As an adult, my daughter is also one of my best friends. And she’s an awesome friend – and daughter as well. We have a rare relationship that I cherish. She’s very bright, funny, deeply caring and sensitive, has an off-the-wall sense of humor that makes people want to be around her. I want to be like that! Where did she get it?
She’s very successful in her business, in fact #1 agent in her company for over 12 years of the 16 she’s been in business. We enjoy each other and spend a lot of time together, know each other very well – we finish each others sentences. We usually slide from mother and daughter roles into dear friend roles and back again very easily.
This is a confusing moment and right now I’m not so sure. She’s in a very fragile state going thru a painful divorce. With that, she’s digging deeply within herself, working thru her pain and trying to understand her part in the breakup. It’s a very painful process for her. Delving into her past has brought up childhood issues and of course I’m included in her evaluation of her past, I’m sure. She talks about painful experiences with her Dad, but I feel she is careful to protect my feelings. There are almost certainly some issues that we need to talk about when the time is right. Maybe we’ll talk these thru as we encounter them in our daily lives. I don’t know. Mother-daughter, friends….forgiveness. How will it play out. Is there anything to play?
Over the years, I’ve been nothing short of shocked at how my chidren have perceived events that happened in our pasts. We’ve all talked, cried, laughed, and eventually worked thru issues as they’ve arisen. Forgiving – lots of practice here! All three of my children are very caring and sensitive to others. One of my sons is very quiet and keeps things within himself. My other son and I talk with each other about anything and everything. I feel confident that we’ve hashed out all of our differences and I feel certain that we’re in a very good place in our relationship. With my “Mother” hat on, I feel very comfortable about my relationship with all three of my children….most of the time.
In my daughter’s new and very painful situation, I’m realizing she is sometimes pretty guarded. She’s even more sensitive to others than I realized. She tells me that she’s discovering she has a difficult time being vulnerable, a very difficult time. I’ve know that in our relationship – I just didn’t have a name for it. I’ve known, as well, that I have a very difficult time letting myself be vulnerable. No wonder that she’s struggling with that. Is this a human condition? Like Pema Chodron says (I’m quoting from memory?)….”out of a class of 600, 590 will be struggling with their self-value”. Are these pretty universal issues? No excuse…. just wondering.
The ripple effect is touching me. I’m trying to see my part in teaching her to protect herself, that she can’t trust. Herself? Me? Life? Many times over the years I’ve tortured myself with my failures as a parent. I was pretty clueless. “Doing my best” just doesn’t cut it when it causes pain or fear in a child. I want a “Do-Over” with what I know now – about myself and life! I know better now, and I could do better!
I recognize that she emulates me in many ways. I take that as a compliment. But I also recognize, sense, that sometimes she grits her teeth and bears….and whatever I’m doing is such a part of who I am that I can’t identify what I’ve said or done. And I start trying to analyze. I’m sure I’ve also taught her what she doesn’t want to be – sometimes. Yikes!
My Beloved Daughter is on a mission. It’s a painful journey right now but she’s finding her way. She’s a joyous person, loves adventure, fun, learning, doing. She lives out loud. She loves people.
I love that her first comment after an appointment with a client is, “Oh, I just love them!” And she means it.
I’m so blessed to have her for my daughter – and my friend.