" Teenage Rebellion - My Mother and I"
My mother was a woman who lived and practised some of the ele-ments I consider to define true womanhood. She was in touch with her fertility and, early on, tried to impart that knowledge to me. She was not a follower of what I call "fake femininity". Her womanliness came naturally from within, and didn't need any dressing up.
During my childhood she did for me all the things any mother would do, but I was a sickly, crying child who frequently tried her patience. As a result, I grew somewhat insecure, often looking for reassurance. She was a very domineering woman, not in an obvious manner but through a subtle and complicated type of emotional manipulation. She was also very needy, due to some tragic circumstances in her own childhood I later discovered.
Like many teenage girls do, throughout my adolescence I began re-jecting her advice as old-fashioned and restrictive. At the time, neither one of us was able to bridge this gap. I very much wanted to be different from her, so I sought to modernise myself through fashion, risqué sexual encounters, and by creating relationships with women and men more mature in age and attitude than myself.
My adolescence ended prematurely and rather unsatisfactorily - for both of us. At the age of seventeen I had my first child, and was instantly forced to become a woman. Rather than allowing this experience to draw us closer together, we both shadow-boxed around each other, neither knowing how to address the obvious "mess" I had created in my life.
In my rebellious adolescence, I was desperate to be my own person. Instead of my pregnancy allowing me an opportunity for that freedom, I felt that if I kept the child I would be forever beholden to my parents who were lovingly offering me on-going support. I did however feel she was also using the circumstances as a way to keep me close to her.
Eventually I made the decision to give my baby up for adoption at birth, a seemingly mature attitude at the time, but one that I now understand to have been driven by my desire to break free from my mother.
As it turned out, the birth of my first daughter was (according to my mother) a mirror image of my own birth - fearful and traumatic. My little baby girl had sadly ended up as just a pawn in her immature mother's (and her manipulative grandmother's) game.
Over the next 10 years, despite trying to keep the peace and play the dutiful daughter, things didn't get much better between us. Whilst I had a desire to rebuild bridges, somehow we never did. Neither did we ever again discuss female sexuality or what it meant to be a woman. I discovered my own frameworks for these things.