I am My Mother’s Daughter/The Sins of My Father

I hate being like this, sitting around thinking all day, but this won’t leave my head until I write it, so here goes. The title pretty much explains itself. While reading this Nora Roberts novel that was supposed to distract me from these very thoughts, I was intrigued by one of the minor characters. She is part of an abusive relationship, pretty much her husband as been beating the shit out of her for ten years. When she went home to her mother, her mother’s advice, A Woman Stays with her Husband.
Does She?
But there are so many different levels of wrongness in that statement, that I had to plot on it for a little bit. How much do your mother’s decisions, control you? How much have the Sins of your Father affected you. This note isn’t for everyone, and it’s not a “I have Daddy Issues, don’t judge me” note either. It’s an honest question. Are you your mother’s daughter?
Living the Life
Scenario #1

I see my mother allow my father to walk all over her everyday. She cooks, she cleans, she slaves all day at home, without a word of thanks. He’s never cheated, he’s never hit her, but he’s never allowed her to be her own person. I feel like he is punishing her for something only he knows she did wrong. I will NEVER be like her.

So this girl moves away from home, finds a new life in the Big City! Get’s glamorous jobs, meets and befriends famous people, lives the Sex and the City Life. She has even found her Big. Or what she thinks is her Big. They don’t live together, but she is always at his place. Every time she does something he doesn’t approve of, he finds a way to make her undo it. She changes her hair for him – “I thought I would try it, blondes do have more fun right?” – Get’s rid of all her male friends – “They were always being rude to him” – Put up with his slacker ways – “At least he is exciting.” But at least she’s nothing like her mother.

What they all do . . .
Scenario #2:

I never could understand why my mother and my father ever got together, they are nothing alike. When I asked my mom what she saw in him, her answer, “The Conversation was amazing.” They were only married for a few years, she got out before he ever hit her (or so she told me) She left and struggled for the rest of my life, all because of a man. Because he broke her. Turned her into a shell of herself. I will NEVER be like her.

So this girl, afraid of ending up just like her mother, does everything she can to not get caught up in a relationship. She longs for male attention, because her father doesn’t give her any. She has never had a real relationship in her life, because her mother was able to live without one. But every once in a while, The Conversation is Amazing. She gets sucked in by the words, and doesn’t pay attention to the actions. Even when she knows that it’s all lies, she is somehow surprised when he turns out to be an asshole. And, as she tries to forget the mistakes she has made, pretends he didn’t steal part of her, she finds an outlet for the pain. She writes, she sings, she reads. But at least she’s nothing like her mother.

I Pray things change
Scenario #3

I know my parents aren’t perfect. My father wasn’t always faithful, he didn’t always stay at home. Yes, he is a man of God, he’s active in the church. They both are. He has Rev in front of his name, and my mother has always been there for him, even though he is almost never there for her. It hurts me to see how he treats her, and how she allows herself to be treated, I will NEVER be like her.

So she tries her best to be independent. Because if you don’t have to depend on a man for anything, he can’t hurt you. She looks for love, and thinks she has found it. Falls head over heels, and does everything she can to support that man, even though he doesn’t do the same for her. And when he breaks her heart, she moves on, taking that as a lesson all men are the same. Even though she swears she’s over it, the hurt can easily be seen in her eyes, and heard in he voice. But at least she is nothing like her mother.

How long are women going to suffer for the sins of their fathers?

How long are we going to be our Mother’s Daughters?

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One thought on “I am My Mother’s Daughter/The Sins of My Father

  1. The longings of the heart, for companionship, love, intimacy (that’s separate from sex there) and even someone to, in a sense, validate our own ‘lovability’, these are so difficult to fill these days. No-one seems to know how to treat a close relationship anymore.
    I certainly don’t mean this in any kind of derogatory way, but from outside observation, I’d have to conclude these are even tougher issues for African/American women.
    For lots of possible (and non-positive) reasons.

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