There is a recent clip from an Iyanla: Fix My Life episode where a girl is crying and explaining what she wants from her mother who hasn’t been present in her life. Then Iyanla looks at the girl and says ” I’m sorry, but she will never be the mother you want her to be because she is incapable of that” As I watched the clip over and over again I was like damn that was me 3 years ago. Crying to my friends trying to figure out why building a relationship with my mom was not working out. Why couldn’t she just love me the way I needed her to all my life. The simple answer was, she couldn’t because she is incapable of the type of love I needed and I needed to accept that.
Unrequited Love is a feeling, especially love that is not returned or rewarded. It just that plain and simple. My first unrequited love story started when I was two years old when my mother let the courts award my father with sole custody to raise me as a single parent at the tender age of 18 yrs. old. I used the word let because she did not return to court after the judge rescheduled the court date for my custody hearing. He had a great village, and I like to think I turned out pretty good. But, this abandonment left me with a world wind of pain and constant emotional turmoil. I did not know how to handle these emotions of mistrust, abandonment, loneliness, and fear. I couldn’t even grasp how to explain them to my father until later on in life.
After several court dates and a year of joined custody with my father and his mother. My father was awarded full custody of me. I used the word abandoned because I was raised in the same house my mother left me at for 10 yrs. She seen my father a countless number of times during my younger years and never decided to take steps to reconnect with me. For years my father wouldn’t even tell me the story of her leaving. It wasn’t until I was 16 yrs. Old and my father had seen my mother’s sister. He gave her my cell phone number in hopes she would reach out for my 16th birthday. That moment never came. I wasn’t mad at my mom because I knew it wasn’t her fault, but I was still sad on the inside.
Flash forward to 2016 when I found my older brother on Facebook. I was super excited not only did I get to connect with him, but in the end, I got to meet with my mother and other siblings. I was greeted with open arms, tears, a welcome banner, and dinner. Younger siblings that I never meet and an aunt that remember me from when I was a baby. The experience was terrific, but the feeling of love was very short-lived. Quick sidebar and shout out to my father who is the real MVP of this moment. He went with me and sat when I first met my mother, even with all the anger he had towards her. He put his feelings to the side and was my rock.
The beginning of our reconnection seemed great; we texted, talked on the phone and spent plenty of time together. Then one argument leads to another, and we ended up not talking for months. After not seeing my mom for a few months she invited me over for Thanksgiving dinner. I accepted the invite because I still wanted to build a relationship with her. After dinner, I was triggered by emotion just listening to my sibling recount stories of moments that they had with her when they were growing up. I was not expecting to feel the sadness and anger, but I was the only one out of her 5 kids that did not have one memory with her. Nobody really noticed my sudden change of emotions, and I use having to get up at 5am for work as my excuse to bounce. I dropped everybody off at their homes and the train station. I was very silent during the car ride letting everybody around me talk and laugh. Later that night my mom called me, and I thought she wanted to talk about why I decided to leave so abruptly. But, she only called to explain how she was upset with me because I made a rude comment toward my younger siblings. We never got back on track to building our relationship, and we haven’t really spoken since. FYI, I apologized to my siblings if I did say something wrong but none them felt I hurt them or remember me making a rude comment.
I really couldn’t understand why this was not going how I thought it would. Being around my mother brought up so many triggers and emotions that I really didn’t realize that I still had (another topic for another day). Her not being able to open up to me and tell me why she left or even apologize was one thing that I know stood in our way of building a relationship. The anger she would show me at times is also something that was not something I felt like I deserved. I finally realized that I would never have the love that I required from her as a mom or even a friend. That the relationship that I had always dreamed of at this point was just a dream. I had to learn to move on from this hurt and not let my Mommy Issues constantly control my life. I still have the emotional triggers from time to time, but I have learned to control my emotions and voice my feelings.