Interesting Ted Talk. I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but I have come to believe that my mother most likely does truly love me and maybe those messages of "Parents have to love their children and children have to love their parents", were her way of saying "I love you" without having to make herself vulnerable.
I figured out awhile back that her objection to my being gay was really her fear of my life being hard. Her fear of the extended family knowing is a little hard to accept, but maybe she's not quite n board with what Andrew refers to as "taking on the identity of your child. Maybe again it's her fear of being vulnerable.
My mother has told me many times over that she should not have had children.....that she didn't possess the necessary characteristics to be a good mom. Although I've felt unwanted by the statement, at least she wasn't blaming us for this regret of having kids. Now I have to wonder if she can that her inability to unconditionally accept us has caused some major damage and feels bad about it. Out of 4 children she got two gays, 2 criminals and 3 drug addicts, none of which she can relate to and all of which she hides from her family and friends.
Although Andrew didn't talk about it, I have been wondering if part of my change in my relationship with my mom is that I've worked past the pain she's caused me and I'm getting to the unconditional acceptance of her: Her mental illness, her inability to express or show love to me, and her strange and narcissist outlook on life. I have accepted that I will never get from her what a child wants most from her mother so I must, and I do, find other ways to meet those needs, through other relationships and including good self-parenting and self-care.
Anyway, it was a very interesting talk; thanks for sharing Joanna.