Forgiving your mum was a topic that I always wanted to block out of my mind because people close to me knew that I had a lot of resentment towards my mother and the negative impact it had on me. In this article I will talk about the key turning points in my attitudes towards my mum. This happened throughout a few years which led me to finally accepting this advice, of forgiving your mum. I hope that sharing this will in some way help anyone going through the same mistake I made.
After finishing my scholarship year in Wellington, New Zealand, I had to return to Tonga as part of my scholarship agreement. Prior to the end of that year, I had reapplied for a standard student visa to return and finish my last year of high school in Auckland, where my mother lived.
Furthermore, I applied to a new school in the new city. Having done this all by myself was a huge achievement for me personally. I did not want any help from any of my families, especially my mum because I felt that I came out of Tonga as a scholar due to my own hard work and I wanted to show her and the rest of my families that I don't need them. This is getting back at them all for leaving me and my young brother in Tonga all these years.
I had asked my young brother for my airfares because he was now working in a factory and earning good money. On my arrival, I decided to go and live with my sister because my young brother was living with her as well and the fact that I was not ready to succumb to 'forgiving your mum' idea. This was not handled well by my mum and she was taking it out on my sister. Unfortunately for me, I had used my mum's address for both my visa and school applications. Therefore, it was required by law that I live with her.
I had not lived together with my mother since I was about six years old. Now after 10 plus years, we lived together in a two bedroom flat right next door to her youngest sister (my aunty) and her family. I remembered that we argued right from day one because she was treating me as her son but I was making it difficult for her. I did this by reminding her that it was a few years too late. I enjoyed seeing her hurt by my words and my behaviours. Living next door to my aunty was helping both of us in a way as we can be with others and therefore minimise the conflicts and arguments.
(My mum on my left and my aunty on my right)
As the months go by, I was still a fulltime student and my mother was the only one working. I often opened up our bills and realised that we (my mum) had to pay for the flat, power, telephone, my stationery, school fees, bus fares, shopping and school uniform to name a few. I saw her getting up much earlier than me in the winter months to catch the bus to work and often come home late in the evenings. She was not making much as a Sewing Machinist Operator, so she started bringing home 'outwork'. I decided to get a part-time job as a 'waiter/door man' at a convention centre through one of my classmate to help out. I was starting to appreciate 'how low income family' of Pacific Island decents struggle to survive in this new environment let alone my own. This was a far cry from how my host family lived the previous year, or at least I was not privy to perhaps the reality of it.
The irony of it all was that, deep down I loved my mother and to a certain extend I understood why she had to do what she did, but the pains of the separation, rejection and the loneliness I felt back then especially when it was anything to do with parents (parents/teacher day, price giving, first communion, etc ), was always a constant reminder. The way out of these situations was by trying to be the smartest in school with the hope of one day being able to be independent. Alternatively, stowing away in a cargo ship or cruise liner to New Zealand (which was a common occurrence in the islands) to find our mother crossed my mind many times. The only reason I did not do it was the idea of leaving my young brother behind or if I get caught, I will end up in prison which will bring shame on my little brother.
Over halfway through the year, my mother was starting to say a lot less and just be there for me, meanwhile I felt that the pain was diminishing everytime I confronted any issue in person with my mother. Through experiencing the struggle to make ends meet and being able to have a realistic expectation of the reality my mum have been through all these years, my heart was starting to softened towards forgiving my mum.
In hindsight, the things that helped me to start the forgiving your mum journey were the opportunity to confront her in person about the underlying issues, the ability to now have a realistic expectations of my mum and how she struggle to make ends meet, the renewed perception of the real truth and not what I thought it was, my mum's maturity to change her stance by pulling back and just being supportive instead of controlling and last but by no means least was rekindling the love we both have but could not be expressed due to circumstances and misunderstanding.
Once again, 'forgiving your mum' article has only been made possible by my supportive business mentors. While this is therapy to me, I hope others find it useful for their own journey. Please feel free to comment and provide any feedback.