My Mother And I Will Probably Never Have A Healthy Relationship & I’m Ok With That

I spent most of my twenties trying to mend my broken relationship with my mother. Then, I realized that no matter what I did our or how hard I tried, our relationship would inevitably stay the same. And to be honest, I’m totally ok with that.

  1. For a long time, I thought I had to have the perfect relationship with my mom. To be honest, it took me a good ten years to get to understand that relationships and people are flawed. Trying to force your relationship with someone will most likely not change anything, as I painfully discovered in my twenties. It’s only going to make you feel nuts and possibly co-dependent.
  2. I started therapy to help me work through my issues. I didn’t start therapy with the sole intention of getting on better terms with my mother but it was certainly on my mind. Over the years, our communication has gotten better and I have therapy to thank for that. But if I’m being honest, it hasn’t helped as much as I wanted it to.
  3. I didn’t want to hate my mom and then act exactly like her. The truth was that I didn’t want to be one of these women who hates their mother, but then acts exactly like her. It’s a stereotype that has been perpetuated in my family, probably for generations. Each descendant is no doubt their own person, with a unique set of traits, an individual. But this mother-daughter battle still persists. So, I thought, “Well, I am going to change this. I’m going to change our relationship. We are going to have the best relationship ever!”
  4. I was doing everything right but our relationship didn’t improve. I do have therapy to thank for bringing me to the realization that a lot of my trauma comes from this fractured relationship. I was having a hard time interacting with others because of this strange relationship I have with my mother. My mother issues were basically being mirrored in other areas of my life and I wanted to fix that. I thought I was doing everything right. I was going to therapy, meditating, reading self-help books, but every time I saw her we wound up fighting and I’d start questioning all the work I was doing.
  5. I realized I was doing myself more harm than good. I hated that my other friends had such healthy relationships with their moms. I wanted what they had – shopping trips together, lunch dates, hair appointments, whatever else mothers and daughters are supposed to do together (I never did any of these things so I don’t really know). To say I was jealous would be an understatement. But the harder I tried, the farther away this magical relationship seemed to get and I was driving myself nuts in the process.
  6. I decided I should stop trying so hard.  I was doing all of this work on myself, working with a therapist, getting my chakras aligned, trying to meditate, the whole nine yards, and still, our communication was the same as it had always been. I didn’t understand what was wrong or why we couldn’t get along. Eventually, I started wondering why I was trying so hard in the first place. Is having a crappy relationship with your mother reason enough to make yourself nuts over? I was acting like it was, but truthfully it should not be. And the sooner I realized this, the better I felt.
  7. I was only looking for validation. I didn’t receive much positive feedback as a child and not much nurturance either. As an adult, I realized I was constantly seeking someone to validate me, to tell me I was good enough. Not really permission seeking – more of a clapping after performance, an encouragement. This is why I became obsessed with fixing my relationship with my mother. I was looking for validation from her and felt like I was failing when I couldn’t mend the broken pieces, which wasn’t great for anxiety and self-esteem.
  8. I realized that the only validation I needed was my own. Instead of looking outside I started acting like a mother to myself. I started telling myself to go to bed early, encouraging myself to apply for that job, telling myself that I really should do some more writing tonight. Treating myself with more kindness and care has not been the cure all, but it has certainly helped.
  9. I finally learned to let go. I’m not good at letting things go. I get anxious and think about things way too much. But after 10 years of trying to no avail, I gave up. Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t care, because I do. If my fairy godmother were to come down and tell me that my mother and I would suddenly have an amazing relationship, I would jump for joy and thank my lucky stars. But that’s probably never going to happen – at least not right now.
  10. I’m thankful for what I do have with my mother. My relationship with my mother is nowhere near perfect. It’s flawed and messy, we barely talk and when we do it usually ends up in a fight. All this said, I am grateful I have a mother who raised me, supported me and put a roof over my head because I know that not everyone has been lucky.
Rachel Galperin is a Writer, Producer and Performer. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications and has worked in Production, Casting and Development for a variety of TV series and networks including National Geographic's Brain Games, The Real Housewives of the Potomac, HGTV's Dear Genevieve, The Cooking Channel's My Grandmother's Ravioli, and others. Her writing has appeared in The Ground Magazine and Yogi Approved. She lives in New York City.