I spent my entire childhood afraid of my mother and always looking for her approval. Then I grew up into a drunk just like my mother. With two children of my own, I over compensated about my own mother’s strict Victorian rules. You must go to school. That was one of mother’s few rules that I stuck to.
Years later, one lunch over drinks in the cool of Humphrey’s green and white dining room, I asked her why she had been so strict.
“I thought I was going to die of colon cancer, and I felt that I had to make you independent,” she told me.
For a while, I dreamed of having a mother/daughter relationship with my angry, youngest child. Those picture perfect moments never appeared. My oldest was too stoned and drunk herself to see me other than angrily. Slowly my hopes changed, and I began living as the best example I could of being clean and sober…for myself. I had years of practice at this before my oldest got sober, forgave me, let go of her anger, and saw me as who I am now.
It took me years of sobriety to be able to see that my angry mother did the best she could as a mother with who she was.
Now my youngest is angry at me.