If a man is emotionally entangled with his mother, his true self is rarely going to see the light of day. This will mean that his needs, feelings and wants will typically be repressed and suppressed and, when he is around others, he is likely to play a certain role.
In general, the role that he plays will involve him focusing on the needs of others and his mother, in particular, and doing what he can to please them. His attention won’t partly be on what is going on internally and what is going on externally; it will primarily be on what is going on externally.
Although who he really is will rarely see the light of day around others, this might not typically stand out. Some people may notice this, yet most people might be oblivious to this fact.
When he is in his mother’s presence, there is a strong chance that she won’t be aware of what is going on. As far as she is concerned, her son’s sole purpose could be to meet her needs and to be there for her.
In A Disordered State
She could unconsciously see her son as nothing more than an extension of her, which is why she might not be interested in his needs. Then again, it might not even occur to her that her son has needs, due to how consumed she is with her own needs.
If this is so, it is likely to show that his mother is not in a good place mentally and is completely estranged from her true self. As a result of this, the self that she does have will have been built on top of her true self.
She could mean that she has an inflated false self, with this allowing her to come across as strong and confident. In reality, how she comes across will probably be a way for her to avoid her own shame and self-hate.
This self won’t have strong foundations and be built on rock; it will be built on sand. The strength that she projects, that’s if she does, will be nothing more than a facade.
A Bleak Existence
So, as his true self is seldom seen by others, it will mean that it won’t get the nutrients that it needs; nutrients that would allow him to feel alive and deeply connect to others. The outcome of this is that he can feel invisible, wonder if he even exists and feel very empty.
However, thanks to him suppressing and repressing what is taking place inside him, he will do his best to avoid the information that is inside him. Ultimately, this information will be there to guide him, not to make him feel bad or to punish him.
An Important Step
For him to put an end to the miserable life that he is living, he will need to listen to what is going on inside him and to express who he is. If he continues to ignore himself and to play the same role, his life is likely to get even worse.
It is unlikely that someone will just appear and give him the support that he needs to change his life. But, if he takes the first step and keeps going, the support that he needs is likely to appear at just the right time.
If he was to express how he really feels when he is around the people in his life and his mother, they could be surprised. The reason for this is that when he is around others, he will generally create the impression that he is fine.
Without him even needing to consciously wear a mask, this mask will automatically appear on his face. If he was to think about expressing how he really feels, let alone expressing how he feels, he could experience fear and anxiety.
He will have the ability to freely express himself, but for some reason, he won’t feel safe doing so. To use an analogy: it will be as though there is food in front of him, but he won’t allow himself to reach out for it.
In a way, it will be as if he is living in an invisible prison; a prison that can’t be seen by others but a prison nevertheless. For him to break out of this prison, he will need to understand what is keeping it in place and then move through it.
If he was to go further into the fear and anxiety that arises, he could find that he fears being rejected and abandoned. This will show that fully showing up around others will be seen as something that would cause his life to come to an end.
Therefore, hiding himself will cause him to suffer but revealing himself will be seen as being even worse. Deep down, he will believe that he can only survive if he abandons himself and pleases others.
Being in touch with himself and expressing himself should be what feels comfortable, not the opposite. What this can illustrate is that during his early years, his mother used him to fulfil some of her adult and unmet childhood needs.
If he ever expressed his needs, he may have been punished, disapproved of and/or abandoned. This would have caused him to believe that his needs and his self were bad, and that he could only survive by playing the role that his mother expected him to play and doing what she wanted.
For him to free himself from the invisible prison that he is in, he will need to realise, at the core of his being, that he can reveal himself and not just survive but thrive. For this to take place, he will have beliefs that need to be questioned and trauma that needs to be resolved.
Still, this is not to say that he will need to be healed before he reaches out for support; naturally, this will gradually take place if he reaches out for support. The key will be for him to focus on the fact that there is nothing wrong with who he really is or his needs and that he doesn’t deserve to suffer in silence.
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 take place 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.