The Traffic Jam without Mom (A Dead, Dead Man Walking)

…I was in need of a mother. I had no other saved person at home. I was beginning to remember all the bad stuff…

imageI met my mother April, 25, 2013. I was excited, I was nervous, I was many things…what if she doesn’t like me?

I had dreamt up many scenarios that were our first meeting. The slow run through vast fields of daisies. High pitched screaming and the ‘take down’ hug. I even envisioned tears, lots and lots of tears. After all, I was meeting my mother for the first time again. She left Jamaica when I was 3. I was 22 this day.

Ok. I’ve found my way out of customs. It’s cold here. I don’t see them. I don’t see her. Oh no no I’ll go back inside and wait, it’s way too cold here. Oh my geez I’m gonna see my mommy…

I turned around and there she was. The mystery of her face unraveling down the escalators. It really is the lady from the pictures; they didn’t lie. Let’s see if the voice from the phone calls match.

Her face is bright, her eyes light up, her cheeks now rosey, her smile is manificently white and very wide… all because she sees me?

I greet Shevonne, I know Shevonne. She’s crying, why is my mother crying? Because of me?
imageWell, hmmm. It’s the strangest thing ever. I’m feeling nothing. Zilch. Nada. Nope, nothing. I thought this would have been spectacular. I thought seeing her would have caused a more emotional reaction. I’m hugging her and it feels regular. Oooo I’m hugging my mother. 

imageIt was nice to finally touch her. Raven cut her eyes at me the first time we met lol. Madison hugged me very shyly. I love my Maddy girl. I love my sister-babies, as they became affectionately known. People thought Raven especially was mine.

But anyways, it was fun while it lasted. I mean, we stayed up late and talked like we did on the phone. She cried over spilt milk. For example, she looked at the scars on my legs and cried, it’s my fault, maybe if I hadn’t left you…

It was fun while it lasted. My sisters cried everytime I tried to get even a hug from my mother. So, I couldn’t touch her, couldn’t sit beside her, couldn’t lay on her, couldn’t lay next to her, I came all this way and I can’t even get pass these 2 little kids monopolizing all my mommy and me time. It was doing something to me emotionally. So I stopped trying. I guess we’ll have our time once they fall asleep.  They’re kids, I can’t be mad at kids. I can’t fight my sisters for my mother’s affection and attention. They’re babies. I can’t resent them. We can talk and I can snuggle up to, my mother, when they’re asleep. 

I didn’t blame my mother for anything. I had never thought of the fact that almost all the struggles I faced could have been avoided had I been with her, not till she said it. And I go back into that traffic jam I’d been faced with and I realize I had only gotten stuck a few times because I refused to take heed to the signals of crossing guards that were not her. I didn’t even talk to them. I’ll wait to tell my mother. 

Thing is, she didn’t call that often. So I didn’t tell anyone anything. My first period (sorry again Mr Men) I called my neighbour and she invited me over and showed me what to do. She told my granddad and he told my mother whenever he got through to her.

I was never angry with my mother for missing out on my life. My grandfather was a great mom. He was a great parent. I was only hurt. I felt like she hated me. She didn’t even call me for my birthday, she must really hate me. Even my father sent his love. She hates me for sure. 

I started high school. An all girls high school at that. Perfect. All the parent teacher days she won’t be at, all the functions I’ll get to be jealous of everyone else’s beautiful, perfect and present mom’s at. Oh joy!

I just needed her to be even a phone call away more often than she was, that’s all. Even if she wasn’t physically around. She had 3 more children. I guess it’s over for me now. She’ll be too busy with her kids to take notice of me all the way here. She won’t have time or money enough for me. I guess it’s really just me and my gran daddy.

I never hated my mother for any reason until I met her. Until she asked me to be everything but myself. I guess who I was made her uncomfortable and who I kept changing into for her acceptance was always fraudulent and lacking. She broke my heart, that I feel even writing this. She broke my heart. We didn’t understand each other too well but she only kept asking me to adjust to suit her needs. I just was of the opinion that parents do stuff. Meet their kids more than halfway, solved problems and still loved when they didn’t get their own way. You know, stuff.

She’s never been around  for any of my difficult seasons so this wasn’t the time to have an identity crisis. She tore me apart. I didn’t look like what I was working so hard at, so she labeled me fake. I was falling into old destructive habits, so she labeled me a great pretender. She denied any knowledge of who I was in those moments. She’d never known me to struggle in this way, she didn’t know of me being anything but Christian. She hated me through my mess and boy did I have a lot of mess. I soon returned the sentiments, I closed my heart to her. I wasn’t even the slightest bit understanding.

She couldn’t see that I was drowning. She added weight.

I’ve needed my mother to rub my belly. To nurse my wounds. To kiss my booboos. To chase the monsters away. To love pain away. To hug confidence into my being. I guess 3 kids makes you too busy for a first mistake.

Oh, I didn’t tell you she was 14 when she had me. She said she loved me but I’ve never quite believed that. Today I still struggle to believe it. Let’s put it this way. I told her this once, “I know you love me, but you don’t like me”. 

However, what I didn’t say was, “I know you love me because I’m your child but for no other reason, you love me because that’s what’s expected but not what you feel. And you don’t actually like me.”

She didn’t deny that there was truth in my statement. She simply chuckled under her breath and let it go by, barely acknowledged. That’s pretty much how the rest of our “relationship” was, I was always barely acknowledged.

I think I was better off in that traffic jam without a mom. I would have at least had my dreams of her to hold on to.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother but I’m not yet certain if she loves me in truth. She has done plenty for me. She gave me my sisters. I’m just not sure how she truly feels about me.

I’ve had plenty mother figures in my days. I’ve had plenty “aunties” to fill some gaps. I’ve also had a good few strong females in my life to demonstrate womanhood. So I haven’t completely lost out being without her. As a matter of fact, having had contact with her is what partially helped me embrace my femininity.

What I know for certain is this, I traveled all of 4 hours to be as far away from her as I could have ever been. There’s a Jamaican saying that goes “see mi an come live wid mi a 2 different tings”. She has taught me that lesson well.

In closing, mostly because I saw that word count number say 1000 something lol. I’m never going to stop loving my mother. God opened my heart to do that. He opened up something that I would have never been able to open on my own. Forgiveness and unconditional love. I love her with the love of Christ. With tears in my heart, I truly do.

One day…

 

Rae Sonson,
May 14, 2016,
12:29 p.m.

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