The Dismissive Mother; Why I Looked for Love in All the Wrong Places
by Lisa A. Romano
Love Never Felt Right, so the Love I Found Was Always Wrong
There are moments I cannot escape in my mind when prickly memories creep up and scream for attention like jokers in the night. Tainted by shame and regret, these memories arrest positive momentum and suck me back in time. Like a file cabinet marked ‘confidential,’ painful snapshots flood the floor of my consciousness, and suddenly I do not know who I am anymore. Am I the person I am today, or am I that reactive version of myself of yesterday my mind has suddenly remembered?
As my mind fights for its right to forgive the younger unconscious self, consciousness and meditation reveal the divine truth. I am both my younger as well as my wiser self. Tucked within this latest version of me still breathes wounded selves.
Feeling Rejected by a Mother Causes Deep Emotional Wounds
Upon deep reflection, I cannot help but wonder how much pain might have been avoided had I known a mother’s love.
Would I have been a lovesick teenager who clung to a boy I knew did not love me? Would I have starved myself? Would I have ached with anxiety and panic over what others thought about me? Would I have despised the cellulite on my thighs? Would I have been obsessed with numbers? Would I have quit nursing school? Would I have married a man who withheld love and affection? Would I have felt empty despite having three children, a business, and a marriage? Would I have sought permission to feel my feelings in the eyes of strangers? Would I have had the many mental and emotional breakdowns had I believed I was worthy of a mother’s love? Would I have developed codependency in search of identity through a life of subjugation? Would I have felt the need to lie about being happy? Would I have imploded and made a mess of my life?
A mother’s love is essential to the developing psyche of a child, and when it is withheld, poisoned, or corrupted for any reason, the consequences are long-lasting. When a mother’s love is not pure and instead is conditional, suspicious, and untrustworthy, the image a child has of themselves is unstable. The reflection a child sees in the eyes of their mother becomes the blueprint for the child’s perception of self. It is often a cataclysmic life event that allows one to discover this truth within themselves. And it can take a lifetime to retrain the mind’s perception of self enough to reclaim a semblance of a more positive self-image.
Growing Up Unmothered Scars Your Perception of Self
As a mother committed to healing my fractured self, I have fought to stitch myself back together again through the power of divine intention. In theory, I know I was born enough; however, maternal rejection has been like a thunderous band of warriors my mind has had to conquer time and time again. Learning to retrain my brain to believe the person I am was worthy despite believing I was defective has become my life’s purpose.
When my mind regurgitates a painful snapshot of the past, today, I understand my darkest moments were reflections of my unhealed self. From fears to battered relationships to weeping in the darkness, feeling alone amid despair, I needed a mother’s love and acceptance. Feeling rejected, persecuted, and unworthy of good manifested time and time again until I began to believe I was enough.
Rewriting the script in my mind would eventually become a clear objective.
We are all products of our pasts, victims of the unconscious nature of human relationships, unaware we are unaware, most often doing to others what was done to us. My mother did not know she was destroying my soul. Because she did not drink and our home was clean, she believed she was a good mother. And the truth is she was a far greater mother than her own. I am thankful for the mother she was and for the mother she wasn’t, but that does not mean she was the mother I needed. Nor does it mean I have not completely forgiven the wounded little girl she was who grew up unmothered herself.
Forgiving a Mother's Inability to Love Enough
I have nothing but empathy for the rejected child my mother was and for the unconscious version of herself who did her best to raise my siblings and me. And somehow, the forgiveness I offer my mother bleeds into the open cracks in my soul too.
Undoubtedly, I have not been the mother my children needed as well. Yet, it is also true that through awakening, accountability, and ascension, my eyes can now see the flaws in myself. When you are not mothering your children as they need, you don’t always know it. Your ego has needs it must rationalize, thereby impacting the decision-making process. It's what humans do when stressed and unmet needs are clamoring to rise to the surface.
Retraining My Brain for Self Love
As long as I am breathing, I will try to be the mother my children need as I comfort the unmothered inner child within me and help her to forgive the wounded mother she became. As I mother myself unconditionally, those painful snapshots make sense. The younger version of me looked for love in all the wrong places because love never felt right. Self-understanding helps drain the vibrance and intensity from those memories. And as long as I hold onto myself, the lessons learned hold value.
Memories do not need to haunt us so long as we decide to make sense of our unconscious selves and the decisions we made when our souls were aching.
It could have been no other way for my mother or me or you.
Dear One, you are enough.
Lisa A. Romano