I’m reading the workbook on relationships, and I want to work on my mother. I tend to feel grief (she’s alive), lonely, heartbroken, disconnected, guilty, or a longing feeling when I think about her. This has troubled me for majority of my life.
So, something that is blowing my mind (and just sent me into a half hour long crying episode) is the realization that I don’t FEEL loving toward her because I don’t have loving thoughts about her. I have caused myself years of agony.
When I am feeling lonely / disconnected / guilty or whatever, it is because I’m having a thought about her that makes me feel this way.
I also notice that when I see her behaviours or mannerisms in myself, I hate myself for them. The thought there is “don’t be like your mother”.
But also, I tried to make a list of things about my mom that I love. I was like, “oh there are many things I love about her”, I’ll just practice loving thoughts with respect to them, but what happened, to my surprise awareness, was that I felt really, really heartbroken and sad when I thought about the things I think I love about her. This was news to me. It made me realize that I actually don’t feel love for her, and that this is because I’m not thinking loving thoughts. I am hurting myself (a lot) by doing this.
I’m having a hard time with the model though. I really did sit with the emotion, I’m sure there’s more, but I sat with it for a solid half an hour and I do feel relief in this moment.
C Video in my brain (memory) of my mom closing my bedroom window (because she knew it was going to get cold outside)
T I’m a bad ungrateful daughter
F I don’t know – heartbroken? Guilty? It’s a mix of things that I feel mostly in my throat, it’s a feeling that makes me cry deeply, a sorrow or heaviness in my heart, a weakness in my shoulders and neck, a churning in the pit of my stomach.
A I cry, I journal, I read books about how to fix the relationship, I go to therapy, I live my life feeling guilty, all my relationships suffer, I don’t create the feeling of love in any of my relationships, I don’t create the feeling of appreciation with my mother, I am distant, and do not show up in the world in an honest, open-hearted way.
R I actually still don’t feel appreciation for my mother. (It doesn’t mean I am a bad person, but when I do these actions, I’m not practicing appreciation for her).
But then there’s another model where I feel quite angry
C Thought that I’m a bad, ungrateful daughter
T It was hard to be a warm loving appreciative daughter when she was such a b*tch growing up
A Stop crying, hammer on in my life, move forward, get things done, push through, avoid the feeling of heartbreak and also still don’t act in a warm loving appreciative way to her or me
R I am not warm, loving, or appreciative to her or to myself.
I think I go back and forth between heartbreak/grief and anger/defensiveness in a loop.
And I have a whole other model when I see myself do things how she does them. Things that I would like to love about myself and her, I have chosen to feel repulsed.
C I lay out my clothes and makeup in the bathroom the day before work
T You’re so much like your mother
A I spend a lot of energy trying to not be quite like her, I think hateful thoughts about the parts of me that remind me of her, I worry about becoming like her, I don’t allow myself to enjoy aspects of myself that remind me of her, I say hateful things to myself
R I become more like my mother. (Yeah – she worries and probably says hateful things to herself a lot, and I think she doesn’t like herself all that much.)
I’d like to turn some of these into more loving thoughts, or at least find more loving thoughts to practice. I want to feel love for her, I really do. Now that I know this is my responsibility, I am all in. Any advice on this is so much appreciated.