In therapy there are many topics I bring up for various reasons, but overall the many things I discuss in therapy are for my self-improvement. Therapy is hard work. The work I'm doing is essential for my sanity and well-being. There's a lot of self-reflection, tears from time-to-time, it can be ugly sometimes, yet necessary. One of the reoccurring topics I've been discussing in therapy has been my relationship with my parents, most importantly the relationship with my mother. I've been sitting on this post for a few weeks now. I was very hesitant about publishing this. The topic is a little touchy and since I'm not only discussing myself, I wanted to be mindful of everyone's feelings involved. I have no intentions of portraying my mother in a negative light. I love her and I appreciate her, and this is apart of my healing process.
I've had a difficult relationship with my mother since adolescence. I've always felt she was hypercritical, insensitive and very impatient with me. In turn, I internalized these significant sentiments and perceived them as her dislike for me. I always felt there was something more that I could do or should do to mend our relationship. I think as a child I had a slight understanding of many things, and it was very easy to make things about "me."
I can say that our relationship has improved overtime, just not to the extent where I would like it to be. Earlier this month we got into a very unpleasant argument. A lot of frustration had been building up to this point and many things were said out of anger. The underlying factor of our anger I believe is hurt, many misunderstandings and miscommunication or lack of communication. I think it's very easy to get into the habit of placing the blame on her. But if I want to come from a place of sincerity, I think that would be unfair of me. A friend of mine sent me a video of Iyanla Vanzant where she touched on her relationship with her grandmother who raised her, titled You Matter. One of the things she said really resonated with me, " We take on other peoples stuff and make it about us, when we don't know that we matter."
When you take a moment to realize that everything isn't about you, you're reminded that at the end of the day we are all human. Yes, this includes our parents too (I may forget this from time to time). Parents have faults and make mistakes too. After watching the video I realized two important things about my relationship with my mom. 1.) I've never taken the time to really talk to her, I have no deep understanding of who she is. I have no idea of what her childhood was like. I have no idea of what her relationship was like with her mother. 2.) I realized that I have not been nurturing her with the same patience and compassion that I've desired from her. These are things I hope to work on. I love my mom and I realize that we're all doing the best we can, with the knowledge that we've been given. Overall, I do believe the argument we had was necessary and I'm hoping this ends up being the breakthrough that we've needed for our relationship.