My mother

My mother had a habit of squirrelling money away, not that she really needed to, it was her safety net.When she died,it caused my father a huge headache, trying to trace all her different accounts, some active, others not.

She wasn’t materialistic and never spent much on herself, when she did, she’d hide the fact or felt obliged to justify herself.In some ways, I am a little bit like that too but I think it’s all too common for mums in general.

She did once tell me the story of how when her grandmother was dying, she told my mum where she  had hidden her little nest egg and she wanted her to have it.My mother, being a dutiful daughter told her mother who promptly took it all away.

My mother was at the time married to a violent man.He beat her up whilst pregnant with her son.In those days, divorce was much frowned upon.Eventually, despite her hopes of  ever happy family, she came to the conclusion that she would have to leave.

She was a formidable woman, not the kind you can push around easily, she was also very strong-willed and stubborn, it runs in the family, on the women side anyway.

It goes to show abuse knows no boundaries or classes.

My mother came from a very well to do family, her divorce was seen a complete disgrace.She struggled to raise her son without any help, her own wealthy parents never lifting a finger.

By the time she met my father, she’d done well for herself and had some security.She never fully trusted my father, even though they had a child together, yes, me.

I always remember her telling me that when I married, I was to hide all assets and not share everything I owned.

Sadly, she never did get to enjoy the benefits of her hard work and savings, she became very ill and died when I was a teenager.I watched her becoming very weak, a shadow of herself, yet, she could still terrify everybody, myself included.

I’m not materialistic at all and dislike talking or even thinking about money.I’m not a great spender either but do enjoy splashing out on my children.

When it comes to trust, I could not live with someone I didn’t trust wholly and completely.I’m not just talking about money but much more than that, this deep knowledge that you are loved and respected.

Friends who know my background have often wondered how I could talk about my mother in a positive way after the childhood I had.Well, first of all, she was my mother and I loved her, growing up, I didn’t know any different.

Piecing it altogether, I can reflect on the fact she also had an unhappy childhood and she endured many struggles.Her illness and subsequent death were an almighty shock.

The more I grew in myself, the more I understood her and how difficult life had been for her at times.

Even after all these years, I still think of her and understand a little more all the time.There are many things I wish I could tell her as an adult and no longer the frightened little girl I was.

When I became a mum myself, I watched friends with their mums feeling a little pang, we wouldn’t have had that sort of relationship, I know but…

I strive to do the best I can for my children, hopefully being a fraction of the mum I want to be.Nothing else matters more to me than being a loving mum with happy and well-balanced children.No achievement of any kind could prevail over this.

I’m the lucky one, I broke the vicious circle in my family, friends will know what I’m talking about.No matter what happens in your past, you can change and prevent history from being repeated.

P.S. I cannot re-read myself at this point,too raw.

This post was a long-time coming, I just had to find it in me to write it down.

It has also been inspired by my wonderful friend Ana and her post:

She is also the founder of a wonderful community, go check it out : http://www.womenontheverge

12 thoughts on “My mother

  1. Elle, this is truly beautiful. I can relate so well, as my mother was very much like your’s. In a funny way, I think that my mother’s anger and violence (she had other issues) propelled me to try my best with my own children. I vowed to never violate them with physical violence, so I never, ever raised a hand to them. My children turned out so magnificent, truly fine adults, that I should probably thank my mother (only she has been dead a very long time… decades) for being such an inspiration to me to try my best to do better.

    Truth is, even though my mother had an angry, mean streak the size of the Grand Canyon, she truly would have wanted me to do better, and she would have even believed in me to be capable of following through on that endeavor.

    Much love and hugs to you dear Elle. You have touch my heart today in more ways than one.

    • Thank you, I’m grateful to have you as a friend,you have touched my heart too and you’re so perceptive.

      I agree with you,our mothers didn’t set out to be how they were and yes, they did inspire us to be the mothers we would have wanted to have and for that I’m indeed grateful.

      I’m going to stop before I drown my mac.

      Love and hugs to you too Ana

  2. Oh Elle!
    Your compassion will never ceases to amaze me!
    I’m one of those friends who found it hard to understand how you could be so forgiving.
    Yet, through it all you are such a trusting person with so much love to give.
    Thank you or being my friend!

  3. Beautiful,amazing,like all the comments I read on your Twitter and elsewhere.
    Talented and kindhearted,truly beautiful!

    • It did, I struggled a little at the end, got a bit emotional and couldn’t re-read but it does feel great to have let it out.
      Thank you!

  4. Amazing post. My mum has many faults and I know they have influenced me greatly. It’s what spurs me on to also be the ‘fraction of the mum I want to be’.

    So glad you wrote this down and shared it.

    And thank you so much for the thoughtful comment on my blog.

  5. Pingback: This little girl I once knew « Elleonthego's Blog

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