“Matilda,” “My Girl,” “Gilmore Girls”—I love all movies and shows that portray the mother-daughter connection I’ve longed for all my life.
When I’m down, I curl up in bed and cry while I watch reruns of these classics and others.
It’s comforting imagining myself having a mom like Lorelei or Miss Honey.
It makes me feel safe and allows me to drift off to sleep.
It helps me feel loved by a mom, even if it’s fictional.
I think sometimes people judge this longing as odd or unhealthy.
You see, I look for moms everywhere.
There’s nothing in life that I want more.
I think it’s why losing therapists feels like I’m dying.
Truly, it makes me ill.
When I attach to a mother figure and lose them for some reason, I puke, cry, and curl up in a cocoon away from the world for years.
In my lifetime, it’s happened twice. I’m currently trying to fly again after losing a therapist two years ago.
Sadly, many mental health providers don’t help this wound. Instead, they often abandon us and say our “fear of abandonment is in our mind.”
I don’t know how to describe this wound to the world but to say it’s something I feel deeply in my soul.
It’s like a hole in a place I can’t touch.
I feel like I can’t move on with life—to date, get married, and have kids—until I fill it.
Some may think it sounds odd, but I think it’s a need we all try and fill if we didn’t have it.
In my opinion, just as Gabor Maté argues, attachment is at the core of everything.
Teenagers wander away from their parents because they have an internal working model of their parent’s secure attachment.
Without it, they are likely to struggle.
My birth mother isn’t dead, but it often feels as if she is.
I don’t really know her, and she doesn’t know me.
While she’s still alive, we don’t have a relationship.
We never have.
She doesn’t know really where I live.
She still calls me a name I haven’t been called for 21 years.
I don’t know my mom, nor does she know me.
We didn’t attach.
While I don’t want to feel this way, I have never been able to forgive her for the decisions she made during my childhood.
She’s my birth mom, but she doesn’t know me.
While she is better now than she was, I can’t seem to let her near me.
She tries, but all I do is reject her.
So instead of try to bond with her, I watch reruns of “Matilda,” “My Girl,” and “Gilmore Girls.”
Instead of message her, I write diary entries to the first therapist who ever loved me like a mom.
Instead of accept what is, I reject it and go somewhere in my mind where there are butterflies, books, and my old therapist who plays with me lovingly.
I don’t know if my birth mom and I will ever be close.
We likely never will.
I hope, though, that one day I can let this go.
I hope one day I can put it down.
I hope one day I can at least say, “Things are okay, mom.”
Forgiveness isn’t easy.
I don’t think it will ever be a happy fairy tale.
I do hope, though, that I can at least have dinner with the woman who birthed me and show her that I’m not burning in the Northern California fires, but am instead, flourishing.
I hope she can see that I’m in love with my life, and that even though she couldn’t be the mom that I needed, I was able to find it in others.