My mother walked away from my father and me when I was in school to be in a lesbian relationship. She never kept in touch with me for several years.
Now she wants to be present for my wedding and my relatives are pressuring me to allow her to sit in the ceremony. I am hurt and angry and do not want her there.
She came over and cried, begging for forgiveness but it upset me more. She ruined my childhood and now is about to ruin my special day. I am so upset. How do I deal with all this?
Aman Bhonsle says:
Dear young man,
Your mother left your father to live life on her own terms. Her pursuit of romantic love deprived you of a mother’s love as you braved through the tempest – that is childhood! This is going to prove to be a difficult decision for you to make because it would appear that you’ve not yet forgiven your mother from being absent from your childhood. Forgiveness might sound like a lofty ideal ‘in principle’ but it’s not an easy one to practice. Forgiveness requires empathy and empathy-building requires time and information.
Talk to your mother
You may need to invest the time for a ‘sit down’ chat with your mom to fully comprehend the circumstances of her ‘disappearance’ from your life so that you can fully come to terms with it. Even she may not have fully come to terms with all her emotions. Try to understand the social taboos surrounding a lesbian relationship back in those days when your mother made what obviously was a significant life choice. As challenging as it was for you to grow up without her, perhaps it was challenging for her to live with the knowledge that she’s left ‘someone’ behind?
Try to find a way to discover a way to find your peace based on a decision that now ‘you have the power to make’, a chance to get some closure for the two of you – even if you decide to part ways – all over again.
Childhood wounds need to be resolved
Often a little child is unable to fathom that life’s problems and nagging concerns continue even as one grows up. The child is also unable to imagine his parents as having ‘any flaws’ or ‘niggling issues’ as trust and compliance – is the price of ‘unconditionally having one’s needs constantly met’. The child thus feels both uninformed and vulnerable – at many points in his life.
A child feels fear and abandonment in more profound ways than an adult does.
Forgiveness can be tried too or walking away again
The fact that your mother cried and begged for forgiveness is a case in point that she’s looking to rebuild some broken bridges. She’s in distress. Assuming that your special day will be ruined is an oversimplified thought. You’re feeling understandably emotional about your mother too.
You have the power to choose to seek a resolution with your mother and heal the festering wounds vis a vis your mother’s disappearance and sudden reappearance. Whatever you choose, know that just as your mother ‘walked away’ from her marriage, you may very well ‘choose to walk away’ from a chance to make things right with her. In ‘walking away’ you may lose out on a beautiful opportunity to heal just as your mother lost out on an opportunity to really get to know you and be your ‘mother’.
Either way, it is not going to be easy.