Dr Ng Wai Sheng

I Gave You Back Your Daughter

I Gave You Back Your Daughter

I Gave You Back Your Daughter

We are all somebody’s daughter or son. We cannot change our past or history. But we can create our own future, if we become more CONSCIOUS about how we are living our present.

As a therapist, sometimes I have monologues inside my head. The following monologue emerged after a session with a mother and daughter. In the session, the usually timid and fearful young adult daughter expressed her intense anger towards me (her therapist), in defense of her mother. She did not agree that she was playing the role of a nice, compliant daughter to her mother, who often acted unconsciously in self-centered or self-seeking ways. The daughter insisted that her mother’s way was only to show her love and protection. On the other hand, the mother, despite seeing her daughter’s strong distress, insisted that her daughter was really just a “sweet little angel” who loves everyone in the family. They both sought therapy in hope to “restore” the young adult back to how she was before, ie., a cheerful and high-achieving girl.   


[To mom]

Did you think you have lost your daughter?

Here, I give you back your daughter.

Look, she’s so passionate, so full of emotions, so alive!


[To daughter]

It’s up to your mom whether she can accept you as her daughter,

the way that you are now.

Maybe she will, maybe she won’t.

But you gotta accept yourself.

Just the way you are.

Messy, confused, angry, worried, sad, not so nice, not so perfect after all.

Cos’ if you keep trying to be the nice and perfect daughter for your mom,

you are bound to get sick –

physically or mentally.

That’s the way you are going to pay back your mom,

for making you her nice and perfect daughter.

She can’t set you free,

because she isn’t free yet.

Her parents didn’t set her free, neither did their parents.

So you have to learn to set yourself free,

little by little,

by getting to know yourself, stretch yourself,

and keep loving yourself, just the way you are now.

And in doing so,

you are also showing your mom –

she can learn to set herself free too!

Whether from her own difficult childhood, her unhappy marriage,

or her own neurotic fears as a parent.

Free people frees people.

When you are free, you set your mom free too.

And she in turn, sets you free!

To be the very person you are born to be.

Not her property.

Not her extension.

Not her shadow.

Not her thoughts, her emotions, her unfinished business…

Just you, uniquely you.

And that’s the best gift a mother can give to her child.

That’s the best gift you can give yourself,

when you discover that



“Don’t die before realizing your authentic being.” (Osho)



Article by Dr. Ng Wai Sheng

Image by Aline Ponce from Pixabay 


Disclaimer: All stories presented in this article are based on, or inspired by actual events. In certain cases, incidents, characters and timelines have been changed for privacy and confidentiality purpose. Certain characters may be composites or archetypes, and are not intended to depict or allude to actual persons or families. Any resemblance to actual incidents, persons, places or events is entirely coincidental.