When I started meeting with Karen I had no relationship with my mom at all, which had caused all my relationships with family to break down. She helped me realize I could feel all of my feelings about my mom and our relationship. I had been stuck in feeling like I had to hate her and have nothing to do with her or else love her and be okay with everything. I was polarized. As Karen worked with me, I began to see that I could feel both.
I learned that in expansion there is room for both, or whatever else is there. I have a right to all of my feelings. As I began to relax and feel all of it, things began to change. We worked a lot on honoring and loving all of my feelings, and listening to them to hear what they were trying to tell me. I learned I could care for myself no matter what. I could start to feel and process what had happened in my life and with my relationship with my mom. Eventually this helped me to start a new kind of relationship with her.
One thing this work really helped me with was intentionally processing my anger. At first this didn’t make sense to me, because I had spent most of my life feeling angry and it hadn’t seemed to help anything. In our work together, Karen helped me feel the difference between the old way and now being intentional about my anger. But we also honored the way I had been using anger all along.
Now I can look back and see that all that anger did help protect me in an abusive environment and feel where my boundaries were being violated, even if I didn’t clearly understand it at the time. My anger was painful, but it helped keep me sane. Once I could really appreciate my anger, we worked on using it intentionally to burn up a lot of toxic feelings.
Today I actually have relationship with my mom and other family members. I honor and respect myself enough to have clear boundaries, and I am learning how to have healthy relationships.