Tuesday, 7 March 2006

My mother

Tuesday 6 March

My cousin and my best friend asked me if I was going to talk to my parents about my operation. For the moment it’s not part of my plan. I don’t believe I’ll talk to them about it before the operation. I don’t want to and don’t have the strength for it. I don’t even know if I’ll one day raise the subject with them or how I’d approach it.

When I took the decision to have the operation, I really wanted to talk to my mother about it. One day, impulsively, I phoned with that intention. But in the end I didn’t bring the subject up. I didn’t know what to say exactly. I didn’t really want to ask her for an explanation. What could she say to make it better for me. That she had it done so I would find a husband? That she had it done to be accepted by her mother in law? That it was like that in our culture?

She is very fond of “we’ll see” [?] and she sticks to tradition as much as she can.

Ultimately I couldn’t care less about her reasons. The question of why doesn’t interest me. I’d prefer it if she would tell me what happened, the parts I can’t remember. I’d also like her to tell me about herself as a woman. For her to explain her life to me, her dreams, her hopes. What she felt when she married, had children. I don’t know my mother well. For example I ask myself if she was circumcised. And I realise I don’t know with any certainty. I think so but in the end I know nothing. She speaks about herself very little. She speaks very little about anything intimate either. It’s so hard to talk to her. When a subject makes her uneasy, she shuts up, doesn’t say anything and leaves the room. She will never come back to it. A few minutes later she comes to see me about something else as though nothing mattered. She knows about my therapy but she never speaks about it. How could I share with her what I am experiencing at the moment?

I hold it against her for not having wanted the best for me, for not having tried to shield me from a practice which she had suffered herself, for being happy to follow a tradition. I ask myself how she could really love me (because she says she loves me, she says I am her favourite daughter). I don’t understand. Nevertheless I don’t feel any anger towards her. Just plenty of sadness for myself.

I sadly miss any femininity from my mother. I’ve never noticed any of her femininity. I have never seen her being attractive or seductive with my father. My mother seems to me to be a wife and a mother before being a woman. So how can I develop my own femininity if I can’t learn by her example. Something else I’m trying to learn on my own. And it’s this sort of thing that discourages me. Learning all alone, journeying through life without the guidance of my mother.

I would like her to come towards me, to be interested in me without taking our differences as criticisms of what she is. I’d like her to support me, encourage me, to be there for me. Without me asking. I’m tired of making the first move. I’m tired and I feel all alone.

[original in French]

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  1. Who doesn't resent their mother? You see, I'm 62 and I have resented lots of things about her. Sometimes still I manage to resent this or that. But I also tell myself that, considering the sort of person she was, the education she had, and the life she had, she did what she could.
    You are young and you can go forward. She is of another generation and no doubt thought she did her best. It's important that you have taken your life in hand and that you have decided to do otherwise.
    7 March 2007

  2. You're right Claude. I don't want to devote my life to resenting my mother. I prefer to take my own route, a route which is my own and on which I feel good. It's not easy and at times I tell myself that I would have liked my mother to have started this route for me...
    Thank you for your support Claude. It does me a great deal of good.
    7 March 2007

  3. Hello
    You don't know me but I discovered your adventure on the "Vieux c'est mieux" blog.
    You aren't alone. You have "yourself" already, with your courage and your strength.
    Having yourself is a huge thing. You are your best ally, your best friend, your most faithful support.
    Look to the present, towards tomorrow. Yesterday is not very important, it's done. Neither you nor anyone can do anything about it.
    On the contrary, for today and tomorrow, you can do everything if you want to. Which is what seems to be the case.
    Only 9 days young lady!!!:)
    Best wishes
    7 March 2007

  4. Hello Cath! Thank you for your nice message which warmed my heart. Unfortunately it's 16 May, my operation. So I have to wait a bit but it's not a problem, it gives me time to get used to the idea mentally for what I have set out to do by doing this, the importance of these steps. To understand fully that whatever happens, I "have myself" as you say.
    8 March 2007

  5. My name is Amy and I've just read your "story". The first thing that came to mind is that I have the feeling that it's my story that's being told except for small details. And the first answer that came to me is as Cath said, you can't do any more. Our mothers, with their lives, their education. They haven't learnt to communicate with their daughters, even if I had a great understanding with my mother. They are like that, believing that, only look on the bright side. With the result that your morale is undermined. Save your energy for your operation and your future. Talking about it is a great step.
    11 March 2007

  6. Hello and thank you for your encouragement Amy. I know you are right and it is a total illusion to believe that my mother will change. I'm not hoping for it. But from time to time I admit to feeling regret that it won't happen. I'm going to apply myself to devoting my energy to my future as you suggest. Tell me Amy, have you had the operation?
    13 March 2007


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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