It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday. And yes it happens every year. We are all reminded of everything connected with being a Mother. We celebrate the efforts and the sacrifices of that one person on Earth – who loves us, no matter what we have done or who abandoned, betrayed, victimized and tormented us – our Mother is always there waiting, with a comforting hot beverage, words of wisdom and unconditional positive regard. Isn’t she?
I would – this were so. The truth not all mothers are ‘good’ and sometimes we need to time travel in to the past with our mothers, take off those protective rose coloured glasses and adopt a more critical discerning eye when we survey them. This is a challenge. Criticizing Mothers – in any form is the darkest taboo in any culture. We will do all sorts of things to avoid questioning our Mothers. The human condition is wired, it would seem, to collude with the myth that all mothers embody perfection and reside in that lofty Uptopian plane above being answerable for their actions.
But sometimes, Mothers do things that precipitate more than a few questions on more than a few moments. This compels criticizing, so we do question mothers but we do it in secret – under layers of Victorian petticoats and laces pulled so tight, she smothers us. These conversations happen – in the twilight of consciousness – between waking and sleeping, where the secret can be both exposed and hidden by halves. They happen in the counselling room and the torment they bring is truly unspeakable.