Posted 6/3/2009 2:02 PM (GMT -7)
Hi CMC Beauty, Congratulations on your graduation…..that is a wonderful accomplishment, and you should feel very proud of that, along with going to college and being a cosmetologist. Those are all things to feel really good about , and I hope you realize that and feel a sense of pride. I’m really sorry to read about all that you are going through with your mom. Being mentally or emotionally abused by someone is really painful, especially when it is coming from a parent. I’m always hesitant to tell people to distance themselves from their parents, but in some cases, that is the healthiest thing to do, even if the distancing is a temporary thing. I had to do this with my father when I was about your age, and it is only in recent years that we have been on regular speaking terms, and now I think we have as decent a relationship as we’re ever going to have. It’s not the way I wanted it to be, but it is the best I can hope for, given the circumstances. It’s sad when we have to establish firm boundaries with a parent in this way, but now that you are an adult, it is up to you to make the best of your life and take good care of yourself. It’s hard to figure out why a parent would want to compete with a child, but I do know it happens in families, and it seems to me that it happens most often with a child of the same gender. I’m not sure if it involves the parent’s regrets over their own choices, or their wish to live vicariously through the child, or if they never learned what healthy boundaries were with their own parents, but the upshot in this case is that your mom is making your life miserable. Going through your personal items, listening to your conversations, and invading your privacy in this way is not only inappropriate….it is downright disrespectful. I’m sorry to say this, because I can tell that despite all that she has done, you still love her and want her to love you and feel proud of you for who you are. I do believe that she does loves you, but IMO her methods of relating to you are unhealthy and detrimental to your self-esteem. It’s unfortunate that wisdom and maturity do not always come with age, and in your mom’s case, I feel that she has a lot of issues to work out about her own self-esteem, particularly if she feels the need to compete with you, by wearing your clothes and acting or dressing in a way that is not age-appropriate. My heart really went out to you when I read your message, particularly when you said that you could spend hours crying in the shower. I felt like that a lot over the years, wishing that my father would not be so cruel to me, and praying that he would find a way to love and accept me for the person I am, even though my personal characteristics, talents and values are all quite different than his. I spent a lot of time in therapy working on my feelings towards my father, and trying to understand why he is the way that he is, and finding ways to deal with my own feelings about him and about myself. It really helped me a lot, and with a lot of patience and work, I am finally able to have a civil conversation with him, and set my own boundaries for our communications, so that I can walk away feeling good about myself, no matter what happens. I don’t know if you would consider talking with a counselor, but it might be really helpful to you, too. You mentioned feeling trapped in your current circumstances, and I wonder if this means you are not in a position to move out of your parents’ home. If you could gain some distance from your mom, it would probably improve things a lot for you, but I also understand that college is a financially tough time for most people, so perhaps this would not be possible. I’m really glad you posted here on the forum, and I hope you will come back and post with us some more. The support on here can be really beneficial, and I know it always makes me feel really good to talk with others on here who understand and can share their compassion. Please take good care of yourself, and remember that you are a wonderful person with a lot to feel proud about .
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." ~Marcel Proust