What is it about our parents that make us regress to the most childish versions of ourselves? I’ve said before, that the main difference between friendship and family is the wise old truth, you cant choose your family. Character traits and faults which we would never put up with in a friend are forced upon us in siblings and parents, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Or is there? My mother and I have been in counselling for almost a year now. Some days it feels like we’ve made giant leaps towards a better understanding of each other, some days I wonder why we didnt do this years ago, and some days I can tangibly feel a hugely bright future for us as mother and daughter.
Today is not one of those days.
As I sit here thinking the last hour over, how it went from friendly to angry in two minutes flat, how we both went from conversational to irrational, and how smiles switched to tears and anger and slammed doors, I wonder how we will ever make it work. That primal relationship that so many of my friends take for granted, that most of us form in the first five seconds in this world, just doesnt exist for me, and I feel bereft and alone.
It’s not about talking everything through and walking in each others shoes any longer. We’ve tried that, and even with a newly gained perspective into each others actions and thoughts, we still end up back here. And each time I’m more angry with myself for letting it happen, and I feel like more of a failure as a daughter. And yes, I feel like she is more of a failure as a mother also.
The saddest part of it all, is that I actually think that despite all the talking and attempts to move forward, we are less close than we were before we began. We spend less time together, ostensibly so that we fight less, and I certainly feel less of an attachment than I once did. And as hard as it is to admit to myself, I just don’t want to sort it all out anywhere near as much as I did this time last year.
Because if I am really honest with myself, and I go to that place inside us all that we tend to ignore more often than not, I dont think I believe that things will ever be normal or okay between the two of us. How tragic that ‘okay’ is my goal in the first place. But even that mediocre ambition feels so far from my reach, that I’m not sure why we bother putting ourselves through all this pain time and time again.
All I know is, that with such an incredible community of friends, and such a stable and happy home to live in, I still want someone to look after me and out for me the way I try to for my own son. And I’m starting to realise that however far we manage to stagger, beaten and bruised when we get there, I will never have that from this relationship. I have my own home, my own husband and my own child, about as grown up as it gets. But as the tears splash on my keyboard, I do wish my dad was still here to give me a hug.