Celebrating Mother’s Day When Your Mother Hates You

I find holidays to be the most difficult time for me. When you are separated from your family, especially because they do not accept you, holidays take on a new meaning. They can be lonely, especially if the holiday is specific to celebrating a family member who does not like you or does not want you in their life.

Dominick wearing clothing that looks like carpet fabric, hugging a streetlamp.

I have not had a meaningful conversation with my mother since 2003. In fact, our only communication has been her screaming at me over the telephone, calling me a liar and other horrible names or her answering the phone, at my grandfather’s house when he was still alive, and pretty much throwing the phone at him. Coming out as transgender and living my life authentically to who I am has come with a price…and that price was losing my family. Luckily, I have a girlfriend, and her family has embraced me wholeheartedly. A lot of LGBT people are not so lucky.

I urge everyone, as they are talking about how wonderful their mother is this Mother’s Day to consider people on your social media friend’s list who do not have mothers or have been abandoned by their mothers simply because of who they are. These people are often silently dealing with the reality that they will not be involved in the celebration you are having with your own mother. They are sitting back watching everyone post about how wonderful their mother is, and wondering why they are one of the few people who doesn’t have a wonderful mother.

A lot of this is guilt, which we put on ourselves. Maybe if we were better human beings our mothers would still want us in their life. Maybe it is our fault our mother did not want to accept us. We put a lot of pressure into the idea that family is everything, so when you don’t have that left him feel like something is missing, and that it is your fault it is missing. It is hard to see loving moms so affectionate with their children, when you don’t have that, and perhaps you’ve never had that. We can decide what mother we will get, but obviously some people get good mothers and others have to deal with no mother, at all.

I know that I have spent many years wondering what I did. How did I end up in a family that would want nothing to do with me? I don’t really know what a normal family is like, because I’ve never had that, but I do wonder what my life would be like if I did. I know that it’s not my fault, but I can’t help but feel down during the holidays, wishing things were different. No one should have to put this on themselves, but so many of us do.

So, while you’re celebrating with your mom, this weekend, keep those of us who don’t have moms who love us, in mind. We will be alone, grateful that we are alive, and living lives authentic to who we are, but most likely also wishing things were different… and we had a mom to celebrate.

2 responses to “Celebrating Mother’s Day When Your Mother Hates You”

  1. Dear Dominick,

    I cannot speak for your mother, but I can speak to you AS a mother. As a mother, I am proud of you. You have been true to yourself and in spite of all you have been through, your dear heart remains open, longing for the mother who hurt you. That speaks of the person you are- kind and good natured and loving, yet strong enough to be true to yourself whatever the cost. Any mother should be proud to call you their child and I’m desperately sorry that your own mother is too wounded, too fearful, to see what a blessing you are. She has lost so much!

    Dominick, I hope with all my heart that she will realize her tragic mistake, and in the meantime I hope that you will come to give yourself the things you should have had from her. You deserve that nurturing that a mother should give and perhaps her gift to you is that you discover how to fill your life with all the things she should have given you from the depths of your own amazing heart, finding such treasure within you already. I see that treasure, scattered all over your mother’s day post like glimmering starshine on a silent ocean.

    Continue to love your mom, not because she deserves it right now, but because you deserve it. Love keeps bitterness at bay and leaves a door open for the other person to grow. I think you’re pretty amazing and I hope that my own son (who is just 17) will face his life as courageously as you have faced yours.

    -From a mother’s heart.

    • Thank you, Hannah! I have lived many years without my mom, and I wrote this more, as I have friends just starting to lose their own parents for the same reasons. I wrote this more so they do not have to feel like they are alone. I am very lucky in that I have a loving partner whose family has been there for me.

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