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Book/ Audiobook "The emotionally Absent Mother" by Jasmin Lee Cori


I'm listening to the audio-book "The emotionally Absent Mother - How to recognise and heal the invisible effects of childhood emotional neglect (2nd edition)" by Jasmin Lee Cori.

It's pretty confronting... The author points out that she starts the book writing about good mothering and those of us who have gone through massive emotional neglect and/ or abuse may want to skip that section because it's so triggering/ upsetting and it may be easier reading/listening to the sections specifically about neglect and abuse.

I think that's probably true. I'm making myself listen to that first section at the moment and... it's bizarre. I'm listening to what good mothering is and it's like she's describing stuff from another planet.

Which is weird, because thankfully I received good mothering/parenting from my father - so I know what that's like. And obviously I have positive role-models available in life generally of what good mothering is/ can be... But still reading/ hearing what good MOTHERing should have been like while my brain is scanning through my memories of what my mother was like... there's this huge cognitive disconnect. It's crazy.

I've been focussing on this early childhood stuff in therapy recently, because while this stuff mostly used to be burried in the deep recesses of my subconscious, going through trauma as an adult a few years ago has brought this stuff up specifically.

I remember, as a little kid seeing my mother as a monster. I used to think she was a wicked witch, like those figures in fairytales. Later, in high school, I remember my best friend, who also had an abusive mother, used to think that her mother was an alien and a "changeling". That she was an evil force that would "pretend" to be "nice" on her "good days" and then shifting back into abusiveness, meanness and nastiness when she was in her normal mode.

I don't remember ever having positive feelings towards my mother, even as a toddler. I remember trying to spend as little time as possible in the same room as her. Apart from meal times, I'd go and play "somewhere else" so as to be out of her range.

She was such a weird person. Things were always very fraught. She became massively abusive (sadistically so) when I was about 11 - 12 and that lasted throughout my teenage years. After that, I went no contact with her.

But she was weird, right from the start, even tho the abusiveness didn't get really bad until later. I don't know if she had a personality disorder, or what. But I remember feeling like she wasn't "normal" or a "real human being" even when I was a very young child. I could tell there was something wrong with her.

Growing up like that, I thought it was "normal". Seeing as she wasn't majorly abusive when I was little, I managed to "cope". And my dad was my source of comfort and bonding and sanity and humanity. And that seemed like it was "enough" to get by on as a kid.

I would just avoid contact with my mother whenever possible, and when it wasn't possible to avoid it (like at mealtimes) I'd just bear it as well as I could, waiting for it to be over and then go back to playing in another room.

It was like she was this annoying, negative presence that I had to put up with, to get food and similar basic resources.

I remember being emotionally shut down towards her. I'd physically stiffen and ignore her as much as I possibly could. If she'd ask me something I'd respond in an automated way, just trying to get the interaction "done" and get it to be over.

I definitely looked down on her, for as long as I can remember... even as a toddler, I remember thinking she was "not normal" and that I massively disliked her. I guess you could say I rejected her.

When I was little, there was enough money and resources in my family, so I was physically well looked after, had enough food, sleep, clothes, etc. And I had my father to turn to and some other avenues of comfort too. So I was able to compensate the strange mess that was my mother's behaviour. I just avoided her as much as possible.

Later, when things got really bad (poverty, mental illness, abuse, violence, neglect) it all spiralled out of control and she became a source of evil, sadistic behaviour and I was much more vulnerable to it because there were so few resources, so much turmoil and fear, so limited ways to access help anywhere else.

It's strange now, to have all this early childhood stuff flooding up... And realising that although I convinced myself at the time that I "didn't care" that my mother was useless and negative, it does seem that my subconscious is of another opinion. My subconscious is not okay with having had no mothering... It misses the mother that should've been in my life, but wasn't. My subconscious doesn't view my biological mother as my psychological mother at all. There's no sense of "wishing she had been nicer". My subconscious rejects her outright. There's just a wish that *someone else* would've been a real mother, a good mother instead. For my biological mother, there's just a feeling of coldness and rejection and wishing she'd not existed.

I'm not sure how to fill that void. I guess that's what therapy will be about. Because there's obviously something huge missing there. I've got no connection to any kind of primal mothering from my childhood.
I'm not sure how to fill that void. I guess that's what therapy will be about. Because there's obviously something huge missing there. I've got no connection to any kind of primal mothering from my childhood.
I’ve spent *a lot* of time in therapy on this.
who knew I needed mothering?! I always thought I was fine without and never needed her, so what was the problem?!
turns out denial was the problem.

not Knowing you missed out on something was a problem. And working out how to work out what you missed out on it tricky. And working out how to grieve something you never had is hard.