Not everyone has a great relationship with their parents and that’s ok. It’s hard to love yourself as a parent when you had some pretty bad ones growing up and you grew up in a toxic environment and I want you to know it’s ok not to be ok.
I did not have the best childhood, in fact it was really shitty. My parents often let me know how much I ruined their life. I was put in ABA to try to make me more like them. I was religiously, physically and verbally abused. I was broken at a young age. I was even told I did not deserve a 16th birthday. They didn’t even acknowledge it until 6 months later. I was a girl and it was a big deal. I was taught at an early age that I was undeserving of help, dignity or anything positive.
I know I am not alone and I see you.
It took me a long time to be able to value myself.
Going No Contact and Obeying Jewish Law
I went no contact with my parents years ago. This was not an easy decision. It never is. I grew up in a Jewish household where they pounded into me the commandment “Honor Father and Mother.” Any anger or negative feeling I had towards them was turned on me and I was told I was a bad Jew.
After leaving home and talking to the Rabbi in that town, he reminded me that in the Torah it also says ,”You shall be very watchful of yourselves.” He told me that it was my duty to care for myself and if it meant keep my parents at an arms length, I was to do it.
He also told me that mental health is health. This was in the year 2000. He was very progressive. He also reminded me of Pikuach Nefesh, the Jewish value of sustaining human life. Mental health can be terminal and it was my duty to care for my mental health. I was really thankful for him.
I did not do it until many years later. It was when my son Bug started using mouth words and my father was touching him and he didn’t like it. Bug said,”I don’t like that and I don’t like you!” My father asked me if I was going to say something. I said,”Great job for advocating for yourself.” After that, I cut contact.
Struggling with Mental Health Service
The toxic environment growing up, I was alway made to feel like I was undeserving of help and that did not end when I left home. When seeking mental health services, I did tell my parents, because I hadn’t gone no contact with them yet. The famous line from my mother,”Did you tell your therapist all what you DID to ME?”
When I was trying to better myself, but of course my parents made it about them. After hearing this so much, I stopped receiving help. I felt like I didn’t deserve it and I needed to handle it on my own.
I took hooking up with the autistic community for me to see that I truly was worthy. Nick helped and tried. He did not know how to handle a situation like this but he supported me as much as he could. I love his mom, I never called her by her first name. She filled in part of the void I was missing and showed me what a strong mother was. She even called them up a few times to tell them off. It was great.
We met one year after I left home. I was just so good at masking, I did not let a lot of it show. It was because of the autistic community, especially Emma, I wasn’t here just to make people miserable. Thank you for that.
After a while the mask was coming off slowly. I unblocked a lot of the memories from growing up.
What was the Point In Telling You All This?
Healing looks different for everyone. Surround yourself with people who support you. You do not have to take negativity and toxicity just because you share DNA with someone. It took me a long time to do this.
I understand that not everyone can leave home and go no contact. I see you. Do what you can to care for yourself. You matter, you are deserving of love with no strings attached.
It took me YEARS to accept that I am deserving of help. A therapist helped me gain the courage to tell my parents to take a hike because I knew thats what I wanted. I still did not think I was deserving of meds. I always thought that I did this to myself by leaving them and cutting off contact.
THIS WAS NOT TRUE
I have a psychiatry appointment this coming Wednesday. It’s scary but I feel good about it. I always preach about people taking care of themselves and its about time I do it for myself.
How I Cope On Mothers Day
1. Take Care of Yourself First
If you cannot handle being around your mom, don’t do it. If you can for a small amount of time, do that. You should not have to sacrifice yourself for a Hallmark holiday.
You can spoil yourself on mothers day. If you were your own mother growing up, then the holiday is about you. Get that plushie you always wanted, binge watch your favorite show or play your favorite game. Hell, sleep all day if that is what you need. Self care isn’t always candles and mediation but I find both helpful.
2. You Can Create Your Own Family
You don’t have to get pregnant or get your partner pregnant in order to have your own family. If you have a pet, you are a family. If you are by yourself, you are a family. If it’s just you and your partner, you are a family. Do not let society dictate what constitutes a family.
3. Allow Yourself Time to Grieve
Grieving isn’t just for when a love one passes away. It’s to help you come to terms with losing your parents that you went no contact with. It is also grieving the fact you will never have the mother you deserve. It is a process. During this process, take care of yourself. You will need it. Take all the time you need because, no two people heal the same way.
4. You are Deserving of Help
Yes, you too. Everyone is deserving of help, being able to choose who they keep in their circle and anything to take care of themselves. Remember, battling your brain is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. You are still here and remember I love you.
How I Celebrate it Now
It’s not easy but it is better. My kids and partner spoil me and I take the day off, mostly. I get to sleep in and my kids give me their handmade gifts and I am so lucky. You can make the day your own too.