Villain = Mom
Hero = Me
That’s the way it goes, right? Our mothers get blamed for how we turned out. They didn’t love, hug, cuddle, kiss, support, or discipline us enough. Or, they loved, hugged, coddled or disciplined us TOO much so we ended up entitled, angry, weak, mean, or unhappy adults. You name it; it is our mother’s fault.
EEEEHHHHH (sound of game show buzzer): Wrong Answer.
Several factors go into making us who we are and here are just a few:
* Genetic predisposition – Our genes can determine if we are likely to have arthritis or depression.
* Family Generational Patterns – Addiction, Violence, Depression, even Success can be mapped from generation to generation.
* Social Factors – Support systems, or lack thereof (friends, school, community) outside our family can greatly influence the outcome of our
* Global Trends – Think Facebook & Twitter vs. handwritten letters & no internet.
* Personal Choices – My favorite and it’s pretty self-explanatory.
I have helped clients review the above factors in counseling to help them see what effect those factors have on the current issues going on in their lives. Personal choice is the factor I want to focus on for Mother’s Day, though. Granted, moms make mistakes. But that’s because they’re human and we didn’t come with owner’s manuals when we were born.
We have very little control over how we get raised, over what happens when we are “under our parents’ roofs.” But I believe we have more control over how we let that affect us in our adult lives than sometimes we think. If we had a particularly crappy existence in our youth, we can let that dictate who we are or how we feel as adults or we can choose to heal childhood wounds and move forward.
There is no denying that we are greatly harmed if our moms (or other caregivers) physically or emotionally abuse us or neglect our emotional or physical needs. We get hurt if they don’t or are unable to protect us from violence or abuse at the hands of another person. We don’t have to forgive or forget those kinds of wounds. But if we want to feel better in our lives, we have to find a way to heal, let go, and move on.
Sometimes we need help letting go of past painful experiences. Some people choose counseling as way to accomplish that healing. Some people find healing in spiritual practices or through other means. I think one of the most important tasks we can do for our own emotional and mental health when we become adults is to choose to let go of the crap and heal our wounds.
What we do or how we feel when we become adults, ultimately, is our own choice, not our mother’s fault.
P.S. Mom, if you read this – I love you.