From the outside, a man who is emotionally entangled with his mother is likely to look as free as just about anyone else. He will then have the ability to behave however he wants to behave and to live the life that he wants to live.
At times, it could even appear as though he is in control of how he behaves and is happy with the life that he is living. Yet, even if this is the impression that he creates, it will be nothing more than an illusion.
In general, he will have the need to do what will, and what he thinks will, allow him to please others. This is not to say that he will have the need to please everyone equally, though, as his primary need will be to please his mother.
Being tuned into her needs and doing what she wants will be something that communes a lot of his life. And, if he isn’t in her presence, he is likely to spend a lot of time thinking about her needs.
Due to how focused he is on her needs and others needs, he typically won’t even realise that these are not his needs. It could seem strange as to why this would be the case but it is because he is so focused on what is going on externally.
The other part of this is that he will rarely, if ever, be aware of what is going on internally. Whenever he does connect to his inner world, it could occur to him that he usually behaves in a way that doesn’t benefit him and that his life doesn’t reflect who he truly is.
What will be the norm, then, is for him to live on the surface of himself and to be oblivious to his own needs and feelings. His true self will seldom see the light of day and his false self will be in the driver’s seat, so to speak.
This false self will allow him to fit in and to do the “right” thing; what it won’t do is allow him to be seen and heard, to feel alive and to live a life that is worth living. Deep down, he is likely to feel empty and even dead.
Starved of Nutrients
Who he really is, his true self, will need to be seen and heard in order for him to feel alive. For this to take place, he will need to drop his people-pleasing role and no longer be Mr Nice Guy.
By doing this, he will be able to express his needs and reveal how he really feels. This will mean his true self will no longer be dominated and surpassed by his false self and thereby, this will allow his inner self to be seen.
A Key Point
What this comes down to is that he, like everyone else, is an interdependent human being. So, if his inner self doesn’t see the light of day by being acknowledged by others, it will be in a very watered-down state.
It will be like a plant that hasn’t been watered for a number of weeks and is close to dying off. This part of him will be desperate to receive the nutrients that it needs to come back to life, allowing him to feel alive in the process.
Now, if he does have moments when he is aware of what is going on, he could struggle to understand why he experiences life in this way. This could be a time when he will experience anger and frustration.
Instead of being in control of his own life, it can be as though someone or something else is in control of how he behaves. But, although being this way won’t serve him, he can find that a big part of him doesn’t want to change.
A Miserable Existence
To this part of him, not being seen or heard or freely expressing himself will be what feels comfortable. This is why he will have felt invisible for so long and unable to break out of the invisible prison that he has been living in.
Yes, this will cause him to suffer but, at the same time, it will be seen as the only way for him to survive. This will mean that no one “out there” is holding him back or punishing him, it is a part of himself.
A Closer Look
The big question is: why would he only feel safe if he is hiding his true self and is hiding in plain sight? If he was to imagine revealing who he is, he could end up feeling deeply uncomfortable.
He could feel anxious and fearful and fear that he will end up being harmed and cast aside by others. Although this can be seen as being “irrational”, there is likely to have been a time when this did take place.
During his early years, his mother may have used him to fulfil some of her unmet adult and childhood needs. If he ever expressed his needs, he may have been disapproved of, punished and/or abandoned.
As a result of this, he would have come to believe that there was something inherently wrong with his needs, and his self, and he would have ended up losing touch with his true self and automatically created a false self. This false self’s primary need would have been to please his mother, which would have taken place by fulfilling some of her needs and behaving how she wanted him to behave.
A Natural Outcome
Many, many years will have passed since that stage of his life, but he will be in an undeveloped state and he will still believe that expressing himself is a threat to this survival. Playing a role, the role that he had to play for his mother, will be what is familiar and therefore, what is classed as safe t his ego-mind.
For him to break out of the invisible prison that he is living in and to freely express himself, he will need to feel safe enough to do so. A big part of this will be for him to question what he believes and resolve his early trauma.
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.