My Story: Embracing Changes in Relationships After Improving my Mental Health

By Saniya Ghanoui —

HM explains how the relationship with her religious mother changed after opening up about the state of her mental health.


OBOS Today: Could you mention what kind of changes you saw in your relationships that were already existing when you were going through these internal changes, cause you did mention that you started seeking out a different type of partner or a different type of relationship, but I would imagine that this would also reflect all your other relationships that were already existing so could you kind of go elaborate on that? 

HM: Sure! So, I think the relationship that was affected the most by my changes was the relationship I have with my mom. Um, my mom is a very traditional woman, uh, she’s a Bible thumper, she, she, she loves church and she would, she would be surprised at me when I would tell her, Mother, I don’t like it when you do this to me, I feel you know hurt and upset and she would look at me like, what’s wrong with you? Like you’ve never been like this? And then I would like cry in front of her and she’d be like, what is going on with you? But you know I had to sit down with her and talk to her and be like, I feel these in all kinds of ways, I, I often feel like you know she put a lot of pressure on me, you know she, she always made it seem like I always have to be perfect and that I can never go to her when I would mess up because you know she would scold me she would be like, “Why did you do that?”

You know, and because of that and because of the changes that I was making within myself I felt more comfortable telling her, I don’t like it when you yell at me. I don’t like it when you tell me that I must do these you know specific things to have a perfect life because I don’t agree with that. And ob—and obviously it caused a lot of conflict in, in the beginning because you know in my culture you do not talk back to your parents. No, you it’s, it’s just, just not something you do. Um, but she’s, she’s hang—she’s definitely, she’s definitely getting the message more now. I talk to her more about how I’m feeling and now she’s getting used to validating my feelings instead of putting me down and making me feel bad about myself.