Saturday, February 2, 2013

And it all goes down the drain

Every time I go to a brand new place or meet brand new types of people, I learn something new about myself. I've been doing that for the past 4 months, so it's been a wild and rewarding ride for me. In addition, I've been obsessing with self-help books (not a good sign.. seems like ones just ends up reading more and  more of this type of material rather than getting better and moving on to a more positive way of life), and I learned a lot about how non-assertive people (ie. me) typically behave and how typical (ie. assertive) people have firmer stances in terms of things like not feeling bad if they don't understand something, not feeling obligated to answer every question that anyone throws at them, and not getting offended at anything that people say that might resemble criticisms of them.

Sadly, one phone call with mom and all the growth goes down the drain. I fell back to old, self destructive patterns, as if I have never done any yoga or psychological deep work. I guess deep down I want my mother to acknowledge that the way she raised me was totally wrong, that she accepts me as who I am, and that she supports me no matter what. Of course this is way too much to ask of anyone (and I didn't consciously understand this was what I was looking for). What she said instead was what she always says, "Just forget anything bad that has ever happened to you. Be happy and everything in the world will be all right. Look at me! I'm so happy right now!" This type of saying always triggers me and we end up in a horrible fight.

I think it comes down to the realization that she tells me to call her once every week to say I am okay, and I do it because she says so not because I want to do it. On the phone I told her I don't want to go back home any more (the bratty kid in me talking) and she told me that she was all right with it if that makes me happy. She feels like she's such a good mom that she gives me freedom to do whatever I want. After I hung up on her half way through our arguments, I realized what I really meant was that I feel really lonely in a foreign country and I want to resolve our relationship problems so I can go home. By saying "Just be happy! Everything's all good! You get all the freedom you want!", it had the exact opposite effect of resolving our long term deep-seeded problems and instead was putting a big distance between us.

I no longer think it's her "fault" that I turned out the way I am today, but that we have such different way of thinking that we probably will never fully get along. My mom had issues with her mother too, but she never wanted to resolve it; she just want the problems to go away, to start fresh, to erase anything bad from her memories (and she succeeds in forgetting a lot of these things too). Me on the other hand, being raised in the west and being an introvert, want to talk through all the things that have gone wrong, analyze them to death, explain them in terms of both cognitive psychobabble as well as spiritual chakra/energy woo-woo stuff. My mother seems to be able to let the negative go easily (or at least bury them so deep down she's not easily aware of them). I want to dig up all the negative memories and examine them to death while reliving all the pain. I have no idea if things between us will ever get resolved.

Well, at least I realized I'm automatically choosing to do an action that I didn't want to do just because others told me to do so (ie. calling mom). It is so hard to reprogram myself to take active control of certain aspects of myself that are on auto-pilot and to let go of the negative toxic junk that could be thrown away a long time ago. It's a life long journey I guess.

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