTHING like my mother…I've gotten better at hiding my anger, but it still wells up inside of me.

    You're obviously not your mother–or even close. You are giving your son all of the things that your mother was never able to give you.

    Blessings & Light

  6. thank you all for your kind words!

    yo–always do what javier says–ALWAYS!

    MomsJournal–I did the count down, too. But, I only made it until about 6 wks from my 18th.

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