I LOVE YOU MUM, but...

Letters to let go

How can you have the most amazing woman for a mother who’s caring, nurturing, supportive and constantly praising your accolades, yet on the day she dies, you feel this guilty sense of relief? This is a true account of what I felt that day. What I felt for the 48 years leading up to that moment, and how everything inside of me since then began to unravel.

It’s an understatement to say my awesome mum was the force that drove me to be the best version of myself I could be. But how to love someone so much while carrying their burdens, along with your own, has felt like an impossible tour of duty.

I Love You Mum, But…is a series of letters written from my younger self to my mother, as a raw, cathartic way to get to the core of what was creating sadness, anger and self-sabotage in my life. This approach enabled me to tap into the experiences I felt as a child and continued to feel underneath as an adult. It allowed me to distance myself from finding rational ways of describing these experiences, instead of just saying the basics. That hurt me. I feel sad. I’m worried you don’t love me anymore. I’m really afraid. So it’s those feelings I wanted to get to and what better way than to use a child’s way of articulating so I could get to the heart of the matter – acknowledging my destructive behaviours in the quest to feel safe, which meant I had to let a part of her go.

My goal with these letters is to help other men find courage to face fears of abandonment, unsafety, absence of love, guilt, shame, and so on. To create enough of a hopeful spark for them to be healthy role models towards emerging young men looking outwards for guidance.

I’d love to hear your story! If you want to share your own experience with your mum then feel free to jump in the conversation here.