Healing the mind in conversation

Our Spirit Group facilitator, Mary, helped me through an emotionally challenging, teary discussion by having me switch to referring to myself in the 3rd person rather than as I. Using this process (while cumbersome at first) really works in taking the sting out of words. Later on, during a counseling session, a therapist used the same method with He and I which made honest conversation easier to acknowledge.

Here’s an excerpt from an article I found from Psychology Today:

“When using third person or “non-first-person” pronouns during self-talk, you do not use pronouns such as I, me, or my. Instead, you speak to yourself (either in a hushed tone or silently inside your own head) using pronouns such as you, he, she, it, or your own first or last name. In recent years, a wide range of studies has found that third-person self-talk can improve emotion regulation and self-control by facilitating self-distancing and reducing egocentric bias

Years ago while learning to cope with and live with my relationship with my mother, I began to refer to her in conversations by her given name. While I absolutely did not have the gonads to call her Helen to her face, I recall the feelings of less lethal emotions when I gave myself permission to not refer to her with the beloved name of Mom. Of course, mom wasn’t actually the name she preferred…it was Mother. It’s highly likely that Mother is a loving name spoken from children to their beloved. But in my case it was a “formal” expectation which was another knife wound that separated mother and daughter.

In a FB conversation with a friend this morning, I referred to mom as Helen….and that’s what brought this whole train of thought coursing through my brain like a slow meandering stream. Use it if it feels good. We all have uncomfortably charged conversations

Until next time….

It has taken me nearly 5 years….a huge milestone

but I no longer hate my mother.  I’m even able to call her mom in conversations rather than by her given name, Helen.  This is a huge milestone in my life…I never thought I would be able to feel differently about her…after she died in 2009 and I started the process of healing, I assumed that I would just move on, the memories would fade and how I felt about my mother would just find a seat on the shelf of my heart which holds the pain. Frequently situations and conversations work through my memory that I find distasteful or hateful or whatever…but the bottom line is I realize that she had mental disorders.  I don’t know how or why and I will never know how or why so somewhere along the journey, I made it right in my own mind and can say that it is okay….it doesn’t matter…she did the best that she could do…I’m who I am because of her and I like who I am so she did her job.


The most important part of this was to share this with my daughters for mother’s day.  They have loved me, supported me and helped me make it over to the peace of understanding.  Happy Mother’s Day.

Until next time….