Friday, March 1, 2013

Hello Friends:

Wow.  It's been a while since I read a title for a blog post that had me actually nauseous.  Here's the one that got me - "How is your love life related to your Mother?"  Oh.  Ewww.

Zoh, tell me about your muzher.

Remember that "Mom" is a real hot button topic for me in general.  I'm estranged from my parents, mostly because of my mother's unresolved and untreated mental illnesses.  Don't get me wrong - I have a great deal of sympathy for anyone suffers from mental illness; how could I not, given I am in that position myself?  But protecting my boundaries means only interacting with people who want to get better; who want to be treated.  My mother is not in that category.

So the idea that my past (or present) relationship with her reflects in my love life is utterly anathema.  Even though it has to be true, of course.  Our relationships with our parents form the basis for how we relate to almost every other person we meet.  But love life?  I reiterate.  Ewww.

The other blog post says, "If you felt you didn’t get enough from your mother, perhaps you also feel that you don’t get “enough” from your partner."  Fortunately I have a spouse who has been willing to work with me for many years, addressing both my issues and his, and we have a very good marriage.  It takes plenty of effort, but it has really paid off for us.  So I guess my first point is this - past (or present) events may have an influence, but they do not have to rule us.  We can make changes in our current lives, through therapy, meds, meditation, or whatever, as well as through working with others on relationships.  Difficulties are not a forgone conclusion.

The post goes on with a few other phrases that naturally get me going, but also get me thinking.  Here's one: "Rejecting our parents only brings us suffering."  I'll mention that rejecting them has brought me a lot of peace, and was the only way I was able to carve enough of a safe space to truly being healing.  But that isn't really what the poster means - they mean a deep sense of rejecting them on all levels, not just not being in their physical presence.  And I agree with that to some extent.  Not being able to accept our parents for what they are is very painful. 

The post goes on to say, "Even our bodies will feel some degree of unrest until our parents are experienced inside us in a loving way."  This is tough for me.  I will not actually be able to experience my 'real' parents inside me in a loving way.  That attachment was not made.  I can wish for loving parents, caring parents, real parents, outside of myself, but that is not a wish that will come true.  Instead, the parent I have is myself.  I am now responsible for being what I didn't have, and what I need, then and now.  So perhaps this idea of 'experiencing parents inside myself in a loving way' is something I can do with my own inner parent.  I can stop wishing for something that does not exist, stop wanting them to be what they are not, and instead look to myself for what I didn't have.

How do you relate to your parents?  Are you a parent to yourself?  How do you think that reflects in your primary relationships?

Your Hostess With Neuroses

Image credit/info: woman hides face 


Lost in Space said...

I am also somebody who refuses to have anything with my parents. But I try now to only mix with people I feel comfortable around. I don't do romantic relationships at all, though this is for reasons not related to childhood. Though perhaps my need for space at least partially comes from a need to escape from past experiences.

I'll shut up now as I am rambling but I have to say how much I love Stress Cat.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

A thought-provoking post! My relationship with my mother is a tough one. I have pulled away from her to some degree for my own peace of mind and healing, and it has caused me to feel some guilt about it. We've never had a healthy relationship, and I don't think she will ever believe that we need to have a different one.

Annie Devaney said...

Interesting, I have severe anxiety and occasional panic attacks.
My Mother and I are only just starting to build a relationship [I'm 40!] She always did the right thing materially for me while managing to never spend time with e, and every conversation we ever had left me feeling worthless. Not sure what impact this has now on my anxiety, but don't really want to think about her relating to my sex life; ewwww indeed

Sheri Weinberg said...

Interesting food for thought. I had a bit of a creepy relationship with my dad and an uncomfortable but close (I know, doesn't make sense) relationship with my mom. I don't think either of these things currently relate to my relationship with my fiance. I am a mom with two grown daughters, over the years I've heard everything from accusations of being the cause of their problems to praises for being the best mom in the world.

I'd also like to let you know, I've mentioned your blog in my most recent post as a blogger who might like to join Blog for Mental Health 2013.

Jen Daisybee said...

My mother is hard to deal with and has irrevocably screwed up my ability to relate to anyone, ever. That's the legacy of verbal and emotional abuse.

Lyubov Ismakov said...


My name is Luba Ismakov and I work for, an online mental health resource offering information and support. We are always looking for partners in the online community to help us end the stigma and replace it with understanding and acceptance.

We would love to share your inspirational story about your personal struggle with anxiety in a 'Share Your Story' article on our website. This would be a great opportunity for you to get your voice heard and help others with similar struggles.

Please let me know if you're interested in writing a Share Your Story article for our website!

You can email me at: and I can provide you with further information!

Thank you,

Renee B said...

No. I don't accept my mother for what she is. To do that would negate and void all the work I've done in the last 10 years to have a somewhat normal, happy life. I acknowledge she's got unresolved and untreated mental illness and is a narcissist, but that's as far as I will ever go on that front. Acceptance insinuates that I must wave the white flag. Something I just will never do. I separated myself mentally from her so long ago that I don't even have any feelings for her anymore. My "mother" died years ago. There is a beast that wears her skin and lives under her name, but I have no emotional connection to that. I am not "no contact", I'm low contact because she targets my kids if I don't maintain at least that. I'll rejoice when she dies. It took me a very long time to stop feeling guilty and say that out loud.

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