Reflective Journal

Perceiving Emma

A worlds perception of a mother is someone who is nurturing and patient, selfless and affectionate, warm and kind. When I write about my own mother I struggle to find the words that accurately describe her, the main reason being I suffer seriously doubting my own perceptions of reality. 

What I mean by that is I hold a plethora of heart warming and life altering memories that help me to remember her in the way I should remember my mother, but on the flip side the position I’ve been in for the last ten years and, more so currently, make me seriously question if what I ever experienced as a child was real. 

Reflecting purely on my relationship with my mother growing up, I remember her as the IT girl. She was beautiful, charming, sociable, generous and wild. She played completely by her own rules in life, and made every day a little bit more interesting. 

My earliest memories of my mum involve her singing to Sophie Ellis Baxter, Murder on the Dance Floor in the front room of our small terraced house; making me to skip nursery to have a duvet day watching Sleepy Hollow and helping me feed uncooked pasta to my imaginary dinosaur. She encouraged my imagination to run wild and she supported me in experiencing life’s full potential, even as a toddler.

However there is another side to Emma, which is darker. When she wants to she presents as fearless, reckless, selfish at times and completely incapable of taking any accountability or understanding an alternate point of view. 

My memories that best describe this side of Emma’s character include her driving without a license for a year, multiple separations from my dad and erratic or impulsive behaviour which normally included her losing her temper and throwing things. 

One of my earliest memories which I often ponder on is the time I opened a whole advent calendar in one sitting. As a child in that moment I was elated thinking this was great as I could eat all my chocolate at once, but one day it dawned on me the only reason that memory ever occurred was because she had disappeared leaving my dad, my siblings and myself behind for several months over Christmas. 

The thing about my mother that always keeps you hooked is her ability to enjoy life. She would throw amazing parties, danced like no one was watching, drove me to school listening to the most current music playing full blast out her car window and ensured I always had all the best things to help me fit in and succeed in life. However looking back, all the way through my life she always presented with what seemed like mini inconsistencies. Nevertheless I never viewed these inconsistencies as negative, especially when I was younger, because after-all she was my Emma and all the great experiences really did outweigh anything negative I might of felt. 

As I grew up I learned more about her background and past and I became to understand the world much more through her eyes. I recognised she had her own demons and aswell as a mother she was a woman, a person who had lived a life, fought her own battles and was dealing with her own traumas. In knowing this we grew closer and she quickly became my best friend, she supported me through my own mental health struggles and took me to the Trafford Centre to eat and shop whenever she could get away with it.

However I began feeling her slip away again towards my final years of high school, she became withdrawn from people, lost jobs and she would say things that just never made any sense to me; I could see the fun part of mum slipping away and no matter how much I tried to convince her to stay she didn’t ever come back around. I screamed, begged and cried until I was blue in the face asking her to get help but the harder I tried the more distant she would feel. 

Ten years on from endless conversations the great side of her, which I loved dearly, is still yet to return. I ache daily wishing things were different, yet they are not. At times I see glimpses of her and I become attached to the hope but within minutes she is gone, I blink and start the grieving process all over again. 

The only thing that keeps me going and hoping she’s in there somewhere are the great memories I live with; the nights I couldn’t sleep and she’d take me out shopping at midnight to buy me chocolate, the spontaneous trips and her mischievous presence.

After-all, love truly leaves memories that no one can steal. 


  1. Beautifully written Liberty ❤️

  2. Beautifully written Liberty.

  3. That’s lovely liberty, I’ve been in your shoes not knowing which way my mother would be on the day, it’s not a nice place as a child, my only way to cope with the rejection and all the hurt she has caused over the years, is to tell myself I won’t be like my mother, and now I have just switched off from her to get on with my life, I think you are amazing just writing what you have, keep smiling lovely 🥰

  4. Liberty this made me cry so beautifully wrote , hope your ok , I remember Emma always being larger than life and really hope that whatever is happening at the moment is temporary and your mum gets her fab personality back , sometimes life is hard and we all have knocks sometimes we cant shake it off , keep strong your a lovely girl xx

    1. Aww thank-you Lynn, hope you are doing well x

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