Letter to my mother who didn’t protect me.

To put you in context, this week for the first time in my life, I established a boundary with my mother.

She wanted to come over and stay with me and I said it wasn’t a good time for me.

Incredibly, the night before this happened I had a dream about her. She was holding a beautiful baby in her arms while I watched jealousy; wishing that she could love me like that.

I know my mother knew about the sexual abuse that my father, her husband was subjecting me to. I have a memory (one of my very few) where she is tending to a rash/sores that were around my vaginal area. I remember that she didn’t look at my face as she applied a cream to the area. I remember that she was angry. I thought she was angry with me. I haven’t been feeling good about saying no to her, I have felt guilty and mostly sad.  Yesterday it was as if I was trying to read disapproval in the faces of everyone I spoke to. I was also waiting to be punished by God!

This is my letter to her:

Dear Mummy,

No I am not ok!

You are not saying what happened!

I don’t want to talk about the weather or my cousin’s wedding.

You are not taking responsibility.

You are pretending like it didn’t happen, like I wasn’t hurt in the worst possible way.

You allowed it to happen.

You didn’t protect me.

You didn’t help me to heal.

You didn’t even take me to the doctor.

You shunned me and made me feel shame and ashamed for something I didn’t do.

You sentenced me to a life of feeling bad.

You looked after, cared for and gave attention to other kids when I was the one who needed it the most.

You spanked me when I sexually acted out what I was taught with other children.

You told me to be patient with a husband who was abusing me.

You made me take all the blame, the shame.

You didn’t love me enough to protect me.

You pretend that we were close but you shared all my secrets with HIM!

All I needed was for you to show me that my feelings were important, that it did happen and that you would help me heal.

You have never stood up for me.

You called my child naughty.

You only need me when you are lonely and hurting.

You put everyone and everything else before me.

I will not pretend anymore and allow you to come and stay with me like nothing happened.

My feelings matter, I am hurting and I will speak up

I will not lose my sense of self like you have.

You raised me to feel bad about everything and take responsibility for others

I will not feel bad for establishing boundaries that need to be made!

Did you think I would just forget!!!!

I love you but you didn’t deserve to have me!


This is what mothers are supposed to do!

This is what mothers are supposed to do!

11 thoughts on “Letter to my mother who didn’t protect me.

  1. Breaking taboos is hard. Talking about secrets we were trained to keep quiet about, is one of them. Speaking up to parents, holding them accountable, saying anything other than, ‘Thank you’ is another strong break from the norms. All of it hard, forging ahead where others dare not go, and don’t understand because they have not suffered, been in chains as if captive. We must, to survive.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I relate to so very much of this! I closed the door on my mother last March. It was the most freeing thing I have ever done. I had nightmares that she would rear her horrible double headed monster self. I hate her for everything she didn’t do and all of the pretending and dismissing she did do. She is this amorphous person with no solidness to grab on to. I know I said this, but I truly, honestly relate to your description of your mother. I wish you great strength in your boundary setting.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you very much. These are such difficult but necessary things to do. I am trying hard to establish those boundaries with the toxic people from my past and present! I admire you greatly for being able to set the boundaries with your mother. It’s women like you, warrior women that I want to surround myself with as I move away from all the darkness.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I read the post up until the letter and just couldn’t read any further. Not really because it was triggering, ughh, maybe it was. I don’t know because mom issues are just untouchable for me lately. Do what you need to do to keep yourself healthy and sane. I’m not really sure what that even means but you might know for yourself. Hopefully your holiday will be filled with beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Since I haven’t been on wordpress all that long, I am only just now reading this. I found it very moving. You have a very compelling way of writing.

    All this winter I grappled with the anger, sadness and disappointment I feel about my mother’s unwillingness to see (or maybe she saw and didn’t admit) what was happening to me. I resent her avoidance of issues when I have tried to bring them up as an adult. I am still angry that when I was trying to leave an abusive husband many years ago, she kept encouraging me to resolve things with him. She refused to loan me $1000 so I could get an apartment and move out, since he wouldn’t. She lives far away and seldom calls me, and when she does, she talks about superficial things. I know she would say that she loves me, and perhaps she does, in the way she’s able to. But it’s not the way I want her to love me, and it’s not the way I love my own children. Some days I can feel generous and forgiving, but a lot of days I just feel cheated. And then of course there are the days I ask myself, “what is wrong with me that she isn’t more interested in my feelings?” I think I am learning not to spend as much time on that question though.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow! I can’t believe how similar your story is to mine.

      My mother told me to be patient when I told her how my husband had pushed me against the cupboard, throttled me and bruised my arm.

      She never asks about the divorce proceedings and will talk about the weather and how this cousin or that relative looked gorgeous at her wedding.

      She send me texts saying she loves me. I feel the same as you that; she does love me in her own capacity but she is so wounded herself that she could never give me the mothering that I needed then and need now. I have stopped looking for it from her.

      I acknowledge the ache of being unmothered but I am learning to grow my own internal mother.

      I would love for you to listen to Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes “warming the stone child’ which is about women like us. It is an audiobook and I can send it to you via email if you are interested. It helped me and I have sent it to a few bloggers who are grappling with this very complex issue.

      send me your email address if you like.

      Take care and remember that you are not alone in this.

      Liked by 3 people

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