Dear Mother


I’ve been distracting myself from writing for a while now and every time I go to write I felt like it wasn’t the time. I spent days sitting around thinking of topics to discuss and what direction I want to take the blog.

I then figured that I shouldn’t write for the sake writing and ended up jotting down random thoughts and ideas into a little book that I acquired just for writing these random thoughts. I practically live with it and the only place I don’t seem to take is bed. I have a man there now so I try to keep thoughts out of the bedroom. It’s a little dangerous you see because if your daydreamingor brainstorming around them, they always seem to think your up to something. Worse you might have to share those thoughts and that can go on for days on. So I stick to hugging and kissing activities in the bedroom.

A while back I thought about writing about my mother, a true motherly figure who has dedicated her life to my brother and me. Over the past week or so there has been a massive frenzy here with mothers day and even though she’s miles away and doesn’t even know it, I have considered her, our relationship and her suppressing cultural values that I cannot dismiss.

My mother is a short kind of women; born in 1950’s she is stern and determined about everything. When people meet my parents they are more worried about my mother then my father, who is ironically the exact opposite.

My mother born in a small village in Turkey and studied in a town, when she was old enough to work my grandfather sent my mother, my aunt and 2 uncles to Istanbul to set-up house and earn here. My mother being the oldest took on a motherly back then when she about 18 and took care of her then home and brothers and sister. So she was a mother way before she had us.

They would call here the generals daughter, she was static and strong-minded and adamant not to fail her parents and family. So she worked very hard and earned well for a woman in her day. After landing a job here as a civil- servant she decided to bring the rest of the family to Istanbul. So eventually became the sole earner for a family of 9 in a city like Istanbul.

Is my mother a fighter? She quite certainly is.

But she was also flimsy. Flimsy, because she existed but didn’t quite existent at the same time. She had dedicated herself to her family so much that she has missed out on what would have also made her stronger and vibrant. My biggest worry with my mother is that she is not so aware of the world around her; she has evolved her self around us and our home, and this I’m presuming is a habit and tradition descending from her responsibilities prior to us. In country so prominently driven by men even now, she ran the shop and had to build a shock absorbing walls around it.

Her responsibilities made her, dominant and narrow-minded. She became judgemental towards and protective from all the wonderful things happening around her. With all the social and economical fluctuations happening in Istanbul around the 70’s and 80’s she had only become a passer-by. Dedicated to her responsibilities she became anti-social. I don’t blame her, she did what she had to do but being lost in transition didn’t give her the skills that she needs now much later in life.

My aunt was the opposite losing herself in the nightlife and fashion only to be shunned later as the black sheep of the family as her first marriage failed. She unfortunately is a still taking the burden for it because cultural pressure wanted her to pay the price.

My mother handled her cultural, familial and economic position well. She had many suitors and she was praised for keeping herself honourable in such a dishonourable city. She married a virgin and her most explicit relationship before my father was with a man that would send her letters at work that she would secretly reply to.

She missed it, she missed the city, the passion, the growth, she missed the mistakes she had to make. Up until now it’s a classical story, cultural pressure and missed moments but my problem is this. My granddad was an opened minded individual especially in that day and age and my mum still got swept away with in the cultural flow. As for my aunt my got lost in the frenzy of comments by others, she accepted the critical approaches about her relationship and took them on board.

She kept passive life away from the whirlpool of people around; her passive led her to only see what was literally in front of her. Throughout my time at school I could never understand her, she was so dedicated to care for that she hardly took care of herself. Both psychically and more importantly emotionally, her emotional state was never uneasy or depressive but it was weak and passive, personal growth was never an issue because to her it was just ok to accept and pursue what she had taken on from her protective and strong-minded self from Istanbul.

I struggled to explain myself to her, as I was distant from her frame of mind. As minor I was more in the world outside and was intrigued at the idea meeting people and testing myself in a society. She never resented me but was my biggest supporter either.

She today though is open to my crazy arse ideas and me. She has opened her mind enough to see I will never be like or I will tread her in her footsteps. She might even enjoy following me on my stepping stones and seeing things that maybe she would be telling me about.


About An Addled Moment

I came to Istanbul to discover not only this beautiful city and its nightlife but I’m also here to discover me.
This entry was posted in Being Turkish, Istanbul, People and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Dear Mother

  1. Sharmishtha says:

    beautiful post. your mother is very wonderful for sure.

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