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January 5, 2014

Breaking the Silence: Letter from a Proud Mother.

It was all such a blur—a new day, a new year.

The words stung me like a knife, so unexpected and transforming.

“What exactly are you saying?” was all I could gather in thought while reading. I could not even fathom the words in chronological order because I had no idea. My emotions had to take a time out with some hot tea and eyes closed. I thought I had all of the answers and all of the reasons of past patterning in family of origin.

What she wrote felt like my entire childhood was staring me in the face.

It was raw. It was real. It was beautiful. She had moments of joy the exact same day she had pockets of sorrow. Her past almost mirrored my past. How close we have been in deed, yet not exactly in word and feelings. I could almost have been her.

I had asked for the words in silent intention many moons ago. I needed to know where all of the pain existed. I needed to understand how a single thread of guilt and shame can grow into a cancer in the body, the toxins needing to find their way out in limitless emotions.

It finally happened. My gratitude for the extraordinary found its way into my email and through those heartfelt words.

She opened up fully to me. She gave me the greatest gift of all, and resolved my many adult years of endless questioning in my mind, I can now comprehend the nature of my being.

I am able to put to rest the pondering and dreams of how everything transpired in my sordid childhood.

I always had the vision and was told the reasons behind every decision through every person, but now I know. She showed me her true self. Her story on paper gave me pause for an entire day. I felt odd for 24 whole hours.  It was as if being in the partnership I’m in made a little more sense.

It was as if past lives came pouring in, my rebellion sticking its nose out there for 40-plus years, begging me to understand more of the whole “looking for love in all the wrong places” theme.

I had imagined us as best friends forever, sharing stories about life and love with no judging or blame, only two females equalizing a maternal bond.

It never turned out that way. It wasn’t meant to be that way. Our sameness would not allow that friendship. She wanted a better life for me.

My intention with my words years ago was to allow her the space to open up and discover her own voice. It might have taken a village, but I was not about to give up. I wanted her to feel less resentment of who we were as mother and daughter, and who I was becoming.

I thought only of a butterfly metamorphosis, grand hawks flying high, wolves running free, every dog and cat being rescued, people loving each other more, compassion from one end of the earth to the other, respect in all corners of our souls, and a go and flow relationship that felt safe. My cloud-floating and desire for harmony became who I am. It is who I have always been. I broke rules. So did she.

I wished for love and only love. So did she. But my decisions in life brought me to a place where I had to figure it all out for myself, the survivor. She never said a word while I was growing up. She maintained her silence and her grief. Until now.

She spilled her soul to me.

The timing of it was perfect and true and necessary. I cried a thousand tears reading her words in her own short story, yet it was long enough to encompass all that she felt in her own childhood and thereafter. Every word resonated with my heart.

The details of her life were no longer a mystery.

Spanish women grow up proud. We can repress lifetimes of emotions until the body can’t hold them in any longer. It is rooted in fear, judgment, shame, guilt, and resentment.

I succumbed to this from childhood into my two failed marriages. I had to learn lessons from random sources because I had no role models. My own life words came pouring out a few years ago and there is still no end in sight. She gave me a gift, which I am now seeing.

She is almost 84 years old. I now know about the extent of my father’s death, how the details of raising four small children was no picnic back in the 1950’s, and how she had to work for every single bit of success that came her way. She did it with dignity and grace under pressure.

She is forgiving herself for her past. I never knew this, until now.

Our pasts resembled each other in a most eerie and unique way. Family ties are strong enough to mimic each other later into adulthood, and we are no different.

She is a special being, a matriarch of sorts.

She has lived a life that speaks volumes in her constant devotion and affection for her children, despite her own life being compromised from the onset. I no longer have the tightness in my chest and heart from feeling as if silence was safer than her honest, caring words. She gave me reasons to continue to sing and praise who I am.  Her truth rang loudly in my ears today. Her pain was my pain. Her sadness became my sadness. Her joy was my joy. We shared a telepathic symmetry on paper and through words. It was a long time coming.

I thank my Mom, for being true to herself and allowing an outpouring of transformation to occur early in this new year with a cathartic experience such as today.

What she said to me became the backbone of my own appreciation and love for my true self. I cherish her and I love her more than my own words can transmit. Her heart is my heart. We are the same soul, it became apparent. I’m still catching my breath.

There is no more silence.

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: ErgSap/Flickr, Omarukai/Flickr

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