I grow up in Provence

It’s warm, I live outside often

My mum is so feminine and beautiful, and the word beautiful doesn’t send my stomach into knots

She encourages soft gentleness

She wears pastels and flower print

Sandals and flowing skirts

She wraps my cheeks in a silk scarf coloured lavender

And I spin and kiss her cheek which has soft blush pressed on

 

We hold hands

We skip

We dance

We sing

We hug

 

She reads me poetry

And tells me of foreign lands

She tells me stories of love

And teaches me it’s ok to love a man

I am held and honoured

I am encouraged to be me, softly and fierce fully me

 

I wake up. Wind and Rain hammers the window so hard it bends. Doors slam, I’m sneered at, sugar bowl flies towards me and I realise I will never know that fantasy.

She sits in the car refusing to come in the house, I clean trying to earn her love.

She lies numbed out on the floor on sugary tea and soaps. She sleeps and silent dread suffocates the air as I feel her resentment. Everything I am, seems to provoke her.

I am motherless, she disappears, I am alone, I am afraid.

Confused and ashamed of my femininity.

It feels innate yet foreign.

Polluted yet pure

Lavender yet bloodied maroon.

 

Mum I long for you

I weep for you

I don’t know where your pain ends and I begin

 

When you didn’t recognise me, no poetic words came out of me, no initial tears but to inhale a silent “Fuck Me.” Knowing I was entering this chapter. I give up controlling the pain around me and that feels free. The imagined head scarf ruffles in the wind.

How can I truly become my women if our mother daughter relationship is the source of my deepest pain?

 

I heard someone talk of how their mum would hold them up and tell them they are beautiful and it shook me awake, knowing my first thoughts of myself have always been turning the lights out at the hospital.

Screaming, eczema, greedy, fat, ringlets, ugly. Was I that or was I shamed?

 

I think my eyes of innocence were seen as eyes of seduction, and I am left even confused if my eyes are right or not. I was only using them to see the world then.

Sense of self muddied, never lavender.

 

I will wear lavender hair scarves

I will think of you, a life chained that should have been as free as your scarves and Laura Ashley skirts.

I mourn for your cartwheels that turned into dads laundry maid

I mourn for your stunning artwork turned into soul crushing office jobs that plenished his narcissistic projects.

I mourn for your beauty, never nurtured or seen or held by him.

I mourn for your little girl never mothered either.

It’s all sad but I promise you I will try and end this cycle with God. You gave me a single fire spark in my belly amongst all the shaming and I thank you for that.

I will take it and set a forest fire alight with truth. It will smell of lavender and the hue will be pastels of purple and no shame will exist.

For now I will take some cuttings of the fragrant dark lavender bush from the road towards Glenda’s, the one that I strim a small piece through my fingers, and pluck and crush and smell in my hands to bring me 2 minutes of calm and restoration before diving inside myself. And I will plant it in my kitchen as a sign of the start of the reclamation.

 

09/11/21