Mother, Mother, where are you?

In my last session my t gave me homework.  She gave it to me because of some questions that I don’t remember asking her but apparently did.  It is a sheet of paper with three questions on it.

Also in our last session we were talking about attachment in regards to my mother.  Apparently I told my t that maybe it was my fault that my mother didn’t/couldn’t intervene with my first remembered abuse incident when I was around five.  I told my t how could she help me when I didn’t even tell her about it.  It wasn’t her fault that I didn’t tell her.

My t and I have had this conversation a few times already.  It really bothers me that I never did tell her about a single thing that ever happened to me (sexual stuff).  Either at the time or after. In fact she still doesn’t know all that has happened to me and I will never tell her now.  And so after some conversation about attachment theory stuff we explored this further with the homework.

The problem is that every time I looked at the questions with my mother in mind, my brain would go blank.  I told my t this and so we looked at the first question together.

The first question was ‘In what ways was your parent distant, or withdrawn from you?’  And then after the question was types of examples to include such as broken promises, events missed, incidents in which you were excited about something and your parents turned you away, etc, etc.

Well for the life of me I could not remember anything about my mother.  I could come up with all sort of things about my father but my mother, well she doesn’t seem to be in my brain at all when it comes to this stuff.

I looked at my t blankly and said to her all I know is that I never told her anything about myself but I don’t know why.  My t then said I can tell you a few things about how your mother was distant and withdrawn from you just from some of the stories you have told me.  I responded to my t with surprise and asked her in what ways was my mother like that.

And then my t began to tell some of my stories back to me.  ‘Oh’ was about all I could say.

My t then started listing a few things that she heard within these stories, some she said are basic essentials needed for life.  At the top of the list was food.  Sometimes I was refused food and growing up we were strictly rationed with the amount we could eat.  I remember always being very hungry.  Another thing on the list was on the very few occasions I would try to go to my mother about how I felt about something and she would tell me to go fight my own battles sort of thing.  As she was listing a few of these things I started to get the picture.  And these are just some of the things I remember as a young child let alone what may have happened before I developed a conscious memory.

I still am mostly blank when I try to remember interactions with my mother.  I believe this is partly because I rarely did have any with her.  I think another reason is that I have a really hard time putting the words ‘mother’ and ‘abuse’ together in the same sentence. I have this stupid loyalty thing when it comes to my mother and for some reason I am always coming up with excuses for her behaviour.

Anyways I never realized I had this blankness in my memory when it comes to my mother until I attempted this exercise.  Reality sucks.

a side note: thankfully that abandoned child part was not in the session tonight.  I doubt that part will show up again for a long, long time – within a session that is.

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6 Responses to Mother, Mother, where are you?

  1. Just Be Real says:

    Dear one, I am glad that your t. was thorough in pointing specific things out to you. I had to be reminded by mine last week as well. Reminding me that I have come a long way. Is it amazing how we can forget some of the positive results from our recovery at times and be hung up on a present struggle.

    Those blanks are self protection. I too do not have a lot of memories, from my father that is. He was not much around emotionally for me.

    Hugs to you dear.

    • lostinamaze says:

      Hmm…you’re right I do have a tendency to forget that I am still walking forward on my journey. Self protection is probably a good part of it. I just need to come to terms with it I guess.

  2. Harriet says:

    It sounds like very hard work. But I’m glad your t was able to point things out to you based on the stories you have told her. I guess that is what a t is for! I am sorry, though, that your child part doesn’t feel safe enough to come back out. Maybe one day she will.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I was actually surprised by how hard this was. I think that I have a really hard time facing reality when it comes to my mother.

      It’s only safe for the adult me now it seems.

  3. Mike says:

    I’ve also forgotten much about my mother. This got explored in my therapy session last night, as well. It’s so frustrating being asked to recall things and yet having no memory at all. I guess it is a defense mechanism. It sounds like your t was able to help you through it, step by step. Sometimes that’s the only way.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I didn’t really realize that I have so few memories of her. I twas really frustrating for me not to be able to answer the question. I can’t understand why but then again maybe I don’t want to know yet.

      My t helping in this way was somewhat unusual. She usually leads me to to finding the answers on my own.

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