Mother – Child, which comes first?
American Indians write about their mothers,
their grandmothers, Thought Woman, and Spider Woman.
They know they come from Woman and are proud.
I wear the mask of a woman, but my true self is
something else. I am an alien left behind from
some expedition, by accident, or maybe on purpose.
They say Men are from Mars, and Women from Venus.
Where am I from? How do I get back?
When will I ever feel like this is where I belong?
All these words floating in my head, declaring
how I’m different, lesser, just not good enough.
I can’t do things because, well, I’m a girl.
I listen to these voices, sometimes my own,
sometimes those of my parents, or my brother.
I buy into their beliefs, agree with my silence.
I let them design me, mold me in their image.
All of their fears, their regrets, their doubts.
I give up all responsibility, shoulder all blame.
Yet within me, there lives the seed of a child.
Am I not also a mother waiting to be born?
Can I not deliver from fear a child who is me?
I am my mother, in her likeness and her strength.
I am my own Mother, in the act of immaculate creation.
What am I doing?
Who the hell do I think I am?
What was I thinking?
I have nothing to say.
I have nothing to contribute.
I can’t do it.
I am not good enough.
I’ll never get it all done.
I screw everything up.
I would scream but I’m not worth hearing.
I would fight but I’m not worth fighting for.
I’m suffocating but I don’t dare take a full breath.
I choke back my ideas so I risk nothing.
I press down my feelings because I’m afraid.
I don’t want to know who I really am.
If I’m really nothing, how can I accept that?
If I’m really powerful, how can I live up to that?
I can’t help feeling that deep down I really am alone.
Nothing anyone says, nothing I think can shake that feeling.
If I empty out my fear, my judging, my rage, what will be left of me?
I’m so scared there will be nothing left.
Or that what would be left would be nothing worthwhile.
What choice do I have then?
I’ve been pushing myself away, numbing myself, choking myself.
There’s something inside me that keeps crying out, “NO!!!”
Who the hell is that? Why won’t they shut the hell up already?
Can’t they feel how much it hurts for me to feel? How much it terrorizes me?
Why do they make me suffer? Why won’t they let me be?
I’m crying now. I’m doubled over now, weeping for the child I never got to be.
I’m wailing for the years I’ve wasted, hating myself and everyone else.
I’m tired, exhausted from fighting myself over every thought and deed.
When will I be done? When can I release myself for “time served”?
Is there really a well deep inside of me that knows only Love?
I can only keep digging to find out.