Monday, December 01, 2008


I did take something else away from that therapist this last week. During our conversation, I mentioned my lifelong habit of looking for surrogate mothers—expecting, I guess, to be chastised for it. But this woman said that it seemed only natural, given my circumstances, and she could see how the hunting had even been beneficial for me to do, because instead of believing that the mother I had, who could not provide the nurturing that I needed, was what mothers were, I looked for better role models. In effect, this behavior changed my perception about what a mother should be, and maybe what kind of a mother—or mother-figure—I wanted to be. It also provided me with the nurturing and attention that I needed at the time.

I have spent my life believing that looking for mothers in people was a bad thing. I’m pretty sure that my mother’s attitude had something to do with that. She did not at all like the idea of being replaced, and frequently expressed anger at my attempts to attach to various friends in whom I found maternal qualities. It didn’t stop me, however. The need was too great. I just existed with this unnecessary guilt. And embarrassment, because some of my friends were able to witness her rage.

So with this new understanding, do I really need to keep looking? Hopefully I have reached a point in my life where the need for “mother” stops because I can learn how to mother myself.


  1. What a great reframe! Though I'm sorry the session was so poor, overall... sigh... I wish I knew the secret to finding the right counselor.

  2. So- we have also have therapy and mom-stuff in common. Wow. You really ARE a part of my mind.

    (Maybe someday you would like to read the book I tried writing? Let me know if you would eve consider such a thing.)

  3. I think the need to stop looking for a "mother" is when one truly experiences a "true mother" with another woman- someone who loves her, cares about her, chastises her, is honest with her, and helps her heal. Because, once we heal, THEN we become ready and able to "mother" our own selves. Don't you think?


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