Last night I felt exhausted, went to bed at 9pm, and slept for ten hours! Good lord, isn’t that a luxury for a modern adult? I dreamt of my mother again. I have this recurring dream about my relationship with my mother – a dream filled with much anger and sadness. I know it comes from some childhood memories. This morning I woke up wondering if I had completely reconciled with my mother.
A few months ago my parents came to visit me in Los Angeles. I had not lived with them since I was sixteen, when I went to college in a different city. Ever since then, I’ve usually gone home once a year, staying for about a week. But their stay was for three months – and it brought back many familiar experiences from my childhood. Only this time I was experiencing them as an adult.
During their stay, I initiated several conversations to talk about my childhood. Realizing that many of my early remembrances were probably colored by the distorted lens of a small child, I wanted to gain some insights into what actually happened back then.
But these conversations quickly became emotional – for both sides. My parents just couldn’t, and wouldn’t, go there. Instead they stood behind a wall of denial, claiming that my memories were not in any way based on reality. It was very painful for me. I longed for true intimacy with my family – a polite and cordial relationship just didn’t seem to satisfy me. So I kept trying, and kept feeling hurt and disappointed.
Just one week before my parents were scheduled to return home to China, on a spur of a PMS moment, I again spoke my truth. I knew if I didn’t have the courage to try it one more time before they left, I might not have another chance. I stated clearly what I wanted – what I really needed – an acknowledgement of my childhood experiences, and true intimacy with them. To my surprise, and for the first time in my life…
My mother heard me.
She acknowledged my early pains, and said she was sorry. All of the sudden, I felt a heavy weight lifted from both me and my mother. A beautiful warm light shined through and enclosed us both. For the first time, we saw each other from soul to soul. I experienced a joy beyond measure. I thank my mother for giving me this precious gift. Even though the wounds are still there, they are beginning to heal.
This morning when I woke up, I knew it was not the nightmare I’ve experienced so many times before. It was a process of letting go, reconciliation, and healing… Intimacy requires courage because risk is inescapable. But it is well worth it!
If you have a story, please share it. It may change someone’s life. It may change yours. Let’s break the silence. Let’s speak up and help and learn from one another.