My last blog posting was called “The Mother Wound”, which can be found here.
I have been amazed, honored and humbled by the response that I have received. Women freely came forward to share their own stories, some in detail, some not so much. What is extremely apparent is that I am not alone in carrying this Mother Wound. Many women carry this wound. The question then becomes “how do we heal this wound”?
As I have mentioned previously, I am very introspective; some might say too introspective. To those some, I would say, everyone is different in how they approach life. My introspection comes from a deep need to know, to understand. I have discussed my Mother Wound with a couple of close friends through the years; my husband, whom I assume would prefer not to hear about it anymore, and various therapists throughout my adult life. I am particularly fond of my current therapist and, since I have now returned home, will most likely talk her ear off at our next appointment.
With all of this talking, I do know one thing – it does not necessarily heal the wound. It can, and does, numb the pain for a certain amount of time, but the pain always comes back with any renewed contact or any reminder of what has gone on before.
Some women choose to cut off all contact with her mother; some continue to have some type of relationship, I think, maybe in hopes that things will somehow, someway, improve. My experience tells me it does not improve. Sometimes, it worsens.
However we choose, personally, to deal with it, it just adds to the pain. If you cut off all contact, there is always someone, somewhere, who will tell you that not only are you wrong, but they will tell you in detail *why* you are wrong, as if they have lived through your experiences. Sometimes, even if you do maintain contact, there will be those who think they know your life and your experiences better than you do yourself and this is why you should do x, y or z.
If we choose to maintain contact, the pain will just continue as you both get older. Yes, absolutely, we make our own choices in how we live our lives, what type of person we wish to be and no, we should not let things in our past dictate our present or our future. That being said, for some, maintaining contact while allowing the distant past to fall away, just brings new opportunities for the hurt to be compounded. This has been my personal experience. The things that have been said, done throughout my adult life right up to the present have just added to the hurt, making it even harder to heal from the past. Then there is always the guilt that accompanies and exacerbates the pain. My own mother is now in her early 80’s, with a fairly new dementia diagnosis. Her memory is failing, so having any type of discussion with her about any issues between the two of us would be an exercise in futility. I am sure that when she passes through the veil, the guilt will be just another part of the story that I will have to deal with. Each of us has our own continuing story. Each of us makes the decision that is right for us. No one else has that right.
So, how do we heal? Can we heal? As mentioned, there is therapy, just talking it out. At best, I think that is just a bandaid, if contact is maintained. Having my own children was somewhat healing; for various reasons, I have never told my son many of the stories surrounding my relationship with my mother; I have told my daughter. She reinforces for me that mothers and daughters can have strong, healthy relationships. For me, as I mentioned in the last article, there is my spirituality. The Goddess fills a void left by my living mother. Meditation is a good way of dealing with the pain. As a yoga and meditation teacher, I have found that deep meditation brings out deep, intense feelings. This is not for everyone, as it means going even deeper, which tends to lead to more emotional pain; even with my love of meditation, there have been times I have shied away from this particular journey toward healing. I am also a certified Reiki healer and I have done some extensive chakra work. These also are good self-healing techniques. I would also highly recommend a couple of books by Diane Stein – “All Women Are Healers” and “The Women’s Healing Book”.
The fact is not lost on me, that as I am writing of different techniques for healing ourselves, it is apparent that I have not fully healed. I get that. I may never heal completely, although that will not stop me from trying. This is what I wish for all women – and men, too, that may be carrying this wound from either parent – do your best to heal, know that no matter what has been said to you or done to you, that you are a worthwhile person, and that you are not defined by the Mother Wound that you carry. You define you. Blessings and love on the journey.