Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. God help all us mothers of RAD children. What does Mother’s Day mean to mothers who are rejected by children they love?
I grew up in a home where my sister and I honored our mother. Our mom wasn’t perfect, but we loved and respected her. We made her day very special with cards, candy and flowers.
When we were grown up, my sister’s husband and children joined us and our parents for dinner on Mother’s Day. It was always a wonderful family time. I loved my brother-in-law. He always sent my sister flowers for the day.
My first Mother’s Day as a mother was a disaster. My daughter hated any celebration. At first, I thought it was because they probably didn’t have those kinds of family gatherings in India, but her sabotage of parties kept happening.
I reached a point where I just wanted to get the party over with. My daughter’s behaviors would escalate as the day wore on. She picked fights with my mother or me or both of us. She would try to engage my nephew, Steve, in her behaviors. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but it usually kept everyone unsettled.
Once my daughter was out of my home, holidays became more special and relaxing for the rest of the family. I still tried to keep connected to my daughter and gave her presents for her and her children.
I didn’t know it at the time, but trying to give her what she couldn’t accept was starting to give me PTSD. The problem hit me hard when I tried to rescue her from her abusive husband.
At the time she had 3 little boys and she came to my home asking for help. She needed money and food for the boys. I fed them and then took them to the YWCA’s Women in Jeopardy Program. I knew that program could help her get services and help her get on her feet.
I checked them into the “Y” and after going over everything the agency would do to help them; I left and went home. I was hoping for the best. The next morning, I called to see how the family was doing and was told she had left.
My daughter was a terrified wife. (I really think he controlled her by threatening to kill either her or the kids.) Anyway, she called her husband’s sister and had her come get them.
My daughter kept my sister informed what was going on in her life. I had reached a point where I couldn’t handle what was happening to her. I heard they had moved to Arizona and took a deep breath and thought that would be the end of this part of my life.
I had moved in with my mother and father after my daughter was married. While going to school, working full time and carrying for two elderly parents, I managed to get my Master’s degree. My mother was still very active and we enjoyed Mother’s Day with her for almost 15 years after my daughter was on her own.
My mother passed away in 1999. She was 88 years old. She spent the last 6 years of her life in a residential nursing home. We brought her home every Mother’s Day. We also brought her boyfriend home to join in the celebration. It was so much fun. They met in the home and made the staff and me go nuts all the time.
I miss my mother every Mother’s Day. She was generally the life of our party. I miss my sister as well. She passed away in 2005. Now I live through Mother’s Day with the help of my nephew, Steve and his wife, Kathy.
My PTSD from my daughter kicked in last Thursday when she tried to call me and wanted my new address to send me a Mother’s Day card. I didn’t speak with her, but will probably do so in a few weeks, when the holiday is not hanging over me.
Last night the three of us sat down and discussed what we would do on Sunday. Because of Covid, nothing that we would usually do, like go to a movie or do a BBQ (we’re expecting rain) are not on the list. It will probably be a normal Sunday – sleep in, have a good breakfast and do household chores.
How about you, mothers of RAD kids? What are you planning to do? I just wish you a peaceful day!!! God bless us all!!!
Would love to hear from all of you out there.
N. Ann Lamphere, MSW