For years I’ve worn many masks trying to be everything to everyone around me but never able to be myself. I was a people pleaser yet never pleasing myself.
I went through a time when I disliked every about myself,except my eyes. My light blue eyes captured people, as they drew attention with compliments. I was very shy and it wasn’t until many years into adulthood I appreciated the compliments about them.
I shuttered for years hoping,praying no one would notice me,often hiding behind daddy or others I knew not to bring attention to myself. Tho I found I felt different when a compliment was made.
Later I noticed why the attention pleased but scared the shy person in me.I discovered it was something about me, not what someone wanted me to be,for someones self gratification or the need for anything from me. It was me.
I was a very shy person by nature,I say this but the shyness may have come from other sources,situations or circumstances. I never liked myself let alone loved myself. It wasnt until a few years ago something happened for the mask or masks I hid behind to be permanently removed.
Growing up the only parent who showed me love was my daddy,I was definitely a daddy’s girl. He was a very stern man. Very hard core but could love me for who I was. When I was born I arrived two months early weighing 3 lbs. In 1960 when a woman gave birth prematurely she was not allowed to dangle her feet off of the side bed for a week let alone go to the nursery. It was a few days before her discharge from the hospital when she saw me for the first time. She was not allowed to hold me through the incubator as they do today, she could only see me through the glass viewing window as everyone else did. I was told I had no wires and tubes like some preemies have today which I find fascinating and in Awe of God’s miraculous works.
I stayed in the hospital for two months until I reached five lbs. I’ve been told of the story from both parents about the fear of getting a phone call,the call with them being told I didn’t pull through. My daddy called the hospital every day checking the status of my weight while he was at work. They lived in a two story house which had been turned into an apartment they living on the second floor,the only phone telephone was the landlord’s who lived down stairs; my family just moved in a week or so before I was made my entrance in to this world.
Daddy would recall the accounts of those days following my birth with the looks of sadness, worry and joy as he told of the months so long ago. His eyes, facial expressions and with the voice of a man trying to hold back tears;which did flow at times but usually his eyes would just water up. Those many many years ago would still bring those emotions for him to the surface.
When it was time for me to be released the nurse told my mother all of my likes and dislikes, she calling me Tessie when she spoke of me. This infuriated my mother,she has over and over told me how she hated me being call Tessie. Not the name mind you just the fact someone else had given me a nick name.
As I’ve been told through the years by my mother (my daddy never telling me this part of the story). I was not greeted with the love and compassion as a two month old preemie would recieve after the home coming. She gave me the normal care but could not find the love she had for my other sibling, a brother two years my senior. I can remember hearing these words as young as six or seven maybe eight years old how I ripped from her causing her to have a hysterectomy in 1968 leaving her never to have more children she much desired.
How at our last speaking two years ago,she has never loved me as a mother could love a child,the bond was never created by her.
For years I did everything I could to gain her approval but nothing I did ever satisfied her nor did it ever create a bond nor a love for me. At 56 years of age I had to remove myself from the toxic relationship in order for me to find the much needed healing within me,to be able to truly love myself so I could truly love others.
I have found it very hard to comprehend especially as a mother myself how one could not love a new born,any new born but especially your own who you supposedly dreaded the landlords phone ringing in fear to be told I had not pulled through.
This whole scenario would make my head spin each time when out of the blue I would recieve a call from her recalling the details of the moments before and after my birth; complete with the words,” I’ve never loved you the way I was supposed to” many times excusing herself from the conversation by saying ,”well I need to go now” leaving me in a state of confusion and often in tears.
There were many times throughout the years that I heard the most dread words one could hear. ” I wish you would of died at birth. ” I can remember a phone call when I was thirty-six. I answered the ringing phone to hear,” I never loved you like I was supposed to and I wished you would of died at birth.” Her hanging up the phone abruptly as the ringing of the phone disturbed the quiet home where I had been working on crafts just moments before.
I found myself laying on the living room floor crying uncontrollably in the fetal position asking God why did she hate me so much to do and say the awful things she does especially when there had been no trouble or arguments between us. I thought all was fine.
Why would she do such a terrible thing… As I laid there crying trying to understand, asking myself and God was I such a terrible new born or daughter that I could generate such hate as this. My head was spinning,I just couldn’t get my mind around it all; all I could do was cry repeating the words why God why.
I couldn’t tell you how long I laid there crying on that cold concrete painted floor until I heard a small still voice saying,” go to my word.” I got up going to the bedroom to retrieve the Bible then going over to the bed to sit to read; as I walked to the bed asking, “Lord show me where you want me to read” now holding the word tightly to my chest still in tears.
As I sat on the bed opening the Bible to Isaiah where I read about the unswaddled child laying in a field covered with blood not being picked up,cleaned, swaddled or loved.
I sat tears still running down my face but a different kind tears, these were tears of joy for receiving the GREATEST LOVE OF MY FATHER. I heard the voice speaking again in my spirit,” close the word and open it again.” I did so…glancing down I read ” If your father and mother abandon you here am I.”
The sobs now uncontrollable as I stood, laying the Bible on the bed eyes closed, hands lifted high in praise in Thanksgiving of serving such a God as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, THE GREAT I AM… I found peace at that moment but not self love.
Her words never hurt me as they did that day when her hatred spewed from her mouth. It wasn’t until I completely found my release from her,having to end the relationship that I was able to love myself.
One day I stood in the mirror and asked Father God to allow me to see myself as He sees me. It didn’t happen over night,days,weeks but months for my prayer to be answered. He does not operate on our time but ALWAYS right on time.
I now have peace of mind in the situation and self love. I do not wish any harm on the woman who birthed me,I love her because she is a child of God but I do not have a love for her. When I was released all of what had been said,done and felt were gone. It’s as if she’s the little ole lady who someone else knows,I want no harm to come to yet it’s as if I never knew her as a mother .
I have asked God to bless the no named nurse and her family into a thousand generations for the love and kindness she had given me the time I spent in her care. For I always heard the story how she had asked if she could dress me and how she cried as I was given up to the person who wasn’t able to have the love she had for me.