Dear Cycle Breaker Navigating Aging Parents…

Dear Cycle Breaker, 

Do you feel that knot in your stomach when you realize your parents are getting older? It’s like a rush of emotions hitting you all at once. You want to learn more about them, to understand their stories, but time feels like it’s slipping away faster than you can grasp it. It’s the constant tug-of-war between trying to get closer to understanding them and memories of your upbringing flooding in, stirring up mixed emotions.

You have seen changes in yourself, and they may be experiencing some changes, too. You have grown and evolved, and so have they, hopefully, in their own way. But it’s not easy. It’s messy, and sometimes, it can feel like you are stuck in the middle of it all. Some parents haven’t been what you needed them to be, and that is OK to acknowledge. It’s OK to feel grief, that sense of loss for what could have been. It’s OK to feel conflicted because of these mixed emotions. Slow down and take a breath.

You are not alone in this feeling. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and stumble through the process. Every step you take, every effort you make, matters whether they acknowledge it or not. Maybe it’s a phone call, a hug, or just a simple ‘I love you.’ Your feelings and desires to connect are valid. Your feelings towards their response to your efforts are valid.

Maybe it’s in these moments that we find some common ground, some way to bridge the gap between what was and what could be, even if it’s not exactly what you had in mind. Permit yourself to take it slow while staying open to the possibility of growth and healing. Give yourself the wiggle room to be human.

I am rooting for you, always. 

-Brown Girl Trauma (cycle breaker)

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