Masculinity

How To Take Your Mother Off The Brake Pedal Of Your Life

Many of my coaching clients grew up with a critical, controlling, domineering mother. They come to me because I've experienced this myself and know how challenging it can be to overcome on your own. Despite the challenge they face, I find my clients often make huge breakthroughs in their lives once they start addressing their mother issues both in Skype sessions with me and by taking assertive action towards their goals in the real world. When they stop living to just please their tyrannical mother and silence the inner critic they internalized as a result of their unhealthy emotional attachment to her, they can finally start living their own lives on their own terms.

In one session recently a client summarized his progress by saying:

“I've feel like I've finally taken my mother off the brake pedal of my life”

I am so inspired by many of my client's rapid progress that I want to share with you some of the specific things that we've all found helpful for taking our mothers off the brake pedal of our lives:

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By Graham Stoney, ago
Relationships

How And When To Go No-Contact With A Narcissistic Parent

One of the best things I've ever done for my own self-confidence and for my relationship with my parents was to go “no-contact” with my narcissistic mother for over a year. Narcissistic parents create a family dynamic which is all about putting their own needs ahead of everyone else. This becomes a real problem when we become adults because we can end up trapped by the unconscious belief that our parent's needs and desires must always come before our own.

[caption id="attachment_3326" align="alignright" width="640"] Going "No Contact" With A Narcissistic Parent Can Give You Space To Heal.[/caption]

Because the emotional dynamics of the parent/child relationship is so strong, this will keep us perpetually stuck as an emotional child emotionally even though we are physically adults. Since our unconscious mind projects our experience of our parents onto everyone else and onto the world at large, the limiting impact of being trapped in the role of a child who must always please their parents restricts our whole lives.

Going “no-contact” with a narcissistic parent is one way to grow up emotionally by breaking this unhealthy parental relationship dynamic.

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By Graham Stoney, ago
Relationships

The Day I Finally Stood Up To My Critical Mother

My mother and father are still together after 50 years of marriage. They are good, church going people who are very community minded. They show love by acts of service and are often kind and generous to other people. But the way my critical mother treats my largely passive father is toxic, and I recently took the opportunity to stand up to their behaviour in order to reverse the negative effects it has had on my own life. Here's how it panned out: [caption id="attachment_2396" align="alignright" width="300"]Standing Up To A Critical Mother Standing Up To A Critical Mother[/caption] Recently my parents and I all attended my maternal aunt's 90th birthday party, along with my maternal cousins, my two older sisters, and all their husbands/wives and families. We spent the weekend in a lovely guest house in the country and since it was a long drive for my aging parents, they asked me to give them a lift there and back. I am a little apprehensive because I know the way my parent's behaviour often triggers me, but I see it as an opportunity to connect with them and spend some additional quality time together. The two-hour drive to the guest house is relatively uneventful, with occasional friendly chatter and lunch at my parents' favourite cafè on-route. However, I am starting to notice the pattern in my parents relationship that often upsets me: my mother “corrects” everything my father says, in a way which sounds critical and belittling to me. His reaction is to withdraw and shut down in response to this criticism; a common trait I particularly dislike in myself. Initially, I just witness what is happening and my internal reaction. But over the course of the weekend as I notice more and more incidents where my father says something that my mother thinks is foolish, wrong or otherwise in need of correction, I become increasingly agitated. In my ideal world, all the years of therapy and emotional healing that I've had would insulate me from the effect of this and I'd be free to let them relate however they choose without me being triggered. But in the real world, I'm not that enlightened. Not yet, anyway. (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago