It’s normal to look up to your parents as they are your first example of what it’s like to be human.
It’s normal to be proud of them and strive to be like them.
& truth is, as a young girl, I very much idolized my mom in that same way.
I would wait for her to get home everyday around 4pm, ..
She would save her left over coffee for me
And it was just the best feeling.
Aside from my grandma, who helped me with my emotions and my homework – my mom was the only parent around for the first ten years of my life.
She was a single parent, working a great job and I thought she was just goals.
Its your mother, right? What else are you supposed to think?
I did everything I could to make her happy. (gives me chills to think of how early in life she became my entire world.)
I noticed that the less we asked for things, the more often she enjoyed our company.
To be perfect and low maintenance was the only way for me.
I even dreamed of a life similar to how I saw hers;
Successful, without a man and with children who looked up to me.
She also was very emotionally detached.
I thought it was just because she worked hard. And that’s how adults are after a long day at work.
And I had my grandma anyway, so I stopped mentally questioning it.
But there was no room for emotions or opinions.
And with that, us children, we followed a very strict routine.
We ate the same things, on the same days of the week, every week.
She chose our activities, food, school supplies, clothing, .. you name it.
Again, I just thought that’s how it was.
When she wanted to take a nap, we took a nap.
It was the beginning of being an extension of her, rather than being our own people.
It was also in those formative years that I started to adopt her mentality and behavioral patterns.
She was my example.
I was controlling.
I was rigid.
I was emotionless.
I was bossy.
I let go of my barbies to play baseball.
I saw using anger as the only way to communicate.
I treated women like shit.
I was paranoid.
I was so in my own head all of the time that anything out of routine, really threw me off.
I was her clone.
There was never any acknowledgment aside from family members letting me know, ..’you look just like her,’ (for the record, I wildly disagree.)
But still, I carried on.
Control was where she felt powerful.
Control was where I started to feel powerful.
I needed ‘things’ to be perfect.
I had no control over my environment but I had control over my stuff.
It drove my twin sister crazy.
Even when my dad came into the picture around 11 years old, ..
(that’s for another time)
And I started to distance myself from her, …
my unconscious patterns still kept going on.
I started to see her differently.
I started to be disappointed in her.
Even when I was losing her. . And I didn’t understand it.
I was angry, but
my closet still needed to be color coordinated.
Everything in it’s place.
My hair needed to be perfect.
My bed always had to be made.
My grades had to be perfect.
For reference, I once balled my eyes out to one of my 6th grade teachers because she gave me a B, ..just desperate for an explanation.
I couldn’t handle it.
I didn’t want my mom to find out I was less than the solider she built me to be.
I didn’t want to be a ‘problem.’
There was no room for emotion or opinion.
I pushed everything down.
I still treated other people like shit.
The years went on, and so did the perfectionism.
So did the repeating of behavioral patterns.
I was rough on myself.
She led with anger and criticism.
I led with anger and criticism.
She was extremely bossy and needing things to be her way.
I was extremely bossy and needed things to be my way.
And I could go on with the situations and characteristics that I learned from her, ..
About how I treated money,
How I treated my body,
How I treated my hair,
How I treated society,
How I treated authority,
How I thought about politics and caring about issues that didn’t directly affect me, and
How I learned to lie.
But fast forward to my early twenties, — and I honestly can’t remember when it first became clear but I remember having the thought;
Holy fuck, I’m just like her.
How do I hate someone so much and be just like them?
I was devastated.
I remember panicking thinking how it could be.
What was my life going to look like?
I didn’t want to be negative like her.
I didn’t want to be alone like her.
I didn’t want to be reactive.
I didn’t want any of it.
And it was around that time that I knew I would do whatever it took to pull those roots.
I was scared but I was motivated.
It was an extremely future thought but I kept thinking, ..
I couldn’t let my future daughter feel how I was feeling.
I had to take care of my own so I would have space for her to be who she wanted to be.
I needed to make sure I was healthy enough to not be overwhelmed by her creative expression.
To not be overwhelmed when she disagreed with me.
To have the patience and awareness to help her develop the tools to navigate her own life.
I was childless but I was dedicated.
(little did I know that the first child that needed my love and devotion was the one inside of me . .)
It took years.
I felt a ton of shame.
I felt embarrassed.
I was excessively and overwhelming doing things completely differently.
I learned that my life is up to me.
I felt guilty but I wanted to figure out what it was like to be me.
To learn how I felt about things.
That I could take what I wanted from my childhood but that I could design the blueprint for my adult life.
I learned that I can be organized and clean but my bed not being made had nothing to do with me being lazy.
I learned that I had the power of being firm, I just had to add a few drops of love to the mix.
I learned that fear was instilled in me a long time ago and when I question why I believe I will be just like her, ..
I go on to ask myself, but who says?
Who says that, that is my future?
Who says that I can’t unlearn what was taught to me?
Who says I can’t live a life beyond my wildest expectations?
Who says that and who the fuck am I listening to?
I learned no one has the answers for me but me.
I learned to not shame myself for not being perfect.
I learned that the emotional side of me is actually one of my biggest strengths.
That the hustler inside of me can actually put more energy into loving me than reaching for validation from others.
I now place more value and importance on being able to communicate where I am without making it someone else’s fault or problem.
I learned that life is about connection and not about being ‘right.’
I learned to speak up when I have a question and that it’s more powerful to tell someone you care about them than it is to withhold love to punish.
Can see her as a human just having an experience. As a human who is in a lot of pain.
That everything she taught me – is just a direct result of how she treats herself.
That all of those things I can bring to the surface and call out.
I now know I am in charge of me.
I take responsibility for me.
And even as I am writing this, ..
Even if my mother and I have similar hair and both wear glasses, ..
I am not her and she is not me.
I am no longer an extension of her.
I did the work.
I continue to do the work.
I choose to see love and and not make decisions out of fear.
I now see the world as abundant and that there’s a place for everyone.
I now make time for self-care and spend money on organic food because I know it will make me feel better.
And believe it or not, there are certain things that I’m honestly grateful for.
She taught me structure.
She taught me discipline.
She taught me responsibility.
All of those things contributed to the codependency but I now get to adjust and balance those patterns and systems in a way that works for me.
I get to choose. You get to choose.
How good does that feel?
And it’s with that I want to assure you , …the fear you may be feeling is just your mind trying to keep you safe.
There’s so much more for you.
You are not your mother.
You may suffer from conditioned patterns or limiting beliefs, – just due to her involvement.
But it’s possible to shift those.
It starts with the acknowledgement.
It starts with forgiving yourself for picking up those traits and being willing to put in the work.
Willing to be patient and loving with yourself. Even when you catch some behaviors in action.
It starts with believing that you are worth it.
Being open to communicating with those around you about what’s going on with you and to politely ask them for their patience in return.
BECAUSE you are not permanently subjected to this lifestyle.
You can feel differently.
You can think differently.
You can treat yourself differently.
You can treat others differently.
You can be a kick ass mother.
Or you can be a kick ass woman who wants to spend her life without having children.
It’s all okay.
It’s all UP TO YOU.
Don’t let the fear of what you don’t know stop you from making moves to unlearn what was only meant to hold you back.
Your life is waiting for you.
All of you.