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Happy Mother's Day

My Mom does not read my blog any longer. I am just as glad.  She is older and more frail than even last year at this time and my stories of pain, they pain her.  If she were to forget them, which she is prone to do these days, it would prick her heart all over again to remember.  

 

This week, I found something else to be upset with my abusers about.

They just didn't hurt me, they hurt my mother, too. 

 

Their actions deeply pained my mom.  It burdened her thirty-five years ago this May when I left the abusive relationship.  It pained her afresh when I found my voice and recounted my story on proverbial paper.  After one such story that I divulged raw pieces of my life, she quietly said, “I never knew.” It is not that she wanted me to cook the books, but I heard her remorse and saw myself through her eyes, the eyes of a mother. 

 

She used to read my blog. It used to make her cry. She liked it when I wrote about her being my North Star.  She was proud when I scribbled out narratives about my dad or my husband. I think on some days the blog helped my dear mother ‘find her voice,’ even into her eighties. But My Mom likes to laugh so the fact it made her cry, she was suspect.  My Mom is very private and spent her whole life holding her emotions in her body so the fact that I ‘went public’ and held my emotions outside of myself and bled onto paper -again, suspect. 

 

She is the kind of Mom who likes to blame herself for things that went wrong in our childhood, so I think that my blog brought her a sense of remorse.  Remorse for not knowing. Remorse for not acting. Remorse that I faced abuse at the hands of angry men.  And lest we forget, abuse at the hands of the passive and cowardice men, too. Moreover, if I got any mom gene from this dear woman, I imagine she felt the weight of remorse that she could not have prevented the horrors, saved me from the nightmares or comforted the haunted hallways of my mind. 

 

It’s not your fault, Mom. It was never your fault. 

 

I am a Mom.  I think my four daughters still read my blog. I am just as glad. They are older and wiser than even last year at this time and my stories of sadness, they sadden them. If they were to remember me only by my sad stories, which we are all prone to do, it would pain me all over again that I forgot to recount to them my joys. 

 

This week, I found something else to be upset with my abusers about. 

They just didn’t hurt me. They hurt my daughters, too. 

 

Their actions deeply impacted my daughters. The lens through which I parented—my fears, my bias,’ my distrust—it burdened them. When they read about my dark places of tormented soul (in the aftermath of unprocessed and unresolved trauma) that took place aside their big and beautiful life moments, it pains them afresh. Their Mom was not her best self for them.  Or she held so much internal angst that it came out sideways or every which way with life’s natural stressors.  Or sometimes, they do not want to know the details, cause we know the devil really is in the details of abuseI have been trying to see myself more through the eyes of my daughters.  And I whisper, “I never knew.”  And I feel remorse.  I never knew how much the raw pieces of my story tainted them. I wish I could cook the books, but then that would be fiction. And this is true, it is non-fiction. 

 

Some of my daughters cry when they read my blog.  Some of them glory in the strong pieces of justice and advocacy. Each bloodletting on paper cuts each of them differently. Not unlike my mother, they like to laugh and hold their privacy close, so blog posts sometimes come through their social media as suspect.  Do I even know this writer that is my dear mother but writes as a woman named Sadie? Is she who she says she is? They are always looking for my authenticity. To authenticate my identity to them, I carry my passport; I carry my mom-identifying papers that they might accept me into their world. 

 

I think my daughters are the kind of women who find their voices just the same as any other woman. As their mom, I hope they didn’t have to look far.  I hope they are never lost. If they ever felt the remorse that comes from thinking they could have prevented the sadness or the anger in any part of my story, may that which they carry be gone. 

 

It’s not your fault. It was never your fault. 

 

I read my own blog. I write, edit, and re-read my own words so many times that I memorize phrases and wake up in the night to correct grammar errors I see in my dreams.  I, too, have aged and grown since this time last year and my stories of pain, they pain me less.  My stories of sadness, they sadden me only when I let them get the better of me. I find my voice and I relocate it over and over again in my writing. You might not think I care about privacy or laughter but on the contraire, I do! God knows I have lived with decades of remorse. I bleed on paper, but I never bleed out. Every time I put pen to paper or type to blog; every time I write my psalms, the Lord speaks to me quietly,

"I always knew." What comfort that my story was never far from His gaze, but my life planned and purposed long before I had a name. Long before 1968.

 

This week, I found some understanding for my abusers that upset my natural underpinnings. Yes, their actions deeply wounded me.

Yes, along with hurting me, their actions touched the lives of my mother and the lives of those I mothered.  

 

But, what if?  

What if the raw pieces in my story were marinated in healing oils and my sorrows burned away and licked up by the Spirit’s fire?  

What if suffering happened for me and not to me

What if my pain and my sadness had a deep and abiding and fulfilling purpose? 

What if God doesn't waste anything?

What if these men were not, are not and never were monsters? 

What if their stories brewed and bled with sadness and pain before they ever got to the part that I entered stage right?  

What if they were made in the image of God, knitted together in their mothers’ wombs like the rest of us?   

What if they were human and nuanced and complicated and not only abuser to me but child, brother, spouse, father, employee, and friend to countless others?   

What if my intersection with ‘them’ was not a mistake? 

What if they did mean it for evil?   

 

*BUT GOD MEANT IT FOR GOOD. 

 

What if it was never ever my fault? 

Sadie, it’s not your fault. It never was.  


 
 
 
 
 

Know who you are, and honor that.” Jackie Hill Perry 

“Write from the hard places.” Dr. Lewis Brogdon 

HopeWords Writer’s Conference 2024 

 

This Mother’s Day, the preceding piece and the following poem were born from these two quotes. At my core, I am my Mother’s Daughter and my Daughters’ Mother. I cannot imagine defining myself any other away. Except in this, I am a survivor of domestic violence and sexual abuse. The intersection of hard places and honoring who I am touches my most intimate relationships with my mother, my daughters and even myself.

But you could never more take the mother out of me than you could split the atom and not go nuclear.


None of this was a mistake. God meant it all for good. Of all of the most beautiful images I can conjure of the Lord I serve; it is of Him knitting. Happy Mother’s Day! 










God Sat Knitting


I’ve made my share of mistakes

But He has not.


I have my share of faults

But He does not.


I fall to blunders and sins

Errors and misgivings

I get it wrong, yes


But He has not

He does not.

He never did.


You were not a mistake.

He always knew.

Before foundations of the world,

He sat knitting.

Crafting.

Forming.


Breathing life into your mother’s womb

Shaping you from dust

Mixing seed and soil

and calling it His image


Measuring blood and water

and bone and fodder

To create you

In me


I am not a mistake

That my womb carried you

My body, a conduit of your birth

Blessed you with joy

Upbringing and rearin’

Manners and Godfearin’


Neither of us a mistake

Neither of us a surprise

Neither of us too much for the other

Neither of us wrong in this life


A sacred trust

A sacred bond

Mother, child

Child, mother


He chose me for you

And you for me

Mother

Daughter, Mother

Daughter


And if I had ever been given a son, all just the same


Mamas tiptoe around Mother’s Day

Like they don’t want to see themselves in the mirror

Afraid the image peering back at them will not remember

Every labor pain

And every pain of labor

Every rocking baby to sleep

And every sleepy baby rocking

Every dandelion bouquet

And every bouquet of weeds


Mamas tiptoe around Mother’s Day

Afraid that if they don’t step lightly

Hallmark will tauntingly remind them of what they wish to forget

Every sharp word spoken

And every spoken word sharpened

Every struggle of wills

And every will that struggled

Every generational curse

And every curse of the generations


We don’t forget

Every age you ever were

Every tender moment

Eyes teary, sentimentally blurred


We never forget every mistake

we ever made

That shaped you in ways

We never meant to shape


But you could never more take the mother out of me

than you could split the atom and not go nuclear


Cause having you was never a mistake

Being your mother was never a miscalculation

The Eternal One made motherhood

Profoundly eternal


You were the right child for me

I was the right Mom for you.

Just like two wrongs don’t make it right

Two rights could never make what we have wrong


I’ve made my share of mistakes

But He has not.


I have my share of faults

But He does not.


I fall to blunders and sins

Errors and misgivings

I get it wrong, yes


But He has not

He does not.

He never did.


Before foundations of the world,

God sat knitting.


CJZ

5.4.24

9:22pm

Psalm 139:13-16

Ephesians 1:4

Jeremiah 1:5


*the biblical story of Joseph, Genesis 50:20





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brenlynwin
brenlynwin
May 10
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

How dare you. How dare you make me cry at work? 💕 You echoed a lot of my remorse & sentiments about being a mom. But God meant all my/your failures for good. Praise Him!

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