If a man is emotionally entangled with his mother and he was to become aware of this, it will be a big achievement. The reason for this is that being this way will have just been what was normal for most of his life.
As a result of this, he won’t have been able to see what was going on. So, even though becoming aware of this won’t transform his life, it will give him the chance to change his life.
A Big Shock
At this point, he might wonder why it has taken him so long to see that he has been neglecting his own life. Then again, he may have had a sense that something wasn’t right for a little while.
Even so, he might not have been able to put his finger on what was wrong. Now, however, the lights will have started to come on and he will start to see that he has been out of alignment with himself for a very long time.
Old Habits Die Hard
He is likely to find that although he doesn’t want to behave in the same way anymore, he still feels the pull to do so. When this takes place, it could be as though he has no control over his life.
The part of him that wants to change will end up being outmuscled by another, stronger part of him. If he was to go against this pull and tried to assert himself, he could be overwhelmed with guilt and shame and experience fear and anxiety.
In a way, it will be as if one leg wants to go forward and another leg wants to go backwards. The leg that wants to go backwards (to do the same thing) will be stronger than the leg that wants to go forwards (to do something different).
Most, if not all, of his energy is going to be spent doing things for his mother and trying to resist living in this way. As opposed to feeling like an individual, he could feel like his mothers possession.
It Will Take Time
What he will need to keep in mind is that his life will change but it is not going to change overnight; it will take patience and persistence. A very small part of him will want to change and, over time, this part will get bigger.
That is, of course, providing that he receives the assistance that he needs and starts to heal the damage that was done to him very early on. During his early years, his mother probably used him to meet some of her adult and unmet childhood needs.
Most of his own needs would have been unmet and he would have had to focus on his mothers needs. This would have caused him to experience a lot of pain and it would have stopped him from being able to grow and develop.
He would have had no other choice than to lose touch with his true self and to create a false self. The primary purpose of this false self would have been to please his mother and to do what he could to make sure that she didn’t disapprove of, punish, and/or abandon him.
Connecting the Dots
It is due to what took place at this stage of his life that it will be such a challenge for him to connect to his needs and feelings and to freely express himself. Many, many years will have passed, but he can still be totally estranged from himself and fear what will happen if he was to live his own life.
His mind will have moved on from what happened but his body will be stuck in the past. The trauma and trapped feelings that are held in this part of him will need to be dealt with in order for him to know that he is no longer a powerless child.
A Joint Effort
It wouldn’t be right to say that his mother is the only parent who had a negative effect on him, though, as his father would have also played a part. His father might not have been around during this time or he may have been around but he might not have been emotionally available.
If he was around but he wasn’t emotionally present, it would have meant that he was unable to provide him with the support, guidance and encouragement that he needed to be able to break away from his mother. Without his father’s presence, he would have stayed in his mother’s world and been all at sea, unable to get onto dry land and develop his masculinity.
Therefore, while he can carry a lot of anger and rage towards his mother, he is also likely to carry a lot of anger and rage towards his father. In addition to feeling rejected, unwanted and abandoned by him, he can feel deeply betrayed.
But, as his father was supposed to be there for him and to protect him, how else would he feel? This pain may have been covered up since he was a small boy but it is likely to be as strong now as it was then.
If a man can relate to this and he is ready to change his life, he may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, 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.