the inner work

the grieving process; in my own words

If you’d ask the angriest parts of me years ago about the grieving process I’m going to explain to you – I probably would have told you to fuck off.

GRIEVING?? MORE LIKE FUCKING RELIEF.

Because in order to grieve – there needs to be a loss and at that time, I could not see anything I was losing other than all of the extra stress and anxiety. 

I was drained, bitter, stretched to my limit and was so fucking tired of doing it all and it still not being enough.

To say I couldn’t fucking wait for the war to be over was a huge understatement.

So yes, now you can imagine, — towards the end of my time with my mom, I felt very content about it.

I was so fed up with the manipulation, gas-lighting and financial non sense that I basically shoved her out.

 

But what I unexpectedly realized,

the day that she walked out of our previously shared condo,

as I then dropped to the floor in tears the second the door closed …

 

was that this was bigger than how I felt about her in that moment and moments before.

It was about truly understanding that there was nothing I could do anymore.

It was about surrendering all of my efforts, trials, attempts, cases, testimonies …

And finally letting go.

It was about grieving the idea of what I thought my life was going to look like.

A life that I had no evidence was actually going to come to fruition but a life that I fought extremely hard for.

 

To grieve the loss of a mother I never had – was merely just the tip of the emotional experience for me.

It was more about the mother/woman she’d never become.

 

My vision had died.

My 28-year game plan had failed.

That ideal woman full of maternal instincts never showed up and she was never going to.

Half of me felt relief while the other half felt entirely defeated.

 

Even in my hatred, I consistently felt in my bones to always think of her.

To nurture her.

To listen to her.

To watch over her.

To check in with her.

To mother…  her.

 

So, it makes sense why it was such an emotional and energetically confusing time during the initial separation.

I spent years unconsciously fighting against the idea that the vision I had for her (or really, us), was never going to work out.

After all, it was in my conditioning to constantly support her, manage her emotions and make sure that I took on whatever was ‘too much’ for her to handle.

 

This doesn’t include strategically always being small enough to never get in the way.

I’d behave and perform to help keep her mood stable and would make the world of those moments where I thought I was seeing a ‘real change.’

You know the tiny fragments you witness during your years together that provide some sort of comfort to the neglected child in you.

I was creating vision boards out of those moments.

And as I look back now, it’s so evident what an empathetic codependent woman will do with the tiniest shreds of hope.

I even remember numerous times, brainstorming in a matter of seconds trying to come up with solutions to her problems.

Always clarifying, re-directing and being supportive in hopes that one day it all would just click.

 

She would get it!

This nightmare would be over!

She could heal from her childhood!

She’d be healthy, independent and consistent!

She’d finally be easier to be around and learn how to manage adversity so well that I would no longer have to feel that for her, too.

 

In short – I would free.

 

I remember getting off the floor that day she left and I deep cleaned everything.

I wanted to start over.
I wanted everything to feel new and untainted.

I worked for hours, completely weirded out by what was happening internally.

 

I couldn’t stand the woman – where was this deep sadness coming from?

She was technically still alive – so what the fuck was going on?

It was on and off for months.

Of course I didn’t want to believe that it had anything to do with separating from her because I was so vehemently protective of my peace at that point.

Coping with the loss of the mother I'll never have.
PIN THIS ^^

But now, a little over 12 months later, I can confidently say it was the healthiest choice to lean into understanding that it wasn’t really about her specifically but about who I thought she could become.

Who I thought I was supposed to be in order to make that happen.

Who I was told I had to be in order to keep things in order.

 

Because my life was never going to be what I wanted it to look like.

What the TV shows and movies make ‘family’ seem like.

I was never going to get that mother who calls me when she thinks of me.

I was never going to get that mother who cares if I’m feeling my best and who knows how to be there for me before I even ask.  

I was never going to get that mother who gives unconditionally without having an agenda.

I was never going to receive that motherly love and adoration.

I was never going to have the manicures, coffee dates and movie marathons.

I was never going to get to leave my kids with their super loving and attentive grandma as I go on dates nights with my future husband.

I was never going to get the mother who magically could see she was in her own way and who would get consistent help in order to make things right with her children.  

And most importantly, I had to realize that none of that had anything to do with my worthiness.

 

But I had to process it and stop running from it.

All without believing that I somehow needed ‘another’ conversation with her to clear the air.

There was no more of that.

There was no more of giving into that.

 

Giving up on that dream, giving up on her potential and choosing to go against all that I really knew how to do (take care of her first) … was brutal.

It took every day mindfulness, accountability and a ton of nurturing.
I had to become the mother to myself that I was never going to get.

Everyday.

Even when I was angry.

Even when I didn’t think it mattered anymore.

Even when I felt foolish, childish and dramatic.

 

Grieving the loss of a vision that I held for years took a lot out of me.

But it gifted me a lot more.

I finally feel alive in my own body. In my own fucking life.

I feel clear.

I feel sure of myself.

I can finally listen to others without mentally game planning their entire strategy.

I can give myself the love and acknowledgement that I was so desperately waiting to come my way.

 

This work isn’t easy and it sometimes takes just as much time to untangle the pain as it did to create it.

But you wouldn’t have been chosen to have these experiences, if you couldn’t move through them.

 

Take your time here.

Feeling the pain.

Addressing your loss.

Comforting yourself and nurturing the little girl inside of you who has been waiting for her mother her entire life.

 

But don’t get stuck.

Try not to fight back and plead your case.

The grieving process matters but getting comfortable with the discomfort is a straight road to victimization and we are no longer doing that.

 

So, be the woman you’ve always wanted your mother to be.

Be her to yourself.

To your life.

To your vision.

To your dreams.

To your goals.

To your accomplishments, to your failures, to your mistakes.

Gift yourself the childhood you’ve always wanted.

Gift it to your children, your grandchildren or to the animal babies you chose to raise instead.

 

All of this matters, even in your rage, even at your age.

It’s not foolish.

It’s not juvenile.

It’s not pathetic.

Grieve the loss of the life you thought you were going to have.

And once your heart and mind are back up and running, remember that you can create whatever you thought you were missing before.

And the power you have once you realize that you don’t have to wait for someone else to do it for you anymore, …

 

Girl, that’s empowerment and that is truly priceless.

 

XO

 

 

PS – I would love for you to join me in my FREE FB Group HERE and also the waitlist for my signature program, The Scapegoat Daughter’s Guide, HERE. It’s my 8 week online 1:1 coaching program designed to help you officially release the shame, guilt and paralyzing inner critic without the confusion, loneliness or anxiety so you can finally create a life that you feel great about. 

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    marianne verheecke
    December 17, 2019 at 1:09 AM

    i have this dream , amanda , that my 88 years old ultra narc. mother in law will die . at this stage now i do not see her anymore , so i miss the birthday parties of my 4 grandchildren because she is there too and acting as a loving grandmother . i cannot stand that anymore , my husband attends those parties , i let him go , it is only one afternoon , but it hurts me . my greatest wish is she dies , i even pray for that , i recognise a lot in your beautiful article . i let her go , i am myself with ups and downs , for 43 years she hurt me so badly , she must go out of my life , i even called the police and they said i may never let her in my appartment eventhough she owns it which gives her the power to throw us out. i do not care anymore , i want a life , amanda ! xxx

  • Reply
    Lateasha Norris
    January 17, 2020 at 6:35 AM

    You inspire me
    Give me hope for a life I’ve longed for
    Thank u

    • Reply
      AmandaWhite
      April 12, 2020 at 1:02 AM

      Love this, and thank you. Also yes, anything is possible! 🙂

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