“Are you going to leave me alone and helpless?”
“What do you mean alone and helpless? I’m just leaving to see my mother”, my husband reacted, not understanding my sadness.
I didn’t understand either. Why was I feeling so alone and helpless when I love being at home, reading, studying and writing?
“Failure”, I thought after 21 years of analysis.
Then I remembered that, when my mother left the house, I would ask her in tears: “Are you going to abandon me and leave me alone here at home, just with Dad, Carlos, Paulo and Nelson (my three brothers )?”.
I was feeling like the same 4-year-old girl and I soon understood why. I was longing for my mother’s embrace.
I wasn’t ashamed of being the same 4-year-old girl, because I knew that the tears of longing represented the deepest love I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I let the tears flow freely, like the day I almost died losing my mother.
It is such excruciating pain and at the same time so beautiful; it is such a sad sadness and also concrete proof of my ability to love and be loved. It’s the greatest legacy my mother left me: unconditional love.
Today my mother would be 96 years old. She left at 62. It’s been 34 years of a longing that still hurts.
She dreamed of having a girl after having two sons.
I was born to fulfill your dream.
I was glued to my mother: she was my only protection in a family with a lot of violence, hate, screams and fights.
I was so panicked that I couldn’t sleep. I waited to hear my father’s snoring to go to bed clinging to my mother. My sleepless nights are still true torture sessions. I can’t sleep without my mom’s hug.
I cry whenever I remember my mother moaning softly, “Ou vey iz mir! Ou vey iz mir!” I learned very early that the Yiddish wail that expressed my mother’s profound unhappiness meant, “Alas, poor me! Alas, poor me!” I cry just remembering her sad voice repeating “Ou vey iz mir! Ou vey iz mir!”, without any crumb of hope.
I only found out later that my mother tried to kill herself by taking an entire bottle of Valium mixed with other drugs. She was bedridden for a few months, paralyzed on the left side of her face. As I was a girl, I was told that she was sick because she mixed mango with milk. How can I stop crying?
At 16, I left home, but I never left my mother. She never left me.
She discovered an already advanced cancer, at the age of 60, and I dropped everything to take care of her during the two and a half years of the disease. I don’t know how I managed to have the strength and courage to take care of my mother until her last breath.
I had only one thought: how am I going to survive without my mother’s embrace?
I still feel guilty for not being able to save my mother from that family hell. I feel guilty for not being able to give her everything she most dreamed of having: a faithful husband and a happy family. I feel guilty for not being able to protect her from all that torture and pain and sadness.
I feel guilty for not having listened to his story, since childhood in Poland, later in Curitiba and Santos. It is my biggest regret.
I wanted to know your story so badly, I needed to know my story so badly.
The traumatic experiences of my childhood; my mother’s endless suffering; my father’s alcoholism, violence, and infidelity; the daily fights, screams and beatings; it was the explosive mixture that made me decide not to have children. I never felt capable of being a mother, because I remain the daughter who desperately seeks to be loved, cared for, protected and embraced.
On Mother’s Day, I cried because I couldn’t say anymore, “Mother dear, I love you, thank you so much for taking care of me.”
When I ask myself how I will manage to survive without my mother’s embrace, I answer to myself: writing, writing, writing… Learning to transform my excruciating pain into beauty, my fear into courage, my sadness into tears and my longing into love .
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#tearing #pain #longing #Mirian #Goldenberg