Good mothers merit praise but what happens when your mother isn’t, well good. It’s easy to love someone who’s kind and loving toward you but when that trust is broken because of abuse, it’s hard to sing their praises. Abused children are almost always left feeling broken and they later become broken adults. Personally, I have some pleasant memories from my childhood but unfortunately, the disturbing and dangerous outweigh these few. So when Mother’s Day rolls around, I have to deal with the swell of emotion that accompanies it.
According to the CDC or Centers for Disease Control, there are four types of abuse with more than 600,000 children reported as maltreated last year. In a recent article about Mother’s Day and the abused child ABC News says, “Some adults say they never escaped the scarring clutches of mommy dearest, while others learned to forgive, move on and raise their own children in a far-different way.”
Do you know how to cope? I’m not a psychologist but I was an abused child. I know firsthand how easy it is to turn this day into a “pity party” but consider breaking the chain! If you need help, let this be the day you make that call. For others who aren’t there yet, take these ideas to heart. These strategies may help you handle this heartbreaking day.
Write about it. I’m not suggesting you load up Facebook with posts. I am suggesting that you write in a journal or a private online diary. Hurting your mother isn’t the objective, getting it all out on paper is.
Reach out to your siblings. You don’t have to talk about your mother but do make this a day to support your brothers and sisters. Anything from a phone call to a card is appropriate. Let them know you care and understand how they may feel.
Make it a day to pamper you! Despite what you may have heard, you deserve to be happy. Plan something you love on Mother’s Day. Love the beach? Go there! Enjoy gardening? Spend the day in the garden. Make it a day of nurturing and love, for you.
Love your children. It’s a great time to revisit your own parenting strategy. What can you do to be a better parent? Spend the day loving on your kids instead of thinking about the past.
I understand how hard this day is but you can do it. If you have feelings of depression that persist or worsen, reach out to someone. Talk about it. It does get better.