For a very long time I struggled with my relationship with my parents. I grew up in a very German household and to me, it felt very unsupported, unloving and highly critical. I felt really distant from my parents as my sister and I grew up in South Africa and culturally we were quite different from the traditional German culture. Principles and doing things right were often more important than just giving love and support in situations.
It has taken me years to accept that there are different ways to live and there are different principles to live by and that my way is not necessarily right or wrong but merely different. It has taken me even more years to acknowledge that my mother’s endless criticisms and corrections on how I looked, what I wore and what job I held were not done out of spite or pain but as her way of protecting me and ensuring I got the best out of life, from her viewpoint. Looking good and being presentable, reliable and hard-working were principles that allowed her to achieve many great things in her life and she was merely passing on experiences that had worked for her.
I let go of the pain around this. I let go of the pain that I always felt around not being good enough for them or that my job wasn’t enough to make them proud or that my partner or friends were not “enough” for them. What I realized is that ultimately I needed to do the things that made me happy and when I did that, they would see that I was happy and it wouldn’t be an area that they felt they needed to “fix”. I must admit I used many techniques to allow myself to release this pain. At first I tried psychotherapy and simply talking it all out with a therapist but this just seemed to make me feel worse and like more of a victim.
Eventually, I discovered that the pain I was experiencing was merely a perception I had about myself. That there was an inner child in me that felt unloved, not worthy and that wanted approval. Yes, I could partly have blamed my parents for this inner child yearning but I believe we all feel this on some level, no matter how wonderful our parents have been towards us. It is a voice that grows inside of us and when we figure this out, we can traced its source but more importantly we can release the emotional pain around it.
I believe it is the emotional pain around words, situations or experiences that we need to release and then we can accept and forgive and move forward.
I did this with a technique I discovered over a year ago. It is called Emotional Freedom Technique and it does exactly that, it releases the pain and emotions we feel about something. It does this incredibly well. When I first heard about this technique I couldn’t believe how simple it was and had serious doubts that it would work at all. It did and it is super easy to do and allows us all to release anger, resentment or pain around anything we might be feeling.
It is funny because it seems that many of us with endometriosis seem to have struggles with our relationships with our parents. Many of us have a particular struggle with our mothers. I know for me, I got along much better with my dad than my mom. She was always the hard one, the critical one and the one that struggled to show any real love and affection. I used to actually find that my endo would flare up whenever I visited her. I believe this was all the tension and stress I felt around those hectic emotions.
It is interesting to me because endometriosis seems to have found its way into that area of our bodies. That area where babies are made and our family lineage is extended. The ties to our mothers become more intensified when we are looking at having a child. We reflect more on our own upbringing and what we would do differently. We reflect on how she would have felt carrying us and somehow, as much as we want to close off our relationship with our mothers sometimes, we are drawn back to her connection with us.
What is your relationship with your mom? Your dad? Do you believe that there could be a connection here? Does your endo flare up when you are around them?