It took a whole lifetime to realize that my mom wasn’t angry at me. She was angry at life, her life. Forced to carry out established rules. Who made those rules?
Raised Catholic, she followed the dictates, listened to male priests deliver “the word of God”, attended church every Sunday and Holy Day, recited memorized cadences that begged Mary to “pray for us sinners” over and over again. Marriage was an expected role till death and children as many as God would provide. My mother did not have room to explore or dream or experience anything outside of her cage. Never free to roam, she lived in confinement.
Then the Gate Opened
From her enclosure, she watched as the next generation stepped freely through the gate. Screaming “Get back. Get back”, she was scared and tried to stop me. I went anyway, rejecting life in a coop. She stood at the fence watching with tears, and anger, and resentment. She’d wanted to explore too. She was told “No”. Why didn’t she just go? Something held her back. Fear, obligation, tradition, male domination kept her from leaving.
Fueled by our mother’s resentment and anger, my generation of women charged into the workforce, demanded our own credit cards, insisted that our name on health insurance cards not Mrs. Husband. Then we entered motherhood our way as well, controlling the number of children. Raising those children while working a job, balancing both sometimes alone but teaching our children to believe in the right to choose.
Now a body of people, deemed “Supreme” think they can take choice away. I fought hard for the right to leave that cage. Someone is trying to fence us in again.
Now I Understand
She was not angry at me.