Thinking you have it all together is a funny thing. It’s like that TED Talk on being wrong. The woman says that “being wrong essentially feels a lot like being right.” That is exactly what waking up to patterns that you are playing out that are not your behavior but essentially is something that you picked up from either mom or dad.
Realization after realization hit me after I started reading the book “Mothers Who Can’t Love.” Now let me disclaim that even mentioning my mother and this book in the same sentence fills with me with guilt. But I have notice positive changes that have arisen once I began to separate who I truly am from the negative aspects that my mother handed down to me.
A little bit about my background and how it links to my present
My mom had almost no self-confidence or self-belief in herself. She came from an verbally absusive background. And her mom was helpless and she had M.S.
I know you are thinking ok.. I mean that is what I was thinking. I thought all of this was ancient history. I had no idea that it really plays a role in how I view myself now.
See when we are little we idealize our mothers. We depend on them for survival. (I am so over that argument but in this case it’s necessary.)
I always thought that the reason I had no self-confidence, was against wearing heels, basically thought I was just screwed up or “different” or just naturally sad.
Was just something that I was because I was I don’t know…middle class? I’m not really sure!
But it’s because I saw how my mother cared for herself (which she really didn’t.I saw her tear herself down, I saw her have no self-confidence, I saw other people disrespect her.)
But even still with that model of how I should view myself..I was still confident. It persisted….
Until the natural rivalry between mothers and daughters. (which i really wasn’t aware existed. But since doing my own research I see that these dynamics are very real.)
This book really digs into the subtle ways that mother who are unfulfilled try to unconsciously or consciously dig into and create insecurities in their young and thriving daughters. It is as natural to the mother as breathing. And it makes me sad. This isn’t a special case like “oh you have a bad mom.” It is a real case that because mothers are human they are subject to negative emotions as well. Mothers aren’t all loving all the time. They have dark thoughts and emotions as well.
I feel that i am writing a lot. But to sum it up, I noticed my mom would try to sabotage me in ways. For one when I was younger there was absolutely no privacy. She would always go through all my drawers, throw away my books that I loved to read. Even throw away a ribbon I won for horseback riding. You think that didn’t affect me? Well I have written about trust issues haven’t I? I don’t even trust myself yet a long a guy.
Are there were times prom, or any other special day for me. She would always sabotage it. And start a fight with me before it. So it was practically ruined. And I wonder now if she was feeling threatened, or jealous, or just that she was losing me in some way. But I know that she was coming from a place of emptiness. And I don’t feel bad processing these emotions that come with it. I am giving myself a chance to be angry.
Writing more on this topic makes me upset. For example there have been times where she made me question if I was good enough. Or instances where someone complimented me and she said “were they joking?” I know this is because she had little self-confidence so how can I expect her to transfer self-confidence to me when she didn’t even have any for herself?
The result. I am crippled in loving myself, have issues with self-image, know that I am “pretty” but struggle to FEEL beautiful.
Fortunately for me I am aware of these patterns now and am actively researching them. Just knowing this information has helped burn some of the issues off. I can feel it.
I was always looking to bring out the person underneath the mask that I wear. Sure that she is there but unable to access her. Now I know healing mother issues is a key aspect to bringing out the woman I know I am. And once she is free, once I AM free, I can add skill building on top of it. And I know that I will feel empowered once that is over.