Last year Christy bravely shared her story of emotional abuse and the power of self-love.
Christy caught up with her Mum to hear her perspective of the story
Well, where do I start?
Our relationship is an unconventional one at that but also one that I cherish and wouldn’t change for the world.
I love for your letting me call you at early hours of the morning when I’m on the other side of the world, crying because I can’t fit all my shopping in my suitcase.
I love you for blaming the mirror when we go jean shopping and they just don’t look right.
I love you for baking me a birthday cake every year (even though I don’t really like cake and only eat one slice).
I love you for always supporting my life choices, even when I just wanted to buy a house in the country and live a life alone with five dogs.
I love you Mum, most of all, for teaching me how to laugh and not take this life too seriously. I owe my resilience and positive outlook to you. People will often comment on how I manage to see the bright side of every situation and I always think of you and how you taught me that.
Thank you for all the love, guidance and laughter you’ve provided me in life so far. Thank you for sitting back, letting me shine and live my life my way.
You’re an incredible woman and I am so happy I get to call you my mum.
Happy Mothers Day x x x
Can you tell us about the journey with your daughter as she was involved in an unhealthy relationship?
I had no idea my daughter, Christy was in a unhealthy relationship as she never spoke to me of it. It wasn’t until she told me she was moving out of their shared flat that the reasons as to why she was moving became apparent.
How did you identify that your daughter was in an unhealthy relationship, what were some of the warning signs you observed?
I didn’t identify with any warning signs, they always seemed happy when I saw them together. When she started to confide in me with some of the things that happened, I was shocked. Looking back now though, there were definitely changes in the way that Christy acted but it was always pushed under the rug when he was around.
What changes did you observe in your daughter?
As I reflect I remember Christy's attitude had changed towards everything in her life. She wasn't the easy going, happy, confident girl she had been prior to the relationship. She had always taken pride in her appearance but this to went by the by. Christy had taken to drinking a lot more than usual and she became intolerant and moody. I do remember actually telling her that she had become very hard and almost emotionless.
Could you share with us some of the turning points?
Within the timeline of the relationship ending, Christy had lost her greatest friend, supporter and father figure, her Grandad. My Dad meant so much to Christy and with his passing I think it pushed Christy to turn her life around. Christy then eventually moved to Wellington to work and I feel that by removing herself from the environment she was in she was able to make positive changes.
How is your relationship with your daughter today and how did it get to this point?
Our relationship today is great. We speak to each other most days even if it’s just for a couple of minutes. We can always count on having a good laugh when we get together. I hope she feels that she can confide in me with anything.
What makes you most proud of your daughter?
I’m a very proud Mum of a incredibly confident, self-assured, kind and funny young lady who has overcome difficulties with strength and determination.
What is your perspective on self-love, and in what ways do you think it supports women’s choices and relationships?
I actually asked Christy what self-love was all about as I had always thought it was to be self absorbed and selfish. After having Christy explain it to me, I totally get it. I think it’s important for woman to understand this before they get into a relationship so they’re able to establish their values and find a partner that can support and complement these.
What values are important to you when it comes to love?
Honesty and loyalty.
What does a healthy relationship look like to you?
Two people having the freedom to be themselves.
If you could share one piece of advice with our readers, what would it be?
Give your children the wings to fly and the security to know they can always fly home.
We've loved bringing you this Mothers Day edition of our Featured Stories. We wholeheartedly believe in the power and value of speaking up and sharing our own stories. If you're a young woman who is ready to share her experience of emotional abuse and journey of self-love we'd love to hear from you!
You could be our next Featured Storyteller!