As Basketball Wives LA gears up for its sixth season, Jackie Christie is at the center of a war with another woman—and it’s not a a fellow member of the cast. Most recently the reality star’s daughter, Takari Lee, took to social media to announce her new book, Lights to a Shadow: The Takari Lee Christie Story, which details the dramatic relationship with her mother.
But the big question is why did she write this book?
While you can make a great deal of money from books and book tours, from the nature of Takari’s posts, it seems that the leading emotion here is hurt. The mother-daughter duo seems to be stuck in a cycle where they both point fingers at the other. Like many troubled mother-daughter relationships, both parties seem to be focused on the “idea” of who they want the other to be and stay in a repeat cycle of disappointment because they are not getting their needs met. Unfortunately, we cannot will, pray or even bribe mamas into becoming our own versions of Claire Huxtable or Peggy Bundy (we need all kinds of mothers, right)—and moms can’t mold their children into little Carlton Banks. And since we know life is not always fair (read: we don’t always get exactly what we want), if you are disappointed in an intimate familial relationship, save yourself from years of agony and invest in the best (you).
Consider these tips:
Moms and dads are just people. It’s so hard to accept that parents are simply everyday folks—some with bigger flaws than others. We place our parents on pedestals and expect that a sense of duty and undying love for their little ones will miraculously make them rise to the occasion. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Most parents are trying to figure out life and who they are as they are raising children, and grandchildren. Accept that they will continue to be imperfect.
It’s not about you. When you are rejected, neglected or abandoned by the people charged with being your primary caregivers it’s hard to think their action isn’t connected to an innate flaw that you possess. Here’s the thing, if they’ve identified a major wrong with you as the reason for treating you like scum, know that flaw/issue/concern is merely the excuse to justify the person’s poor and selfish behavior. And since behavior is not about you, there is nothing that you could have done to change it. Let the guilt go.
He or she won’t change for you. Adults make conscious, purposeful choices about their priorities and align their actions in ways to support their decisions. If someone has not chosen to make building a healthy relationship with you an item on his/her to-do list, there is no amount of begging, shaming or even shunning that will change his/her mind. Accept that you cannot force someone to change. Personal growth happens when an individual decides they are committed to investing in creating different outcomes in their life.
Is this your life? Speaking of choices, at some point you have to decide if the saga of sadness, neglect and hurt will be the soundtrack of your life. How invested are you in being victimized? As more time passes, and pain festers without an investment in moving forward, negative habits and attitudes will impact how you treat yourself, and others. Do the work of moving forward and closing the previous chapter of your life. Learn how to love others in healthier ways. Learn how to express your anger in ways that are not debilitating. Learn how enjoy those who are committed to loving you.
Change your expectations. One of the biggest indicators of growth is your ability to permanently reset the dial on your interactions with others. This doesn’t mean that an individual loses the ability to hurt your feelings, but every offense should no longer feel like you’ve been hit by a Mack truck. Some experience will feel like fender benders, then hopefully, pricks. Once you’ve begun to work on your personal healing, and accept your loved one as they are, you can set boundaries for the ways you interact and develop coping mechanisms to lessen the impact of offensive behavior.
S. Tia Brown is the lifestyle editor at EBONY magazine and a licensed therapist. She also happens to really, really, really believe in love and the promise that it gives. Follow her @tiabrowntalks.