You have hurt me. You have taken me to places I didn’t want to go. You have done things I didn’t want to do. You fed me all the wrong things but expected me to give you my best. You made so many mistakes but expected me to brush it off. But I forgive you for it all!
As a child, I loved Mother’s Day. It was one of the few days in the year where I was able to really magnify my appreciation for my mom. She was a single mother, and worked hard to make sure I had what I needed. On Mother’s Day I always wanted her to feel special. I made cards, read poems, did dances, whatever it took to make her smile. As I got older I was able to buy her things that she would not always buy for herself (a purse, perfume, etc). I loved seeing her smile.
As I got older, Mother’s Day became painful for me. I still loved on my mother like I did before. I still made her smile. That’s not what was hard. It was hard because I was a mother and no one knew it. So the day became bittersweet.
In May of 2005 I birthed a handsome baby boy. I also made the decision to place him up for adoption. I remember when he was born how I didn’t want to hold him for fear I would get too attached. His mom and dad were on their way to pick him up, and I wanted to be able to let him go freely. It didn’t help that I already spent close to 10 months with him. I was already attached.
Placing him with adoptive parents was a hard decision but the right decision, even though I didn’t know it then. I did it out of fear. I was afraid of what my mother would say, what my friends would say, my tarnished image, and how I would provide for him. I was away in college barely making it. Why put him through so many hard times?
To hide my pain I became a functioning alcoholic. From the day I left the hospital all I did was drink. I was trying to hide my pain, and hide what had happened. I was broken and didn’t know how to fix it. I used to speed my little Honda Civic in hopes I would crash and die. I wanted my life to end because life had no purpose.
I went home for the summer instead of taking classes that year. There I found comfort. I didn’t tell anyone but the fact that I was home made me feel safe and comfortable. I decided not to go back and transferred to the community college back home. I had escaped, or so I thought.
For a while I was making progress. I kept myself busy. I had a job and I was going to school full time. But once I was alone I felt the heaviness, and then the liquor would flow. I found solace in my drinking and my relationships with men. I tried to stay out and about to keep myself together, but that didn’t help for very long. My craving for alcohol started following me. Before I knew it, I was having rum and pineapple juice for breakfast. There were days that were harder than others like his birthday and Mother’s Day. Or days when I would see a single mom who was making it work.
What kind of mother gives up her child? A good one. It took a few years, but what I finally learned was that my mothering skills weren’t off. I wanted the best for my child and I found a way to provide it. My mistake was not allowing myself to love him. I was trying to ignore the fact that he existed. I thought that not acknowledging him would eliminate all my guilt. I could not have been more wrong! I tried to fix things on my own but always failed. I would always fall back into drinking whenever something wasn’t going according to plan, like when my grades were not where I wanted them to be, or when my relationships weren’t what I thought they should be. Whenever life started falling apart, I drank. What was wrong with me?
In early 2006 a friend invited me to church. I know you’re thinking that this is the part where she gets saved. Wrong! See, I was saved when I laid in that bed and created a child. I was saved when I was drinking down bottles. I was saved when I was crying myself to sleep. I was saved when I was praying someone would shoot me dead. I accepted Jesus long before any of this. I just ignored him through it all.
Not really knowing why, I went to church anyways. I kept going. I liked it because they weren’t pushy and it was a larger church so no one noticed when I was missing. I was still partying like a rock star. However, I noticed that I was not partying as hard. I was actually starting to get uncomfortable going to the clubs. I made the decision to club and drink less, and to make sure that I was at church on Sundays (baby steps, lol). I allowed myself to envision a future. What would it be like to graduate? What would it be like to be married? I could see myself having kids. My dark clouds were starting lift.
However, before I could move on to my future I had to address this part of my past. I decided to face my fears head on. In November of 2006 I went to visit my son. I got a chance to love on him ( thank God for open adoption). I opened my heart to him. I no longer was trying to shut him out. It was an amazing feeling of relief.
In January of 2007 I hit my epiphany moment. Why is it that God, the almighty, can forgive me but I can’t forgive myself? No, I wasn’t his mom nor was I trying to be because he had a fantastic one but I was still his mother. I loved him. I would stare at his pictures and smile because he was perfect. I finally accepted the fact that I was a mother. Even though only a handful of people knew, I was a mother and I was proud. It was in that time I was no longer ashamed of what I had done.
It was also in that same moment that I realized how much God’s hand had been on me. He held me tight. As much as I tried to run away or drown Him out He still never let me go. When I was driving recklessly He made sure the road was clear. When I was binging on alcohol He made sure I would see another day. When I was dating all the wrong men for me He made sure I saw their true colors early.
After my eyes were opened, I repented. “God, I’m sorry for being such a fool. I’m done Lord”
Present day, I am married and have 3 additional children. And on Mother’s Day I hold my head up high! Mother’s Day is on my love list again. On Mother’s day we expect others to celebrate us; to give us credit where credit is due. We expect to be pampered and to have all sorts of gifts. But one of the best gifts you can receive on Mother’s day is forgiveness, your forgiveness. Forgive yourself for not being where you thought you would be. Forgive yourself for not making all the perfect choices. Forgive yourself for not being that perfect mom. For not having more time. For not keeping the house perfectly neat. For forgetting the baby’s bottle. For not “getting” the mothering thing as quickly as you thought you should. We are allowed mistakes. You just have to learn from them. You’re doing a great job, you just have to open your eyes.
Way to go Moms!
You have made me proud. You have fought hard. You have followed instructions and found good success. There is still room for improvement, but stick with me kid and you’ll go places! 😉
Ready to lead you,