Today is my mother’s birthday. I haven’t heard from her in over two years. Not since we moved here. I tried to call a couple of weeks ago but never got a callback. Which was…kind of devastating, to be honest. It took a lot to work up the nerve to call. Putting yourself out there is rarely easy, but this one felt like a big deal for me.
I’d like to say that I’m not surprised, but the truth is that I am. It surprised me. I thought, maybe, just this once, if I made the effort, if I made the move, then it would at least be met with…something. If even a false, insincere something. I actually expected her to be relieved, to be happy to hear from me, to apologize for not reaching out, for it appearing that she didn’t care. That isn’t true. It isn’t what I expected, it’s what I wanted. What I hoped for. What I so desperately wish was true. It’s what I needed. And in true fashion, it isn’t what I received.
None of it feels fair. All week I keep thinking, her birthday is coming up, I should call – a decent person would call. Right? That’s what people do. They call their mother on her birthday. But like, their mothers call them on their birthdays, right? Their mothers call their kids on their birthdays, right? They care. They write, they call, they video chat. Something. Anything.
So I didn’t call. I cried. And I raged. And I expelled these feelings here because I genuinely don’t know what else to do with them.
Nikki is a photographer, writer, and general creator of things. She writes about mental health, sex, and relationships.