Saturday, August 09, 2008

Back to What You're Thinking

Well, a little discussion was stirred from my last post. Some comments were added, and I received a few e-mail responses. I think I heard mostly from moms. But what was cool was that these moms either had relationships with their moms that they highly valued, or they were determined to do everything they could to build solid relationships with their daughters and encourage good communication.

I saw common themes, partly in the direction of what a daughter wanted from a mom or what a daughter experienced and loved about her mom. Generally, daughters seem to connect well with a mom who is "never too busy," who is willing to answer even the embarrassing questions, and who would share advice from personal experience. (Feel free to add to that list! I'm sure it can be much longer.)

I received a touching e-mail from a mom who was in a dilemma and wanting to help a daughter in crisis. Sometimes it is about being willing to hit hard on the tough subjects, but even more to also be available to do a lot of listening . . . and praying.

Moms, a lot of times, are doing the best they can. They love their children and want the best for them but don’t always do things perfectly. As daughters, we can do our part in keeping the communication going, even sharing with our moms our own creative and fun ideas to strengthen our relationships with them. Caring enough to invest the time is soooooooo key. Even with the upcoming busyness of school and whatever else you’re doing in life, see where you can squeeze in some mom-daughter time. I know it's not always easy, but I betcha you won't regret it.

Jan (Check out new posts!)


Anonymous said...

This is very encouraging,but can I ask something? What if I want a better relationship and am willing to take time adn effort,but she isn't? There are somethings wrong w/ our relationship, and when I try to tell how I'm hurting and how I feel, she won't listen. I even struggle with SI, how could I ever tell her that when she won't listen to any of my other hurts, or how she makes me feel some times? When I try to tell her I do it nicely, but she won't listen. Could you maybe blog a little on this next time? cause I'm so confused as to what to do.

Jan Kern said...

I can imagine how hurtful this is for you. And this sort of thing happens too often with daughters and moms (or children and parents generally).

So much comes to mind that won't fit into one blog comment/response, but I'll share a few thoughts, and then I'll try to post more about this soon.

First, more than likely the reason your mom may struggle to connect with you is that her life could be filled with her own unhealed pain and hurts. She may also be unsure how to work through the rough spots of relationships generally, but including yours and hers.

If this is part of the scenario you're experiencing, some counseling--from someone in your church or community--would be good to pursue if you can . . . preferably together.

Until there is a solid, safer relationship with her, it's understandable that you would find it difficult to risk telling about your SI or your hurts.

But in the meantime, especially conidering that you're currently struggling with SI, it's important that you find someone who can listen to you now. I would recommend a youth pastor, mentor, or counselor who understands something about SI and who can bring God into the picture of your struggles and healing. They might also help walk you through some ideas for a better relationship with your mom so that someday you can share more with her.

Someone who can listen to you is just a first step, but it's a crucial one.

And if or when self-injury is severe, it's especially important to get others involved immediately so you are safe.