three

Analysis is hard. It is more than hard. It is incredibly difficult and painful, and I’m only three months in.

I have a dead mother.

Not actually dead, mind you. She is alive and well halfway across the country, which honestly isn’t far enough. But she’s dead on the inside. She’s boring and dull and dead and so closed off from her feelings and instincts that she didn’t breastfeed or hold me when I was little. I didn’t think it mattered too much until I found myself begging my analyst to touch me. Her gentle denial stabs me, every time, on some raw, visceral level and the pain is so intense I find it difficult to breathe. It’s horrible. She says it will get better with talking. I have no choice but to try, if only for my daughter.

I try not to blame my mother for her deeply wounding mistakes, as I can see how her own mother was cold and aloof, and her mother before her. But it makes me angry. I’m choosing to get help so my daughter can have a different experience. I am putting myself through this so my daughter (hopefully) doesn’t have to. Why didn’t my mother do that? I didn’t matter enough? I didn’t touch her in a way that made her want to overcome her problems so she could try to mother me properly?

I sometimes feel slightly jealous of my daughter. She will never know denial of the breast or premature separation or refusal to be held. I simply won’t let it happen. She will wean and leave our bed when her brain and body are ready. I want, more than anything, for her to never have to feel this kind of pain. I want her to be able to mother her own child someday without having to go to therapy to figure out how to do it. I just wish my mother had done the same for me.

2 comments
  1. That’s about the best gift you could give your little girl. My issues unraveled after I became a mom too and it was for similar reasons…I didn’t want him to ever feel the way I felt. I know it’s hard…but I think it’s worth it in the end.

  2. Wow this hits home so hard…Now being pregnant and finally allowing myself to have a child (I could not bear the thought before and most of my life I’ve hated children and hated vulnerability, maybe because I was never allowed to feel that way) has also brought it close to me that I never wish my child to have the kind of life I had. I feel so much hatred towards my mother who wasn’t able to mother me right, and I have now spent my life in therapy and struggling with mental illness because of that. Oh, and the sexual abuse her husband subjected me to, with her knowing about it, but that’s a whole another story.

    I love your writing, keep going!

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