I’ve always been independent. I always thought it was just because that was who I am, that’s how I was made, it’s in my blood, etc. I’ve never needed my parent’s love or support because I got it from God. Growing up, I developed this shell of independence with a lucky go happy mentality. Basically, the internet would call me a troll. I am tumblr in a person. I’m a goof. And I’m okay with it. I’m a tough cookie, I’m close to my dad and my brother. That was good enough for me. Then I would spot other families. I would see the mom at every choir performance, dance competition, theater production, I would see the mom hugging them tight or texting them everyday just to say I love you. I would laugh and say it was cheesy but inside something gnawed at me. I’ve gotten real good at pushing it away and continuing being my goofy self, satisfied with my dad’s unconditional love.
This morning, I read a devotional that was titled, “Maybe I wasn’t fine”, and it watered the bud that I had tried to destroy. The author wrote beautifully about how she was satisfied with just her mother’s love and support while her father sat at home probably reading a book or was out with his friends. He was anywhere but at her performances. I didn’t want to admit that I could relate to that all to well. I could count the number of performances my mother attended on one hand. Maybe two dance competitions, one choir performance and one theater production. Maybe. Maybe I’m being generous to pretend that she cares.
The devotional ended with a question, “Sometimes the pain that is caused by something that isn’t there is just as real as the pain that is caused by something that is there. What is something in your life that isn’t there that has caused you deep pain?”. Then the clencher, “Bring it to God today and invite Him in”. Oh heck no.
I closed out of it and immediately tried to ignore the bud that had begun to bloom. No no no no no. I am goofy, happy, a troll, I make bad jokes and smile all the time. I don’t care that I don’t have my mom’s love. I don’t care. But then it hit me and my heart began to bleed.
I don’t think she loves me.
Why doesn’t she love me?
These words are hard to type. Usually, my words come flying out of my fingertips, but this morning I am typing through molasses making it impossible to move my fingers. I try to ignore these thoughts but that question gnaws at me.
Why doesn’t she love me?
Jealousy consumes me as I think about the affection my brother gets. I secretly smile when they argue or she doesn’t show up to his performances too. I get envious when she attends his concerts without him asking her to. I get angry when she hugs him a ton. I smile when he rejects her. I shouldn’t hate her. I shouldn’t. Society tells me I need to love my mom and be a good daughter. Society tells me to respect her no matter what. But how? Society didn’t hear the arguments. Society didn’t see the tears late at night. Society doesn’t see the empty seat at every performance. Society doesn’t see all the I love yous, good job, I’m proud of yous that were never spoken.
Yes, I have my father’s love and I am so thankful. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. So why do I bond quickly with my friend’s mothers and call them my second mom? Why do I love going over there just to get attention and affection and hugs from their mom? Why does it feel so good? Then I hear His voice, “Because you’ve never really gotten it before” and my heart breaks. If she saw this, she would say I’m exaggerating or being a drama queen or get angry. But I don’t care. I have to get these thoughts out because they hurt, a lot.
I don’t want to admit that I want to hear I love you more. I don’t want to admit that I want to make her proud. I don’t want to admit that I want hugs. I don’t want to admit that I want to go out on mom and daughter dates. I don’t want to admit that every empty seat hurt me to the core. I don’t want to admit that every time I got my hopes up, they were crushed. I don’t want to admit a lot of things. But here I am, arms wrapped around my knees trying to hide my face from the world because I can’t be a troll today. I can’t put on this mask of joy and bad jokes because it hurts. And I’m sad.
I don’t know how to end this. But I do know that I promised myself to be the best mom there ever was. I want to be my future children’s best friend, the one they can confide in, the one that holds them when they cry, laughs with them, discovers new things with them, struggle with them, say I love you everyday, hug them all the time, and be at every performance, big or small. I want to be love to them and not hold any mistakes against them because we’re human. Yes, there is pain but there is also hope for the future.
Thank you dad for being my example of love. Thank you for showing me what kind of mom I want to be. It’s okay that I don’t understand women because I was raised by you, daddy, it’s okay that I am and will always be a bro. It’s okay that I make bad dad jokes and cock my head in confusion at the women around me. I have your love and that’s all I need. I am so happy that I can run with the boys and ignore the confused stares I get from women around me expecting me to stand around and be like them. Nah, I have touchdowns to make and offensive jokes to crack, thanks to my dad.
I guess my future kids will be the ultimate trolls but at least they’ll have love. So here’s to future bad dad jokes, touchdowns, pillow fights, goofy pictures and everything in between. May they never have to ask the question I ask myself and know that they are loved unconditionally even now before I meet them. I sound so dang cheesy but today, I’m okay with it.