How well do you remember your childhood?
A few fragments of painful scenes and flashes of your tears? Angry expression on your mother’s face? And rare moments of joy… if you’re lucky?
Most of your childhood you felt insecure, anxious and lonely.
You believed that something was wrong.
Your legs were too short or your hair was too thick. You laughed too much or were too serious; you were too sensitive or not sensitive enough. Your thoughts were weird, and your feelings were out of place.
No matter what you did, it was never good enough for your mother.
Living in a Wrong Story
She altered your reality, replacing it with hers.
You’re a big girl now, but you still:
• don’t’ trust your own judgement, and are always having second thoughts;
• take the blame when something goes wrong;
• are with people who take advantage of you, not appreciating you for who you are;
• watch the life go by through a Plexiglass of dissociation;
• feel trapped in an absurd world, unable to escape.
And you still wonder if all families are like yours.
I did for a very long time.
A “Key-Gen” Kid With No Key
Both my parents worked nine hours a day, pretty much like everyone else.
Some kids had their grandmothers living with them. The rest of us had a key firmly attached to our clothes.
One sunny autumn afternoon, I lost my key.
Horrified, I stood in front of our apartment door, searching for the key that wasn’t there.
All I knew was that mom would be furious.
“Haven’t I told you to take care of your key? What were you thinking?” Mom’s voice rattled in my head.
And she was right – I WAS a disorderly and irresponsible 7-year-old like mom always claimed. And I deserved to be punished.
Sobbing, I ran upstairs to my best friend’s apartment and rang the bell. When the door swung open, Tanya’s dad stood in the doorway, and Tanya peered around from behind his back. Their jaws moved enthusiastically, milling the last pieces of cheese toasts they had for lunch.
“What’s the matter, love?” he asked stepping aside and waving me to come in.
So I told them everything—how I lost my key and couldn’t go home, and how scared I was of telling mom.
Letting go was never easy for Mom. She seldom exercised her forgiveness muscle, hanging instead onto whatever she found wrong about me—for years.
Mr D put his hands on my shoulders and said, “It’s just a key, sweetie. Everything will be fine.”
He called my mother at work, and while waiting for her, he made two cups of hot chocolate for us girls, making me forget my troubles for a moment and enjoy life, as I should.
It was the best hot chocolate ever.
When mom showed up, he said softly to her, “Go easy on her, will you? She’s just a kid,” and he went back to work.
Back to our apartment we went.
That day, I learned that:
• not all parents were like mom. Some were less demanding, more understanding and more forgiving.
• not all children lived in fear of making their mothers angry like I did.
But I still loved mom more than anyone in the world.
And I hoped that she would change into the kind, loving mother I wanted her to be. That somehow I could turn a Snow Queen into a human being.
But I was naïve.
Much later, in my thirties, I learned to let go and grieved the loss of this dream.
Step Out of Your Mother’s Shoes
You did nothing to deserve the nightmare you were forced to live through as a child.
That was your mother all the time. Her unresolved issues and her depression. Her anxieties and fears that she transferred to you. Unconsciously but persistently.
~ Dr John Grey, author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.
To begin our recovery we must view the situation with open eyes and admit to having a problem. A problem that is welded to our childhood experiences. Experiences with our mothers (or another primary caretaker).
That is where the healing journey begins.
Let the Sun Shine On You
You Are Good Enough as you are.
You always have been no matter what they made you believe.
And let me share something else with you:You’re already doing great on a path of your personal growth.Click To Tweet
How do I know?
• Don’t accept things as they are – you ask questions, analyse facts and search information online;
• Appreciate good things you already have in your life – your partner, children, friends, your job;
• Practise meditation;
• Go to therapy;
• Take care of your body.
You’re on the right way.
Live Your Life
What happened, has happened.
The past can’t be undone, but consequences of the emotional abuse can be healed.
The pressure of the pain has lifted. Emotions have been recognised, felt and accepted. Your needs and wishes have been brought to life. And your loneliness has been dispelled like any other illusion.
We can’t hippety-hop through a healing process.
Like any process it takes time, patience and determination, that’s true. But I promise you will feel better with each step, starting at the moment you make a conscious decision to break free.
Making changes will be painful at times, but remarkably rewarding.
It’s your ticket to emotional maturity and the life you always have wanted.
Believe in yourself.
I BELIEVE IN YOU
Do you have any questions? Uncertain what to say to your mother? Write a comment or send me an email and I will do what I can to help you. Connect with me here.
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Images: Pixabay, StockSnap, Tom Barrett on Unsplash.