“She thinks I’m horrible and says it’s all my fault” this adult mom told me.
“Really?” I reply.
“Yes, and I gave her everything. I sacrificed myself to the point of exhaustion. Tennis lessons. Horseback riding. Private tutors. Exotic trips. Whatever she wanted. She had a good life and lacked for nothing. I was a single mom raising two kids on my own. But she thinks I’m horrible.” she gets teary.
“How old is she?” I ask.
“33 years old.” she says.
“Hmm.” I reply.
“She wants nothing to do with me, and blames me for everything. I wasn’t perfect, but I gave her the best. But she thinks I’m horrible and never wants to see me again.” she says.
“Do you think you were horrible?” I ask.
She paused, “No. I wasn’t perfect. I did the best I could.
The only thing I can think of that I could’ve improved on is my love life. I left her dad who was an asshole and went through a lot of men.”
“So what if you let your daughter think you were horrible and you still loved her?” I ask.
She gives me a look like she never knew that could be a possibility.
“What if you did your best and it was horrible?” I ask.
She gives me another look like WTF.
“You can’t change her childhood can you?” I ask.
She shakes her head, smiles and says “no”.
“Your daughter is an adult, and you can’t control her and what she thinks about you. But you can choose what you think about you.
What if the next time your daughter says that you’re horrible and blames you…your response is different instead of reacting from shame, you respond from love & really owned it?” I reply.
“Hmm… own it?” she asks.
“ ‘(Daughter’s Name), I understand that you think I’m a horrible mom. You’re right, I made a lot of mistakes and I could’ve done better as your mother. I also can’t change the past. I respect that you need space. I will love you forever, even if you never speak to me again. And I’m here if ever you decide that you’re ready to move forward together.’
Or something like that—your daughter can think that you’re horrible and you’re still allowed to love her. She can never speak to you again and you can still love her.” was my response.
“That’s a wild thought.
Can you say that again so I can record you and play you anytime I’m having these thoughts?” she asks.
We laughed. I let her record me. And I can’t stop thinking of our conversation from earlier today.
Someone can think you’re horrible or wonderful, and while both may have validity, what’s most important is what YOU think about you.
If you liked this blog and found it helpful, please click the like button at the bottom to let me know.
Hi! I’m Melodee Forbes, and I help leaders declutter their calendar, so they can create more time for self care. I’d be happy to support you in decluttering your physical items and digital systems. You can start to create more self care by clicking here.