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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't have any advice for you East93, but I thought it was so interesting to hear your concerns. They pretty much echo my own. My mom is an abusive alcoholic, and so was her mother. I don't have any sisters, just a brother. I do have a great relationship with my mother in law, thank gosh. But I often find myself worrying that I won't be able to have a strong mother-daughter relationship since I am not really sure what it would be like. Ultimately, as long as I don't turn out like my own mother, I figure everything will be fine. I love my son, and I will love my future children. I recognize the mistakes my own mother made and if I can avoid doing the same, then I should have a good chance.
    Anxiously awaiting the arrival of Luther's little brother November 2015!
    Currently loving: Magnus, Tiberius, Gregor, Corvus and Ulric.

  2. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Los Angeles
    I don't have a good relationship with my mother. She was a *fantastic* mother to a small kid-- endlessly patient, endlessly supportive, always willing to teach, made numerous sacifices. She was a good mother to a younger adolescent-- firm about boundaries and rules without being authoritarian, very very good about giving lots of space when desired, supportive of intellectual interests.

    By late adolescence, things cooled. She's incredibly black & white and cannot tolerate shades of gray, or her carefully-ordered world crumbles. She's very insecure and is quite uncomfortable with someone considering all the facts and reaching different conclusions than she. And she was very uncomfortable when my world expanded rapidly and became much much larger than hers, when I had experiences she could only dream of; earned an MD and suddenly "outranked" her (she is a clinical pharmacist and bases a great deal of her self-worth on her job and the knowledge it carries). We speak once every 3-4 months and I make sure to keep it cordial and banal, because she cannot keep her mouth shut on any "big issue" on which she disagrees with me.

    I think personality type figures deeply into the closeness with which mothers & daughters talk. I have an aunt and female cousin who are carbon copies of each other and speak on the phone 15x daily; they're both dominate-the-room extroverts. I've certainly never envied that; I would find it utterly exhausting. I'm a rather cerebral person who doesn't rely much on the advice of friends or anecdotes when dealing with a problem, nor do I need to have people commiserate with me much-- I like concrete problem-solving. I wish my mother and I were better but I certainly don't wish to have her glued to my cellphone.
    Blade, MD

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  3. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by east93 View Post
    That's another huge worry of mine: traumatizing my child. I have a fair number of childhood traumas, and ever since I sat in on a trauma workshop and realised how simple the formula for a traumatic experience is, I've been so worried about causing one for children. Both the ones I work with, and the ones I'll hopefully have someday.
    The good thing is, we can never really hate our parents (or family, I think), so nothing can't be fixed. As a child, I had a very strong memory. I can remember exactly how I felt while my mother completely forget what she did that scared and hurted me. We never talked about it for years, but sometimes, when we had a fight my mind was overwhelmed not only by the recent issue but also things happened long time before, make everything much worse. I could have said I forgive her but I never forget. And people said that it isn't 100% forgiving..

    One day, when we talked openly (mostly about her life, her relationship, parental thing. I still don't share much with my mom), I brought that topic. She admitted that she completely forget everything and she said sorry for every mistakes she did to me. She said as a mom, she will always loves her children and will never do anything to hurt us (me and my brother) intentionally. That day, after eleven years, she finally asked me an apology. And just like that, I found myself forgiving her. Letting go every negative thoughts.

    We still don't have the role model mother-daughter relationship. I still got jealous when I overheard my college roommate sharing her private life with her mom via telephone so casually. But I'm not complaining, I know my mom's always trying to be the best mom for me and that's enough.

    Don't overthink about trauma. Everyone makes mistakes. The formula of traumatic experience is indeed, very simple. But we can simplify the formula of overcoming trauma too. To apologize and to accept an apology.
    twenty-something name nerd. infj

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  4. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    This has been really interesting to read so far, thank you for posting this as it's been weighing on me lately too.

    My relationship with my mother has always been cool at best (the names may say it all, I have a "dad" and I have a "mother"). To keep it short: when I was very small, our relationship was bad, just flat out bad. I remember her struggling to keep her anger and emotions in check, cursing at me, and generally having to remove herself from situations she couldn't handle. She became very deeply involved with a new religion when I was about 11 and became very different-- calmer but also extremely judgmental and distant. I was a pretty independent kid by that time, but I feel like I did miss out on having that mother-daughter relationship almost entirely. Today we speak for a few minutes on the phone a couple times a month, but will probably never be "close."

    Now I'm wondering just what her relationship with her granddaughter will be (if any really) and how I will parent differently...mainly I just never want my daughter to experience that level of fear and isolation.
    Olivia Józefa: July 2013 . Expecting #2: July 2015

  5. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    There's a big difference between a parent frightening or occasionally/accidentally hurting their child - something which they can apologize for later, or make an effort to prevent it from happening again and reverse the damage, and childhood trauma.

    By definition, trauma is not something that can be fixed by an apology. An apology can help, it can bring forgiveness or understanding, but it's not going to make the flashbacks and the recurrent fear, the nightmares, or the inability to function in a situation that may reflect the traumatic one, all go away.
    Lillian Elizabeth 6.16.13

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