My mother no longer loved me but I found love and healing for myself

I do not seek sympathy; I am grateful for everyone that entered my life. My mother was a painful lesson of growth. Her acceptance of me would have been a lovely gift, was not to be.

I needed to learn some self-love.

My mother grew up in an abusive environment. I know she had little self-esteem or love for herself because she always cared more about what others thought of her and maintained the external image of the ‘perfect’ family.

I thought our family was perfect until I realised it was far from it; Would you know abuse is abuse if you don’t know differently?

I learned we were far from loving in my thirties when I had two small children; There is an intensity of love for them that it was not in me to destroy their sweet souls with hurtful comments; Seeing the light in my two children; I encouraged them to shine brightly.

I recall days when I worked as a bridal make-up artist visiting the brides on the morning of their wedding day. I observed the love and respect of the families (not always) it made me question our dysfunction.

My relationship with my mother wasn’t always bad. We baked together, and she taught me to cook when a small child. I loved it when she collected me from school or made a special birthday cake.

We enjoyed shopping together, and she always encouraged me to choose my outfits; We loved sharing a bag of salt and crisps in the car after a food shop; the fire would be burning when I came home from weekly swimming class, and I would fall asleep blissfully on the rug until the lovely dinner she always prepared was ready.
Then I became a teenager, as though Mum didn’t know how to do teenagers (do any of us). My elder sister left home as soon as she could, my aunt had moved in with us at the age of fourteen and left too.

I was eleven when Mum had my baby sister. I remember the day she gave birth to her. I recall feeling shocked by the exhausted look on her face. She was never the same woman again. For the rest of her life, she continued to smoke more and more, needing to sleep most days, and then she discovered drinking too.

My younger sister demanded a lot from my parents; they would give her anything she wanted and more, just for a quiet life. My mother smoked heavily in the years to come, becoming highly critical and judgemental, never happy. Nobody could make her happy; she found fault in everyone, especially me.

There is only so much a young girl can take. I turned to drinking and smoking at thirteen. I developed an eating disorder and had a violent and abusive boyfriend at sixteen who treated me with no respect, resulting in an accidental pregnancy at eighteen.

My mother, initially sympathetic, turned this into her weapon of choice when she was ready to break me down. I would sob uncontrollably and then watch her lips curl into a smile as she watched me cry.

My dear father passed after a long illness in 2011, and I was heartbroken. My father had always been there for me. The relationship with my mother had been dead for a long time. My mother and younger sister pulled rank; I felt isolated, lost, stressed, and lost weight.

Then life begins to improve. I sought help everywhere I could get it. I consumed spiritual books, developed psychic and clairvoyance skills, and sought to heal because I could not sink any lower. I wrote my mother one final letter recalling positive memories and requesting a relationship based on equal values and respect. I never heard from her again.

The day she died was a relief. I had no more hope of a mother-daughter relationship; I could finally lay that to rest. It has taken me seven years to heal completely.

I have a wonderful supportive husband and the support of our grown-up children. We moved 445 miles to live remotely in the Scottish Highlands. This place has been my healing and growth sanctuary. I wake up to fields of highland cattle and nature each morning and go to bed surrounded by my whispering trees and twinkling stars shining brightly.

I found the Scottish forests are my church; I can run or walk on my own for miles feeling refreshed and renewed. I established my wholeness and love for myself in Scotland as I realised how much of nature I am.

I discovered I never needed the love of my mother or anyone else.I lost attachments to worldly things and found self-worth and love for myself.The love for myself was always within me in my backyard. I dived into the depths of myself to discover the treasure.

I dedicate this piece to my late mother, Jean. I am grateful and full of gratitude for the heartache I went through now. I pray she found peace and freedom on the other side of the veil.