5 Things I’ve Learned After a Year of No Contact with my Mom
A Mother’s Day Reflection
1. We can handle way more than we think we can.
In my first year without my mom, I bought my own house, bought my first car, settled a court case, moved across the country, started a new job, recovered from a concussion, learned how to take care of a yard, and more. Being without a person to call when things get hard or I don’t know what to do (which is often), has taught me to trust my own intuition. It’s also taught me I can rely on myself to find answers when I don’t have them. If no one has an answer, or it can’t be found in books or online, in those times, I can guess. And if I’m wrong, I don’t need to be ashamed of it. We’re all just doing our best, and that best is usually pretty damn good.
2. It will be lonely sometimes.
When I first cut contact with my mother, there was this hollowness in my chest, this big, echoey thing that told me I was not lovable or worthy. Committing to no contact means most of us have already tried everything we can to improve our relationships with our moms but have seen no progress. This can feel like failure. And failure feels lonely. We might feel like if our moms couldn’t be there for us, if they couldn’t commit to growing with us, how will anyone else? But, going no contact isn’t a failure, and it doesn’t mean we’re unlovable.
It’s been a year and I’m just now sewing up that hole in my chest by taking long walks in places I feel peaceful, going for short trips on the weekend, and focusing my time and energy on people who can treat me how I need to be treated. It lessens each time I stand up for myself and each time I celebrate myself.
The loneliness is unavoidable. It’ll come sometimes in such expected ways — after moving into a new house; when sick with mold poisoning from a bad mattress; when scared after a night terror so intense, it causes a concussion — but it will not kill you.
3. Mothers, grandmothers, and other caregiver types will gravitate towards you.
Some of them will be well-intentioned. Some will have the same tendencies your mother does. People will be kind at times, and though much less common, some will seek to treat you in ways your mother did, the ways that…