I’ve been having a really hard time staying calm while dealing with my oldest daughter. She recently said, “You’re a therapist, you should be good at listening and encouraging.” I am really good at it- with everyone but her! Which breaks my heart. I love her so much. I even told her, “I love you so much, that’s why I’m hard on you!” Don’t you always feel so loved when people are hard on you all the time and never give you a break? Me neither! I’ve been hard on her because I’ve been scared. Scared that I didn’t do a good job raising her. Scared she’d make the same mistakes I made as a teen- things that really hurt and I wish I’d never done. But mostly scared that me doing my best, isn’t good enough. So when she’s anxious or angry or sad, I’ve been struggling. I’m perfectly able to hold space and let other people be anxious, angry and sad, but not her. My reasons are understandable, but to her it just feels like crap.
That’s why I’m so grateful for RTT, Rapid Transformational Therapy. It’s so powerful to help us be better people and have better relationships. I’ve been able to use it to figure out why I’ve been having such a hard time. And to work on changing things with her. What I’m finding is that I was ashamed of the way I parented her when she was little. When she was younger, I was pretty clueless and wanted her to be perfect and I wanted to be the perfect mom. I read so many books and listened to so many radio shows about parenting- there were no podcasts or Facebook groups then! I would read one book and implement it for a few weeks. The result I was looking for- a perfectly compliant child-never happened, so I'd move on to another book. She really was my guinea pig!
As I got older and had more kids, I chilled out with them. But each new milestone, I totally stressed that I was doing it all wrong with my oldest. She was a normal 13 year old but I worried that her behavior wasn’t normal. I’d never had a 13 year old before. I had anxiety myself, so I thought that I was doing everything wrong unless she was happy, and loving her life. Of course she wasn’t always happy and loving life, no one is.
Through RTT I’ve been able to have so much freedom from anxiety. That was the huge first step. It’s allowed me to be able to work on relationships now. I’ve been getting revelations about parenting that are shifting my relationship with not only my daughter, but each of my kids. These are some truths I’ve learned and continue to learn. The hard way, cuz that’s how I learn!
You were doing such an amazing job as a mom back then! Whether it was 2 years ago or 30 years ago. See your younger self with grace and acknowledge her strength. I was able to see my younger self, that young mom, and see the truth. I was doing my best. I was trying so hard, and doing such a good job. I worked so hard. I let go of the judgment as I really saw how much I loved my kids every step of the way.
Your kids are in the right home. Whether it’s biological, adoption, or grand kids we’re raising, God knows what he’s doing when He gives us the kids in our home. My children have been such an catalyst for growth in me. I never would have faced my stuff- and had the peace and joy I have today, without them. This may be hard if the kids aren’t as healthy and whole as you hoped for, but trust that they grew up where they were supposed to. And there’s always hope!
You don’t have to be perfect! In fact you can’t. I love this quote by John Steinbeck, “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” I realize now that being a good parent happens when I let go of trying to be perfect. When I love myself well so I can love my kids better.
Let go of the past. This might be the trickiest part of parenting- because your past is staring you right in the face!! I have to make peace with my past, forgiving and loving my past self so I can love this beautiful, amazing kid my past self raised. I need to allow it to be my story, and move on.
Don’t beat yourself up! When my daughter struggles, I’m working on not beating myself up. I’m learning that God knew she’d be in my home and that she’d learn how to be anxious like I used to be. He knew that as I’m healing it’s helping her in this present moment. That she’s on her own journey, just like every person is. Beating myself up solves nothing, helps nothing, and accomplishes nothing!
Start focusing on the good, there’s a lot of it! I can see so many wonderful things when I choose to see through eyes love and not judgement. I can see how she is making her own way. She has so many gifts and talents, when I take my “fear goggles” off, I see this amazing kid who’s growing into an amazing woman.
You’re not God. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re trying to control the outcome, you may be playing God. I know I have many times. But I’m not God, so I can’t control her life, or anyone else’s for that matter- I can just love and parent her as well as I can.
If you need help, get it. I needed a lot of help to be able to get to this place of peace in dealing with life, and parenting. I needed to heal. And I needed another person to be there to help me. There’s no shame in that. I read tons of books, went to counseling, did a life skills program. You name it, I’ve probably tried it. RTT worked best for me. Whatever it is for you, don’t quit looking. Ask for help. You’re worth it and so are your kids. I haven’t arrived, none of us ever do, but a life of peace and joy is possible along the way.
When you heal, your kids heal. No matter how old you are as a parent, when you heal, your kids heal. It may take time, but it’ll happen. They’re watching no matter how old they are. When you heal, you show them that people can change, and this gives them hope to heal as well. I know this from watching my own mother continue to heal throughout her life. Kids feel it when we’re free to love them without judgement. Whether it’s judgement of them or the way we parented them so long ago. Once you start to heal, amazing things happen.
You are enough! You are parent enough.Your best is enough! Remind yourself of this everyday. Especially on the hard days. It’s true and we all need to hear it often. Our kids too.
I never could have walked into this space of loving me and loving my kids better without facing my past through RTT. I serve clients with it and I also use it myself to grow and change. Rapid Transformational Therapy is an amazing tool. My relationship with my daughter isn’t magically perfect after RTT, but man it’s so much better! This whole process is lighter and easier. Not the ‘end of the world’ feeling it used to be. We’re a work in progress, relationships always are- and that is enough! You got this!
If you’d like to see how RTT, Rapid Transformational Therapy, helps people heal, go to www.cyrinatalbott.com.
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