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Establishing boundaries with my mother

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  • #381796
    Namaste87
    Participant

    I am a 34 year old married woman and now pregnant with my first child. I have grown up in a different country to where I am living at the moment. My parents, my sister and extended family are miles apart.

    I have grown up in a dysfunctional family and have witnessed some traumatic events including my mother attempting to commit suicide in front of me when I was aged four, my father hitting my mother etc. My mother was a quiet, shy but an intelligent woman when she married my father but after a series of events in their relationship she has become hysterical, angry, aggressive and foul-mouthed. I have been subjected to physical and verbal abuse while growing up by my mother. At the same time, I have often played an adult in my relationship with her: listening to her stories of hurt and pain by father and his extended family over the years, consoling her, wiping her tears. The reason they haven’t separated is largely due to Indian cultural taboo on divorce as also the distressed  financial situations which my father is in. I also suspect over the years my parents have developed a co-dependent relationship.

    I often find myself walking on eggshells with my family …at one moment everything is fine and the other….things can end up in shouting matches or worse…(when I was little..things thrown and crashed around the house)

    I have gone through several therapies over the years and a strong mediation practice has helped me overcome my own mental health issues. In the initial years, when I moved abroad to be with my husband, I had withdrawn myself slightly from my parents I.e. calling only once a week. In those years, I have never wanted to have any children as I feared hurting them…I used to wake up with nightmares with me stabbing a child.(Although! I am favourite Aunty to many of my friends children)  So, it’s definitely a biG step and journey for me to being ready to have a child and being pregnant!

    Over the last few years, I had managed to forgive a lot of things and establish a more regular communication with my parents. I have also learnt to establish some boundaries (I have struggled with boundaries throughout my life including unwanted sexual advances) with them in matters of money or simply availability to listen to their repetitive sob stories. I often find myself exhausted listening to them over and over again . Most of the times I listen to my mother sympathetically, sometimes I urge her to separate from my father if past memories still haunt her and some mornings like today – I remind her that she is repeating the same stories over the years. She is not someone who will go for therapy either.

    This morning, she snapped backed at me as she often does – She said “ I don’t want your advice nor your money. Just want someone to listen to me.” She slammed down the phone. I am sure she will expect me to call me back in few days. I am really, really tired of this behaviour. I appreciate life hasn’t been easy for her but she hasn’t stood up for herself and moved away from the situation either. She keeps blaming someone or the other for her misfortune …and has almost become a victim in her story of life.

    I would appreciate any advice, as to how I could deal with her, I am tired of walking on eggshells all the time around my parents. This morning I tried my best not to cry, but eventually I did.

    They are thousands of miles away but their words and actions still affect me badly.  As I am on my path to become a mother, I really don’t want to be absorbed in my perpetual family drama.

     

     

    #381858
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Namaste87,

    I am sorry that you grew up in a dysfunctional family, witnessing your mother attempting suicide at the tender age of 4, and then being her emotional care-taker, listening to her complaints, trying to console her…

    It seems to me you’ve come a long way in healing yourself and understanding what happened to you, and what you need to do to preserve your mental health and your peace of mind. As you say, the proof of your progress is your decision to have a child, after having resisted it in the past, fearing that you may hurt them. You don’t have those fears and nightmares any more – congratulations on a healing work well done!

    I often find myself exhausted listening to them over and over again . Most of the times I listen to my mother sympathetically, sometimes I urge her to separate from my father if past memories still haunt her and some mornings like today – I remind her that she is repeating the same stories over the years. She is not someone who will go for therapy either.

    You have been listening to your mother’s complaints your whole life, and it drains you emotionally. You cannot help her, because she’s stubborn and sees herself as a victim, and thus, doesn’t want to help herself. I know how it feels, my mother is the same: she feels like a victim, others are to blame, and she doesn’t want to seek counseling.

    You’d need to understand that no matter what you say or do, you can’t help her and cannot make her feel better – because her pain comes from within, from her own wounds, not from the outside. It’s true that your father was abusive, but as you say, your mother could have done something over the years to remove herself from the situation. But she hasn’t, and now they are co-dependent. She is living in the past, recycling the old stories and the old pain – reliving the old trauma – without a desire to heal it. She isn’t taking responsibility for herself and her well-being, but is dumping her problems on to you, robbing you of your energy.

    So first, you’d need to understand you can’t help her because she doesn’t want to help herself. And second, you’d need to stop feeling guilty for not being able to help her. You’d need to allow her to be in her own pain – since that’s something she is consciously choosing.

    You tried giving her advice, you tried helping her financially.. but nothing helps. She says she needs someone to listen to her – well, you listened to her your entire life, and she’s repeating the same old stories, in which she is the victim. There’s no point in listening some more, because it will only make you feel worse: emotionally drained, feeling helpless because you can’t help her and she’s in pain. That’s what makes you feel like crying…

    You’d need to separate yourself emotionally from her and not take on her pain, not feel responsible for her pain. You are allowed to be happy even if your mother is in pain. You can have compassion for her and help her when you see the need, but not allow that she uses you for dumping her emotional “garbage”. That’s how I believe you can create boundaries with her.

    Let me know how this sounds to you…

     

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by TeaK.
    #381865
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Namaste87:

    “My mother was a quiet, shy but an intelligent woman when she married my father but after a series of events in their relationship she has become hysterical, angry, aggressive and foul-mouthed”- I assume that she told you that she was quiet and shy before you were born, but there is no way for you to know how she was at a time you didn’t exist. She could have made that up so to make your father look bad.

    “I have been subjected to physical and verbal abuse while growing up by my mother. At the same time, I have often played an adult in my relationship with her: listening to her stories of hurt and pain.. consoling her, wiping her tears”-

    (1) your mother wasn’t appreciative of your great efforts to listen to her, to consoling her, etc. She repaid you with physical and verbal abuse.

    (2) By the time you were 8, I imagine, 26 years ago, your mother told you her sob stories, and you listened and consoled her best you could. Fast forward 26 years, at 34, she is still telling you the same sob stories and you are “exhausted listening to them over and over again”. This means that your 26 years of investment of time and energy in your mother were a waste: her mental state is just the same, and you are exhausted.

    “I would appreciate any advice, as to how I could deal with her”- my best advice to you is that you don’t deal with her at all. I know that it is an Indian cultural No-No, but give this a little thought: What would be the point of investing more of your time and more of your energy in your mother while depriving the new life that you are to bring into the world from your precious time and energy?

    You will be hurting your baby and your baby’s mother (yourself) while.. still not making any positive difference to your mother. I would like to read more from you as I have more to share with you.

    anita

     

    #381867
    pink24
    Participant

    Hi Namaste,

    I understand how you feel. I have had similar issues with my mother. Although I am not Indian, I am of Middle Eastern descent and have grown up with the expectation  I am to take care of my parents as I get older, or at least that they will be a big part of my life;  I feel like that may be the case in your culture too.  Needless to say, I understand the pressure you may feel to keep contact.  I  can say from experience though that it doesn’t get much better, even with boundaries.

    For a long time I would often enforce boundaries with my mother like  “don’t speak to me that way.” or “That is unacceptable.”  But that just got exhausting, as it isn’t in my nature to have my guard up with a parent – I felt like I was chastising a child!  And honestly, although the boundaries did work and my mother behaved herself for stretches of time, she would ultimately go back to her old ways, especially if my guard wasn’t up and I just myself. Having a difficult parent makes it hard to be yourself!

    After ten years of boundaries, I ultimately went no contact.  The disappointment of not having a present parent there, at least for me, was much to take, even if we only spoke once a month. For you, maybe no contact isn’t an option. You may have to consider not emotionally participating in conversations, not initiating contact, then ultimately not having your mother be a big part of your life.  And most importantly, DON’T FEEL GUILTY OR ASHAMED.  That’s the biggest obstacle.

    Just focus on becoming the mother you want to be. Have the relationship with your daughter you wish you’d had with your mother. In my experience, as long as you take care of you and your family, the rest will fall into place. Again, don’t feel guilty. Your job is to take care of YOU.

    Good luck, girl. Sending you  positive energy:)

    Pink

     

    #381868
    pink24
    Participant

    Hi Namaste87,

    I understand how you feel. I have had similar issues with my mother. Although I am not Indian, I am of Middle Eastern descent and have grown up with the expectation  I am to take care of my parents as I get older, or at least that they will be a big part of my life;  I feel like that may be the case in your culture too.  Needless to say, I understand the pressure you may feel to keep contact.  I  can say from experience though that it doesn’t get much better, even with boundaries.

    For a long time I would often enforce boundaries with my mother like  “don’t speak to me that way.” or “That is unacceptable.”  But that just got exhausting, as it isn’t in my nature to have my guard up with a parent – I felt like I was chastising a child!  And honestly, although the boundaries did work and my mother behaved herself for stretches of time, she would ultimately go back to her old ways, especially if my guard wasn’t up and I just myself. Having a difficult parent makes it hard to be yourself!

    After ten years of boundaries, I ultimately went no contact.  The disappointment of not having a present parent there, at least for me, was much to take, even if we only spoke once a month. For you, maybe no contact isn’t an option. You may have to consider not emotionally participating in conversations, not initiating contact, then ultimately not having your mother be a big part of your life.  And most importantly, DON’T FEEL GUILTY OR ASHAMED.  That’s the biggest obstacle.

    Just focus on becoming the mother you want to be. Have the relationship with your daughter you wish you’d had with your mother. In my experience, as long as you take care of you and your family, the rest will fall into place. Again, don’t feel guilty. Your job is to take care of YOU.

    Good luck, girl. Sending you  positive energy:)

    Pink

     

    #381878
    Namaste87
    Participant

    Dear Teak, Anita and Pink24

    Thank you so much for reading and replying to my post.

    Almost all of you have given me similar advice of “Not being in contact” with my mother. I must admit it does feel very difficult to go for it almost straight away. 8 years ago when I moved to England, I wasn’t exactly in regular touch with my parents. To be honest, one of the reasons I had moved away, got into an arranged marriage (not the forced one…although it was still a quick decision by western standards) was to simply escape my family. However, I was getting along very well with my in-laws (also based in India) and was in regular touch with them (I love my in-laws to bits and it feels like family I never had).

    My parents started complaining to my in-laws that I am not exactly in touch. My father accused me of favouring them over my parents as my in-laws are more financially stronger than my parents! In the meanwhile, my husband found it hard to believe that toxic families exist and I was probably making it all up. It has taken years of marriage, counselling and my husband’s active listening to empthaise with my situation. But he is a someone with strong family values and I doubt if he will ever support me I decide to go no contact.

    The last time I was in India (2018), I had decided to take some time out and go on a beach holiday with my friends (a reunion of sorts), I had given reasonable time to my parents and my in—laws : all carved out of 15 days of my annual leave. My parents had also spent some time with me that summer of 2018 with me in England. My parents were so mad at me for seeing my friends (3 days) that they complained about me to every other extended family member, neighbour etc (public humiliation has always been their favourite punishment).

    When, we came back from this mini holiday, and when my parents picked up my husband and I from the airport, they didn’t even bother asking how the holiday was..instead they kept bickering over something stupid. My husband had his eureka moment then! How different it was to his family! But he still says, they will have some role to play in upbringing our child.

    Anyways, after 2018, I was going through my last therapy and started my mediation practice. I could let go of my anger and any resentment I had towards them. I am also learning to build boundaries (one of the reasons, I have realised I struggle is the extreme affection showered by my parents and the abuse inflicted by them at the same time). Then the pandemic hit last year, like everyone else I was worried about my family, I had started working from home and hence sort of got into a habit of calling them more often and regularly. Of course, there have been some manipulative attempts by my father around money during the past year, something which I have refused to indulge into. With my mother, its the same old story. Although, they were really supportive as I went through an IVF earlier during the year (and the result of my pregnancy)


    @Anita
    , you pointed out how could I know my mother was a quiet and shy person, I have had some extended family members from my mother’s side of the family say that about her. She is an introvert and socially can be mistaken for someone who is a gentle person!

    But at home and with some close family members she has been absolutely nasty. Although, I have been told by a member of father’s family, how rude my mother was when she was a new bride. My mother also holds a lot of anger against her own father.

    The reason I had sought therapy and hold a practice of ‘letting go’ is because I refuse to carry this burden with me for the rest of my life. Imagine being angry with what your parents did to you as a child until you are 60!

    Earlier, I used to be jealous of people who put family pictures on social media or often spoke lovingly of their parents. I used to make up something. For me, now my family is that of my husbands. I proudly put out a picture of all of us doing an ultra walkathon as a family few years ago. That is my happy photo.

    I have even asked my mother in law to come support me around the time around birth of my baby (The traditional Indian way is that one’s own mother is present around that time, but I am finding it too difficult to ask her to)

    Now the question remains, over how I could minimise contact with my mother. Yes, I would feel very guilty and ashamed doing so, its not the belief system I have grown up with! My husband often jokes these days, what a different person I am at work (thanks work from home), I am very straightforward, no-nonsense legal counsel. Yet when I am at home and when it comes to personal relationships, I feel so guilty, unsure and so afraid to even slightly hurt people for healthy selfish reasons!

    #381883
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Namaste87:

    It is clear to me that your parents’ affect on your life is negative. Having contact with them is damaging to you and it will be therefore damaging to your child as well. On the other hand, if you end contact with them, you will feel more shame and guilt. Living with shame and guilt is damaging as well.

    It is possible for a woman to end contact with her parents- in any culture (when living in a different country)- and no longer feel the shame and guilt, but it takes a lot of time and a lot of work. Ever since I was a teenager, if not before, I dreamed of not having my mother in my life, it felt like it would be a magical experience of freedom, like a bird flying in the clear blue sky. But when I finally ended all contact with her 8 years ago, anger and guilt followed me for years: sometimes I was angry at her, at other times I felt painfully guilty. But my overall mental health improved early on after ending contact, continued to improve, and recently I made great progress in feeling peaceful and  in the right for having ended all contact.

    The fact that your husband wants you to remain contact with your parents is a problem that I did not have. It would have made it very difficult for me to end all contact. I only hope that if your parents mistreat his child, that your husband will change his mind about having your parents in your child’s life.

    “he still says, they will have some role to play in upbringing our child…  one of the reasons, I have realised I struggle, is the extreme affection showered by my parents and the abuse inflicted by them at the same time”- (1) I imagine that your mother will not abuse your child in front of your husband and his parents.. or whenever strangers are watching. Better not leave your child unsupervised with your parents, (2) When your parents shower your child with extreme affection, and your husband takes comfort in that, feeling that they cannot hurt a child they love so much- tell him/ remind him of the abuse you suffered in between the affections.

    You wrote to me: “you pointed out how could I know my mother was a quiet and shy person, I have had some extended family members from my mother’s side of the family say that about her. She is an introvert and socially can be mistaken for someone who is a gentle person! But at home and with some close family members she has been absolutely nasty”-

    – I imagined yesterday that your extended family members have told you that your mother was quiet and shy before she met your father. My mother was extremely shy a lot of the time, painfully shy and so lovely and kind and gentle to people (strangers told me how lucky I was to have a mother like her) – but when she exploded- in private- the things she said.. her nastiness was massive in quality and quantity. This kind of nastiness- your mother’s nastiness as well, I imagine- was in her when she was a child, building up.. simmering, waiting for an opportunity to erupt to the surface.

    “Now the question remains, over how I could minimise contact with my mother. Yes, I would feel very guilty and ashamed doing so, its not the belief system I have grown up with! My husband often jokes these days, what a different person I am at work (thanks work from home), I am very straightforward, no-nonsense legal counsel. Yet when I am at home and when it comes to personal relationships, I feel so guilty, unsure and so afraid”-

    – my additional advice: (1) make sure that no matter what, you will not have your parents, particularly your mother, living with you, in your home, (2) don’t give in to your husband’s wishful thinking (when he observes that extreme affection you mentioned) that your parents have changed in old age, that they are now safe, good people for you and for your child, instead- be firm in what you know about them from your vast, decades-long experience, (3) your mother told you the other day: “I don’t want your advice nor your money. Just want someone to listen to me”, before she slammed down the phone- I suggest that you never give her advice again, and that you offer to pay for a someone in India to listen to her by the hour, or half an hour (not a therapist, you said she will not attend therapy). I am not joking.

    anita

    #381923
    Namaste87
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Thank you for your reply. It seems to me that you gone through a lot yourself and its commendable that you have a come a long way. Your strength and resilience sounds astounding.

    The path of no contact as you said has its own hardships. Having very recently, experienced that with my younger sister, after reaching a tipping point, it seems very liberating. I believe I may feel slight remorse or guilt after few months but I do know having done that with my sister, I feel so much at mental peace. But it feels very hard to do so with my own mother.

    I was mulling over why my husband could hope against hope that things will be alright with my mother. Then, I realised I was that  same hopeful person as a tweenager and even a young adult. I thought if I did this, it would make my mum happy again. If my father won a big contract, she would be happy. Why, when I was in my early twenties and when my sister( aged 14) ran away from home after a confrontation with my mother and attempted to end her life by walking into the ocean (She was spotted by beach patrol and rescued)…I had this hope than my mother would change her behaviour. My parents would act more like adults!

    I believe one cannot help a person who doesn’t want to help oneself for a prolonged period of time. My husband sometimes tells me to treat my mother like a patient and discount her behaviour. But, I do not have the professional training to do so and as Pink pointed out in her post…It’s hard to keep my guard up!

    I am now going to begin by minimising my calls with my mother and see how it goes. Thank you for all your help in guiding me.

    Cheers

    Namaste87

     

     

    #381925
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Namaste87:

    You are welcome and thank you for your kind words. I hope you don’t mind my long post here- it helps me to develop my thinking as a result of reading yours:

    The hope to  see one’s mother happy is a universal hope of children of unhappy mothers. This hope doesn’t disappear when a child becomes an adult- it still feels euphoric/ the best feeling in the world to imagine one’s mother happy. About doing this or that, or something being done by someone else to make the mother happy (“I thought if I did this, it would make my mum happy again. If my father won a big contract, she would be happy”)-

    It took me a long time to truly understand that really, really.. there is nothing I can do to make her happy. I still wish that she was happy. I am smiling right now at the thought/ image of her being happy, but I know that I was not, can not, would never be able to make that happen. When I used to feel very badly imagining her being hurt about my choice to not be in contact with her, at one point on, I countered that imagining with saying to myself… wait, wait.. she wasn’t happy when I was in her life every day, year after year.. when I was a little girl and loved her completely, she wasn’t happy then.. if I got back into her life now, why would that make her happy.. she would surely still be unhappy.

    Your sister was 14 when you were in your early 20s. My sister is 6 years younger than me and while I stayed at home all the time when not in school, my sister was out a whole lot, busy with friends etc., but when I left the country at 24, my sister was alone with my mother for the first time, and that’s when she was hurt the most.

    At 14, your sister walked into the ocean in an attempt to end her life following a confrontation with your mother, and yet, after that, your mother did not change her ways. What kind of cold indifference does it take for a mother to not consider her ways following such an event, it has to be a frozen heart in her chest… at least when it comes to her daughter.

    “I believe one cannot help a person who doesn’t want to help oneself for a prolonged period of time”- at one point I thought to myself something like: wait.. all this time I thought I could help my mother and all this time, she didn’t see me as a person capable of helping her. She looked up to other people.. never looked up to me as someone resourceful or capable .. or valuable.

    Person X is not open to be helped by person Y, when X does not value Y.

    “My husband sometimes tells me to treat my mother like a patient and discount her behaviour. But, I do not have the professional training to do so and as Pink pointed out in her post…It’s hard to keep my guard up!”- when it comes to our mothers, no matter our professional training, we can’t see them as.. just people, or patients.. they meant/ mean too  much to us… which brings me to the thought I had yesterday in regard to your story: you will have a lot of power to help/ make a difference in your child’s experience of life,  while having no power to help/ make a difference in your mother’s experience of life. This is why better invest in your child, and no longer in your mother.

    anita

    #381967
    Namaste87
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    No need to apologise for your long post. I take a solace in writing too. It helps to clear my own mind and at times give more creative means to my own feelings when I channelise it via poetry.

    You wrote “ It took me a long time to truly understand that really, really.. there is nothing I can do to make her happy. I still wish that she was happy. I am smiling right now at the thought/ image of her being happy, but I know that I was not, can not, would never be able to make that happen.”

    These words made me smile and shed a few drops of tears at the same time! Perhaps, we all know that from within. But, the relationship with a parent is so so deep!

    My sister is 6 years younger than me and while I stayed at home all the time when not in school, my sister was out a whole lot, busy with friends etc., but when I left the country at 24, my sister was alone with my mother for the first time, and that’s when she was hurt the most.”

    Ah! Siblings. I left the country when I was 25 and my sister was left behind. She is an introvert unlike me…she usually tailed around me wherever I went. My friends were her friends and they treated her as a baby. I do sense she was at loss without me. She was a tall, slender girl. She started gaining weight rapidly after I left India, often sticking to her room to minimise interaction with my parents.

    I also want to thank you for sharing your story Anita. For years, I have had been this person who felt like an imposter (Very much like Donald Draper from Mad Men), getting around socially by my charm and wit. In an Indian society, it was such a taboo to speak against your parents or tell someone how things were wrong at home (except closest friends and they didn’t know any better as they were same age as mine!)  I still struggle at times with it but then I have learnt that not everyone needs to know everything. Authenticity is such a rare thing in society.  I am sure there are so many people like me who have struggled but maybe are so afraid to voice themselves when it comes to sharing their burden. For the past two years, at least I am trying to be authentic to people to truly say how I am feeling instead of “I am fine”. I feel so light after that!

    “you will have a lot of power to help/ make a difference in your child’s experience of life,  while having no power to help/ make a difference in your mother’s experience of life. This is why better invest in your child, and no longer in your mother.”

    Thank you for these words. Yes, the thinking is to be there for my child and I can’t wait to him/her. 🙂 I have always wondered over the years, what sort of mother I will become. I hope to become a kind and compassionate one.

    Namaste87

     

     

     

     

    #381969
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Namaste87:

    “I channelise it via poetry”- I would love to read a poem by you, if (and only if) you would like to share it here. I used to write poems as a teenager, lots and lots of them. It helped me too.

    “But the relationship with a parent is so so deep!”- my feelings for my mother were so, so deep indeed, but not the relationship. If I look at the relationship from her perspective, it was very superficial. This means that I only imagined a deep relationship with her based on my deep feelings.

    Imagine your mother’s perspective. Can you imagine her saying to anyone right now: my relationship with my daughter is so, so deep! (?)

    “In an Indian society, it was such a taboo to speak against your parents or tell someone how things were wrong at home.. I have learnt that not everyone needs to know everything… I am sure there are so many people like me who have struggled but maybe are so afraid to voice themselves”- for the society I know, it is acceptable for a mother to betray/ mistreat her daughter; it is unacceptable for the betrayed/ mistreated daughter to mention it, let alone talk about it.

    It is therefore better to not talk to just anyone about our mothers- many will consider us.. disloyal, feel angry at us for allegedly betraying her, and they will pity our mothers.

    “For the past two years, at least I am trying to be authentic to people to truly say how I am feeling instead of ‘I am fine’. I feel so light after that!”- like the British say: well done!

    “Thank you for these words. Yes, the thinking is to be there for my child and I can’t wait to him/her. I have always wondered over the years, what sort of mother I will become. I hope to become a kind and compassionate one”- you are welcome, it is a pleasure and a great interest for me to communicate with you. I hope to continue for as long as you would like. As far as being a kind and compassionate mother to your child- I think that you will be!

    anita

    #382086
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Namaste87:

    I hope to read from you again, anytime you want to post, please do.

    anita

    #382181
    Namaste87
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Hope you are doing ok.There is a lot going on my mind since last week. I have been reflecting on what we have discussed on this thread and at the same time wondering about things to come in my life. Especially my little one. My husband pointed out the other day the high chances about me mollycoddling my child to avoid being the sort of terror that my mother was….Honestly I don’t know. Only time will tell.

    You wrote “It is therefore better to not talk to just anyone about our mothers- many will consider us.. disloyal, feel angry at us for allegedly betraying her, and they will pity our mothers.”

    This hit home. This happens time and again. Just this Sunday, a friend/acquaintance asked if my mother would be there take care of my baby.  I replied in negative and said my mother in law would instead. Her expression just changed, she was so puzzled. Why are in-laws looked at in such bad light? Maybe these people have had such loving homes, that they never had to look elsewhere for love.

     

    I have also realised that I am also turning into a people rescuer of sorts. I have been concerned about a young cousin (I am not exactly close to her) who has left cushy job in Silicon Valley and headed home to India. She was suffering from severe paranoia resulting from lockdowns and loneliness. She is fine now, that she is home. But I sort immediately rushed into telling my Aunty about seeking a therapist. Maybe because my Aunty feared about an ‘evil eye’ creating havoc in her daughter’s life! I try my best to raise mental health awareness.

    I am also thinking about return to work next year and conversations with HR. The idea of individuality and motherhood and how often these issues can get so tangled. I am currently on my creative lowest. I am simply embracing the changes which my body keeps throwing at me every few days. I had written the below poem at the start of my IVF process few months ago. It was also a part of this 55word posts forum which I was contributing to since past year. The word prompt was ‘seed’

    Buddha’s Crest

    A fallen seed from the heaven,
    Are you frightened of getting dirty in the muddy waters?
    Hold your reins against those torrential currents and menancing pests.
    Others may bloom at the will of sweet sunshine,
    But only you will learn to breathe underwater.
    Blossom solitary.
    Unfluttering your pearly white petals,
    As the Buddha’s Crest.
    Blossom solitary.

    Namaste87

     

     

    #382184
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hello my friend,

    My name is Wind. I would like to some some ideas with you. Ideas are only to invite your quiet contemplation. As you described that you meditation, you can gently focus on each idea. Of course I only share, after share…. You believe or no believe, curious or no curious.. always depends you. You free.

    Did you know, that your Soul chose your Mother. Meaning..

    Nothing goes beyond the law of cause and effect. Example.. Your parents, your a man, or woman,  your country, you rich or poor, healthy or sick, relationships, job, everything.. etc etc…. Are all appearances of your effects from past causes.

    No one can escape their cause and effect. But what is important is to begin to see this basic root law and begin escape the appearance of everything that takes place in the life.

    One day.. When you can sincerely understand from the root that you chose everything this is now YOU. When you see this from the Law.. Then my friend.. You relax and peace in all situations. No longer are there endless needs for solutions.

    Until then..

    I borrow the word object to describe.. Each object, meaning person.. Why object? Because each BODY has the time and space. Including all other objects you can see. The body is an object because it can not escape the time.. meaning it has a beginning and ending. Within each object carries the seed of cause and effect when come to the life. Within the Soul. You, me, you Mother, Father etc….. all on the Earth. The law of cause and effect does not care the appearance as the law has no eyes, no ears, no feelings and no discrimination.. And effects always come right equal with the cause and appear on the time, when enough details, conditions and occasion appeared.

    My friend, you can not know where or when the fruit will or will not appear on the tree. Likewise, we can not know our effect until, the on the time Law appears.

    Why I share this idea..

    Because if you did not begin to curious about and begin observing the life deeper and in meditation to understand this basic Law.. You will, as you are not.. Be held a slave from within your own inner prison of being dominated by all things that are outside of you. And, by your emotions attached to false seeing and thinking.

    If something is outside of you, means… It is not you. Then why, do you build the bridge and invite everything outside, to inside? ..

    Mother, Father … Are the circumstances of your Life. But inside each object, Mother and Father also can not escape their cause and effect. Everything they did, they do, is equal with their space. The nature of forgiveness is when you can see the Law in each object from a Unified View. Not a Physical View from appearance of behavior.. Unified means you put down good or bad, right or wrong to see the nature of object and escape the judgement and discrimination attached to the appearance. This takes practice and courage. When you can begin see the law of the cause and effect space within each object, you will begin to escape your own prison of suffering.

    Until then..

    When you constantly keep the past from feeling or emotions attached to situations.. Means you are losing yourself and constantly pursuing the past. Likewise when you are behaving equally with worrying about an imagined future, you are losing yourself to the future.

    What is the root purpose of all Souls that come to the life in this or that body? Without the body, the Soul has no occasion to grow up, receive and pay everything. Behavior in PAY or RECIEVE is the important detail. You see everything from the family so difficult for you.. For what purpose? Difficult situation can become your greatest ally in your practice to overcome everything within you, if you have the courage to see everything from the law of the Souls purpose. My friend, the Soul must have difficult situation to grow up and pay. How you pay, always depends on your courage and self determination to focus beyond the appearance of all trouble.

    PUT DOWN YOUR EMOTIONS WITH EACH OBJECT…. Only see and observe but not follow the behavior of object. Requires skill and practice. By what way to see and observe? By awareness. Awareness is seeing in quiet. The space of awareness did not depend on the feeling. As all emotions are like thieves that rob you of your own treasure.

    You can not control the thoughts, ideas and behavior of any object outside you. So stop wasting time my friend. Must wake up and clean and clear everything inside. The life always takes place from within. Practice to see and know and is happening inside you. Begin observe inside and the behavior outside. If the object is angry, or sad, or loud.. Only observe my friend. But do not lose yourself to the appearance. Only observe the same way you observe a scene within a movie. When you can practice to become the observer, you stay in balance and you can not imagine how quickly each situation suddenly changes. Practice during the day and see what happens within.

    Now you are a Mother, ready with begin your family and child. You have a duty to yourself and the Soul of baby to create peaceful conditions inside. You must courage. Not reflex with every word or emotions from people outside of you. When awareness comes late and emotions lead.. From the thought, lights the spark and the emotions begin run like an out of control fire until everything has passed with the time.

    It is not your Mothers behavior or any others you must practice to overcome.. It is yourself you must begin to win back.

    When we use keys to drive one car, after we get out..do we try use the same keys in the next? No.

    Likewise.. finish each situation equals must put down and finish emotion with situation. This is a good way to begin practice until, you begin seeing everything within with speed. It is not enough to say you understand or know.. The value of ideas only appears from with the action to practice.

    I do not talk about me. But I share.. Before I enlightenment.. I passed many many dark forests and visited many Hells. I share from sincere of experience and practice to overcome everything. No special. But I share because you must courage and patience within each step. Must have a purpose within each action.

    One day.. You will say thank you with Mother and Father. Though that maybe difficult to accept now. On the time when everything opens, you will understand this idea.

    WHAT YOU KEEP, KEEPS YOU. Meaning.. In your meditation, practice to leave everything, to clean and cut any emotions attached to early situations or past experiences of difficulties… all emotions attached to suffering from the imagined appearances from keeping the past inside the present. Now your a young Mother, ready for new discoveries in new situation.. and you must prepare everything good for your baby. Prepare means.. begin cleaning and clearing away all the inner obstructions that you have carried with you along our life that block you like dark clouds that block the Sun from shining and seeing the new possibilities that will come. Clear the clouds my friend and you will see just because you could not see the bright for sometime, did not mean it was lost.

    You must focus on you, your baby and your life. Do not confuse this with selfishness. As selfishness is to not focus on your Soul and life of new baby come. That is your duty.

    When you can begin see and understand the nature of Mother, Father and all objects. You simply create the right behavior on the time with each object. After.. you practice to forget everything. No keep. When you wake up in the morning, begin say good morning to yourself first. Before you sleep, take time to clear and clean everything from the day. let it go.. means put down the emotions. This can be difficult.. But, everything is practice. Kicking a ball, throwing a rock at a pole..

    With practice comes confidence. With practice comes new effects. With practice comes sincere faith from ones own experience.

    Practice means relax with yourself. No judgement or inner discrimination.. patience. Everything opens on the time my friend. The time do not care you, so do not waste time grasping in the past. Holding onto the feelings attached to the appearances. Habits are the prison of the Soul. Come back my friend. Come back to YOU. Keep practice meditation and importantly.. Whatever takes place in meditation, only observe, but not follow.

    The life always moves and changes. When we keep, we become like stagnant water. Stagnant water becomes polluted. So too the Soul when we keep everything inside. When you meditate on problem.. put the problem outside of you and observe it. Then look for the way to overcome. The feelings about problem are no value. Look for what need to do and simply do.

    My friend.. No words can save you. Only YOU can save You or destroy YOU. Depends on where you begin focus your energy.

    Always tried from emotions means we can not enough details and conditions to begin seeing clearly and overcome.

    These ideas are only like some strange rocks on the path of your life. See, pick up, begin understand and practice with strange rocks is always your free choice. Each life equals each destination.

    Thank you so much,

    NO KEEP = Free.

    Wind.

     

     

    #382185
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Namaste87:

    “My husband pointed out the other day the high chances about me mollycoddling my child to avoid being the sort of terror that my mother was….Honestly I don’t know. Only time will tell”- talk to him about what specific behaviors (that he observed other mothers do) does he considers to be mollycoddling, see if the two of you agree on the matter. And when time comes, and you find yourself mollycoddling your child (in your opinion and his)- then gently correct the specific behavior.

    “Just this Sunday, a friend/acquaintance asked if my mother would be there take care of my baby.  I replied in negative and said my mother in law would instead. Her expression just changed, she was so puzzled. Why are in-laws looked at in such bad light? Maybe these people have had such loving homes, that they never had to look elsewhere for love”-

    – Her loyalty is to her mother and mothers in general, the social norm being that a mother is a sacred figure, one to be worshiped. It doesn’t mean that she had a loving mother. Many of the most unloved children grow up to be the most loyal to their parents.

    I think of you rushing to tell your aunt about seeking a therapist for your cousin as a caring move on your part, and trying your best to raise mental health awareness is admirable, thank you for doing that!

    Thank you for sharing your poem, Buddha’s Crest, it is brilliant! What I get from it is that we humans start in heaven, pure and innocent, and proceed to fall down from heaven to the dirty, muddy life on earth, having to fight against/ manage the challenges and difficulties of life (the torrential and the menacing), having to learn how live best in less than desirable circumstances (learn how to  breathe underwater), and still blossom and keep our beauty(the pearly white petals). What does the poem mean to you, the poet?

    anita

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