AceShowbiz - First-time motherhood has been challenging for actress Mena Suvari. The 42-year-old actress and her husband Michael Hope welcomed a son, named Christopher Alexander, in April, and Mena admits parenting has been tough to navigate.
"It's wonderful and it's everything miraculous you can think of, but it's been challenging for me too because I personally never felt like I had that type of mother figure," the "American Beauty" star says.
"So I don't know how to be that one, and I worry over it a lot. Also, this is a big process for me in accepting that something so beautiful had happened for me. It's like the universe's next challenge for me. It's now my biggest lesson because it's interesting when you experience a lot of trauma you can become very controlling because you can establish that behaviour to feel safe."
Mena admitted having a baby has "triggered" all of her past trauma, but she is learning how to use that to make herself "better".
She added, "Well, having a baby, all that control just goes right out the window. It's sort of like the way that my life had been going with lessons sprinkled. Now, it's just like 24/7 lessons! Like, 'OK, I'm learning. I can do this. I'm good enough'. It's literally triggering all my stuff, but I try to use it, and I know it can make me better. I try to in each and every moment just connect with him."
Mena was the victim of sexual abuse between the ages of 12 and 20, which she detailed in her new book, "The Great Peace: A Memoir", revealing how she used clubbing and hard drugs to numb the pain.
But now, Mena's sole focus is on raising her son in a healthy environment.
She told People magazine, "I look for myself in him and I just want to do him justice. Another thing that's happened too is that I don't have time anymore to feel bad for myself. It's a beautiful gift, having my son, because I don't have the time to do that anymore. It's not about me anymore. I'm always looking for the ways I can grow and learn. I'm looking for the ways that I can learn through him."