Recently I have become aware of some memories that raise questions whether there is some trauma connected with my mother, with her often not being there when I needed her. This was trauma I had not been conscious of. Quite the contrary. I had always viewed my relationship with my mother as being the rock which kept me sane, brought me happiness throughout my life, despite the problems I had with my father.
Numerous things were raised in my memory. I remembered that when my mother and grandmother used to go out to play cards with friends at night and I was left alone, at age 8 or 9?, I would sit at the top of the stairs, waiting till they got home, usually after midnight. I asked myself why I did that? Was there some abandonment trauma in my infancy? When really bad things happened to me, I’m pretty sure I didn’t share those incidents with my mother. Why didn’t I go to her for solace? When my father regularly got very upset with me or at times said very negative things about me, e.g. he’s not normal, my mother never intervened. Why? I have no memory of my childhood before age 6. Why? And at the end of my meditation when I am thankful for those who have loved me in the past, I have always thought of my father and my former lover. Oddly, only relatively recently did I even become aware that my mother wasn’t included, not on purpose, she just didn’t come to mind, and so I added her to the list. I felt guilty. Why hadn’t she been on the list? My father was included despite all the grief he caused me because I had made my peace with him and I had written proof that he loved me.
And then recently I read Alice Miller’s The Drama of the Gifted Child (this has nothing to do with “gifted” children in the usual sense of the word) which made me quite certain these questions were revealing a previously unknown trauma. A major theme is how a mother’s communicating to the child what she wants results in the child repressing his own emotions in order to obtain the mother’s love. I have already begun to sit with that trauma and embrace it.
And I have arrived at peace with my mother as well. Both my parents loved me as best they could. They were victims of their own childhood trauma and so interacted with me based on that trauma. I have compassion for them and forgive their shortcomings. They may have each loved me for what they saw in me, what I provided them, rather than who I truly was, but nevertheless they loved me. I see things as they were; I see the pain repression caused and the negative impact it has had on my life. But I have no quarrel with them.