Letting go of the mother you wished you had-

From my psychotherapy couch, I see your face fall and an unbearable sadness come over you.

 Your heart is breaking in two.

The child in you is facing an unbearable loss. The love you want so very much to feel from your mother just isn’t going to be. Wishing it weren’t true, you have been hiding this from yourself for so long.

You wish you had a mother who would see the best in you.

You don’t. 

Instead, you feel criticized and controlled.

You wish that mom would accept you for who you are, instead of constantly trying to fix you.  

Stuck in the role of the good daughter, you constantly wonder if you ever be good enough for her?

This is a torturous way to live. You bear the mark of your mother’s pain.

Never the less instead of feeling heartbroken……..

There is a part of you that would rather be angry, indignant, anything to keep from facing what a part of you has known all along.

You didn’t get the love you needed then. And you are never going to get it now.

This is the truth.

No matter how good you are for her, she can give you the love you need.

And it hurts badly.

Hope against hope you put yourself back together….. only to have the inevitable happen.

You give her one more chance, tell yourself that she means well or doesn’t mean what she says and …….

Mom says something unspeakably self-centered or mean.  Your defenses crumble.

Your defenses crack, and you let down your guard.  The profound disappointment of your mother’s limitations come flooding through.

You wonder if there somethingseriously wrong with mom? The label Narcissistic seems to fit.

Whether or not this is the case, what you feel is real.

A loneliness overtakes you, and you sit there weeping as the truth rises in you.

As your therapist,  I want to say is this,” It is O.K., I have seen this before. You are becoming conscious. It hurts but there is healing and clarity in your tears.” This is the path to personal liberation, the path to freedom.

But silence and quiet witness, a holding space, is what you need now. It important that you get to these feelings even if you worry they will overtake you. It is the only way.

What I know is this-

You have been denied your own feelings for so very long. You have been told not to feel what you are feeling.

The last thing you need is for me to shut you down.

I do know this-

You must feel the sadness and the anger to keep depression at bay.

Left unacknowledged, these feelings will plunge you into a dark place and keep you there. By facing the hard feelings, you can move past them.

You must strip away the blocks to get to these core feelings in order to heal. You can re-mother and learn to soothe yourself.

I can help you with this.

To witness your tears washing away the vise grip of guilt and control that has held you down and pinned you to a life lived for someone else.

You need your heart to break, to break free. Your heart is in fact expanding. It will come back together in a complete way that makes room for more love.

It’s gonna be OK.

No, scratch that, it is gonna be better than OK.

You can learn to be your own source of comfort and refuge- dependent no more on a mother who can’t fully love.

That is going to make it all worth it! You can do this. I’ve got your back.

This article originally appeared on Katherine’s sister site.