Blog from 14th November 2013
The often unanswered question.
Clearly the issue of our relationship with our mother is a critically important one – especially when we try to heal from our childhood wounds. This is not about blame or about our relationship, as an adult, with our mum.
Regardless of what they were like as a mother most of the time, there is one consistent question people inevitably ask themselves at some point in their healing : where was my mother? Why didn’t she notice what was happening?
I repeat, this is not about blame; often our mothers could not possibly have known & they also ask themselves with agony the same questions & it is not necessarily about confronting our mother & asking her either. This is about healing the child inside – the inner child- the child self, the part of each one of us who carries the fear and pain & anger from what happened.
Every week our guests who come to Heal For Life are surprised at how important that question is & surprised they are at how much anger they need to let the inner child release around that question. It’s often stronger than their anger at the actual abuser. In the case of being sexually abused (when she is not the perpetrator) our mothers’ ignorance, deliberate or otherwise is where the deepest pain often lies.
Our mother is our protector, the one who keeps us safe, & yet she didn’t know what was happening or protect us. There is no logic to this anger but an awful lot of healing is felt when we release that anger & let our inner child express how he /she felt.
Releasing this anger can be very freeing for our relationship, as an adult, with our mothers. I am very sad that I never reached that stage in my healing before my mother died. I think if I had released my anger that she wasn’t there for me & never realised what my father was doing to me, I would have enjoyed a closer relationship with her.
Equally, as a mother, confronting that sadness that we didn’t know & didn’t protect our child is just as important. Being abused leaves us with a profound sense of powerlessness & worthlessness; part of this comes I believe from the fact that no-one cared or stopped the abuse or noticed there was something wrong.
That is what is so devastating to the human spirit, it is why whenever I see a child being abused in a public place – a mother hitting a child & telling him/her to stop crying, or using words like “Stop crying or I will give you something to really cry about” I always try to speak to the child or smile at the child just to let them know that what is happening to them is being noticed & that it is just not right.