Other parents have lost a child emotionally when the child became an adult. The adult child makes a choice to disengage from the parent for reasons of the past. This is something I admit I am not a stranger to.
I carried a child inside of me three times, each one for nine months. I will never forget the way it felt the first time I felt movement within; my heart would flutter each time.
I would give birth to a life, a life that would be my responsibility. I would be in charge of their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. I could not have been happier!
I had my first child in my early 20’s and even then, one does not realize the responsibility that comes with the birth of a child.
There is no particular instruction book that comes with the birth of a child. All we can rely upon is how we were taught and the remnants of our own experiences with our own parents.
A person has a choice; do the same as their parents or choose to be the opposite. I did a little of both.
I always dreamed of being a mother. It was a natural phenomena to me. It became part of who I was. I spent hours playing with my babies, holding them, loving them, rocking them, feeding them, making sure they were clean, had clean clothes to wear, etc.
Now that they are all grown, I miss those days when they were babies. I taught them to be independent and was a firm believer in them being able to make it on their own as adults.
I made mistakes along the way, tons of them. The years between school age and adulthood were the toughest. There were times when I just did not know what to do or who to turn to, especially when my children were rebellious.
Rebellion is a given and will present itself to any parent. I remember a time when I thought, as a child and a teen, I knew everything and especially more than my mother did.
As we get older, this slowly begins to change and we become aware that none of us really knew anything. Wisdom comes in the latter years it seems and the lesson of "never too late" presents itself continually.
No, I was not a perfect mother and will never be. I have tried explaining and asking for forgiveness, but kids, even as adults, do not always understand what a mother goes through or why she makes some of the choices she makes.
If this were so, there would never be any tension between mothers/sons/daughters. I have grandchildren now and someday, they will question the choices their parents made in the past.
As a mother, hindsight is 20-20. I “could have and should have” made different choices. What is done, is done, the past cannot be undone. So, I do not live by “could haves and should haves”, also known as “living in the past”.
God knows, if that were possible, I would have taken on their pain a very long time ago. It is a long and winding road.
The now adult child will make a choice of whether or not to move forward. Finding compassion for a mother, finding understanding for her choices, not placing blame on the mother for the place they are in their lives in the present time is how they will overcome and move forward.
As adults, we no longer can accuse or blame our parents for where we stand in our life presently.
Part of being an adult is accepting responsibility for our own actions/emotions/feelings.
We must give ourselves permission to feel abandoned, mistreated, hurt, angry, resentful, mad, etc. But allowing ourselves to stay flooded with these emotions will do nothing but drown us.
We must learn to swim in the sea of adversity in order to survive and have a healthy emotional life.
There is NOTHING any one of my children could ever do or say that would kill my love for them. This love is pure unconditional love.
I will never give up hope that someday they will understand in their own way. I do not want understanding for myself, but for each one to find peace within for their own well-being, not mine. I have found peace with my past and hopefully they will too.
My own mother, I did not understand many of the things she did/said for years and when the time came for us to have a decent relationship, later in life, she had left me emotionally. She began to think I was my sister at times.
I knew she missed my sister, who eventually succumbed to suicide, and the “could have beens and should have beens” dominated her mind, which was not so unusual for my mother.
Although she was not diagnosed with Dementia, the signs were strongly there and this was no stranger to her some of her siblings. In some cases, I think this is a silent Blessing…to not remember the pain of the past.
My mother raised me to be independent. She was very strict and quick to pass judgment. For some reason I never understood she might consider giving a person a second chance, depending upon the circumstances, but forgiveness was not her forte. Moreover, holding grudges was allowed to take root within her.
She spent my lifetime being “right” about everything. It took me many years to finally see that no matter what I tried to do to ease her pain, I could not change her. Therefore, I accept her as the person she was/is and love her unconditionally.
There were many good times with my mother and those memories are precious to me.
I hold no ill feelings towards my mother and love her unconditionally. I am sure if she were able, she could add much more because she has about 25 years more experience of life than me. She only operated with the knowledge she carried within at any given time of her life.
I know the life my mother has lived. Losing my dad at an early age was the cornerstone of her pain. I believe without a doubt that if she could turn back the time; she would make different choices also. I think we all would, but erasing memories of the past is not an opportunity given to any of us.
Losing my dad at a very young age, taught me just how short life is. The sixties brought an extreme meaning to this phrase. Being extreme is no justification of making mistakes with your children.
Patience is a virtue worth cultivating. Allowing your dreams to unfold in a natural fashion without any manipulation from your ego is the smart thing to practice. It takes a whole lot of faith, awareness, and inner healing to accomplish this.
Trying to control your destiny with your ego is a recipe for disaster. At the time, I was clueless about my ego. Oh, I had heard the word, but no in depth knowledge of the part it plays in our lives.
I spent half of my life needing to be “right”, needing “acceptance”, seeking “unconditional love”, needing “forgiveness for my mistakes”, needing, needing, needing.
Now, these things no longer matter to me.
I no longer desire to be “right” because being right or wrong no longer holds a place in my heart.
I no longer “need acceptance” because I have accepted myself for who and what I am, and that is enough.
I no longer seek “unconditional love” because that is found within each one of us.
I no longer need “forgiveness for my mistakes” because I have forgiven myself.
I have very few needs other than the basic necessities for living and through the power of my Higher Power, those are met.
Am I sad that children turn from a parent? Yes, I am sad. Allowing blame and guilt to consume your life is not a healthy way to live.
However, when you realize that you have absolutely no control over others, you find a place to put that in the hands of the same Higher Power that gives us a sunrise and sunset every day…the God within.
Hope has replaced the blame and the guilt I carried for many years for my children. Explaining your life away with words is pointless because actions speak louder than words.
Today, I would still trade places with any one of children in order for them to not experience any further pain life has given them, this is how a mother feels.
”Understanding choices” that others make is not necessarily required in order for you to accept them, especially in a parent/child relationship. This is one of the beauties of unconditional love.
There are some choices my children have made that I did not and do not understand, but as long as they were not life threatening, I accepted their choices because I respect their freedom to choose and I have no unrealistic expectations of them.
At times, when an adult child has made the choice to not include you in their life, it is best to accept this, step back, and not “spoon feed” them for their forgiveness.
It is not easy for a mother to do this, but they have made their choice and out of unconditional love, we choose to accept this.
Give them time; time truly is a great healer.
They may have to experience the same with a child of their own. Sometimes this is what it takes.
Until they learn the lesson of acceptance, they will not forgive, no matter what.
When the adult child is not accepting responsibility for his own pain/present status of the mind, body, spirit, but rather choosing to follow ego and placing the blame on the mother and others, they are simply avoiding truth and listening to their heart.
And until awareness sets in to the fact that none of us are perfect parents, including themselves, and we all make mistakes, the lesson of acceptance will evade them, although ever present.
This is where “life is short” plays a role. Sometimes the lesson presented in the adult child’s life is learned “too late”.
The parent ceases to physically exist on this earth and the child is not able to resume a relationship with them. This is the sad part and just adds another lesson to the journey of life for the adult child.
Death is final, no turning back in this lifetime. I have not a clue how long I will live and do not contemplate this fact. I have accepted this and do not worry. If I worry, valuable time is wasted.
This is also not easy for a parent to watch an adult child carry on their life as if they did not exist, knowing, that one day, this will be a huge regret for them to contend with.
Once again, you cannot “spoon feed” your child or try to control or force them to be a certain way, have a certain mindset, or act a certain way. They must walk their own path in all things.
It is definitely a lesson of acceptance that is ever-present in all our lives. Accept the fact that none of us has the ability to control another’s destiny.
I cherish the memories of the times when they were babies and take solace in the fact that they loved me also unconditionally before their minds became conditioned.
We all learn, as we grow older and hopefully put this wisdom to practice so that others may see by our actions and have hope also.
Accept and love your children unconditionally as long as there is no apparent danger to themselves or others.
Be an example with your actions, not your words.
Realize no one is able to make up for past mistakes.
Understanding this…becomes a simple truth