Saturday, March 24, 2007

I’ve become my mother…

…and it’s not really all that bad.

We were driving home from S’s shower today and had a really great conversation. We really realized just how alike we are to each other, probably one of the biggest contributors to the turmoil we both went through during my later teen years. We talked a lot about parenting and motherhood. A large portion of the conversation centered on what we wanted to do differently from our own parents. She told me how taking care of her husband was one of the biggest things she took away from her own childhood because her own mother did not do this for her father. I told her that most of my stuff is discipline related – I never want Michael to be afraid of us. We actually talked about the incident that really cemented my resolve on this matter.

We talked about how she grew as a parent and the whole, “When you know better, you do better,” concept. I told her that as crappy as a lot of the shit that happened between as during my childhood and young adult years, I know that they were doing the best they could with what they had, that there was no malice of forethought involved. This doesn’t change the fact that these incidents have scared me and still hurt like hell, but that we can have an open conversation about it without all of the hate and blame that would have been present even just five years ago is phenomenal.

One of the biggest things to come out of this conversation was her admission that the thing she most regrets is not recognizing my mental illness for what it was, that her inability to see it as a real condition caused so much heartache and pushed us so close to the brink of no return. My therapist has suggested having this conversation with both of my parents several times but I have not been ready for it and I know if I pushed it I would have really fucked it up. This quiet admission of regret has been something I’ve wanted to hear from her for years. It doesn’t take away the pain, as is evidenced by the tears threatening right now just thinking about it, but I feel like we can really move forward in our relationship now that she’s told me this.