Supportive Community

The boards on this forum will only become visible once you are registered.

Please feel free to use our 'open boards' to post something as a guest or register to visit the other boards. Registration is free and easy.

Also, the forum will become advertisement free as soon as you are a member.

Missing Mother Syndrome

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Missing Mother Syndrome

Post  GCG on Thu May 19, 2011 9:48 pm

Just saw your post on missing mother syndrome (what Clarissa Pinkola Estes calls the Unmothered Child) and many of the things you have listed (but not all) do apply to me.
I have known for a long time that having had a cold an unsupportive mother has had a negative impact on my life. As a child I was aware that my mother was 'different', but I wasn't quite sure how to define it. Going to the homes of friends just felt warmer and more relaxed. I saw that they did not have to behave in a certain way all the time to win the affection of their mother. They were accepted. Faults and all.
I realise that we all have to take responsibility for our own lives as adults, but I know too that having never been loved unconditionally and never shown much warmth or empathy, it leaves a big gaping hole in my life. I sometimes feel a sense of complete isolation. I never wanted more than acceptance and love from my parents. To feel valued by the people who brought you into this world is surely a basic need.
The realisation that I would never have this acceptance and love dawned on me properly when I was 20 years old and fleeing from my violent and abusive ex-husband (yes, I married too young - no prizes for guessing why - out of the frying pan and into the fire!). Having been living in a womens refuge with my, at the time, year-old daughter, I longed to be back in with my family just for one weekend. My daughter had contracted a sickness bug from the none-too-clean conditions in the refuge (not knocking the places - they do marvellous work). I took a bus across town and knocked on my mother's door, begging her to let us stay for just the weekend. She told me that she couldn't take us in, and closed the door in my face. I was very, very low at the time. She had a large home with a spare bedroom. My ex-husband had subjected me to a lot of abuse over a period of four years. I hadn't been hospitalised or had bones broken, but he used to kick, punch and mentally torture me. He held a knife at my throat and also used to do things like keep a cheesewire in the footwell of the car on my side. His violence had been getting worse when I first tried to leave him. He also abducted our daughter and would not let me near her for 2 weeks, he left her at his mother's house and used to call periodically at our marital home to terrorise me. At that time, the police did not want to know. It was just termed a 'domestic'. It was also not deemed abduction, as she was his daughter. Also, he was a real charmer - well spoken and educated. He could charm the birds out of the trees when he needed to. Ironically, it had been my mother who had set me up on a blind date with him in the first place!
Anyhow, I realised on that day that if my mother could turn her back (literally!) on me in my hour of real need, she really did not love me the way I loved my own child. After I came out of the refuge we got back on speaking terms and I tried to forgive her, but found it difficult. She was never really warm. I can remember several instances of things she did that made me feel rejected or 'not good enough'. One particularly memorable one was being the only member of the extended family not invited to my parents' silver wedding celebration. Her excuse for not inviting me was 'I didn't think you would be able to get a babysitter'. I think I found out about the event after it had taken place.
For 13 years I have not spoken to her. It was a decision I did not take lightly. I longed to build bridges with her and to have the loving relationship I had always felt lacking. I did try, but I knew it was never to be. She would not 'let me in' and she would never acknowledge the hurt I felt when she turned me away from her door. That would be admitting to being in the wrong. I used to feel bad every time we spoke on the phone or in person. I realised that the relationship was toxic. My daughter told me that I should sever contact. She saw the damage (that was before my daughter became schizophrenic).
They say you never miss what you never had, but I can tell you that is not true. I never had a mother who loved me just for myself. I never had someone who took pleasure in my achievements and commiserated with me in my disappointments. I gave up on ever telling her when life wasn't going too well, as she would always counter whatever I was saying with a tale of her own, far greater (in her opinion) suffering. Of course I wanted to offer my mother support in her times of need, but she was never, ever there for me.
It leaves a hole in your soul. 13 years of silence. Does she ever feel regret? I doubt it. Probably more likely feels sorry for herself for having raised such an ungrateful daughter.
Not having any contact is painful. When I see people having happy family gatherings, it hurts. Holiday celebrations and Mothers Day are still difficult.
I thought I could heal my pain in my relationship with my own dear daughter, who is much loved. Sadly, her personality has been taken by the schizophrenia and the heavy medication. I have my sons. I love them equally as much as my daughter, but sons have a different way of interacting with their mother. I wanted those girly chats, all the milestones....sadly not to be. She remembers nothing of her childhood. I think they may have given her electric shock therapy in hospital. Maybe that caused the memory loss.
My mother doesn't even send my kids birthday cards. She has never tried to find out anything about my daughter, although I know that she knows about her illness.
I have seen many counsellors over the years, to deal with issues arising from my upbringing, ex-husband, my daughter's illness, etc. I thought I had dealt with most of the stuff related to my parents, but recently I realise that I haven't. I have accepted that they are as they are. I can even forgive them partially (they maybe didn't know any better?), but how do you fill the hole in your life that is left by feeling that those people who gave you life don't care if you live or die? How do you learn to feel good about yourself when the people who should have loved you unconditionally rejected you? If they couldn't love you, how can anyone else? I know it doesn't make sense. But the tiny voice is always there, telling you that you - just as you are- are not loveable enough.
It is so true that when a crisis occurs, all the pain of the past comes rushing to the surface. How does one ever overcome this? I have tried EFT. I have tried many types of counselling.
I am listening to 'Warming the Stone Child' CDs by Dr CP Estes. I am hoping this may be a way forward.

GCG

Join date : 2011-05-05

Back to top Go down

Re: Missing Mother Syndrome

Post  ebe on Thu May 19, 2011 10:35 pm

You are making much sense, and your words have left me feeling tearful . . . . I hear you, GCG, and I do indeed know some of the pain that comes with such a deep emptiness . . . . my mother carried many of the same traits you have described, so I am able to understand some level of the agony you speak of . . . . . . .

Acceptance can feel like an illusion when 'remembering' makes things still feel so raw today, but it doesn't mean you have not accomplished this . . . . . . and you have every right to grieve for what you know ( as a mother) you should have been given as a child . . . . . . . perhaps that is where you are at? . . . and grief is not the same as acceptance . . . . atleast not to me . . . . .

GCG Wrote:
Anyhow, I realised on that day that if my mother could turn her back (literally!) on me in my hour of real need, she really did not love me the way I loved my own child.

There is much pain in that statement . . . . . and I am not sure if it is actually possible to "overcome" being 'unmothered' . . . . much like you, I feel I have spent my life doing everything I could to heal, too . . . . . but I find myself saying lately that maybe finding better ways to live with the pain may be what I'll have to settle for . . . . . .

Hope you are able to keep talking if you need to, GCG . . . .





ebe

Join date : 2009-04-11

Back to top Go down

Missing Mother Syndrome

Post  GCG on Fri May 20, 2011 9:10 am

Hi Ebe

Thank you for your comforting words. I am sad for you that you have experienced a similar situation. I think you are right about the grieving. I thought I had done that, but sometimes situations occur that open old wounds.

On another topic, I noticed your post on here in the aftermath of the tornados. It made me feel humble reading about those people in your neighbourhood who lost loved ones and their homes. Also, I cannot imagine how terrifying it must have been for you during the time when the storm passed by.

I feel that whatever I might say about this would be inadequate, but I hope that you and your neighbours are beginning to feel safe again and that people are taking the first steps toward healing and rebuilding.

In 1989/90 I was privileged enough to spend a year living in Tennessee. I know how beautiful the southern states are and how warm the people are also. My daughter used to be made to practise 'tornado drill' in kindergarten in Nashville. I remembered this when I heard the news reports back in April.

I am especially touched that you have reached out to me at this time, when you have your own loss and pain to deal with. Thank you. GCG

GCG

Join date : 2011-05-05

Back to top Go down

Re: Missing Mother Syndrome

Post  ebe on Fri May 20, 2011 11:25 pm

Yes, I felt sadness for you as well when I read your post . . . . . for me, it is being able to mutually feel it for one another that seems to help, if even the slightest . . . . .

I appreciate your kind words regarding the storm . . . the clean up process is still ongoing . . . . and there are still many piles of debris waiting to be hauled away or burned . . . . they have done 'controlled' burns on the remains of two homes, so the air quality hasn't been very good . . . nonetheless, the piles are slowly getting less and less . . . . I still find it difficult to adjust to everything being so bare now, but even still, everyone is doing better . . . . thankyou . . .

And you are right about the beauty the drapes the southern states . . . . and how wonderful that you had a chance to live here for a while . . . hope Tennessee treated you well and gave you a good dose of warm, southern hospitality . . . . such caring is soooo good for the soul . . . . and the food is pretty good,too . . . . .

See you around the boards . . . . .

ebe

Join date : 2009-04-11

Back to top Go down

Re: Missing Mother Syndrome

Post  sky on Sat May 21, 2011 11:46 am

I have known for a long time that having had a cold an unsupportive mother has had a negative impact on my life. As a child I was aware that my mother was 'different', but I wasn't quite sure how to define it. Going to the homes of friends just felt warmer and more relaxed. I saw that they did not have to behave in a certain way all the time to win the affection of their mother. They were accepted. Faults and all.

It saddens my heart to read your story GCG. And the aftermath you are obviously still trying to cope with - alone. No one should have to do that. I feel deeply for the little girl you once were and the adult who is having to live daily with the pain of that child part that so yearns to be healed. It causes such deep and painful wounds - as you say, it feels like a hole in your soul.

I hear you say you have tried many types of therapy. I wonder if you have tried a relational therapy, one which uses the relationship formed between you and the counsellor to help you heal? A psychodynamic or attachment based therapy perhaps? I hear you desperately trying to heal yourself but the thing that struck me the most as i read your post/posts is there is one hugely significant thing missing - the help of 'another'. Sometimes there are things we just cannot heal alone - and the type of wounds you explain here are some of those things. I hope one day soon you will find a counsellor who can work in that way to help you - it will be an investment in the rest of your life.

With love and support

Sky xx



Our lives are like the course of the sun. At the darkest moment there is the promise of daylight.
avatar
sky
 Administrator

Join date : 2009-04-11

http://mutualsupport.englishboards.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Missing Mother Syndrome

Post  shadow on Sun May 22, 2011 5:24 pm

avatar
shadow

Join date : 2010-11-30

Back to top Go down

Re: Missing Mother Syndrome

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum