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Wendy Fry Author of Mothers and Daughters & Find YOU, Find LOVE

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Emotionally Unavailable Mothers

April 10, 2017

 

Your family is unavoidable.  You cannot escape them or trade them in for another family.  You also can’t change them...but you can change your response to them - Jami Attenberg

 

It’s ok to admit there may be things about your mother you don’t like and find hard to accept.  In the same way she too might not agree with, respect or like certain aspects of your personality or behaviours.  None of us are perfect and it’s having the ability to look beyond the imperfections and accept what we can’t change which gives us a greater sense of freedom. 

 

Not always, but sometimes mothers might desire to shape us into carbon copies of themselves, or put pressure on us to achieve the things they didn’t, in order to feel fulfilled.  Some mothers desire to mould us into the idea of who she thought she should have been.  It’s as though our mothers want to live through us and make a better go of things second time around.

 

Understanding why your mother couldn’t be there for you

 

 

 

There are many factors to consider as to why a mother might be emotionally or physically unavailable.  Some of the reasons may be connected with but not always the following:

 

 

  • Depression (including post natal)

  • Illness (her own or other family members)

  • Emotionally overwhelmed with mother/daughter/womanly duties

  • Caring for other family members

  • Personal trauma

  • Stress

  • Domestic violence

  • Parental separation

  • Alcohol, drug or substance abuse

  • Prescribed medications

  • A personal career or study

  • Secondment

  • Mental illness

  • Hospitalisation

  • Criminality (e.g. sentence to prison)

 

Depending on these factors, your mother’s ability to parent you, may have been out of her conscious control.  Your mother, too, may have been trying to come to terms with her own experiences, unwanted events and trying to find ways to fulfil her own unmet needs alongside raising you.  

 

Sandra’s Words of Wisdom (Case Study) 

 

‘‘What I wanted from my mother was unconditional love, to be wanted, listened to.  I wanted her unconditional acceptance, her physical and emotional presence, her attention and admiration; sadly she wasn’t able to meet my needs.’’ 

 

This blog post and all others shared offer insights into the mother-daughter relationship.  

Many of the posts shared are excerpts from my second book Mothers and Daughters: The guide to understanding and transforming the relationship with your mother

 

Please do make contact when you are ready to address, understand and transform the relationship with your mother.  Whether she is with you in the physical sense or not it's never to late to understand her and your relationship with her.

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