wanting another parent figure

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Catlovers141

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I'm almost 30 years old and grew up having a difficult relationship with my mother, and no other mother figures growing up. My mother was emotionally and sometimes physically abusive and generally showed very little warmth.
I notice that ever since I was a child I would find women who were about my mother's age and become very emotionally attached to them, even if they did not seem to reciprocate. I feel almost a compulsive-feeling urge to be very physically close to them, hold their hand, etc. Not in a sexual/romantic way, but more of a mother and young child way.
Right now I am looking at houses and have been having these kinds of feelings for my real estate agent. I notice wanting to look at houses that I have no interest in, just so I can spend more time with her and feel that comfort. I know that I mean no harm and all of my feelings are childlike and innocent, but I feel creepy when she's trying to show me a place and one of my main concerns is being close to her. It's hard for me to admit this here.
I won't violate people's boundaries -- if anything, if I find myself feeling these things for someone I stand farther away from them so I don't risk myself feeling like inching closer. But it's so difficult. These things feel both comforting and painful. It is comforting to be around maternal energy but so painful to have it be mostly unaccessible, and to be judging myself for it.
Anyone else have these kinds of experiences, or know of how to cope with some of these feelings?
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
My parents, and especially my mother, were emotionally and physically distant.

I have a trauma therapist and a therapist that has helped me with addictive/compulsive behavior. The addiction therapist is much younger than I am, but I have never had sexual fantasies about her. The adult part of me sees her as a big sister. When she went on maternity leave, though, my younger parts experienced a huge flood of emotions about missing my Mommy. That gave me plenty to work on with my trauma therapist!! I think subconsciously I bonded with her initially because the young parts of me really wanted that Mommy in their lives.

Right now, we're doing a lot of work (EMDR and work with my parts) to build up an internal image of an ideal family. We started with a mother, but recently I've also had deep yearnings for a father. Talking about appropriate boundaries and making an internal, safe set of loving, available parents is helping me.
 
@Catlovers141 - I'm not able to help you resolve this issue except to suggest you seek out some therapy for it because I'm concerned that you may leave yourself exposed to women of that age exploiting you.

For instance this Real Estate Agent - You are planning on making a huge financial decision and to a certain extent you rely on them for expertise. Emotional baggage should not be anywhere near this sort of transaction.

And the same goes for other women whom you may become attracted to who are in positions of authority etc., doctors etc.,

So please work on it. It's not a healthy dynamic any way. Certainly not one to base a friendship on either but I guess there are all sorts of friendships out there. idk.
 

Catlovers141

Confident
@Catlovers141 - I'm not able to help you resolve this issue except to suggest you seek out some therapy for it because I'm concerned that you may leave yourself exposed to women of that age exploiting you.

For instance this Real Estate Agent - You are planning on making a huge financial decision and to a certain extent you rely on them for expertise. Emotional baggage should not be anywhere near this sort of transaction.

And the same goes for other women whom you may become attracted to who are in positions of authority etc., doctors etc.,

So please work on it. It's not a healthy dynamic any way. Certainly not one to base a friendship on either but I guess there are all sorts of friendships out there. idk.

Yes, it's something I worry about too, as it has happened before. It is something I discuss in therapy, fortunately.

I've thought about some of the ramifications of working with someone like this, including the real estate agent, because you're right that it's a big financial decision and the waters shouldn't be muddied by my emotional baggage.
 
It is something I discuss in therapy, fortunately.
^^I am so pleased you are getting some help with this. :)

You know I was thinking about your situation and I am certain that this particular dynamic is a lot more prevalent than one would think at first glance.

There would be a lot of people that don't actually have that deeper insight into their psyc., that are probably playing out exactly what you are but are oblivious to it. I guess at least you can arm yourself with knowledge of where your vulnerabilities lay and that has to be a really good start.
 
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