Making peace with the ‘mom’ I always wanted

My mom—how confusing, frustrating, and sad it was to see her struggle with a difficult marriage, poverty, and her own alcoholism. She loved her children, I’m sure of it. But she had it tough, really tough!

As a kid, I spent years trying to get her to be a mom I wanted to have. I wanted her extra special attention, the kind she just couldn’t muster up, given the life she had. I wanted to be seen and acknowledged by her, even though I could see she was doing what she could just to survive. Her circumstances overcame her and she slipped into fatal alcoholism.

Before she died, she came to live with my husband and me after she lost everything she ever owned. By then, I had been in Al‑Anon for several years and had some recovery.

It was at a Friday night meeting, when a member read a page from One Day at a Time (B-6) that reminded us that we are all children of God, that I came to the realization that my mom, too, is a child of God.

I felt it deeply, in my soul, and finally I had a new and compassionate perspective of my mom. She is a child of God, suffering and trying so very hard just to get by in a rough environment. I saw that she hurt just as I did. I saw that she was a woman, just as I am, and she did what she had to do.

My family disease insisted that I see her as a failing mother. But blessed to be in recovery, I saw her as a fellow woman, deserving of love and respect, for we both are children of a Higher Power. How grateful I am that I had this knowledge before she died so that we could both be at peace, as she died while I held her hand.

For this, I owe Al‑Anon my deepest love!

By Cathy C., Florida
The Forum, August 2014