“Every Mother’s Day reminds me that I was not loved by mine”

natural female with red hair and freckles
Justin Case / Getty Images natural female with red hair and freckles

Justin Case / Getty Images

“Every year I get sick of the tearful ad spots that celebrate the ‘wonderful connection’ between a mother and her children”

TESTIMONY – I am 42 years old today, and I have lived most of my life under the illusion that I had had a childhood ” normal “, or at least, that I had been loved by my mother. Six years ago, she fell seriously ill.

To accompany me in the difficult ordeal of his end of life, I started a psychological follow-up which gradually led me to shatter my life: over the course of the sessions, I became aware of the fact that my mother was abusive and that at 36, I was still under her control. A difficult time in many ways, which forced me to break down my entire life before my eyes. Lies, manipulation, permanent humiliations, punishments when I expressed the slightest opinion, a relationship of influence…

Everything I had held up as a norm in my relationship with my mother was actually abuse. Since then, every beginning of June, Mother’s Day has plunged me into deep sadness, and I’ve had enough of tearful advertising spots that celebrate the “wonderful connection” between a mother and her children.

Mother-child relationships, a myth very far from my reality

By realizing that I had been the victim of abuse all my life, I also learned that as an adult, I could still rebuild myself. And this, by deconstructing the image of my mother, the imprint she had on me, but also the image of Épinal of the mother in our society.

Because we boast everywhere, from advertisements to posters, films or books, a glorified image of motherhood and the bond that would immediately unite mother and child from the first minutes of pregnancy. We are told again that “Maternal love is immediate, as soon as you are pregnant, you love your child”. Ah good ? Many are those who recall that it is a fantasy more than a reality. We are told that because our mother gave us life, on Mother’s Day, we must give her back a little of this gift. We are told about unconditional love. But me, I only knew a very conditioned love. And when we haven’t been given anything, what do we give back?

Abused children are obliterated by these illusions

Every June, Mother’s Day only emphasizes the fact that when you have been a child victim of violence – verbal, in my case – from your parents, you are not entitled to word: one is obliterated by the immense illusion of maternal love. I experienced it when I tried to talk about my experience around me, admitting that there are mothers who can hurt their children, it’s difficult.

I feel like the only place unhappy kids are allowed to have a story is in the news. However, rebuilding yourself is an immense task: a mother who does not love you is a promise that has not been kept. I have the impression that we are being lied to when we are sold this official, celebrated, triumphant motherhood. Besides, there are all the questions that these wobbly children, of which I am one, ask themselves. What do we become when we have not been loved? If all mothers are loving, unconditionally, then is what happened to me my fault?

Every year, at the beginning of June, this pain comes back when you are no longer able to explain that it is wonderful to have a mother. I know that is the case for many children, but it was not wonderful to have mine. And this experience, I don’t want anyone to try to erase it.

I don’t want to prevent happy people from celebrating their mothers

For a few years, Mother’s Day and all family celebrations were incredibly violent for me. Now all that’s left is a bit of sadness and longing for something I didn’t know. I tell myself that it must be great to have a mother who is happy to see you, who loves your gifts, who loves to hear your voice…

I don’t want to stop happy people from having a celebration of their mother. I know the very guilt-inducing tendencies in our society: people who have had a loving mother are made to feel guilty for celebrating her too much because others have not had that chance, and those who say they have not had a good mother, because that’s synonymous with being a bad person… But maybe a little more moderation, in this period when advertisements for Mother’s Day invade us a month before this date, could do good to others.

Because it took me a while to stop feeling guilty about how I felt about my mom, what she did to me, and I hope speaking up will help other people feel less alone. , to say to themselves that the problem does not come from them in this period when we celebrate a fantasized vision of the mother-child bond and of the family.

Mother’s Day is ultimately a beautiful social lie, like Christmas.

This testimony was collected and edited by Aïda Djoupa. Do you also have a family story to share? Write to us at [email protected], we will answer you with the procedure to follow.

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