I have a daughter – her name is Jasmine and she is my greatest teacher of Nonviolent Communication(NVC for short), the method I teach.
You could say that from her early years she was challenging to me. This is a girl I could never say 'no' to … and it's not that I didn't try.
I came to study NVC when my children were two years old, almost three, at the height of their "saying no" period, sometimes known as the "terrible two's" following an article I read in the American Mothering magazine, by Inbal Kashtan.
All I wanted, and dreamed was for the communication between me and my children to be close, open, inclusive, empathetic. That there will be flowing communication, that there will be trust in the relationship and trust that their needs are important to me. I wanted to say goodbye to the criticism, comparisons and guilt I grew up on.
And there was a lot of empathy and empathy – but, sadly, there were also a lot of quarrels, shouting, crying, anger … guilt and criticism ..
When I started writing The Jackal's Diary, I wrote about events with her and how I reacted in "Jackal language" that is, criticism, judgments, and counter-attack. She would say to me: Don't you think you are a hypocrite? Learning and teaching NVC, but not applying it with me?
Jasmine always stated her truth unabashedly.
And at times, that was true, but not always, of course. As I often say – with the people closest to us sometimes it is the hardest for us to implement.
So the years passed until one day my son (who suffered alot from the clashes between us) said to me, Mom, You two must not live together.
Something between usfelt torn from adolescence and beyond. The day came when Jasmine said, I can't take it anymore. Like drops of water on a stone that slowly erodes it. That's how it was here too. These words felt like a knife in my stomach – I realized that a line had been crossed …
Fast forward to these times. My daughter is almost 21 years old and gradually started leaving home. Already at the beginning of the first lockdown in Israel she went to the Netherlands and was there for seven months. For me it was a time of mental reckoning and fears, lest I might never see my beloved daughter again.
But she came back – and again left to live in a rented apartment, and soon after we both decided to go together for therapy.
And what do we do ?? Besides each one talking about her pain, bringing up painful memories, and her anger, I learn and practice with her "the" lesson of compassionate communication.
Sometimes I defend myself, I react, I take things personally – and sometimes, more and more and with the help of the therapist who reminds me of NVC and keeps the space safe for both of us – I remember to breathe, and say: "When I hear you say that … I feel , andsay it together with my deep need, the need for understanding and closeness to her
Then he pulled out a poem ( In hebrew) … that when I read it it is so moving and touching to me – and accurate to both my daughter and my mother ..
The lessons are still ahead of us – but I am very grateful