Life Lessons

I've said in other stories that I have always tried to go my own way, not following the crowd and pretty much walking my own path. 

I've had my share of difficulties and friends will know that some of those difficulties are upon me now.  I know I haven't always made wise choices in life but I accept my decisions and have no time for regrets. 

The title of this group "I love and approve of myself completely regardless of others" drew me in and made me think. 

There is only one person in my life whose approval I have ever sought and that was my mother.  From the beginning of my adult life she made it clear that she was disappointed with every choice I made.  Choosing the wrong boyfriends, then the wrong fiance and the wrong husband (twice in fact!).  Living in the wrong places.  Not choosing to have a child immediately and then choosing to have a child late in life and (heaven forbid) in a foreign country.  Wanting a career instead of motherhood.  Supporting my husband while he set up in business.  The list of my shortcomings is endless. 

I kept many things secret from her.  I remember when I learned to drive, I kept the fact that I was having lessons from her.  I told her once I had passed my test, but knew the grief I'd get from her ... her constant worrying and over-protective concern would have driven me crazy.  I chose to study for a degree whilst continuing to work (and with a young family) and I didn't tell her until I was in my second year of study what I was doing. 

My mother died in 2001 and I can honestly say that her passing, although sad and a huge loss for my father, was something of a relief for me.  I was sad when she died and spent her last days by her side.  I think the thing which I mourned when she died was not the fact of her and the relationship we had shared, but the fantasy and the realisation of the loss of possibility of a loving mother and daughter relationship.  It was as if I missed the idea of the mother I could have had (and the daughter I could have been) rather than the reality of what had actually come between us. 

I know that my mother loved me and I never doubted that for one minute but her passive-aggressive controlling nature was a burden to me. 

I have learned to love and approve of myself and my choices in life regardless of her disapproval.  Now that she is no longer around of course I feel I have come to appreciate myself much more and can see that my mother contributed towards making me the woman I am today for which I thank her.

Love and acceptance is something many of us struggle with, I no less than anyone else at times, but I am at peace with myself and my life choices.  I continue to live according to my own rules and the least I can do is help my own daughter, by example, to be her own woman too.
womaninbliss womaninbliss
51-55, F
8 Responses Aug 8, 2010

thank you italianchi ... I think if we accept that there are things we can't change (people in particular) it does help with feelings of frustration! thank you for commenting!

Hey womaninbliss,<br />
<br />
I have a similar situation with my mom and I definitely understand where you're coming from...it sounds like you're doing really well though which is a relief to me and inspires hope....

Yes we do have to come to a point of acceptance ... but when she was alive I used to feel guilt if I didn't keep in constant contact with her ... especially when I had my child ... but it was never ever easy.

Well said WiB, what you said struck a chord in me as well as my mother was in many ways the same. Toss in that she also had some OCD qualities about her as she obsessed compulsively about her house and her "things"<br />
Even today she continues with her little remarks and comments, but over the years I have learned to let them roll off.<br />
<br />
I've often wondered myself what our relationship might have been like but even that I've come to a point of acceptance.

My relationship with my mother is something I struggled with from my early teenage years until she died. My memories of her are not especially happy ... I remember her as mostly difficult or ob<x>jectionable. It's really a pity and I do mourn the relationship we could have had, if things had been different.

thank you both ndd and muguet for your warm and thoughtful comments. my parents were good hard-working people who always wanted the best for me and for my brother. we can all only do the best we can in life and are the sum of our many and varied parts, both good and bad.

I have been through hell in my life, but the one thing I always had was approval from my parents. They have always been warm, loving and supportive and I have always thought that was the key to my being successful regardless of what came my way. I'm so sorry to hear about the difficult relationship you had with your mother, but it sounds like, despite the fact that you didn't have a loving mother, that you became a very warm, loving and well rounded person yourself. You have a lot to be proud of!!

Your story strikes close to my heart. <br />
I to have always lived by my own choices, seldom if ever yielding to the strictures of conventionality or the pressures of my mother. She, like your mother, never approved of my life. She did love me but I wouldn't do the church thing, chose women "too old for me", spent too much time away from home and left far too soon. Consequently I was a bit of a disappointment for her.<br />
Even after I left home I lived according to my own code, acting honorably in the main but certainly not adhering to society's "requirements". I have not regretted my choices and my life has been a good one. <br />
"I continue to live according to my own rules." I hope the remainder of my life is at least as fruitful as my first 50 years!