I was sure that this Mother’s Day was going to be different this year. It started off different. Jeff, my husband, had a gift ready for me Sunday morning. My 3 boys had made gifts also. The boys had requests for breakfast and Jeff told them it was my day off. He asked my oldest to help him make breakfast for me.
WOW! I took a deep breath and felt a hundred pounds roll off my shoulders. A day off? I don’t get days off! My two younger sons were spoiling me. One was giving me a hand massage, and the other a foot massage. Heavenly!
Despite all of this, Mother’s Day was a really hard day for me. I have thought about how such a beautiful morning could turn into a crazy afternoon and horrible evening, but it did.
Holidays are triggering for me. I recognized this when I was in counseling. So many years of feeling unimportant and not being recognized took their toll on me. Christmas, Valentines Day, Birthday’s, Mother’s Day: they were all days when I felt invisible. All I wanted was to feel important, to be important.
I started to hate those days. I hated going back to work and having people ask me what I got. I just wanted to cry, how do you hold your head high and tell the world that your husband didn’t get you anything? That you were so worthless and unimportant that he didn’t even think of you.
I remember the Christmas of 2007 when he didn’t get me anything. We were at his parents house opening gifts that morning. The family had a tradition of opening gifts one at a time from youngest to oldest. I was so humiliated and full of shame when time and time again they passed me because they were unable to find a gift for me under the tree. His mother just kept saying that my gifts must be really hidden as they passed me again and again and moved onto the next person.
I felt like I was holding a sign that said, WORTHLESS! I wanted to put a blanket over my head and disappear. (If only I had a cloak like Harry Potter.)
I would be so upset and he would act like I was making a big deal out of nothing. I knew that if I mentioned his lack of recognition I was less likely to get anything the next round of holidays. As if there is anything less than NOTHING!
It wasn’t the gifts that I wanted. I wanted to be recognized. I wanted to feel valued and important. Year after year I was forgotten.
Back to this Mother’s Day: So, I got what I wanted this Mother’s Day. I got gifts, I was recognized. I was told that I was loved and important. I was still struggling, and Mother’s Day was not a happy day for me.
I have decided that rather than beat myself up for having a bad day even after I got what I always wanted and needed. I decided that I would have self-compassion. I was a woman who was forgotten for so many years. It makes sense that one year of being recognized wouldn’t unwrite the sadness I suffered for so many. It makes sense that Mother’s Day would still make me sad. The day is full of triggers and probably will be for years to come. It is okay that I am exactly where I am. I’m trying to grow and I am trying to heal.
A message for mother’s who have been forgotten:
So today I want to send a message to all of you who had to face the world yesterday feeling forgotten and unimportant on Mother’s Day.
One of my favorite quotes:
“Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.”
You are valuable! You are important! You are loveable! And so am I!
……..On Mother’s Day and every day.