When did you finally break away from your parents?
The question can have many connotations to it. The one I'm referring to is the realization that you no longer need your parents or families' consent/approval for acceptance and became content/confident about the choices you're making in life.
This post is for all women. My motivation for inquiring about this and getting a discussion going is due to the heart breaking posts that I've read lately from young moms who are so disheartened by lack of parental and family acceptance.
I can relate to the desperate feel of needing and wanting my mom and sister to understand where I'm coming from. I've cried many tears and cried myself to sleep many nights because of frustration from some heavily emotionally charged discussions with my family that only resulted in a dead end.
I am fortunate to have my best friend and her mom in my life. They are what got me through so many ordeals. Like so many of my friends and their moms, they had close relationships and could talk about anything. In my late teens and through my 20s, I was depressed and sad that I didn't have the same kind of open and loving relationship.
I eventually came to terms with the discord through a lot of counseling. I came to terms with the idea that my mom may never understand the choices of my past and that no matter how hard I tried to please her, I couldn't please her and me at the same time.
I came to terms with the fact that I love my parents for who they are, I love me for who I am, and that I have good friendships and peers that understand me and who can converse with me - appropriately -, people who may not necessarily agree with me but who respect me and my values.
After realizing there is a means to an end - where my mother ends and where I begin as a separate human being - it was freeing to know that I am in charge of my life and therefore in charge of my thoughts and feelings. Accepting that I can't change my mom's viewpoints or feelings and allowing distance from those who say toxic things have really stung. I could choose to ruminate about the awful things going on in my life or focus on my blessings in what is going right.
I have learned to set boundaries and limits as to how much time I spend with my mom. That is why one weekend is long enough to catch up on surface conversation - nothing heavy - and go about my merry way. I omit a lot of information from my mother because she won't understand and it's my way to protect myself from her ignorant (and sometimes hurtful) comments.
I've always been different from my family because of my religious convictions, which I have had since I was a young child, but they accept me for who I am and I accept them, though I did go through a time of trying to change them until I realized you cannot change them.
the next big thing she did was when she found out I was engaged. You would think she would call me first to congratulate me but no. She called everyone else in the family asking them if they knew I was engaged. They all said 'no, I didn't know". Then two weeks later I called her about something and she says, 'oh and by the way why did you not tell me you are engaged?' I then got very upset after finding out she knew for 2 wks and never felt the need to call me, especially when the rest of the family said they didn't know about it. To make matters worse she showed up to my wedding dressed in black from head to toe. I was livid because she asked me what she is to wear and I answered 'pick a color of a flower and wear that color. you cannot wear white because that is my color and you cannot wear black; no one is mourning at a wedding.' After the wedding I found our from a friend that she was telling people it was over and to go home. No the wedding celebration was not over. We had planned a dance where the best man of the wedding was the DJ. So long story short everyone left and we cleaned up and we still had the reception hall for 2 hours. Needless to say we all were more than a little ticked off.
the final kicker has been with my children. she refuses to listen to anything I have to say. She believes she is a better parent than me and she believes she knows my children better than me despite her only seeing my children a few times: Rebecca 5x, Kaylin 3x, Alexander 1x. It took her 3 months to drive from MN to IA to see Rebecca after she was born (the drive was about 2hrs one way) When she did come, she didn't come to see us, she came to see my things and to make sure 'none of it could have possibly been hers' Yes she did decided to take a few things; because you know companies only make one of each item and she happened to be the lucky one to get that one item. (I using sarcasm here if you didn't pick it up). Her excuse for not coming to see us sooner was: 'I couldn't trade the right days at work' I responded, 'you didn't have a problem spending 2wks over seas visiting Ben (my brother). You also have no problem driving to see my sister for extended periods of time. so really what's the problem?" she then responds with the usual, "Diane you have to just let it go! You will never be able to move forward until you let go of the past! " Yes this is her response and I'm equally confused by it because it has come out of no where/out of context.
Going through all of this I have come to the conclusions:
1. I'm not good enough for her and I will never be able to live up to her standards.
2. I will never be able to please her.
2. She does anything and everything she wants and no one in the family says anything to her about it except me. She hates all of my rules and does everything in her power to not follow them. (I have lots of stories but those are for another day)
3. I will never be anything to her except a 'problem' that needs to be fixed (I've always had acne and one day I got all dressed up in brand new clothes, spent lots of time doing my hair and makeup, and before leaving the house to go to college I saw her. After 20 min of her ignoring me I asked her to look at me. She took a quick look and then continued with whatever she was doing. I then asked her what she noticed; I don't normally spend time doing my hair, makeup or wearing fancy clothes to school. she came right up to my face (her face was literally an inch from my face) after 5 minutes of looking at my face she shouts out "YOU DON'T HAVE ANY ACNE!" I was immediately hurt because of what she said and that she made no comment about anything else about me. I actually went to my car and cried before driving to school. ) (I've also spent my entire childhood wearing casts over broken bones but those are stories for another day)
4. she will never see me as a person who has feelings
5. The phone works both ways. On the rare occasion that she calls me she expects me to pick up the phone despite me not being next to my phone and that my life doesn't revolve around the phone but on the rare occasion I call her it is perfectly acceptable that I leave her a message and for her to call me back more than a week later or longer, it depends on when she 'remembers' to return my call. Her excuses of how busy she is in her life are acceptable but the similar excuses of how busy I am in my life are not acceptable. (again more stories for another day)
I can imagine if they relationship isn't a healthy one that this may be harder to do. I'm sorry you had nights where you felt upset! You deserve support.
That being said.. I am so close with my parents and always have been.. Probably when I went to college I realized I didn't need their approval for everything, but I did and do still like kt make them proud!
That being said, I have a great relationship with her. I honestly believe it is because I still give her respect whereas some of my siblings do not.