After two weeks of moping around, I flew to my hometown and spent time with my family for three days. But before that, I talked to Mom on the phone about what happened; well, leaving out some information that would make my ex looked like a douche to my mother. I mean, I know I can forgive him in the next few years, but I’m not sure if my Mom will ever be.
I wanted Mom to hug me and tell me I’ll be okay because well, a mother knows best but she never did because that’s just who Mom is and I think I took the trait of being a little stiff and horrible in comforting people from her. But she was my eye opener when she blurted out something like, “Do you even get hurt?” That was it, bam!
That was my mom! That was my own mom asking me do I even get hurt. I mean, she should know me the best and hearing it from her; I was convinced that people saw me as emotionless, like nothing could break and get through me. I’d like to think that she meant I was strong enough to handle such pain and I could get over it sooner than everyone thinks I could.
This really made me think about my relationship with my mother. I have never opened up to Mom about anything except about school back in college. We had a love and hate relationship. She was this fast-paced, modern, working single mom. She always felt she had to bear the world on her shoulders and she always looked at us two as ‘you and me against the world’ tandem.
Honestly, I hated Mom. She got to a point when she kept on telling me, every morning during breakfast, how lucky I am to have this and that and there was no reason not to succeed. I felt like I always had to prove myself to her, and if I did something brilliant, she would say it was expected and what else I could do more? It was tiring! So I started retreating – skipping breakfast and dinner in the house and would instead grab one on the way to school alone or with friends. There was even a time when I told myself, “I’m not perfect and I never will be. Can’t she just love me for me? Without me proving anything? Just love me unconditionally.”
Now that I think about it, Mom was a nice Mom. Maybe she just came out a little too strong for me, but she had to be. She keeps on talking and talking over dinner and breakfast because she doesn’t have a husband she could rely on or talk to late at night. Nobody looks out for her, and as I ventured into adulthood, I realized how strong my Mom really is. Though there are things that I don’t want my future daughter to go through, I’m actually learning from her.
After dating secretly for a year, I had to come out and tell Mom and told myself that if she didn’t agree, then at least I have enjoyed spending time with the guy and I could walk away knowing I had nice memories with me.
Though I got a handful of sermons, Mom gave us the benefit of the doubt and trusted my choice. I knew she didn’t like my ex that much, but she was really civil to him and tried her best to invite him over family affairs or even on casual dinners.
On the day before my flight, I invited her over lunch alone so we could just bond together. Mom is really going through a lot right now, and if you look at my heart problem, it’s nothing compared to what she has. I knew she had a lot to say about her own love affair, but she also gave me a chance to talk and God, I tried so hard to suppress the tears welling inside my eyes. I didn’t want to cry, I know she’s my Mom, but I didn’t want to cry especially when I asked her what she thought about my relationship and she answered – I will be paraphrasing a little here –
“He was a nice guy, from a decent family. But you were too strong for him. You should be the woman, not the man. And I just thought he never allowed you to.”
When I asked her why she didn’t tell me before, she answered, “I wanted to trust you. I wanted you to learn and stand on your own for your choices. And you were so happy that I didn’t want to burst your bubble. But I’ve always known you two don’t match well and that you settled for less than you deserve. But who was I to tell you that? You were happy and he treated you well and as a Mom, that was all I wanted for my daughter.”
I understood where she was coming from. I remembered when the guy and I broke up before, she told me that he was a nice guy but I could always do better and I should focus more on my career but after what happened, she never ever told me “I told you so” and I really appreciated that.
Had I not gotten my heart broken, I would never be able to understand how strong my mother is and how painful it is to go through it alone. Right now, I try my best to be available to her whenever she chats me up on Facebook. I try to call as often as I could and ask her how she is and I tell my brother to be more understanding to her whenever he thinks she’s talking too much.
I know we still have our differences, but Mom and I – it will always be ‘you and me against the world’ relationship. And I finally understood that indeed, mothers know best.