Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mother Love

Please hang with me while I get a bit technical for a paragraph or so.

Mother love is the phrase we all know best, but there is a companion phrase, mother hurt, that exists in our linguistic brains as the complementary opposite of it.  When we say good, the word bad also pops into our brains, just as when we say alive the word dead is also in play.   These complementary pairs are antonyms in which the presence of one quality or state signifies the absence of the other and vice versa.  No intermediate states exist.  Our culture does not always sanction the equal expression or even the existence of these pairs.  Mothers are good in our cultural lexicon.  Phrases that question this basic ground rule are suppressed.  But they exist.  Mother hurt is the flip side of mother love.  Something seems not quite right when you hear it.  That is your cultural conscience at work.

Your cultural conscience is also where anger and a host of other emotional responses such as guilt, fear, and self-doubt can reside as you work to suppress one half of the natural pair that you know exists but that you also feel you should not admit exists.  The tension between these two points of view is how I conceptualize the space between mother hurt and mother love which is the space and place I existed from my earliest school age memories to the present.  This is my model and it helps me to evaluate my own response when I need to gain perspective on my behavior or my reaction to something in my environment.

 This "Mother Hurt" that I talk about is not necessarily about my own mother or abuse.  It is about the complete spectrum of emotions involving caretakers.  Sometimes my mother experienced hurt.  Sometimes I experienced hurt.  Sometimes we experience hurt.  Sometimes we experienced love.  There is nothing simple about a relationship with a parent, guardian or caregiver.  That "nothing simple" is what I write about.

Most of what I write will not be all that technical, but at times I will lapse into theory and research.  In this area and the area of Munchausen by Proxy abuse, and actually in all factitious disorders, there is a dearth of information about the people who experienced the abuse.  I do this (this being the blog) because there is a need for it and if I can help develop an understanding in this area, then I feel responsibility to do so.  This responsibility comes from the mother love side of this complex issue, for there was much to love about my mother and I do not ever want to lose the good times we shared and the good things she taught me.  To do so would be to tell lies, even if it would be through omission.  And lies only hurt people.  I do not want to hurt;  I focus on healing and helping.

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