My daughter recently kept her life. She was in a car accident that could have left her in the grave, but thank God for her keeping her 25 years and being allowed to add to them. But she is understandably shaken up, and is now facing an even bigger foe: depression.
I want to save her so badly, I want to take her out of it, I want to direct her feelings. I want to fix her. I want to tell her that all the women of her family carry the wounds of trauma and how sorry I am they have been passed down….how sorry I am for the positions I put her in, for the violence she witnessed, for marrying a man who put me and her down, for moving her and for not listening to her needs. I felt guilty for not being in a place to address my own wounds and give her a good life.
I could sweep it under the rug and call it her karma, and say I’m indulging in mom guilt, but the truth is, I’ve hurt my own child in her life. Not in purpose…out of sheer blindness and pain. And now I’m awake and find myself contemplating how to repair what I’ve broken…how to help her. She won’t get mad at me and I want her to let me have it. She will enter into the sad broken loneliness I’ve entered into so many times as a survivor of abuse and as a woman. And I feel powerless to help her.
I know there is a higher wisdom, but it hurts to see your kid in pain, no matter how old they are. It hurts to know you’ve hurt your child.
I fucked up. So many times I fucked up. I didn’t know. I was checked out, in pain, a sadly unavailable mother. I put her in harm’s way. I judge myself for feeling guilty, for thinking it is self-serving. My critic points out I just want to make myself feel better.
But my daughter almost died. Surely that calls for taking stock and entering into catharsis, no? For being present now to her sadness? Surely while the inner wound is fresh new things can be healed.
I am convinced it is never too late to heal. I can go be present to my grieving daughter and do my own grieving so she does not have to carry the wounds of her ancestors like I feel I have to do sometimes.We will find our way to dealing with the hurt and brokenness. I will make it safe for her to open and feel and accept her rage if it awakens.