This didn’t happen to me. Not exactly like this. I had family at my wedding – though I don’t know most of my extended family very well. My parents were there. But so were the threats – of not being there. The disapproval of my choices – lots of different kinds of choices – was there. The trusting me, the having faith in me – or at least pretending to do so – was not there. There are lots of ways of being abandoned; many forms of being left at the altar.
Every time I watch this, when Amelia says “Mummy” I can’t help but cry. It’s a desperate sound, and it tears at me. The tearing must be an echo of something not remembered, because these days it’s a word that means little when I say it to my own mother. A word that in my mouth often sounds angry, or feels uncomfortable, or wrong.
But it’s also a word that sometimes slips out in my thoughts when I am talking to my therapist in my head. If only it could belong to her, my usage of that word. I worry in case I accidentally say it out loud – while at the same time wishing that I could, and that it was legitimate or okay. I wonder how it would feel for it to have a gentle sound, and to be spoken in closeness and in love. Not a desperate sound, but a trusting whisper, held safe in the air between us, and folded into our hearts. I would like that.
But instead, “Mummy” makes me cry.