So, for a little history and what may lead to an explanation and answer for me. I grew up in a large blended family. My parents divorced when I was in Kindergarten. I remember my mom telling me about it. I was sitting in the living room on the couch and she was standing off to the side in the kitchen. Thinking back to it now as a mom myself, I have to believe she could not look me or my sisters directly in the eyes so we would not see the true pain she was in. Her heart was broken and she didn't want us to see that. On a side note, as a parent now, I wonder why my dad wasn't there. With news like that, children need to hear it from both parents together. This reassures that they will do their best to work together to continue to be the best parents possible even if they aren't together. This is not saying I am going to open this up to my parents for discussion. In my life I have worked through a lot of things including understanding of their separation. The reason I mention it here is to see it in print in order to help me understand ME better. My mom is one of the most emotionally strong people you will ever meet. This trait can be both admirable and sheltering at the same time. I feel it has blocked her from being able to show her soft side to me and my sisters. I feel like she has always had a wall up. I know she loves me, but it is not easy for her to say it. I know she has a huge heart, generous spirit, and will go out of her way to help those in need around her. I would like to believe inherited these beautiful traits from her and have pride in hearing people who know her well tell stories of her good doing and comment that I am like her.
Back to the wall. This wall has been difficult to climb over. I look at the way I communicate with my children and wish she would have communicated to me like I do with them. My children and I are open and honest with each other (Even though my teenage daughter tells me I don't listen or "get it"). I do try... I tell my kids I love them on a daily basis. I give random hugs. I try and make myself approachable. My mom wasn't and still isn't very approachable. She has a tone in her voice that comes off as snappy and angry when I try and talk to her about me and who I am. She takes conversations we have had and turns the tone of my words back at me in a snappy way so it seems as if I said them to her with the same anger and saltiness. There is no arguing with her. There is no trying to defend what I have said and plead That I did not say it how she heard it. If something comes out of my mouth she doesn't like or agree with, she is quick to end the conversation and therefore she thinks about it, processes it, and comes back with what makes sense to her. It is never in my favor and the words "I'm sorry" are rarely ever heard from her. When I plan a conversation with her I make note to keep my tone in check because I know I can sound just like her. It doesn't matter if I am as calm as a cucumber. She hears what she wants. Period. I have been forced to accept this and I don't like it. She voices she is set in her own ways and therefore will not change. I believe people may not completely change, but everyone is capable of some change.
I find myself talking the same to my kids. We will argue and squabble and I don't always listen or say the right words. However sometimes I need to walk away to process. My teenage daughter doesn't always like it when I tell her I need to be done with the conversation because we can keep on going and keep "beating the dead horse". I do process and I do think about her reasons. I do come back and have a calm conversation compromising a solution we can both live with. My daughter does it too. It may take me awhile because I am not the perfect communicator, but I make an effort to try and so does my teenage daughter. Gosh I love her.
Misunderstanding has caused a lot of saddness, anger, and hurt feelings on both our sides. When my mom puts that wall up she only hears the negative in the conversation and doesn't listen to explanation. Therefore she feels hurt by me and my words when that was not my intention at all. My intention was to talk with her so she can understand who I am a little bit more. Instead that stupid wall of misunderstanding gets in the way once more and we only make baby steps towards making our relationship free of the wall that stands in the way of positive communication and true understanding of one another.