Push and Pull

It was always a ‘push’ and a ‘pull’ of feelings whenever I saw my mother. I had a sense of being pushed from behind, the hand between my shoulder blades encouraging me to meet my mother face on. But the person to person encounter never happened. The other part of me (the stronger, the weaker?), always pulled back.

In this piece of writing, I can see that I was ashamed of my mother. Being able to say I was ashamed of her is healing.


Stepping out of the car, Lisa took hold of Bob’s outstretched hand to steady herself. Looking around, she immediately saw her mother and felt her heart clench inside her chest, like a fighters fist. Sylvia had on a full length dress of emerald green. It had a wide black satin ribbon tied in an elaborate bow around her waist accentuating her curvaceous figure. Perched jauntily on the side of her head, she wore a black satin hat with a matching green net embedded with black and emerald sequins. Her dark hair was curled to frame her face and her eyes and lips were heavily made-up. Lisa saw that she was wearing her pearls in her favourite way with the long necklace tied into a knot, so that it rested between her breasts, the remaining pearls disappearing dangerously into her cleavage. Lisa knew that the pearls were not real, but with the matching clip-on earrings, they complemented Sylvia’s outfit. As always, Sylvia had dressed for her part in the play and frustratingly, Lisa knew that yet again she had chosen the wrong outfit. With a mixture of pleasure and pain, she watched as Sylvia, seeing her daughter, raised a gloved hand to wave. With a slight nod of her head, Lisa turned away, welcoming Bob’s arm around her shoulder. Together they walked towards the entrance of the church.

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