Growth starts with Letting Go
Because being tethered to the past won’t let you soar freely in the sky
I write a lot about my mother — my relationship with her, my insecurities, my personal feelings, thoughts and opinions. Some are published here. Others sits in a folder filled Word documents that I have no intention to do anything with them.
It took me a while to put a name to it.
She didn’t physically abuse me but the relationship was toxic. She simply loved me too much in her over helicoptering, highly intrusive motherly way.
She knew everything — from passwords to my Facebook account to how to opening up bank statements before I even knew I had them.
Then I found a name for it. It’s called being in an enmeshed relationship.
Some time ago, I discovered another fellow Medium writer who uses her past experience of a heart break as inspiration and reason for deciding to do something about her life.
At first I was hooked and became a follower right away.
However, as the months rolled by, I stopped reading her stories as she seemed stuck in the past despite moving forward. She was always writing about the heart break in some way.
It was last Friday that I realized I had become her with my constant tales of my mother on Medium.
How it all started…
I accidentally locked myself out of the house last Friday.
A good hour and a half was spent trying to unsuccessfully break back into my own home. The toddler was not happy with me and it looked like it was going to rain soon.
So I made the decision to bus to my mother’s house. There was a two year period where I spoke to her minimally and even skipped out on one of the Christmases. Then a grandchild came along and I didn’t want to deprive my daughter from the experience of having present grandparents.
I expected ridicule and endless chiding from my mother. I also smelled quite bad from the two mile walk to the bus stop whilst carrying the 25 pound toddler. But instead I was greeted with surprise and offers of food and water.
My mother kept the child entertained with songs and dance whilst I sat to rest. In the middle of it all, her phone rang. It was my aunt and the rest of her ‘girl squad’.
There was about 4 or 5 of them in the group, herself included. They had made plans to go to the mall together — something I’ve never heard or seen my mother do. She had always used me as an excuse to get out of social interactions. If not, then she would force me to go along with her.
But there she was — almost four years since I’ve moved out — in a girl squad of sorts doing her own thing and setting her own plans. She had fully moved on and created a new life that allowed her to explore and experience life without needing to worry about me.
And here I am, sitting behind a computer tapping away at a trauma that I simply refused to let go.
It was in this moment, I realized that I needed to stop and move on.
While it sounds too simplistic, I feel that I’ve reached a point in myself to do so.
Writing has been my personal therapist.
It allowed me to put my experiences, emotions and thoughts down. It allowed me to validate and acknowledge my experiences after years of not knowing how to properly express myself without the fear of being rejected.
“What cannot be communicated to the [m]other cannot be communicated to the self.”
― John Bowlby, Attachment Theory
So this will be the last piece I write about my mother. While I could just stop writing about her completely, I feel like there needs to be a proper closing off — a sort of goodbye and final words towards it all.
I cannot grow if I continue to be rooted in the past because, as Steve Maraboli sums it up quite succinctly,
The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.