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Being seen

Originally published in a different form as a comment here.

My mom often confused her preferences and mine, especially where clothing and gifts were concerned. (I'm using the past tense because she doesn't have a reliable memory for much of anything any more, so I don't have expectations about her remembering my preferences.) This used to frustrate both of us. At some point it stopped bothering me.

(Note, I never had a particularly good sense of her preferences either.)

My dad often seems to see me as an individual and understand what I like. I remember a few times that he bought me a gift that was exactly what I wanted but not something I had asked for or would think to buy for myself. (The LJ icon shows one of those gifts, a clay sculpture he gave me a few years ago.)

I think it has helped me a lot to have a parent who sees me as an individual more often than as reflection of themself.

I wish for everyone to have someone like that in their life, if not a parent, then another person they care about.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 7th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
I wish that everyone had that sort of person too.
Dec. 7th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
I had only my mother who was sure that, as a child (she died when I was 16), I would want to be in the groups she had wanted to be in and to wear the clothes she liked and to go to her kind of parties. It never really worked out.

I had something odder with my stepmother, when I was still talking to her. She delivered a salt and pepper shaker set for Christmas one year that looked like red and green tree lights. She insisted I had asked for them. I would never have been in a store where they sold them, much less asked for them. I think my step-sister-in-law probably wanted them.
Dec. 8th, 2009 01:08 am (UTC)
That's a lovely wish! One of the hardest parts about my father's illness and death is that he did see me as myself, more so than my mother who tends to do what your's did--confuse me with herself or my sister.

I'm trying to be better about saying who I am and what I like, but that is a complicated process because many people filter "I prefer" and "I like" as rejections of what they prefer and like. Touchy!
Dec. 8th, 2009 05:25 am (UTC)

many people filter "I prefer" and "I like" as rejections of what they prefer and like.

Yeah, I know what you mean.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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