What to do when the fight isnt worth having?

Most of you know that my relationship with my mum is strained to say the least. Less of you know that lately we have for the first time attempted to do something to improve the way we communicate with each other.

As a longtime fan of counselling, I truly believe that talking things through with an impartial third party can not only help to open lines of communication, but can show you things in weeks that you wouldnt have been able to see by yourself in years. I wont pretend it was easy to convince my mother of this, she is against counselling as much as I am for it. But finally, we started seeing someone, and for the last month, things have been truly the best I can remember them being.

But what to do when a problem arises? We are firmly at the point where we are able to spend time together under normal circumstances and not argue. It doesnt sound like much, but trust me-it’s a huge breakthrough. Yet to work out however, is how to fight maturely and without the drama. You know, discuss things. Like we all have been doing with everyone in our lives since we were about 19. The way I do with everyone else in my life apart from her.

Today I encountered my first real issue of the last month. And instead of confront it and do what we’re being taught, to calmly and maturely say “This isnt working for me,” I chose a slightly different route. I walked away. And when she shouted down the road after me “Are you cross?” I didnt even turn around, just shouted back “No.” no doubt crossly.

It isnt awful. I didnt yell. I didnt get moody. It didnt end in tears. But I’m disappointed. I feel like I have a whole bunch of things left unsaid, I feel like I’m annoyed and missed the opportunity to say so. And most of all I’m frustrated that I didnt trust myself to discuss something that upset me without getting into a fight, so chose to ignore it instead.

It isnt even a big deal. If I tell you it was about a shepherds pie, you’ll see the kind of level we’re talking about here. No doubt this time next week I wont even be thinking about it. But surely relationships are made up of the kind of small things that you forget about each week. In a difficult one, they leave a residue of hurt feelings and clashing personalities and painful memories, whilst in a good one, fun reminiscing and warm feelings and compatibility.

Maybe I’m being too hard on myself. Like I said, we didnt fight. But on this new journey of acceptance, and discussion, and openess with one another, I suppose I’d just hoped for more.

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