28 Jan 2012

Mothers can make or break

They feed from our bodies, touch our face, long for our voice, wrap their little egos around us. We are their world. They long for us. No rather pine for us. We constitute their first, most visceral, most basic universe. Do we realise that?
It's been quite a while I've been wanting to write about the power mothers have and  what they can do with it. I am a mother, work with mothers and work with adults, once children of a mother. Time and again the mother comes out as this all powerful creature, tall and monstrous, beautiful and idealized, creepy and exciting, as much corporeal as etherial. I am surrounded by mothers. The mother- patients, the mothers of patients, my feelings as a mother, the mother of the mother, mothers and their babies. I am privileged then to hold my very own mother-kaleidoscope. Looking through it I see the extreme power a mother holds to make or break a human being. I've heard horror stories - a mother beating her child with a chair while the child was asleep, still the child, an adult today sitting opposite me says, "I love her, she is my mum, I have to give her more chances than anyone else in this world". I've heard  selfish love stories about mums breastfeeding way beyond the child needs it to make up  for their own emotional gaps. I've witnessed mixed stories with mothers needing the child to help them deal with their own psychological awkwardness but also giving back attention and love and concern. I've been there helping along mothers who are working hard at overcoming themselves, being weak and human but at the same time heroic in allowing their children to move on without holding back their love and support.
Motherhood is not easy. I've written extensively on that and I will keep on writing.
Just wanted to share with you the amount of responsibility we carry regarding the power we have in shaping the workings of another human being. His or her internal conviction about the Self and the Other, the external manifestations of these convictions. Will he/she be able to love, to care, to risk, to deal with life, to just be without ghosts? Mother ghosts? Can we help them be who they really are meant to be, leaving our motherly mark for better not for worse? Can we give ourselves to be used by them , overcome our limitations for the wellbeing of Another?  Can we do this and still remain sane and alive to teach them that a self that can bend is a self that prevails? Can we do all this and not abuse this immense, consuming power that we have?

I am not done on this subject- just thought of tossing a few thoughts your way tonight...

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