I have two amazing aunts both of whom are married to two of my mother’s brothers. While due to circumstances and family propaganda I never spent a great deal of time with my aunt Judith when I was growing up (in an incredible twist of irony: my mom cut off diplomatic relations with her because she called my mom out on how she was treating me – and years later my godmother used the argument that I should stay away from Judith because she had told my mom how to raise her children) (and I fell for the artful manipulation hook, line and sinker). I have the opportunity to get to know her as an adult, and it is one of the things that I am looking forward to doing when I get back to South Africa.
My aunt Sue, who I wrote about yesterday, is also an incredible woman. And someone who I can look up to and use as a role model.
I have an amazing mother-in-law and while we have had our issues in the past (and no doubt will clash in the future).
And all three of these women have blessed me with unconditional love and acceptance, and through that I am learning that life is about keeping score and you people will not necessarily hurt you if you get close to them.
I am pleased that I am blessed with the opportunity to learn these things before I have my own children.
Because I believe my mother and my godmother (one of my mom’s sisters) did not have this opportunity and their scars run deep. And they have repeated many of their mother’s behaviours that damaged them and they are still wrapped in that pain.
I pity their pain but I will not play the role that they assigned to me, I have broken free of that darkness and I will not go back. I hope that we will one day be able to have a healthy relationship.
That, my mother especially, takes the opportunity to lay down the burdens of her past and we can move beyond the cycle of abuse.
But I am not allowing my mom and my godmother into my life unconditionally, I will not be made to believe that I am a bad person unworthy of love and a drain on the universe. Because that is not true.
I am lucky that I can see clearly that the wounds that were inflicted on my mother and inflicted on me do not need to be inflicted on another. I do not have to twist my child’s hand in a fit of rage. I do not need to blame them for things that are going wrong.
I am blessed that I have people who I can call upon to help me continue to see and to break this cycle.