Never Been Heard

(formerly The Musings and Learnings of a Widowed Bipolar Mum)

Mummy Poem 2 Reflections on parenting

You were loving and kind with a strange style of mothering

To be honest, for me, it was really quite smothering

You wanted me happy, right from the start

But your chances of achieving it were really quite stark.

The life skills you gave me, inadequate and few,

No body hair was permitted, it would surely see you committed,

Especially on the lip, it should be bleached straight away.

What would people think if they saw you this way?

Hair should always be long-it’s your crown and glory,

What about the chance to tell my own story?

Zo had her hair cut off, so close it could have been shaved,

She was only 8 years old and I really wasn’t fazed.

I thought she looked angelic, it made your tips seem pathetic.

Her body hair is ample and she’s happy with herself,

She knows she has a choice and always has a voice.

She couldn’t be more perfect, just let people be

Who they want to be, look at your priorities.

Thanks god she’s tall and lean,

Or your crisis would abound,

Do you remember what you’ve always told me?

“You’d be gorgeous if you lost a few pounds”.

You failed to teach me, my body was mine,

Thought forcing cuddles on Zo was fine.

Missing the lesson I was trying to teach,

If she said “No”, it was not to be breached.

My face, my body, was there for people to look at and think me beautiful

Reflect well upon you

And eventually yield a husband

With whom sex would be dutiful.

Zo knows firmly her body is her own,

She knows she has a Clitoris (shock!)

And will find it when she’s grown.

Your relationship with your body is something quite ridiculous.

Your relationship with me has turned out deadly.

Well if deadly is too much, let’s say

Disastrous with dire consequences.

Resulting in low self esteem, anxiety and a lack of defences.

You taught me aggression was ok in the context of a loving relationship.

The lesson, to break myself with sacrifice and “Give until it hurts” (whoever told you that?)

Do backflips to work out what others are thinking due to your emotional abuse

And end up in dirty or frightening situations, and sinking.

I couldn’t even tell you if I’d had a bad day,

Zo’s only 13 and she’s already told me she’s gay.

Zo asks all the big questions in the atmosphere I have created.

You left me thinking I couldn’t mention them, my vocal cords castrated.

I’ve taught Zo to be safe and the realities of the world

You taught me to be scared, there was always danger around.

I’ve taught Zo to live whilst you made me want to hide.

Zo is fearless and bold, I fake bold, terrified on the inside.

Zo has freedom of choice

Though is educated about outcomes

You laid down pronouncements, no reasoning

And expected me just to believe in them.

It’s no wonder I lost my way.

It’s too late to change anything now.

I’m adapting and growing always in my perception.

Whilst growth is something you resist.

We’ll always be just like this.

I lament your errors of judgement

Your history and how it shaped you.

Your intentions were always good.

But the outcome has been to break you.


I’m grateful that I have learned

From all you failed to do.

The cycle of wounded toxicity

Will not be in my baby’s history

I believe I have broken the pattern, the chain of toxic parenting from my mother and her mother before her. This poem contrasts the parenting I received with the parenting I give. If you read Mummy Poem 1 a few weeks ago you will know my mother was emotionally abusive and aggressive/violent. She was also incredibly occupied with how I looked, how things looked from the outside, what impression was being given. In public I am pretty confident. My voice is also quite loud. If I exceed a certain volume that she imagines others might hear what I am saying, she becomes quite agitated. She has strong opinions on my parenting which I ignore as I have no respect for hers. She did her best but it was not good enough. The poem speaks for itself.


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