Friday, August 14, 2015

A quiet, sensitive daughter, feeling disconcerted by her mother’s responses to certain incidents, wouldn’t open up …

Sunaina was dismayed that her daughter Nila has been hiding vital information from her for long. Recently she found Nila's highly expensive gold ring in a corner of her house very unexpectedly. What rattled her was the fact that Nila hadn’t spoken a word about it to her though she was aware of its sudden disappearance. Feeling confused, she shared with me how helpless she felt when she saw her daughter did not share her own feelings and fears with her at all.

The complete story:

Sunaina was distraught that her daughter Nila had always been hiding vital information from her. Dismayed, she poured out her feeling of helplessness as she narrated how she had spotted Nila’s highly expensive, newly-gifted gold ear ring in the corner of a room of her house one morning very recently. Nila, married and settled far away from her home in Bangalore, had come down to spend a few weeks with her parents.

Sunaina has been a working mother all through and has never been able to spend sufficient time with her daughter. The regret remains hidden somewhere inside her that surfaces for a while whenever she narrates to me any incident of her life that leaves her wondering why, at different points of time, her daughter didn’t speak up and share her worries even when she was right near her.

As I empathized with her, I asked her how she responded when such unpleasant events occurred, unexpectedly, in her life. She fumbled for words and so I helped her analyse her own behavior by recalling if she had given herself to outbursts of anger or had become very tensed or nervous. Slowly, through a series of questions from me and her replies, she realized that the anger and acute tension she felt and showed on such occasions had caused huge discomfort to Nila in turn.

By nature quiet and not expressive, Nila had kept the news of the loss of her ear ring to herself instead of sharing it with her mother. Sunaina thought Nila knew she would lose her peace of mind the moment she would hear about it.

Here was an opportunity for Sunaina to look deep within herself and to think about her responses to certain events in her life. She felt she needed to work on herself when it came to expressing her anger with something or somebody. Also, when it came to facing a particularly challenging situation, she indeed would benefit if she knew how to face it better, she felt.

Considering she is mostly time-starved, I gave her a few simple and quick tips:
·        *Keep taking deep breaths.
·        *If possible, leave the place, where the event has occurred or the person whose presence is causing you discomfort/tension, for a while.
·        *Get busy doing something simple, preferably with your hands.
·        *When you feel a little calm, you may return to taking up the issue that was bothering you deeply.
Sunaina no longer complains about her daughter. Now she knows what tools she possesses to deal with a situation, the kind of which had her at its mercy in the past quite often and wreaked havoc in her fast-paced life by impacting her relationship with her family suddenly and swiftly now and then.
(I came in touch with Sunaina  when I was having a session with an old lady who was mourning the sudden loss of her doctor brother, much before Sunaina approached me recently for help.)

I'm glad if my post has touched you. Since I have the constraint of returning home well before my daughter is back from school, I cannot give myself to counseling as much and also as often I'd like to. So maybe your sharing of my experiences with my counselees, with your friends, and you asking them in turn to do the same, could compensate for that a little bit at least.

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