Sunday, March 15, 2015

Why I'm glad I fought with my parents

I was my parents' challenge child.  I always tested my limits, whether it was with my curfew, my sharp tongue, or defiant mannerisms, my parents always knew when I was or wasn't happy with something.  To say that my relationship with my parents has been a bit of a volatile one over the years would be a bit of an understatement.  Some would say it is because I am too much like my dad, a statement that both he and I deny fully. 

When I was a senior in high school, I actually ended up moving out when I turned 18.  I'm sure my parents and I remember this situation two completely different ways, so I will save everyone the gory details, but after a few months on my own, I did return home for summer.  Also, several years later, when I was going through some major changes in life, there was another rather large falling out.  This one was a doozy.  While I didn't have much to do with my parents during this time frame, there was still some what of a relationship because they were still involved with the kids.  I never kept them from my kids.  I may not have said a single word to them when they came over to see them, or if I took the kids over there, but I never stood in the way of a relationship with them. 

But it has been through these ups and downs that I have truly learned an appreciation for my parents.  See, I know that I can do things on my own.  I have proven that to myself.  Things were hard without them when there was distance, but I made it through each day.  I provided food for my kids, I met theirs and my basic needs, and I had friends for emotional support. And while I got through it, at the end of the day, I still really missed my parents.  I feel like maybe those years of conflict were put in place to prepare me for some times in my life that were yet to come.  Conflict sometimes helps us get things off of our chest that we might not in another situation.  It allows us to let out our true feelings.  Conflict shows us that it's ok to disagree, and even flat out fight, but at the end of the day we can still come together, and realize that even if we don't always see eye to eye, we still always love each other.  And it is through all of this conflict that:

I realized that I don't NEED my parents.

But I also realized I really WANT them.

My mom was recently in a pretty horrific car accident.  She has months, if not years of rehab and surgeries ahead of her.  And when she is recovering, and physically rehabbing, she will need someone to push her.  This might be where I come into play.  See, I'm not scared to make her mad.  I have always pushed her.  I have never been one to tell her what she wants to hear.  I have always been the one to tell it like it is.  She may have to get mad, plain furious, to get through some of these times.  Some times, anger can be a great motivator, a very strong driving force.  We may have to scream at each other, push each other, remind each other that this isn't going to be a walk in the park.  But then, I can follow it up with the comfort and grace that she has always shown me.  I can be harsh and blunt, but 9 times out of 10 it comes from a good place within my heart.  Sometimes my delivery can be a bit abrasive, and I may not even realize how I sound until after it has left my mouth, but I'm always honest.  I won't lie, or sugar coat things to the people I love.  So I will be honest with her.  And I will push her to push her limits.  I will challenge her physically when she is ready to start building her strength back up.  And I will do it all out of love.

So maybe in a sense I am like my dad.  He was always the one to tell me how it is.  To push me when I didn't want to be pushed.  And we all know he isn't in the business of sugar coating things.  But I also believe that he was coming from a place of very deep love.  Since mom's accident I have seen a side of my dad that I haven't seen in years.  He was scared.  And some times he lashes out when he's scared.  And at first, he seemed almost mad when he got to the hospital.  But it didn't take me long to realize it was because he was worried about my mom.  He has been fighting for her, and protective of her.  He has been soft and caring, more affectionate, and yet cracking jokes to ease the tension when we are all on edge.  He has been the dad I remember from my childhood.  I guess if I am a little like him, I'm perfectly ok with that.

So I will never regret these fights.  In the long run, as funny as it sounds, they gave me a deeper appreciation for my parents.  I'm sure that I acted in some ways that I wouldn't be proud of, and I'm sure if I could do it again there are some things I might change.  But I feel like in a sense, these trying times deepened my relationship with my mom and dad.  Like I said, I don't need them, but I have officially realized how much I really, really want them.
My mom and I with our rock

3 comments:

  1. I'm sorry to hear about what happened to your mom. No one really deserves to be involved in an accident, especially those who are simply caught in the middle or drawn into its deadly nexus against their will. Car mishaps can spin in such a way. It is really best to watch out for ourselves, but we should have our burdens eased once in a while, especially if we shouldn't even be carrying them in the first place. In any way, I hope that she is faring better these days. Thanks for sharing that, Cora! All the best to your family!

    Modesto Culbertson @ D & Z Law Group

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  2. I admire your patience and love for your parents, Cora! I think your father became different after your mom’s car accident because he was afraid to lose her. It’s just his way of fighting it, to be able to survive those challenges. I know that it was hard on your part, but I'm glad you stayed strong and positive. Thanks for sharing your story! I wish your family all the best!

    Sabrina Craig @ Medical Attorney NY

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