February 20, 2019
A fashion editor shared the heartfelt story of her turbulent relationship with her mother, which ended in a rather peaceful note.
Karen Wheeler grew up learning to hate her mother or, at the least, be indifferent toward her. They never shared an average mother-daughter relationship, and what little time they spent together was marred with emotional abuses.
So it was not really a surprise that Wheeler had not seen her mother in decades prior to her diagnosis of dementia in December 2005.
Wheeler explained that growing up, she only aw three versions of her mother. It was either a state of silence, a seething resentment, or outright rage.
Even the celebratory occasions including Easter and Christmas would often turn melancholic because of her mother’s mentally unstable episodes.
She recalled several incidents when she and her brother were emotionally hurt by her mother’s actions. One of these incidents occurred during one Christmas Eve when she threatened to leave Wheeler’s father and even packed her suitcase.
At that moment, Wheeler asked her mother what would happen to her and her brother after she left. “You’ll have to go to an orphanage,” her mother had replied without much care.
Wheeler also wrote that, as the eldest child of three children, she would often be the one to face the worst of her mother’s disastrous episodes.
She was pushed out of the home on several occasions and was even told to never come back. One time, it even happened during a “freezing Easter” when she had to leave the house in just a “thin cheesecloth dress.”
All the childhood frustration led Wheeler to become estranged from her mother as she approached adulthood.
She remained completely out-of-touch from her mother in her early 20’s and then spent much of her 30’s living in France.
Then during the holidays of 2015, Wheeler’s mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia. She was placed in a psychiatric hospital in Chester.
From that day on until her demise, which came two years later, Wheeler frequented her visit to her mother.
During one of such visits, Wheeler experienced her first real connection to her mother. One day, when Wheeler was just about to leave, her mother muttered to her, “I love you.”