a modern day beta woman with alpha facade

very often, as much as I hate to admit it, I am similar to my mum. How can I not be? she brought me up, she is my first and only constant female role model. I fear to be her at her worst, I long to be like her at her best too. She is my harshest critic; yet she is the most honest mirror that will sometimes make me die a little inside when all the flaws I hate in myself surface within her. As much as I hate to admit those flaws I see in my mum exists in me, they do. This is why her stubbornness, her silence when enraged, her independence and her kindness can all drive me mad. I have either assimilated her traits either because of their familiarity, circumstances or simply because subconsciously, I thought that by being her, she could have a well deserve break. Those traits in a mother is what nurtured me, it brought me comfort, safety and belonging. Yet all those sensations, familiar and pleasant, could often mean tension and guilt.

“Yes, I know you mean well, but please have a break and care for yourself, I’m now all grown up.”

I think very often, a child’s good intention will not manifest in a pleasant form because we are still lacking, in life experience and, we do not fully comprehend our feelings of concern and love for somebody. I think feelings come in many layers. The outer most will be the pressure from life, beneath that will be the feeling of inadequecy – always feeling like you can do more and you should. Then comes feeling ‘pressure’ because you have high hopes for yourself, high hopes to become the person your childhood heroes (your mum and/or dad) wants you to be, who you want to be so you can now takeover as the provider and protector of the family.  And when those feelings are not rationalised properly, it comes in outbursts of misrepresented words and expressions, blaming parents for putting pressure and/or meddling too much. A parent can never feel like they have cared, helped and provided enough, a child feels the pressure because he wishes to be able to takeover that role. but peel away all these layers of emotions. At the core, we have love and gratitude. covered by insecurities, anxieties, impatience, awkwardness and fear of rejection and failure.

As my mum ages, menopause and deteriorating memory kicks in and starts hindering her full control of her control of emotion, I begin to see that image she has created for herself during her prime slowly crumble. deep down, she is just as tired as anybody else. Wanting to work harder to give her children more, yet hoping she can spend more time at home with her children, also to give them more. In between these two clashing priorities, comes her personal goals. She is human, after all. Her love for her family means many sacrifices, many of which I will not fully comprehend and understand because her love for me has meant I will never have to go through what she went though and be forced to make sacrifices she did.

I think when a women has people she loves, she becomes a contradiction. She is herself, yet not so. She has ambitions, yet she will contemplate sacrifices. She has regrets, yet she will live with them because she has loved. She will be tough yet broken, incomplete yet contented, tired, but motivated all at the same time.

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