Unconsciously at some point, I decided to give myself a mother. Now that I think of it, I have actually given myself several mothers. My biological mother was an alcoholic. She emotionally left when I was about three months old. I left her and home when I was thirteen years old. When she left, I felt abandoned. When I left she felt relieved.
When you don’t have a mother, there are many other things you also don’t have, but you may not be aware you don’t have them until you are an adult. For instance, you don’t have the necessary tools for treating yourself with love and respect. You may not even have the awareness that you deserve love and respect. I had to learn how to take care of myself after years of bad relationships, bad choices and bad decisions that reflected little or no respect for myself. The predicament I continued to find myself in, was that most of my relationships, business and otherwise, were with people who were a great deal like my parents. Big surprise!
When you have no mother, no parent, you don’t have the simplest basic information about how to navigate safely in the world with grown up issues such as money, long term goals or security. You have no way of knowing what it looks like to be on your own side, if no one ever has been. In my 30’s, I fell back into the couch as if I had been struck in the gut by a closed fist the first time I heard someone on Good Morning America say, “Don’t put anything on your charge card that will wear out before your payments end!” I was aghast, and at that time, well into credit card poverty.
I had to teach myself how to be affectionate with my own children because I had no role model. I had to learn how to tolerate the frustration of allowing my adult children to make their own mistakes without jumping in to fix it for them. All my messages came from having been my mother’s mother for much of her life and the loudest message was that it was my job to fix it! Since I hadn’t been able to fix it for my mother, who succeeded in drinking and smoking herself to death at age fifty, I felt like a failure.
The first mom I gave myself originally belonged to my boyfriend. He went off to the Marines, and I adopted his mother, My boyfriend Larry and his father would pack the truck and do their male bonding thing each deer season. Mom and I would stay at home snuggled in her bed, laughing ourselves silly about how dumb hunting was after a couple of glasses of wine. I shudder to recall that I actually locked her in the trunk of my car one night to sneak her in at the drive-in because neither of us had brought enough money. Mickey taught me about acceptance. No matter what her son did, she loved him in that unconditional way that only some mothers can love. She extended that same gift to me and though I never married her son, I was her daughter and in her own way she always let me know it.
At some point, I realized that no matter how many mothers I might try to give myself, each would someday leave. It was then that the child inside and I had a serious chat. I’ll be your Mom, I said. Yea, right, she replied, as if you have any idea about how to be a mom. I winced. She was right. Well, look at it this way, I know you best, I will never leave you and out of all the people we’ve met, I have the closest connection to you. I can practice showing up for you and you can teach me what you need. Amazing little chat that literally created a sense of wholeness I had never felt. My child and I began to get connected.
Something literally happens to the chemistry and the electromagnetic messages that effect the brain when you are able to make this connection with yourself. A sense of safety begins to return and a greater awareness of wholeness starts to fill up the empty spaces. This therapisty little tool has quite an impact. Try it. The kid inside of you may have been waiting a long time for a real mom, or dad. Why not give him or her one for Mothers Day. It may be the best gift you have ever gotten.
© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013