Love & Hegemony: When Self-Love Feels Radical

How do I explain my life to my mom? How do I challenge her beliefs in the way the world works when they are backed up by her own experience? Moreover, how do I resist totalization with respect while maintaining a semblance of the relationship she wants?

These are only a small sampling of the questions I’ve been trying to answer these last two weeks, but ultimately they are all the same question of: What next? The reality is that I don’t know. I do know that for a long time I had my mom on a pedestal, to the extent that I believed I was the sole reason we had problems. My dad and my granddad only ever wanted her to be happy, and I grew up with my dad putting the role of the guardian of her happiness on me. Sometimes I think that because she was so used to being prioritized by them, she extends that expectation to me in a way I fail comprehend.

This is not the first time I’ve tried to renegotiate our relationship, but it is the first time that I’ve had the conscious thought that not everything is my fault strictly because I am the common denominator in my own life. I have always suspected that she resents my attempted coups because of the way she seems to shut down and evidenced the in recurrence of familiar issues. However, now that I am realizing all of these things, I don’t love her any less. I simply love myself more now that I have room to tell myself that those things she said and didn’t know she said aren’t all the absolute Truth.

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