Family,  Relationship skills,  Timeless Stories

Effective Communication

My 2017 was a roller-coaster ride. I experienced a lot of turbulences but I found that majority of the issues were more evident in my relationships. I saw last year as an epiphany process as it entailed things being exposed to me. (I was faced with some harsh truths about my relationships, my identity and most importantly where I stood in the midst of it all).

I come from a big family with 5 children and being the first child has always meant that I don’t always get the chance to sulk. I was always the one to get the full weight of responsibilities or the lash of my parents frustrations whenever my younger siblings would misbehave or a plan of the parents would fail.
About 5 years ago, my parents relocated leaving me and my siblings behind. From the tender age of about 19/20, I assumed parental guidance over my younger siblings. As you can imagine, it has been such an overwhelming experience. I never thought I would be a mother at the age of 19 but I guess life thought otherwise (or should I say my parents). Whilst, my other peers lived life to the fullest, I began to compromise. I put a lot of things on hold so I could attend to my children, care for the house and look after their needs. I think I only said no once; when they wanted me to cook different meals for each meal time (everyday no less!).

I mean it has never been a fun experience but initially, it came from a place of love. Then love grew into hurt and then into bitterness. I became burnt out as I felt the children that were under my care had refused to grow up mentally. Physically they had aged but none of them took up any responsibility of their own. My bitterness grew as I began feeling as though I was spoon-feeding a bunch of grown adults who had just simply refused to latch on to life.

I was not yet physically pregnant or even married, but I could feel resentment towards my future. My toil over my siblings, stirred up a lot of frustration and disappointment within me and unfortunately, it was only through the eyes of resentment that I could view my future.

Towards the end of last year, I decided to speak out. I sat my grown children down and we spoke! However, this time, I spoke as a sister and not a mother as I was so adamant that the maternal and paternal role had to be dropped. After a long discussion, one major thing I took out from it was there was a lack of communication from myself to my siblings. They assumed that because I never spoke out about my frustrations, I was quite content playing the role of a mother over them. I mean, that role was never really the issue but it was more to do with the duration of years that I was somewhat expected to play the role for. And the fact that no one seemed to think I deserved to be a sister and daughter too.

Long story short, I ended the year 2017 burnt out but one major lesson I learnt was that effective communication is what relationships thrive on. I emphasize on effective because all these years, I thought I had being communicating. But what is the point if the other party is not even receiving what is being said? So I am now putting plans in place to communicate more effectively this year. I saw the role I played in my home as a trap/prison. I didn’t realise that there was a choice, a way out. I assumed that we were all on the same page but in reality, everyone was seeing life through their own perspective. 

It has been a long journey. Sigh

I am now entering into 2018 and I can say my healing process has begun.  It really is a shame that it took me 5 years to fully express myself. I never saw myself as someone that struggled with communication but I guess life has exposed the real me.

In 2018, I will communicate better! I will not assume that everyone knows my needs but I will speak my mind at all times.

Happy New Year everyone!

Dishusbandmata…….passionate about relationships
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