I lacked the time and energy to really think about it, because I was too busy struggling with the pressure of having a difficult and demanding mother. I was either busy hating her, fighting with her, or just lying to her to ease the situation and make life bearable. Hating someone is already very painful in itself. It always ends in a terrible feeling of despair. What’s more, when the object of your hate is your mother, it’s such a dark dungeon, and the only way to escape is to admit that hatred is worse than burning in hell. Only those who dare to say this aloud can find a way out of this dungeon.
I don’t want to tell you about how unhappy I was. It seems so far away now that I cannot even accurately describe it. As someone who finally escaped, however, I can tell you how miraculously it faded away, like a nightmare from long ago.
The magic happened once I really wanted to rid myself of this burden. By this, I mean I wanted it from the deepest part of my heart. I even remember the night I felt this desire rising from the deepest part of my being, the night I prayed so intensely. My terrible, distorted, and twisted relationship with my mother had started to hurt more after the birth of my daughter. I often found myself behaving like my mother, and I couldn’t help it. I feared that my daughter would never hug me with love, just like how I could never hug my mom without feeling disgust. It was so petrifying. I wanted her to remember me as a loving parent, not as I remember my mother, and this seemed unlikely because I was becoming more and more like my mom.
It was a beautiful, warm spring night, and there I was crying so sadly. I was so miserable that I felt something from a part of my heart that was unknown to me until then. I wished that my precious daughter would not hate me like I hated my mother. I kept asking where I was making mistakes. What was I doing wrong?
Only those who pray so deeply know this kind of prayer. I believed my wish could be somehow possible, although it was very tenuous.
Something then happened that is really worth talking about…
Every one of my friends tried to persuade me that there was nothing wrong with me. My mom was dysfunctional, and nothing would change that. Most moms were like that in some way. Since she would never change, life was just supposed to go on like that forever. My brother, who had suffered as much as me, was among those persuading me.
I was 45 back then. Now, I am almost 49, and I know they were all wrong.
I was right that it was possible. She would never change, but I could…
As I said earlier, I’d never had therapy of any kind, but then I started to meet people who were different to my previous acquaintances. They started to tell me about things I did not know about before. I never sought them out. It was as if they were passing through my life just to stop and tell me about new things. Many of these people are precious to me now, and some became really good friends, filling in the gaps left by my old friends, who started to fall out of my life unexpectedly.
While trying to understand my mother, I started to understand myself. It was tough at first, and believe me when I say it hurt more than my hatred. There was always a guide nearby, however, lighting my path like a torch. These guides helped me keep faith, even when I wanted to drop it all and go back.
One person gave me a book that made me rethink my notion of the ego. Another person changed the way I looked at the stars and taught me how to follow their guidance. Someone else assured me that even though the road was lonely and hard, the right hand would reach out to me at the perfect moment, and there would be rewards waiting around some corners. I no longer wanted to quit that path. Another person made me aware of my chakras and taught me how to loosen my body, which was tense from 45 stressful years. Someone whispered to me about the value of silence, while someone else whispered, “Go on, Elif. There’s no turning back now.”
I then started to learn more about regression therapy, family constellations, and so on. I believed they could be very helpful, but I never had the spare money to pursue them. I instead came across magnificent movies and books and even had dreams unlike the ones I’d had before. I then started to remember things I didn’t even know that I knew. I started to understand more, and I forgave more as I learned more. I learned more about why I had such a mother, as well as why I had such friends who left my train along the way.
That is exactly what happened after my prayer on the night of May 5, 2012.
My relationship with my mother changed completely. She is still a very difficult person, but I now understand the reasons for how she is. I can see the real her, my dearest companion, beyond her scars. My reactions are different now. Most importantly of all, I can hug her with love now, even though she can still really get on my nerves. On one hand, nothing seems to have changed, but on the other hand, much has changed. I am no longer the victim, because no one is ever the victim. We all live the life we were meant to live. It is up to us to learn the rules and enjoy the game while we’re here…
On my birthday last year, I received the greatest present of my life. My mom called me to say she was sorry for everything, and it was a real shock for me. She had read many of my blog posts, especially the early ones that were full of complaints, pain, and tears.
She is 80 years old and has her own Facebook account. She’s the kind of mom that “loves” to follow everyone on social media, putting her nose into everything and leaving comments. We have to be really careful as a family. My friends have warned me that now she has become such an Internet monster, she could read more of my writings. I thought about deleting some of my essays where she plays a leading role as the bad-hearted witch, but I decided not to. If she was meant to find them, she surely will if there there’s a good reason for it.
There she was on the phone last winter, on my birthday, asking me how I would remember her. I felt my heart smile at that moment for obvious reasons…
I told her, “I’ll remember you as my favorite witch. The one who made me who I am today, and I’ll always be thankful for that.”
Thank you for all you have done for me, mom. I love you.