Love Letter #133: To Mom on Mother’s Day

Dear Mom,

I miss you. I know our relationship wasn’t always great. But not being able to reach you is hard. I’ve been hearing a lot of places within me that were wounded as a child, and there is so much I want to talk about and ask you.

I wonder often these days what it was like for you growing up. What did it mean for you to be a ‘good girl’ when you were growing up? Did you have to hide your needs and wants to be loved? I’m just beginning to realize these things about myself. I can remember myself as a little girl who wanted to please, to be good, but now I see how being good never allowed me to be me. 

I learned that being good was how I got love and acceptance. But that meant being quiet about what I needed and wanted. It meant never speaking my mind or expressing my emotions. What love I received didn’t come as affection or understanding but the absence of humiliation and punishment instead. It seemed I was an emotional burden that you and Dad weren’t equipped to handle. It hurts to feel this, but I know that feeling is the pathway to healing. It’s time for me to heal this. 

Today, I am learning to ‘unburden’ myself. To express myself, my needs, my wants, expectations, and emotions, more fully and lovingly. To surrender to all these old feelings, forgive everyone including myself, and hold myself in compassion and understanding through the hurt and anger. At times I feel embarrassed that it took me the better part of six decades for me to unravel this. I’m also grateful to be in a partnership where I can. 

This unburdening, learning to communicate my needs and desires, feels terrifying and liberating all at once. Yet, I am wiser now, and able to see and move beyond these old limitations. I know it is safe for me to express myself. 

Although you are still here, I know I can no longer reach your conscious mind, but I do believe that these words will reach you through the ether of the unconscious. That you, too, will feel the shame lifting. Because I know as I heal this for me, I do it for you too, and for those who came before us. 

Today, on this Mother’s Day, I honor everything it took for you to be my mother and the woman you have been. I know without a doubt you loved me in the only way you could. I love you and miss you. 

With love,

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