What does it feel like

What does it feel like to be cherished and treasured by your mother?

That’s what I’m asking myself right now as I sit on the train home from work.

How does it feel? How does it sit inside a person? How does it change the way one feels about themselves, about others, about the world?

Is the world easier to navigate? Are hard times not quite as hard?

Are choices easier to make? Risks easier to take?

Are endings not so brutal? Do hugs mean as much when you can have as many as you want?

What does it feel like to lay your head on your mother’s lap as she plays with your hair? How does it feel to see your mother’s genuine happiness at your good fortune?

What is it like to know your mother feels pain when you are pained?

Does it make you more confident knowing someone is your biggest supporter?

Does it make you love yourself more?

What does it feel like to not have a giant hole inside your heart that you try to fill up with various things and people?

I just want to know how I would feel – how different I would be – how I would experience life if I had those things.

I just want to know what it would feel like to be the best thing that happened to someone. I’d love to know how it feels to find comfort and solace in my mother’s arms/eyes/house.

How does it feel to feel truly seen for who you are by her? How does it feel to love her back so deeply?

How does it feel to miss the actual person that is “mum” instead of the fantasy, the idea of or the archetype?

How would it be to not have to grieve and cry tears that are bone-deep from all the ways you missed out?

How would it feel to have never felt to blame?

How would it feel as a child to look up at a mother’s smiling face and eyes to see your own reflection rather than a cold, blank or angry stare.

What does it feel like to be cherished and treasured by your mother?

17 thoughts on “What does it feel like

  1. This is heart-breaking stuff. For me it hurts even more because I’ve had a taste of what it would have been like from K, and it’s made me so aware of all I’ve missed. Sometimes I wish I’d never felt any of what I could have had. Our children will have this though, and that is the one solace I guess. You are doing so well, hanging in there with this pain and putting it into words and not letting it poison you. Thank you for sharing this xxx

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    1. I feel EXACTLY the same about my T lovely and I’ve said the same thing many, many times. Sometimes she is so wonderful and I enjoy seeing her and then I leave and I cry and my chest hurts so badly. Experiencing glimpses of what we should have had can be brutal. It IS so hard. That’s what makes me wonder how different things would be if we didn’t find out this way. What if we just always had it?

      It must be a lovely feeling seeing yourself parent differently, it must feel amazing giving your baby girl that love, although triggering too I imagine.

      I’ve realised lately my trigger is my stepkids at times. I love them so much, but sometimes I trigger myself by seeing/feeling things for them that evidently my mother didn’t feel for me!! X

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      1. I can’t imagine it. I can’t imagine what it is like to have it and just have it, just accept it, not even know I have it. I had a really special connected feeling after therapy a long time ago now, and I asked K if she thought my daughter had ever felt that feeling, and she said ‘I think she probably feels like that nearly all the time’. I was gobsmacked! It is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time to hear that. Feeling like that nearly all the time would be transformational. And imagine feeling it without the fear of losing it or the triggering associated with not having enough of it, or not having had it when we needed it! X

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  2. I think you might be asking the wrong audience Twink! We’re all clueless too! 😬 seriously though, it’s really hard isn’t it, knowing there was/is another way but circumstances meant we never had the chance to find out at the rest that time. No child should have to feel lacking and inadequate in this way. Sending love. X

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  3. My partner had that with her late mum. Everything you’ve imagined is true. Still no one is perfect — as mums, and I’m sure CB will agree, we may be able to offer our kids unconditional love & attachment without strings, but we still make mistakes of various kinds. Still, it also dawned on me in therapy one day that my kids will not have to navigate parents who hate your body, we think they are absolutely perfect beings just as they are. It made my own distance and judgment from my parents feel that much worse, but also glad that I could break that pattern. It’s a lot to grieve and let go of

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    1. I’ve made some HUGE mistakes for sure. But done my best to own them and apologise and make them right. I regularly freak out my daughter has a disorganised attachment to me and my T reassures me she is securely attached and a lot more robust than me. It’s hard to look back on the fuck-ups I’ve made and still accept she is securely attached – like what the fuck was my Mum doing?! It must have been really bad!! So I find that quite triggering – either I’m just like my Mum (bad) or I’m nothing like her and she was really really bad (also bad). It is so much to see and grieve and let go of, you are right.

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      1. yup, what i’ve worked on a lot is learning how to repair after a rupture. my T and I talk about that a lot — she is a parent of a similar-aged kid and it’s been great to have that in common. she’s given me a lot of space to discuss how to be a present and accountable parent while also grieving the relationship i never got to have with my own parents. it’s so hard.

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      2. Sorry to jump in on this but I think it must be so so hard not to be triggered by your own lack when seeing what you can feel and give your own kids isn’t it? I mean if I’m triggered by my own stepkids what will I be like with my own flesh and blood? Xx

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      3. haha don’t be sorry, it’s your blog!! i think the upside is that the healing work of creating healthy attachment for our kids more than makes up for it. for me, the harder parts are the moments when i find myself acting or sounding like my mom, or wanting too — i work really hard to be very conscious in my parenting and staying on top of that.

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      4. As slantgirl says – it’s triggering, but also SO healing. It makes me feel like a good enough person when I can see how well I’m doing in parenting my daughter. And what has helped is that in therapy I am able to unpick what has triggered me when parenting and why e.g. I get angry when I’m scared my daughter is broken like me. And I get triggered when I feel invisible, taken for granted and treated like a slave coz that’s what my Mum did to me, etc.

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      5. So hard. My T and I have spent a lot of time on this too. She’s also trained as a child and adolescent psychotherapist which helps loads as I trust that she knows what’s ok and not ok for my daughter and also she’s met her a few times and says she’d have spotted if id broken her! The parenting guidance is something I’m gonna to miss hugely without my T 😔

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