By Sophie Ruffles
I am not her, I am not her. I have been fighting it for all of my 30 years.
She is jealous, at times petty and competitive. I feel the weight of her expectation and then snubbed by her lack of interest. She loves that I travel, but has no interest in the retelling of my adventures. She comes to me for advice only when she wants tough love, or an honest option. It is to the others she goes when she wants sympathy or a hug. She is proud of my career but disapproves of how I spend the proceeds. She doesnt like my style and sometimes I think that she cannot bear the way that I talk. We grate and the friction keeps us apart for periods at a time.
A long time ago, when she was slightly younger than I am now, my mother left a cold hospital wing. Already a mother of four young children, she had been told by my father to get rid of her fifth. There were too many and no money. There was no need for five.
She has said that it was while talking to a kind nurse that she dared utter the words, What if? In doing so, the seed of her imagination let her see her baby and its future if she left. She might be a girl, tall and confident. She might not make the mistake of becoming a mother at 16. Why would she need to when she would have the benefit of an education? She would be able to follow her own path. My Dad was furious but soon became resigned. My mother says tshe felt that her life changed its course that day and that the course of her babys life changed with her.
She nurtured that seed of imagination into a reality. Into me.
That story has been the backbone of mine and while I fought against becoming her, I missed the real message; that I was what she had always dreamed of. Yes, for herself, but also for me. And while she had been robbed by lack of belief and poor circumstanc More