Surviving Mother’s Day

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Mother’s day is coming up. All the store decorations and hallmark cards out in full force. Pink cards with syrupy sweet lines that praise the immortal institution of mother’s.

Yet for many people, this holiday is a lie. It brings up old hurts and rips apart their defences.

Two choices are given, buy a card and celebrate, smile and pretend.

Or ignore the holiday, bunker down and risk being excluded and labelled a ‘bad’ child. Ungrateful.

Neither of those are fair. Quite likely, many people will say all the wrong things, including “It can’t have been that bad” or “Can’t you give your mother one day?!”

As Tim Winton, author of breath said “People are fools, not monsters.”

You don’t have to listen to fools.

Other suggestions I have heard for how to handle the day include phoning a relative or mailing a card instead of a visit.

Pre-arranging contact for a limited period of time in a neutral place.

Getting together with your support network or other abuse survivors for the day. A way to acknowledge what happened without honouring someone who abused you.

Writing a letter to your Mother, one you don’t have to send. To express your feelings.

None of those suggestions will stop it hurting. Or feeling like a lie when we celebrate parents and sacrifice. But hopefully, it might make it hurt a little less.

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