Many estranged moms ask it outright: "Why me?" and "How could this happen?"
For others it's more subtle. Here are some indicators you're on the why-me train:
* You subscribe to the common belief that by doing your best and "following the rules" you should be protected from life's big hardships. This comes up in statements like "but we're a good family," "we taught our kids values," and "... but I cared, I tried, I modeled..."
* Or maybe there were struggles and family life was difficult. If you've made changes since, you might want those changes recognized and appreciated. You'll notice thoughts like, "why can't he leave it in the past?" or "I've made the changes she wanted and now she won't talk to me."
The "why me" question comes from the idea that life should be "fair." Intellectually we know that "bad things happen to good people." Of course we just don't want that to apply to us!
Yet life happens. Not one of us gets through without heartbreak.
And part of the pain is that we don't get to choose our hardships. We have no say in what's thrown our way. Life feels unfair and we ask, Why is this happening to me?
But look at that question. It reinforces feelings of powerlessness.
So maybe the real question is "why not me?"
I know it might sound crazy. But take a few minutes to ask these questions and try it out:
Ask yourself "why me?" Notice how you feel.
Now ask, "why not me?" Now how do you feel?
What about "who better than me?" - what feelings come up for you?
No one is entitled to a "fair," pain-free human experience. Tragedy and loss are part of the deal.
These tests can be our best instructors and form us. They show us what we can become... the strength and self-reliance we can have... more appreciation for the people and love around us... the joy in little things.
Challenges can show us our power in our lives in ways that peaceful, easier times cannot.
Who better than you to allow life to change you for the better. To learn and be an example of what's possible in times of pain and adversity.
We can ask the "why me" question forever... and never find an answer... or "make up" an answer by finding painful evidence about ourselves, other people, our adult child. It leaves us feeling wronged, misunderstood, defeated.
Or we can empower ourselves through the circumstances we've been given - by paying attention to the questions we ask, the messages we tell ourselves, the choices we have in in our responses. We can ask why not me... who better than me... and develop trust and confidence in the belief that life will happen, and we can handle whatever comes our way.
It's an opportunity. The choice is yours.
I'm here to teach skills for a life unrestricted by struggles with your adult child. Schedule a free 40-minute consultation here to see if coaching might work for you.
So much love to you, moms! ❤️