Mother, you had me

Some resources for those wishing to heal in regards to their relationship with their mother:

Click on the underlined grey text below to follow the links.

Mother ‘love’ photo collection

Book Excerpt

“Cultural norms – backed up by the Judeo-Christian tradition -require us to honor our mothers and fathers and, above all, speak no ill of them. These cultural strictures affect all daughters, including those raised by essentially loving, if occasionally imperfect, mothers. They can get in the way of the work a daughter needs to do when she moves from one stage of her own development to another – from adolescence to young adulthood and then into adulthood and motherhood, for example – and must confront the task of seeing her mother wholly and realistically. Our cultural unwillingness to challenge the idealization of motherhood combined with the injunction against criticizing our own mother can leave any daughter unable to take the next necessary step in her evolving relationship to her mother.”…..

“In the court of mother-daughter conflict, it’s usually the daughter who’s on trial. ”

“The cultural myth of absolute mother love combined with the real-world power of a mother to inform her child’s universe often create a terrible conflict within the daughter herself. Precisely because a child is dependent on her mother not just for her physical needs but for the emotional cues that inform her sense of self, the pain caused by her mother’s ambivalence or meanness co-exists with her need for her mother’s love and attention. In a loving, securely attached relationship between a mother and child, power isn’t an issue. With insecure attachment – whether avoidant, ambivalent, or disorganized -the mother always has the advantage and there is fertile opportunity for the abuse of maternal power.  “

Emotional Incest Syndrome

This book outlines a specific injury that can occur in a parent-child relationship. It may occur with mother or father (so this book is not just useful with regards to the mother relationship). It won’t be relevant to everyone but those who have experienced this dynamic with one or both parents are bound to find it useful.

I like that this book is thorough. It highlights the issue from the perspective of all members of the family system, gives example of the many ways Emotional Incest can manifest in the parent-child relationship and the long term effects upon self-esteem and relationships as the child grows into adulthood.

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?

The last section of this book has practical journal exercises that encourage emotional connection. I recommend them.


6 thoughts on “Mother, you had me

  1. marinasmartstudio

    Thank you Mary,

    Your timing impeccable, like usual. 🙂

    Have started to feel, perhaps for the first time, some emotions based on jealousy/competition with my mother, things I still yet to understand logically, but my soul is playing another tune. I only remember dominant feelings of fear regarding her passing, and this ruling so much of my childhood. Now there these new emotions.

    I plan on buying the book.

    Thanks again.


  2. Betsy

    whoa, great post. I watched that video of AJ’s last year and it really stuck with me. Very powerful. I DEFINITELY have the emotional incest thing going on and, at 50, it is still a powerful influence, though I sense that a big healing around that is occurring now. Thanks for the book reference, I will check that out. . One of my favorite tools to use is Hellinger Family Constellations…I’ve been able to look at my family systems relationships in this very deep way over the years. This stuff goes back for generations, as we know, and the constallation works helps me see it from a wider perspective…no one is at fault, it’s just this domino effect that happens to be crazy-making 😉 The healing process is so intricate and seems to have many layers, twists and turns.


  3. Pingback: Happy Mother’s Day, through Good, Bad & The Ugly | the tao of jaklumen

  4. telloutmysoul

    Mary Those photo’s are great for conveying family dynamics and how we are subjected to and subject our own children to demands and expectations. They have also helped me to see how it’s impossible to repent or feel sorrow for being a “bad person” when the truth is the parent is the bad guy and they are unloving party in the relationship. Our role as the child is to forgive in that case?


  5. Tara

    Wow …
    This One Is One Which I feel Will Be Powerful For Me To Watch…
    Tara Grace
    From Toronto

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