Lyrics: “Miranda” ~ Frank Turner, 2021
None of my family nor many of my ‘real life’ friends know that I’m keeping this blog and write about some parts of my life. In previous versions of this blog I was less circumspect about family members and my relationship to them. On this version I’ve tried to keep it more vague, because this is my story to tell and I felt weird / borderline guilty to include other people in more depths, without clearing it with them first.
But in one case I can’t keep it vague any longer because it also is a lot about me. So… the “loved one” / “family member” with the health issues now in a nursing home is my mum, of course. And she’s nearing the end of her life and for her sake I hope she’ll reach it sooner than later. It’s hard to live through as a family member, guys, trust me!
For most of my life my mum and I had a difficult relationship. I can’t remember a time where I felt I could talk to her about my worries or confide in her in any way. As a teenage girl and young adult I often didn’t feel loved or understood and of course that led to tons of self-esteem / self-worth and other issues. It took me till my late 20s to realize that she only treated me the was she did, because it was the only way she knew how. It was the way she was raised and the way she learned to think and feel about women and their worth and a woman’s role. I probably was not the daughter she had expected me to be. Obedient, serving the family, because that’s what a daughter / woman does! Only once I understood all that, I acknowledged to myself that she had her own bag of issues. She did the best she could with the tools she had.
And while I stopped being mad at her and stopped blaming her, we never really got close in the “best friends and confidants” kind of way our society (entertainment industry) makes us believe mothers/daughter should strive to be. Maybe I’m exaggerating and I’ve learned among my group of coworkers, acquaintances, friends that many people have emotionally distant or even proper problematic relationship with one of both of their parents. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Over the years I managed to make my peace with her and we got along alright, even if not as close emotionally as teenage me dreamed I could be. It’s alright. And now she’s dying and I’m glad that I let go of all my anger and rage and resentment years ago, so I can be there for her as good as I can. Holding hands and telling her it’s going to be alright.
I feel like I’ve been functioning on autopilot for the last few days, ever since on Monday we learned that the end is near. We talked to our GP about end-of-life care and also got a hospice service on board. The volunteer is a friend we grew up with, as our parents had been best friends for decades, so she right away agreed to take on this case and I’m so grateful. Because she is a professional (volunteer) who knows how to talk to my mum, but also knows her personally and I hope she’ll also help me through my potential lack of words due to our complicated history.
Now what brought on this post and me trying to be more open about some personal stuff? Frank Turner once again. Damn him! I’m kidding. I’m grateful that his songs make me think and re-evaluate and change and be more open about my feelings. A few days ago he released a new song “Miranda” and also did an interview with the Guardian about it. And while Frank’s difficult relationship with his dad turned out so far unlike the relationship my mum and I ended up having, it still made me think. The line about resentment, but also
“The problem with carrying hate for someone who doesn’t know
Is that you’re the only one carrying the weight. Best to just let it go…”
Like I mentioned above I’m so glad I managed to let go of all that. For so many years Frank’s fraught and difficult relationship to his father (which he talked about in song but also interviews) was something I felt Frank and I had in common and I always was comforted by that in the strange, slightly weird way, you find comfort in having something in common with any artist / person you admire. There is another yet unreleased song “Fatherless” which Frank played at a couple of livestreams, which made me feel all the feels, because it hit on so many issues I had/have with my mum. There is the line
“I’m fatherless and it makes me feel like I’m an alien“
Which fit so well with my teenage idea / fear of being abnormal for not having a good, close, loving relationship with my mum. And there is lots more in that song, which I might talk about once it’s officially out in February 2022.
But now I don’t want to dwell on all that. My mum was alright. Like I said, she did her best and she tried and she loved us and supported us the best she could. I know a lot of people can’t say that about her parents, so I’ve learned to be grateful. Once this is all over I might have a nervous breakdown about the loss and all the other unsaid and maybe still unresolved issues. I don’t know. Maybe not….