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When I was in seventh grade, my biological mother—who was then living in Luxembourg—was involved in a serious car accident and had to be put into a medically induced coma. After somewhat recovering from the physical and mental trauma she experienced from her near-death experience, she moved back to San Francisco in September of my junior year. Her mental absence from my childhood and inability to care for me as a child had created a deep divide in our relationship. Since her accident, I had moved in with my father and two half brothers, and I had a very stable life at home. My mother’s sudden interest in being a part of my life gave me hope that our rocky relationship could stabilize. Upon her arrival, she made the decision to file a lawsuit against my father. This caused a lot more tension on our relationship as well as at home. Although I hadn’t lived with her for six years, she had very forcefully inserted herself into my life to solve her personal feelings of guilt surrounding our relationship. With my mother back in my life I was given the responsibility of creating time for her out of my schedule which previously had excluded her. I found myself having less time to spend with my friends or by myself and more time was given to her in an effort to meet her halfway. Although my grades didn’t suffer, my stress and anxiety levels spiked and I had far less motivation to do the things I love. Since then I have worked to establish boundaries for our relationship. I no longer worry about pleasing everyone around me at the cost of compromising my own feelings and well being. I learned to be assertive with what I want and to articulate my needs clearly, even if it doesn’t align with the opinions or needs of others. I will continue to strive towards transparency in my communication with the goal of surrounding myself with healthy and honest relationships.
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