Love is Hard

I don’t know how to love my mom. Or if I’m ever even going to be able to.

Some people can easily let the words “I love you” spew from their mouth, but I have never been that kind of person. Of course I have no issue pulling my daughter or fiancee in for a hug and telling them that I love them, but the words to people outside of that circle do not come as easily.

This makes me think back to growing up. My sister Victoria and I were five months different in age and we did nearly everything together. Strangers would even ask us if we were twins. Anyway, we both went through our own different stories of trauma in our childhood, which was probably part of the reason we grew to be so incredibly close. We both had sassy, smart mouths and often got in trouble together for running them when we shouldn’t have. We were close – and she is still one of my absolute favorite people on this planet – but we did not put that love on display. We even mocked displaying love to others. We rarely hugged, because we both never felt totally comfortable with it. When we said “I love you” to one another, we would say it and then immediately *gag*. We did this even into our twenties and now that we live in different states and both have a kid, we’ve kind of outgrown it.

My mom came to my house last week to visit. She has been clean for almost a year and I am super happy about that, but we still don’t talk all that much and being around her is just super uncomfortable for me. I can say, though, that having her around last week was actually very enjoyable. My daughter even let her hold her and they played on the floor together.

My insides were smiling, but then I noticed the gaping hole in my heart, realizing what could have been if drugs hadn’t taken her from us for so long.

She stayed and visited for a few hours and when she got up to leave I stayed sitting down. My younger sister got up saying, “Wait! I want to give you a hug!” When she said that I immediately got nervous because I knew that my mom would in turn expect the same thing from me. So I got up and gave her the hug, but when she said she loved me I fell silent.

I don’t know how to love her. I don’t feel comfortable just sitting across from her on the couch. There is so much water under the bridge, and I don’t know how to let go of what was and accept what is.

I’m not actively angry (I’ve said this before). I’m just simply unsure of how to heal from the past. I don’t know how to let her in.

I’m happy for her progress and I’m happy that she gets to see her grandbaby, but I don’t feel like that means that I owe her anything. I just don’t know how to love her.

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