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A love letter to children who had to cut ties with their mothers by: Melinda Lee Holm

Melinda Lee Holm

This essay discusses child abuse and suicidal behavior. Please read with caution if these subjects trigger you.

You are among friends here. I will never ask you why you did it. I won’t strain to keep my face from contorting as I blurt out, “But she’s your MOM.” I know what it takes for a child to break up with their mother. I know how many years you’ve spent trying to alter your own needs and hopes just so you can fit within the inadequate container she provided. I understand the depths of fatigue you must reach before finally cutting that most sanctified of cords.

I know why you had to make that choice. We cut off contact with our mothers for the same reason we cut off contact with anyone else: The relationship prevents us from moving forward with our lives in a healthy way. While our individual circumstances are unique, the root of our motivation is as universal as the confusion we face once we’ve taken back control of our lives.

You are among friends here. I will never ask you why you did it. I won’t strain to keep my face from contorting as I blurt out, “But she’s your MOM.” I know what it takes for a child to break up with their mother. I know how many years you’ve spent trying to alter your own needs and hopes just so you can fit within the inadequate container she provided. I understand the depths of fatigue you must reach before finally cutting that most sanctified of cords.

I know why you had to make that choice. We cut off contact with our mothers for the same reason we cut off contact with anyone else: The relationship prevents us from moving forward with our lives in a healthy way. While our individual circumstances are unique, the root of our motivation is as universal as the confusion we face once we’ve taken back control of our lives.

Once I got older and we could compare notes, my parents and I mapped out a familiar pattern of gaslighting, manipulation, and cruelty in our childhoods. Eventually, with their support and the guidance of an excellent therapist, I was able to cut off all contact with my mother in a way that was healthy for me. Having unpacked my own maternal trauma, I became closer with my parents. I was able to understand them and love them more fully than ever before. I also finally understood how my dad could have gotten involved with someone like my mother—he had been primed to accept her behavior as normal.

My mom, dad, and I all sought out romantic relationships that followed the patterns we’d learned from our mothers early in our lives. It’s common—we were naturally drawn to erratic behavior and intense adoration, followed by intense hatred or punishment, control and emotional manipulation, and the intoxicating promise that if we just perform exactly right, then we can keep the explosions at bay.

Read the full article HERE on hellogiggles.com

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