” I’ve learned to accept my mother for who and what she is” – Zodwa
Not all of us have been blessed with the best relationships with our parents, and that can leave scars that we carry through out other relationships we build, and possibly even to our children. However they can also be growth experiences as it was for Zodwa , an experience that taught her to love even in the most dire of situations.
This is her story:
It was the June holidays and my sisters were so tired of me being at my boyfriend’s house instead of spending time with them so they decided to download Shameless. I watched the first episode and needless to say I was hooked (for those of you who have never heard of this series, it is about a dysfunctional family where a young woman(Fiona) quits school to take care of her five siblings). It wasn’t the dysfunction or Lip’s almost six pack that got me hooked, but the whole storyline. With an alcoholic father and a mother that abandoned them when she was 16, Fiona was forced to play mom to her siblings. Later on in the season their mother comes back and tells her children that she wants to be the perfect mother that they deserve. As expected, she ruins the children’s lives even more and abandons them again.
I had a very happy childhood. My mother has never worked a paying job in her life. My grandparents and aunts made sure we had everything we needed. She was what we call a free spirit. She was here today and gone the next, not seeing her for weeks on end was a norm to us.
I had never had a problem with her lifestyle, until one day when she came back home with a man who we were told was going to be our father and was moving with us to our new home. I would watch my mother everyday struggling to play mom, struggling to bond with us. One day, after moving four times in one year, we woke up and she was gone. Father told us that she had been arrested. That is when my life as Fiona began, at age twelve.
I went from being a child to being a mother to my twin sister, little brother and two of my father’s daughters. Life was REAL. Cooking oil was now also used as body lotion and shoe polish. My twin sister and I later moved to a relatives house until end of the year. My brother was taken by his paternal grandparents. On the last day of school, my aunt came to take us to her home, we stayed with her until we finished high school then later moved back to our grandparents’ home.
My mother is not the type to stay in one place for a long time. When she was finally released from prison she moved to Secunda and we’d only see her once or twice a month.
She recently moved back home and it is still difficult for us to build a relationship. I am however, slowly realizing how my experiences as Fiona have shaped me into becoming the woman that I am today. I’ve learned a lot about the kind of woman I want to be and the type of mother I would like to be to my children. I have learned to take care of the people I care without expecting anything in return. I’ve learned to be grateful but I’ve also learned to fight for what I want, I now know how to make everyday count.
Most importantly, like Fiona, I have learned not to expect too much from anyone. I have accepted my mother for who and what she is, sometimes accepting the people we love for who they are is the greatest gift we can give them. She deserves it, she is my mother after all and mother’s deserve everything.
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