This is a letter to my late mother who I always knew that she loved me, but that I have always felt removed from her emotionally and later, as I became an adult, I even felt an anger and resentment toward her.  I had no idea where these feelings came from nor did I understand them, I just knew that they were always there inside me.

At first, I rationalized that I must be experiencing some suppressed memory of an incident long forgotten that explains this anger and pain that I feel toward her.  I must confess that these feelings did not coincide with memories of a happy and loving childhood that I remembered with my mom.  She was always the peacekeeper in the family and she showered us 5 kids with unconditional love.

My dad on the other hand, was someone who showed little emotion when it came to expressing love and affection toward us kids.  He was also a tough taskmaster and a hard-nosed disciplinarian who never believed in sparing the rod.  In yet, as tough and unemotional that he was, I never felt the hostility toward him that I felt toward my mother.  I anguished over these misplaced feelings for most of my adult life, never confiding in anyone, and never questioning these feelings with my mother.  I felt that something was wrong with me and since I could not rationalize the feelings that I felt, I would dismiss them and bury them deep inside me.

Now, many years later the answer came from my older sister who told me something that I never knew.

For you seen, I was a 26 week baby…greatly premature and in 1949 they did not have the medical advances that we have now.  Shortly after my birth, my right lung collapsed and I remember my dad telling the story of being able to see my backbone through my chest.  I was baptized shortly after my birth because I was not expected to live.  I had always known that I spent the first two months in an incubator at the hospital before I was allowed to go home.

But like Paul Harvey, here is the rest of the story.  Because of the numerous hurdles that a 26 week baby has to somehow overcome, especially in 1949, it was a miracle that I ever survived.  The doctors had told my mother that there was little or no hope for my survival.  Secondly, with a two year old and a six year old, and with no vehicle it became impossible for my mother to see much of me in those ensuing two months.  There was also little or no physical contact between us due to the incubator.  In fact, my parents were totally blindsided when two months later the hospital told them that they could take me home.

Not only had I not been allowed to bond with anyone, I had also lacked any or little human, physical contact.  Even years later, I never knew the reason for my feelings toward my mother because I never knew that part of my life‘s story that was missing.

I finally have what I believe is the answer to my lifetime of anguish and it can possibly be explained due to a detachment disorder that I had because I was never able to properly bond with my mom.

So, to my mom…I beg your forgiveness and just know, in your heart, that the resentment and anger is gone and that I love you.

Advertisements