27 years spent attempting to have a relationship.
27 years attempting to have a relationship with a woman that should have loved me unconditionally.
A woman whose relationship with me should have been instinctual.
But it wasn’t.
Stereotypes say that I should have gotten away with more than my brother because my parents were no longer those first time nervous parents.
That the baby in the family is carefree and less responsible.
Not this baby.
I took the role of the stereotypical first born. Overachiever. Leader. Perfectionist.
Dad worked nights and slept during the day or worked his mowing business.
Mom stayed home.
Mom did a lot.
All the homework was checked, all the sporting events were attended, all the Sundays were spent at church. I was well fed and clothed. I was tucked in at night.
I was not loved equally.
I was criticized.
I was degraded.
I was kicked.
I was slapped.
I was punched.
All by the woman meant to protect me.
The physical abuse stopped once I threatened to fight back.
The shaming, the degrading, and the criticizing never ended.
27 years later I was given my reason.
Emergency Caesarean Section.
Yep, you read that correctly.
That is the reason my mother gave me for treating me differently, and not having the close mother-daughter relationship I had longed for during the last 27 years.
In that moment, I realized just how different we are.
She told me that those first days spent apart were the reason for our strained relationship.
She said that to me.
Me. The one having a scheduled caesarean section the following week.
Me. The one that became a first-time mother to a four-year-old.
There was the difference.
I actually knew what it meant to love.
It does not require perfect circumstances.
It requires a choice.
A choice to love unconditionally, no matter the circumstances.
I have scared myself when I have said or done things that remind me of her.
But in that one moment, I realized just how different our hearts really are.
27 years spent trying to impress and get the approval of a woman who struggled to love me.
In one moment, I was given my sense of peace… I will never become her.