If someone has been able to get to the stage where they can see that how their mother behaved during their formative years was anything but healthy, they could wonder why she was this way. But that might not be all there is to it, though, as their mother might not be much different now that they are an adult.
So, as opposed to seeing their mother as a human being, they could see her as a monster that was and is hell-bent on causing harm. Naturally, as they are an adult, they will have far more control than they had when they were a child but this doesn’t mean that they will realise this.
A Big Impact
If they don’t realise this, it is likely to show how much of an impact their early years had on them. They could now be in a very bad way both mentally and emotionally and it could be hard for them to function.
So, they could often experience anxiety, fear and even terror, and when they are not on edge, they could feel very low. There is also the chance that they spend more time feeling on edge than they do feeling low, or vice versa.
And, although, they will be able to see how their early years have impacted them and that what happened wasn’t their fault, there can still be a big part of them that blames themselves for what happened. To this part of them, they will have deserved to be treated badly and will continue to deserve to be treated badly.
Thus, even though they will have been an innocent and vulnerable child, it will be as if they had committed a crime and deserved to be punished then and for the rest of their life. However, the reason why they will have this outlook is because they were egocentric at this stage of their life.
How they were treated was not a sign that they were bad, worthless and unlovable, it was a sign of how wounded their mother was. Yet, for them to know this at the core of their being, they are likely to have a lot of inner work to do.
A big part of this will involve them reaching out for the right support, as they won’t be able to do everything by themselves. Assuming that they haven’t opened up to anyone about what is going on, when they do, they might end up receiving some surprising responses from others.
The Next Stage
If they were to talk to a family member or family friend about what they went through, they could end up receiving the validation and support that they deserve. Then again, this could be a time when what they say is dismissed and they are criticised.
This person could say, in one way or another, that their mother was and is nothing like how they say and that they are making it all up. They could end up feeling angry and frustrated and then ashamed, guilty and hurt after this, but what this is likely to shed light on is how different their mother was and is around others.
If they haven’t thought about this already, they might soon see that their mother was often very charming, generous and attentive around others. This version of her would then have been radically different to how she often behaved behind the scenes, so to speak.
If ‘beauty’ typically came out around others’, then the ‘beast’ would have been what typically came out at home. This would have been a time when she was caught up in her own needs, needed to be the centre of attention, was overly entitled, lacked empathy and was cruel, among other things.
Quite frankly, their mother generally wouldn’t have been able to attune to their needs and feelings and love them. This would have deprived them of the emotional nutrients that they needed and, thus, stopped them from being able to grow and develop in the right way.
To handle what was going on, they would have had to adapt to their mother and create a disconnected and deflated false self. Their physical and perhaps mental self would have grown, but their emotional self wouldn’t have.
A Closer Look
Due to how their mother behaved during this period of their life, they wouldn’t have been able to be a child; they would have had to be a parent. Their mother, then, was an adult, but she typically wouldn’t have acted like one.
As with a child that is a few years old, she needed everything to revolve around her, so for her to receive a lot of attention and her needs to be the focus. A child is also not concerned about the needs of others and is entitled to having their needs met.
A Lot in Common
With this in mind, it could be said that a big part of their mother hadn’t grown beyond about two or three years of age. Of course, their mother had things that a child doesn’t have, such as a fully developed body and a developed intellect.
In all likelihood, their mother was deprived of the attunement and love that she needed during her formative years. This would then have deeply wounded her, and, to handle what happened, she would have developed a disconnected and inflated false self.
A Different Angle
She was then an adult, but she hadn’t grown beyond the stage of her life when she needed to be the centre of attention in order to survive. By being deeply wounded at this stage, she would have emotionally shut down and become an unfeeling person.
Many, many years would have passed since she was a child but her developmental needs wouldn’t have disappeared. To try to meet these needs, she would have unconsciously done her best to re-create her early years, to finally receive what she missed out on.
By turning her child or children and perhaps her partner as well as others, into parental figures, she would have been able symbolically receive what she missed out on. The trouble is that as these people were not her parents, not to mention that this stage was over, the emptiness within her would never have been filled.
The words ‘the world is not enough’ are apt here as nothing externally would have been able to make up for the emotional deprivation that she experienced as a child. The trouble is that as her sense of self was built on sand and she was carrying so much pain, blocking out reality to keep her pain at bay was essential, and this is why it wouldn’t have been possible for her to engage in self-reflection and thereby, to become aware of how destructive her behaviour was and to change.
If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they 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 26 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.