Posted by: Tracy Barsamian | January 6, 2013

More on Our Little Mirrors…



I wrote this post before Christmas.  Through the grace of God and a wonderful support network, I’ve come out on the other side!  I only post it, in hopes that another on-the-verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown-mom might not feel so all alone!!  Fellow O-T-V-O-A-N-B-M welcome – you are in the right place!!


This story begins as many other women’s stories do…I had a yucky relationship with my mother.  And I have been SO mad at her.  Mad at her for being so critical of me.  For not giving me what I needed emotionally.  And I have been carrying around this heavy anger for some time now.  Maybe a *little* less than 38 years.

But having two children is giving me a gift (well many gifts, but I’ll just talk about one here!)…the gift of feeling totally overwhelmed and out of control on a daily basis.  I feel like my big girl is insatiable.  Like no matter what I do, she cannot be filled up.  And her “neediness” triggers me.  It makes me crazy, really.  And this week has been especially difficult.  Her every action has upset me.  It’s felt like I’ve been trapped in a slow motion movie on replay.  Whatever she does sets me off.  And I cannot stop my reaction.  The response is automatic; I cannot stop myself from getting angry.  And in the midst of living this nightmare movie, I had a huge revelation:  THIS IS HOW MY MOTHER LIVED HER ENTIRE LIFE.  TRAPPED IN A NIGHTMARE MOVIE ON REPEAT.  This is why she was so nasty to me.  And for the very first time in my life, I felt compassion for my mother.  From one mother to another, I felt empathy.  So this is big.  But just wait.  My a-ha gets much bigger.

This revelation is even more amazing:  Keira’s neediness is not the problem.  It’s MY NEEDINESS, that Keira is so bravely mirroring for me, that I find so completely and utterly intolerable.  And just like me as a child, the daughter keeps showing the mother (the mother’s OWN) insatiable neediness and that feeling is so intolerable that the mother becomes someone that is not her true self:  a mean and nasty monster.

Now this picture feels quite bleak.  But fear not!  There is a solution:  the mother can fill herself up!  I am not sure exactly what that looks like, nor do I have a concrete action plan.  But the universe did send me a really great video (thank you Carol Blog!) that helped to lift my spirits.  Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D. speaks about pretty much everything that I’ve written about in this post in the following video:  She’s quite inspiring.  Worth the ten minutes of your life!  These TEDx videos are amazing.

Thank you for reading today (and everyday).  Love, Tracy


  1. I also am raising a mirror….apparently I am a condescending smart ass. I never saw that coming. Girls are a unique gift to the circle of life. Love your posts. 🙂

    • Ha! You crack me up, Lyn!! Always have. Daughters really are a unique gift aren’t they?! I was just telling a friend today that I think that having children – and now that you mention it, daughters in particular – really does force us to either do our work or just resign ourselves to lives of misery! Cheery, I know. But the alternative is so crappy, that I am encouraged to keep doing the work!!

  2. Thanks for your post Tracey! EGAD! Made me think –ruh.row Janey

    • Thank you for your comment, Janey. I feel like I cannot stop thinking about all this mirroring stuff. Now that things have calmed down between Keira and me, Lauren seems to be acting up. I keep thinking, “wait! stop! no more lessons!! I need a break.” Ha!

  3. That was wise and brave of you to share. Kudos

  4. I was reading a book that talks about the law of Attraction, it was fitting to read this and see hour recognition of it! Well done!

    • Thanks Elizabeth! Speaking of the Law of Attraction, I so want a subscription to the magazine! But it appears that you have to buy it on the newstand. New issue comes out on the 15th! This one’s on me. I’ll buy it, read it, and pass it along to ‘ya!

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