My Mother: my most difficult and sacred teacher

#healing #mother May 08, 2022

I grew up feeling distant from my mother. Emotionally disconnected after I turned 8. As if a switch was flipped within me and in one instant I went from being her momma's “little tail” and accompanying my mother everywhere, wanting to be close to her, to wanting to be by myself, away from her more and more. Of course, I felt guilty about it and tried to find an explanation for that shift. Little did I know that it would take about thirty years for me to figure out why I couldn’t feel the warmth of a genuine connection between my mother and I. 


My mother had a difficult life. She was raised by parents who became orphans during their teenage years. They lost their parents in the WW2 war and had to learn to survive by working in the factories (child labor - yes) and going from house to house begging for food. I can only imagine the emotional environment that my mother and her sister and brother were raised in. It was driving me crazy growing up with a mother that would always speak with so much force and loudness in her voice. She would also swear heavily, in front of us, kids, as well as any strangers. Embarrassment was a common feeling for me growing up. I absolutely hated her swearing. It felt vulgar, an uncontrollable expression of her emotional turbulence. Only later, much later, did I figure out why that was the case. My mother’s parents worked in factories with hundreds of textile machines in operation all day long and they had to speak loudly to hear each other, there was very little sophistication in the lives of factory workers so swearing was a common way to discharge stress. My mom simply repeated what she learned in her own childhood. 


My mother’s first big love walked out of her life when she was seven months pregnant with my older sister. Well, just imagine the impact it had on her relationship with the masculine. She was alone in a big city, a thousand kilometers away from her parent's home, pregnant and ashamed. She must have felt a lot of shame, how could she not? She was only 20 years old and since women are more prone to blaming themselves for their difficulties, I would not be surprised if that is what happened. She told me that she felt she’d die giving birth to my sister. In soviet Russia, there were no pain killers, you were expected to soldier on and endure the birth process. I looked into my mom’s past life and learned that being a soldier was not a new experience for her. She’s spent a few lifetimes as a soldier, surviving wars and concentration camps. When I learned that from my mother’s soul history, compassion flooded me as I finally understood why my mother never expressed her feminine energy but was always in her though masculine expression. Like a soldier moving through her life’s obstacles. And what solider does not swear? Things were beginning to make sense over time.


My older sister was a big baby and even though the birth was terribly intense, the joy of seeing my sister and her looking exactly like my mother did must have helped heal her broken heart. 


Fast forward a year and a half later, when my mother met my father. From what I gathered, it was a brief late spring romance. “Your father was handsome,” my mom used to say, “Before he ruined his looks with vodka.” A brief romance that maybe she never planned to be anything serious until she learned she was pregnant again. With me. I bet she felt that it was the worst idea to have another child. She had a toddler on her hands, she was working as a long-distance train attendant that required her to be away for long periods of time, and she was barely holding her life together. She marched into the doctor's office ready to stop the pregnancy. But the invisible Hand of Life had a different turn of events in mind. 


“I cannot perform this abortion, you are so young. Go, have this baby.” The doctor, as was overtaken by some higher power, turned my mother away. 

I remember before I left my hometown and began my life’s quest, I asked my mother about her wanting to do an abortion. She denied it with fervor: “No, my daughter, you were wanted. I wanted you.” 

“It’s ok, mom, you can admit it, I am not holding it against you,” I wanted to tell her but those words froze inside me and I simply said nothing. 


It must have been terribly hard for her to admit that she did not have the confidence to bring me into the world. In many ways, she was still a child herself. With many wounds and trauma upon trauma, her heart was so young and so bruised already. 


She didn’t tell me that she had to leave me behind for a year after she birthed me. She kept it secret and hidden under silence, and I was left feeling emotionally distant. Only later, after digging and digging into my family history, studying family constellations, the impact of family secrets, and the generational suffering that is passed on from the parents to the children, I’ve learned that my biggest childhood wound was an abandonment wound. 


In the first month of my life, I experienced the deepest pain - the pre-verbal pain, that got imprinted into my emotional body - the pain of interrupted bonding between my mother and me. She had to make a very difficult choice and leave me with her mother, my grandmother to return to my older sister, halfway across the enormous Soviet Union. She had no funds to support herself unless she returned to work and do it fast. 


I cannot fathom how devastating it would be for my mother, to take her newborn, out of her hands and give it to her mother; and then to get on the plane and leave a part of her soul behind, to return to my older sister who was just two years old. 


Abandonment was a massive wound that was a result of the turn of events, forcing my mother to make that choice. And, that was still not the most detrimental experience that affected my mother and me in our relationship. 


Four months prior to me being born, when my mother was five months pregnant with me, her world was shattered. 


My father hit two people while driving drunk. 


Not completely drunk but had enough alcohol in his system to lose control of the vehicle and hit two people on a melting snow-covered road. One died on the spot. My father’s life dreams died on the spot as well. He was dreaming to join the navy academy and traveling overseas (I bet I got my international travel bug from my dad), as it was almost impossible to travel outside of the Soviet Union for common people. The Communism regime made it certain that most people did not have the funds or time to see other countries. People were confined, directly or indirectly, to only one version of reality - the Soviet one. 


My father was sentenced to jail time, and from that moment on had a criminal record that was far from forgivable during those times. He sank deeply into shame and began drinking more and more. 


My mother’s world collapsed when she heard the news about my father’s accident. And my world collapsed together with hers. As a five months fetus, I was submerged in my mother’s feelings, the feelings of helplessness, turmoil, and terror. How can she bring up this new child alone, while already struggling to raise a toddler? My father was in jail and she was alone, again. Her emotional turbulence and inability to cope with the tsunami of tragic events impacted me with the biggest early developmental trauma of my life. 


Only when I was guided to the revolutionary work of Mark Wolymn and his book, “It didn’t start with you”, I was able to find explanations for the strange events that were appearing in my life as a young adult, strangely familiar to the events that my parents had to go through. Different scenarios, same emotional traumas of being alone, helpless, ashamed, and abandoned. 


My mother lived her life as a soldier. She had to “soldier up” and face her life’s challenges with a stoic attitude. She worked very hard manual jobs in factories, lifting heavy things, being submerged in water knee-deep, washing metal bins; she sacrificed her health in order to raise my sister and me; I grew up watching my mother in agony whenever her thyroid would flair up and she had severe neck spasms. 


I’ve spent most of my life halfway across the globe from my mother. It was necessary for me to leave as early as possible, to find myself, my path, and my healing. I couldn’t heal without creating a geographical distance between us. I couldn’t carry family shame and family secrets so I buried them deep into my body until my body couldn’t carry them either. But that is another story that I will share one day. 


The wounds of my childhood became the strength of my mission as an adult. It took two decades, half of it working with some of the most powerful shamanic plants, to heal. 


Every year my relationship with my mother is getting better and better by becoming more authentic. With the maturation of my consciousness, came a compassionate embrace of her journey and I feel it is the same for her. I do not try to change her any longer (trust me, that was not easy to drop) and when we spend time together, my intention is to listen to her with love. 

{photo above: Mother} 

A turning point in my mother’s life was her stroke. 

She had a terrible smoking addiction all of her life, she began it when she was barely 16. I can only imagine that smoking was her most reliable solution to quickly change her state and become ‘relaxed’. She was numbing her pain the only way she knew how. She grew up in the Soviet Union, without access to any resources on trauma healing, soul healing, or even parenting. No therapists, no psychologists, no spiritual community to lean on. Just you and your numbing devices. 


She was a slave to that addiction. Completely powerless to stop. I had so many judgments about it, thinking that she is not trying hard enough and she does not have strong enough willpower. I was so wrong. The helplessness she felt and…shame of being a smoker, was the reason why quitting was so terribly hard. 


I grew up in a smoke-filled house, bathroom, and kitchen. We lived in a Russian version of the American projects-housing, all four people sharing a three-bedroom apartment with a tiny bathroom (that my mom used to smoke in all the time). I was repelled by cigarettes and hated their smell. I begged my mom to quit, I set her nicotine patches, and I appealed to both, her reason and her emotions. Nothing was working. Until Divine Intervention. A stroke. 


When she woke up from the emergency surgery, she asked the doctor, if she can still smoke. “Sure you can,” he said confidently, “but you’ll be dead in hours.” 


That's what did it!

Radical truth. 

She never touched a cigarette again. 

And to channel all that nervous energy, she picked up a hobby that turned into her own online business. 




My mother runs a YouTube channel dedicated to knitting, sharing stories from her ordinary life, and cultivating a community for women from the former Soviet Union (Russian-speaking women that live all over the world). She has built that channel from scratch with daily presence and willingness to be authentically herself. Now, over 38,000 women watch her channel and resonate with her message. 


Not only that but she is raising a girl that she took under her roof when she was an orphan at 7 years old. Little Vera (her name means Faith in Russian). It came to her in a vision, a prophetic vision as I’d call it. Another story for another blog, beloved reader. I promise I will share it soon. 

{photo above: Vera}

What I do want to close this writing with is that my mother came into her Higher Purpose in her third chapter, in her later years, in her sixties. I am inspired by the transformation she created in her life in her own way and in her own time. 


She changed the life of an orphan, whose mother died of AIDS, her father was never there, and her grandmother died. The child saw things in her first five years that would be unbearable for most people. And the grace of the Divine, guided my mother’s soul and Vera’s soul to converge and help each other heal. I could see that my mother sought a sort of redemption from that new chance in parenting after, quite likely, carrying guilt and shame for the choices she made raising me and my older sister. The transformation that I witnessed in both of their lives, my mother and little Vera, was remarkable. My mother gave a loving home to the little girl that has been through so much, and Vera opened her heart to my mother and bonded with her. They helped each other heal. 


She began sharing her passion for knitting online, without asking for help, simply “pressing computer buttons” as she says it in her words, and figuring out how it works. She figured out how Youtube work, how to Livestream, how to upload videos, and how to monetize her content with ads. She created a new source of revenue for herself by sharing her knowledge, skills, and ability to bring the community together, and now it provides for her besides the miserably low pension that she receives from the government. 


She began to soften with time, finding both, beauty and humor in her path. It is my turn to, at times, reassure her that I will not abandon her. I will never forget the moment when I told her that for the first time. “Mom, I will never abandon you. You are safe. You are loved. I am here.” The healing that took place at that moment between our hearts is very difficult to describe. It only could be felt. 


When we carry deep abandonment wounds, we crave reassurance. An ongoing reassurance at times, that feels supportive and clear, and unconditional. I’ve learned to offer that reassurance to my inner child and now I am learning to give it to my mother. As I know that no one else in her life is able to reach those deep soul wounds and offer a healing balm. 


It is my sacred opportunity. 

My mother, my Sacred Teacher. 


It took so long for me to understand your choices, your pain, your struggle, and your sadness.

I see you. Only when I was able to heal myself first, I was able to begin to be with you without judgment, without expectations, but in the space of tenderness. 


You have always been the right mother for me. 

I bow down to the strength of your soul to endure everything you went through. 


I love you. 

I am sorry. 

Please forgive me. 

Thank you. 


Thank you for giving me life and carrying me into this world. 

I love you. 




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