My mother truly is my hero, and I will happily say that every day of the year, not just on Mother’s Day.
I’ve been putting off this Revisited post because it’s a bit of an uncomfortable topic right now. Four years ago, I wrote a post called “It may be a bit of a cliché calling my mother my hero on Mother’s Day, but…,” and it was all about all of the ways in which my mother is wonderful. And honestly, many of the things I said there are still true, but some things have… changed a little?
There has not been a single time that she hasn’t been there for me.
My previous posts sort of falls down right in the second paragraph because over the last year or so, she hasn’t been there for me. Since my coming out, she has been in contact to tell me to visit more, and to tell me how difficult my transition has been for her. She still calls me her daughter, uses female pronouns. And not only does she use my dead name, she uses my FULL dead name. That has never been a thing, that was never actually my name. My mum and everyone around me have always called me by so many nicknames that I was very rarely actually called “T______” until I came out as Transgender. And now it’s all I hear.
I know that adjustments are difficult and that it takes effort to make your brain think in a new way. I know a number of trans people, and have had to make my brain make that transition several times. But the thing is, effort is all it takes. And if you aren’t willing to make that effort, you’re telling the person that they aren’t worthy of the effort, and that sucks. Especially when they’re your child.
I can’t bring myself to visit right now, because the damage it does to my mental and emotional wellbeing is horrible. But at the same time, the guilt that not visiting brings on me is equally horrible. It’s a rock and a hard place.
And then there’s the added difficult dimension that comes with me actually loving my mother. Because up until a year ago, I always knew I could rely on her to encourage me and push me forward. And it’s hard to make these two completely different images match up in my head.
My mother taught me to draw, play piano and ride a bike.
Other than this one, massive downfall, my mum did everything right. She did all of the normal parenting stuff, which in itself is amazing. She also worked three jobs to pay the bills and threw her entire self into each one. She also sang in two choirs and accompanied people on piano, and played the organ in church. She was also a painter and an enthusiastic gardener, and she was also a great mother.
Is this enough to convince you that she’s a superhero?
And I know that my granny, her mother, died 8 years ago and that still has a massive impact on all of us. And I know that although she’s now in a happy relationship, my mother is still reeling a little bit from her divorce 8 years ago (yep, the same year her mother died). And I know I need to cut her some slack for these reasons. A lot of slack, really.
But every time she does something to hurt me as a result of my gender identity, the pain it causes is so strong that I forget all of these things. And I am angry, and I am sad and hurting. And I miss my mum and I miss her love and support.
I am immensely proud to call this amazing woman my mother.
My mother was always fantastic and amazing, and we’re just going through a blip but it’s so strange and difficult. I can’t wait to have a good relationship with her again. I really hope that happens. The world is downright shitty a lot of the time, and we all need someone in our corner.
I don’t really know what to do about that.