You know that thing your family does: soon as you walk in the door, they critique you in the name of only wanting the best for you...?
You look so pretty even though you gained weight...Many folks write that off as that's just the way that is...but its not ok...and that truthtelling (like Bell Hooks writes in Sisters of the Yam) is mad destructive cuz here's what it actually is...its a rite of passage that has been skipped.
When parents, relatives feel like they can speak to you in ways they would never speak to a stranger or colleague, it's because they never stopped identifying you as an extension of them. So, they see you being less than their version of perfect and feel like that's a direct reflection on them. It's a complicated little bit of narcisism that can be fixed.
You have to go through the rite of passage of growing up. Of officially becoming an adult with a separate life that if you're relatives are going to stay close, they have to take the time to get to know the adult you....a completely separate unit...
Now most folks don't do this until their midlife crisis or when their parents are too old to care for themselves and have become almost child-like...but that's backwards...u waste a lot of years when you and your parents could have become friends, deep, loyal friends...that's really neat relationship...
but if you're still playing out the parent/child dynamic in your fifties, you've spent half a century living someone else's life. A life that would be acceptable to your family or parents.
The alternative would be to establish a clean boundary once you've reached adulthood and letting them know this is how it's going to look.
I'm no longer an extension of you, I'm a completely different human being and you're going to treat me like a stranger that you have to get to know all over again. Because you gave me this life, you gave me the benefit of your struggles, so that I could have more and do more than you were able. But as long as you keep seeing me as an extension of you, I have to constantly do battle with your fears. And those are not my fears.
If each generation is really going to heal and do better than the one who came before it...there comes a time, when the child knows more than the parent and can become the natural new head of a new kind of family....instead of duplicating both the good and the bad of the generation that went before them.
is a Tony-winning producer/writer/actor & CEO of TheDreamUnLocked: Boutique Coaching for Actors, Writers & Dreamers