We are entering into the season of honor for parenthood, with the arrival of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, which often evokes a wide range of emotions and expression of these primary relationships that mark our first love story or our first heartbreak. First up, of course is Mother’s Day.
The relationship with mothers and children can be quite complicated. This has become more evident with social media playing its public part in the celebration and sorrow of this day, where we’re reflective on our experience of our mothers, which shapes our multilayered lens of motherhood.
Mother’s Day is a pretty straight forward and beautifully, honorable day when it comes with the gift of physical connection and emotional availability, as well as the ongoing life evidence of unconditional love. Even for those of us whose hearts are heavy with the physical departure of our mothers on this day, there is still a blessing in missing the physical connection of the nurturing relationship with your mother. There is a privilege of having a treasure chest of memories of her love that carries you beyond her earthly presence.
This day becomes a bit more complicated when you have to mourn the difference between the hallmark gestures of motherhood and possible limitations and absences you actually endured. There are individuals mourning the emotional and physical absence of mothers still living on this day, as well as mourning the forever lost opportunities for any possible joint healing and mending that wasn’t afforded prior to the loss of their mother. While people are preparing, attempting, or proactively healing these first love stories and heartbreaks; language to accompany this healing is constantly being explored, developed, and evolved. This is where it becomes important to remember that people’s relationship with their parents belongs to them. And though advice on how someone “should” be, feel, or speak about their parents might come with good intentions, ultimately it’s a hi-jacking of another’s journey to make sense and fit with your own (whether you have similarities or differences within your own maternal love story.)
If you find yourself being triggered by how another expresses their feelings and experiences of motherhood, remain curious and follow through with why it’s causing a disturbance within you. This moment is more about a lesson and guidance to you than it is about a relationship you have no ownership of (even if that other person is a sibling…being born to the same person does not equate to the same experience of that person for various factors.) I implore you to show up in your truth of celebration, honor, and grief and allow others to do the same.
A child’s physiological wellbeing is determined in utero from their mother’s physical and emotional wellbeing within her world, as well as how it’s nurtured once birthed or bonded (inclusive of motherhood via adoption and surrogacy) in the mother’s maintenance of her wellbeing. The depth of that visceral connection remains in the shaping of that child and their movement over the course of their life. Let’s remember the magnitude of the parent child dynamic and allow everyone the authorship to his or her first love story and/or heartbreak.
Be blessed in your happy, memories, and/or healing this Mother’s Day!
Shameitra N. Green, LMFT
*Shameitra Green is a psychotherapist and founder of her private practice, Nexus Therapy, where she serves adolescents, adults, and families in Pearland.TX and surrounding areas. Shameitra’s client populations includes individuals and families dealing with complex trauma and PTSD, survivors of neglect and sexual abuse, grief, and attachment disorders. Shameitra also provides trauma informed trainings and consultation to assist with agencies, schools, and trauma professionals in enhancing their trauma informed best practices.
I am SO excited to launch a long received vision of mine to continue to keep vital conversations around mental and emotional wellness going! Years ago I noticed whenever I would collide my worlds together in fellowship, I would receive comments such as “we can tell who the therapists in the room are because y’all just take the conversation to different levels.” Of course, from my perspective I was gathered in a room or event with all my dynamic people mingling having great conversation together. However, as I kept receiving feedback on this “I spot a therapist” in fellowship with my diverse group of friends; I started to notice there would be a shift in these engagements. It would start as all parties being active participants In interactions to eventually becoming witnesses in reflection, as my fellow therapists friends and I continued to carry the conversation.
So when I thought about those experiences, as well as the great depth of conversations I have with colleagues who I am also privileged to call friends….we have the birth of From My Couch to Your Couch (yes that title came with the vision years before COVID 19 pandemic couch living;)
From My Couch To Your Couch will be a platform where you will have opportunity to reflect, gain insight, growth, and hopefully continued healing through great informal conversations with my friends and I beyond the formalities of sessions and other professional domains.
In this first episode of From My Couch To Your Couch and in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, I invited a few of my friends and colleagues who are some of the most esteemed trauma informed therapists with expertise working with children, adults, and families in the epidemic of Child Sexual Abuse, Exploitation, and Neglect.
Pam Schubert, LCPC-S, RPT-S
Heather Timmis, LMFT-S; email@example.com; Nick Finnegan Counseling Center- 713-402-5046; The Couple Zone- 832-377-8813
Saudia Turney, LMFT-S
Friendswood Center for Couples and families
Mind Body Soul Healing Center
Individual, Couples,& Families
Mental health Nutrition &Amino Acid therapy (alternatives to psychiatric medications)
Veronica Villarreal, LMFT, RPT
times when we are culturally given permission to claim and stand firm in our
mental, emotional, or physical spaces; we hear statements such as “Do You” or
“Speak Your Truth.” But what often happens is this reclamation of independence
is celebrated, until reality sets in that to “Do You” and “Speak Your Truth”
comes at a cost. The cost of unraveling the “you” that was handed to you along
the way through the relational lens of family, peers, career, spirituality,
At the unraveling stage of healing, you start to feel like a stranger to yourself which makes this thing called therapy, a resource to help you, feel like it’s the very thing that threatens you…. should you fight, flight, or freeze? No! You should stay and BE because this first stage is needed for you to learn how to not operate and respond on autopilot in all the ways you adapted through your survivor mode to past traumas or direct/indirect messages of how you accessorized others’ sense of well-being. This is the stage where you start to become aware and pay attention the “hmmms” and “ahhhs” of your intuition that you disconnected from or stop trusting at a certain point.
The bridge stage of healing soon follows which is the phase of healing where you start to feel a little more settled in your healing space and realize your resilience is stronger that your fear of unraveling…..and honestly you have already done the hardest part which is surviving. During the bridge phase, you start to recognize you can’t logic your way out of your emotions and you can’t feel yourself away from your thoughts. You need to connection of mind, body, spirit to honor and recognize the totality of your human experience through your wounds and your healing. In survivor mode, the bottom part of our brain becomes active as the upper parts shut down to prepare for the objective at hand to just survive some way some how. Our bodies and mind then continues to form a habit around what we know to work in our physical and emotional times of need, which is compartmentalizing or approaching life through “black and white” terms. The problem with that is while surviving works through compartmentalization, living and healing works through connection of whole being. The bridge stage starts to merge all the pieces of you and evokes the questions “what of my past do I keep because it informs and serves my direction, growth, and goals?” “What part of my past do I need to thank for getting me this far, but I now need to let go because holding it beyond it’s immediate purpose is starting to hinder my direction, growth, and goals?”
The interdependence stage is the later phase of healing where you understand the importance of defining, re-defining, and claiming your own sense of self, while accepting that the quality of connection with others serve as a reflection and periodic self inventory to how you nurture or neglect your care of self. I intentionally did not state this as the end of healing, because healing is not a linear process and life is a delicate balance of surviving, existing, and thriving. The attention in this stage is on self-preservation. The rules for this stage are the development and re-development of boundaries. The practice of this stage is accountability. And the on going question of this stage is “where do others end, where do I begin, and do we make for a healthy or unhealthy blend?”
To walk into an unfamiliar space with an unfamiliar face to put into question the known of survival and/or dysfunction and commit to the unknown towards healing is therapy at its essence. Now THAT’s a radical act of self-love and discovery that deserves to be revered as the strength it is!
Shameitra N. Green, LMFT
Founder of Nexus Therapy
*Shameitra Green is a psychotherapist and founder of her private practice, Nexus Therapy, where she serves adolescents, adults, and families in Pearland. TX and surrounding areas. Shameitra’s client populations include individuals and families dealing with complex trauma and PTSD, survivors of neglect and sexual abuse, grief, and attachment disorders. Shameitra also provides trauma informed trainings and consultation to assist with agencies, schools, and trauma professionals in enhancing their trauma informed best practices.