Lately, many of my thoughts have been surrounding my mother. I have never given much thought to our relationship or who she was as a person. Perhaps wrongly, I have given her the designations of... she was mean...she hurt me a lot... she let others hurt me too. Beyond that, I have thought very little about her.
I was the firstborn. I have always wondered how she felt when she was pregnant with me. Was she excited? Did she dread becoming a mother? Was she nervous? Did she feel much of anything?
She always told me that she wished I had never been born, she should have aborted me, I was the result of an affair, I trapped her into being married to my father, and when my sister died she told me that she wished it had been me. Not knowing what to fully believe, these things she spoke have defined me as a daughter.
I am someone's wife and that is good. I am someone's mother and that is good. I am someone's daughter and that is devastating.
I have allowed myself to think beyond the surface of my mother. I remember going into her bathroom as a child and spraying her perfume on myself. It was Chanel No. 5. I can still smell it faintly. Having her scent on me was like a hug. It was the closest I got to a hug from her. When she caught me smelling of her expensive perfume, I paid.
But it was worth it for a hug from her.
I remember watching her get ready for a party; I was sitting on the corner of their bed. My mother was a beautiful woman. Thick and straight blonde hair, fair skin, a beautiful smile... I look nothing like her. My sister did. I am the lucky one who looks exactly like my father. Her hair was perfect, her makeup was flawless, her dress was red, and she was wearing her perfume. She called out a goodbye as she walked past me and they were gone. No hug, no kiss.
So I sprayed my own hug.
It's funny; the smell of his various colognes will still make my stomach lurch or worse. But the smell of her perfume still gives me a warm feeling. At best, perhaps his evil was different than her evil. In reality, it is probably because he gave me too many hugs while she gave me none.
More frequently than not, I have hated my mother more than my father. I also find myself loving him more than I have ever loved her. I feel badly about this. My mother was broken far before I came along. The remaining shreds of her sanity and dignity my father ripped away. Pity isn't the right word for what I feel. I try but I cannot put my finger on what I feel toward her.
I just don't know.
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