My journey into motherhood was tumultuous. Each of my children’s entries into our family were traumatic.
But it wasn’t birth or adoption that broke me.
All of my life I thought I would be a good mother. The mother that raised me was a first grade teacher before she had children. A solid enneagram 2, she made sure our needs were met and beyond to the best of her knowledge and ability. I thought motherhood would come naturally to me because I had a good mother. It did not take long for me to realize that I was not my mother. I was a monster. My children’s cries would send me into an instant fury of frustrated and anger. Motherhood came with a lack of control over my body, my time, my personal space, and sent my brain into ultra hypervigilence. My brain’s alarms were blaring 24/7.
I was disgusted and appalled at myself when I would over react to anything my children did that wasn’t their fault or was a normal developmental response. When they were naughty I would fly into a rage boarding HARD on the line of abuse. I would watch myself transform into “Monster Mom” and Hulk out at my very own own babies. The child inside me would weep as I hurt my own children…children we were not supposed to have after almost three years of infertility. I dared to leave knowing that I was not the mother they needed. I always had plans tucked in the back of my head. A letter to write. The right amount of money I would take to escape. Where I would go. The job I would get. The money I would send back. The woman my husband would replace me with. “I was not made for this,” “I can’t do this,” where things I said to myself and out loud daily. As I screamed, and hit, and raged, and threw things, I knew something was wrong with me. I hid my real parenting in shame and played the part of a good mother whenever my husband or friends were around. Then after 6 years of parenting, I heard the word trauma and as the social worker described childhood trauma, I wept out a lifetime of shame.
I was not a bad mother. I was broken.
And this is the reality of Motherhood for me. This is the reality of Motherhood and parenting for a lot of adoptees. Motherhood and parenting finally open the door on the devil we’ve been trying to hide and mask. Our very best work, the things we should cherish the most, are veiled by the darkness inside.
Motherhood has been the gateway to my darkest moments and my brightest joys. Motherhood has demanded I turn around and face my largest demons and devils. Motherhood has turned me from victim to warrior. Instead of letting my anger and rage overpower me, I have captured it and turned the dragon’s fire into a burning sword that defends my family instead of devour it. It is I who will break as many generational traumas as I can. Like the angel in standing guard in front of the Garden of Eden, I stand guard to my most precious fruits. It is I who gives myself rest and grace when my trauma tries to lift its vile head. It is I who will slay these beasts passed down from four generations of parents.
I know I won’t slay all the beasts. I can only do so much in one short lifetime. But I know that I now have the ability to pass down tools, resources, and forging skills so my children can continue the fight and create their own weapons. Most importantly, they will be able to recognize the beasts that had no names when I was a child.
This is Motherhood to me. The greatest war within myself that I will battle every day.
My name is Mother. I am a warrior.