This is a hard post to write. But as this has been a blog about mothers and daughters, it seems relevant.
I have two mothers. An adoptive mother, with whom I have had a troubled relationship. She adopted me to replicate her relationship with her mother, forgetting that she was already besotted with her sons and my arrival was a distraction. Unlike her relationship with her mother, which took place in the war, with a non working mother, her an only child with an absent father, I had to compete for affection which was already allocated to others. I was the spare part, and luckily, my father was also the spare part too, so we bonded. We were close and all the happiest times of my childhood are with my dad. When I left home, things were no better, but after a few years, we ended up being ok. Not close but OK.
At age 30 I meet my birth mother. And it is like coming home. I find out she didn’t want to give me up, she wanted to keep me, but no one would help her. I meet her and it’s like a jigsaw puzzle being completed. Her attitude to life, to food, to herself and to so many things is like mine. It takes time to get over the shock and to get to know each other, but this is the mother daughter relationship I have wanted all my life. Eighteen years later, it is just the same. So, when I am up North, seeing my mothers, it jars when my birth mother calls my adoptive mother ‘your mum’. Because to me, she’s my mum. And perhaps my adoptive mother is too, but when things are tough, I have no doubt who I would turn to. But I feel guilty, feeling like that.
This is so hard. Motherhood is a relationship which is 1-1 for life.. But for me, it has been different. My adoptive mother and I did not have any kind of close relationship, but my birth mother and I do. So, who is my mum? One of them? Both of them? Neither of them?