There are some mothers out there who are loving and supportive and these are the epitome of the mother archetype in action. And then there are mothers who are anything but loving and supportive. These are mothers who have gone against their natural inclination to nurture.
Instead of doing all they can to create a child that is healthy, happy, empowered and adjusted; they often end up doing the complete opposite. Now, there are of course degrees to how severe this abuse can be and this will lead to different consequences.
For someone who had a loving mother or one that was fairly neutral in this respect; it will be hard to comprehend how any mother could abuse their own child. And for the abused child; this will also be hard to understand.
Mothers are often held in high regard by society and rightfully so. However, this has negatives as well as positives. For women who take care of their child or children, this will be well deserved. But when it comes to women who abuse their children; it can often create a wall of silence.
Based on the positive perception of what a mother is like, it can cause an abused child or adult child to repress and deny what has happened to them.
So instead of them speaking up and being open about their abuse; they may well live in fear of opening up about it. As a result of the common idea of what mothers are like, it can lead to one feeling ashamed and guilty of what they actually feel to be the truth within them.
This is why dealing with the consequences of an abusive mother and healing what happened can be such a challenge. By living in a society that reveres the mother figure, the other side of what some mothers are like often goes unnoticed.
In order for one to heal what happened, validation and acknowledgement usually need to occur. The story that one has needs to be heard and accepted. Because if what one really feels is denied, dismissed or repressed; it will not lead to healing or letting go.
What happened is what happened, and this means facing the truth of it and not judging oneself in any way. Ultimately, it was not personal and had nothing to do with the person who was abused.
So if it had nothing to do with them, why were they abused? Let’s take a closer look at what is usually going on for mothers who are abusive. Firstly it comes to a lack of self awareness.
The abusive mother is in pain and due to them not dealing with their pain in a healthy way, through seeing a therapist or speaking about what their problems are to someone, their child ends up being abused. But this is not something that goes on consciously; the whole process can only happen if the mother is unaware.
This means that the mother has certain emotions, feelings, thoughts and sensations within her that are creating a sense of unease. And is using the child as a way to regulate or deal with these processes. Now, these rarely consist of the odd irritation here and there, they are likely to be extreme and overwhelming to the mother.
At times they may be minor experiences within, but in the majority of cases they won’t be. And the reason that they are so powerful is typically because they have built up in the mother.
In the beginning of this article I mentioned the common challenges that individuals often have who were abused by their mother. And this often plays a large role in the reason they were abused by their mothers.
When the mothers were children themselves it is highly likely that they were also abused by their mothers. So what then happened is they passed on the same behaviour. Through being unable to speak out about what happened and process what went on; they had to deny it within themselves.
This can then lead to repression and here one can forget that they have forgotten. But, the body can’t do that and needs to release what has happened. If it doesn’t get the chance to do that, it will lead to reactive behaviour.
Here one will behave in ways that are not conscious and one will feel that they have no control. It’s as if they have become set to act in certain ways and have no other options to choose from.
So what then happens to them through having a child, is that all that they have not dealt with and repressed all those years ago, comes right back up. And as this pain and trauma has been repressed for many years; it results in the mother having no control over what’s going on inside them.
And then the same behaviour that was carried out on them, gets carried out again. Although this is the case, it does not mean that the abusive mother will admit to this. Through years of repression and other defence mechanisms, such as justification; the mother may have all kinds of reasons why they did it.
Again this will depend on how conscious they are and if they are willing to take reasonability for their actions. One thing is important here and that is - they might deny, justify, ignore or dismiss what happened, but that doesn’t mean one has to do the same thing.
What matters here is that if one was abused by their mother they seek the appropriate assistance. This means listening to what their mind, body and heart may be trying to say. It is there and needs to be faced in some way. And there is not one way to do this; there are numerous ways out there.
As more people have spoken up about this, it has created more awareness and this has lead to more solutions being created. Numerous books are available and then there are different kinds of therapies and healing modalities. What I will suggest is that one reaches out and doesn’t suffer in silence.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.