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Mother Vs Wife competetion

Mother Vs Wife competetion

Do mother and the wife of a person always compete with each other for him? The term 'compete' here refers to being dominating and influencing other. Is it a common household psychlogical condition in which 2 females are trying to win over the male?


11 Signs You Have An Emotionally Abusive Mother

The parent-child relationship is typically considered one of the most naturally and unconditionally loving bonds in our day-to-day lives. We expect, from childhood well into adulthood, that our mothers will always have our best interests at heart, that she will act with the intention of guiding us, or that she will know the appropriate emotional boundaries to maintain. Unfortunately, the reality is that this is not always the case, and sometimes it can take time for children of emotionally abusive parents to realize what ways exactly in which they were abused.

Physical abuse -- what many of us think of when we hear the word &ldquoabuse&rdquo -- is sometimes easier to recognize or understand, as many signs of emotional or psychological abuse can fly under the radar and may be dismissed as circumstantial or as a particular parenting type. This is not the case, however emotional abuse can leave significant lasting damage, and it is more than worth addressing.

While it can be difficult or even painful to recognize that you may have an emotionally abusive parent, it&rsquos important to learn some of the signs in order to potentially move forward with your life, or to develop an increased awareness of the patterns your parents may have instilled in you earlier on in life.

What Is Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse can include verbal abuse, name-calling, ignoring, belittling, and other behaviors that cause the victim to feel bad about themselves and question their worth and value. It often works in a cycle. Here is how Healthy Place describes the cycle:

"In a relationship, this cycle starts when one partner emotionally abuses the other, typically to show dominance. The abuser then feels guilt, but not about what he (or she) has done, but moreover the consequences of his actions. The abuser then makes up excuses for his behavior to avoid taking responsibility for what has happened. The abuser then resumes "normal" behavior as if the abuse never happened and maybe extra charming, apologetic, and giving - making the abused party believe that the abuser is sorry. The abuser then begins to fantasize about abusing his partner again and sets up a situation in which more emotional abuse can take place."

Why It's Not Easy To Recognize

Emotional abuse can sometimes fly under the radar partially because many abusive behaviors exist on a spectrum of more &ldquoacceptable&rdquo parenting methods many emotionally abusive parents don&rsquot even realize that what they&rsquore doing is wrong, because it&rsquos what they&rsquove always known, and it feels to them like they aren&rsquot abusive simply because they don&rsquot engage in physical abuse. Your abusive parent might even think they&rsquore doing the right thing, or believe that their behavior is simply &ldquotough love.&rdquo Some people might even excuse abusive behavior on the basis of what that parent has been through, implying that being a single parent, or having been abused themselves might be why they perpetuate abusive behaviors. However, none of these are good excuses for inflicting pain onto your child, and no amount of good intentions will erase the fact that emotional abuse can leave lasting damage on everyone in a household.

As with other abusive behaviors, the cycle of abuse is also part of what can make emotional abuse so difficult to recognize in your own life. Your mother might act loving and kind in one moment and the next time you talk to her might be completely different. She may even apologize for her hurtful behavior. This can be especially confusing and hurtful -- you may really want to believe that she&rsquos sorry and forgive her. But without taking real steps towards changing her behavior or without seeking professional help, these good patches are just antecedents to continued abusive behavior.

If you try to confront her about her behavior, she may do a great job of explaining it away or even making you feel like you're the one that has a problem. She's so convincing that you end up feeling like maybe it is your problem and not her's. This is emotional abuse. Being able to recognize it and spot it in your own life is the first step to getting the help that you need. This can be especially difficult if you have lived like this for years.

Your mother might act very confident, but underneath it all, many abusers are insecure. Just like bullies, they are exerting their power to cover their feelings of being unworthy and not enough.

In order to make some of these behaviors easier to spot, here is a list of some of the most common behaviors in emotionally abusive mothers:

Signs Of An Emotionally Abusive Mother

All healthy and intimate relationships involve a degree of honesty and a willingness to give constructive feedback to help one another grow, with the understanding that it is done out of a genuine sense of love, and only if it is coupled with ample support. The act of providing criticism, however, can become a tool of abuse when excessive and can break down a child&rsquos self-esteem, self-importance, and willingness to advocate for themselves.

If your mother constantly harps on what she perceives as &lsquofaults&rsquo of yours, in matters both big and small, this could be a sign of emotional abuse. This is especially true if she currently does or used to point out only your negative behaviors without any acknowledgement of your positive traits or accomplishments.

Feeling belittled by a parent can be incredibly hurtful, and the negative comments your parent offered you can lead to negative self talk and poor self-image well into adulthood.

When your mother never has the same response to the same behaviors, it can be extremely hard to know what to expect out of her or to know how you should behave. If you make a small mistake, she might be kind and forgiving, or she might be angry and spiteful. These mood swings can make it hard to know what to expect from your relationship, or to even know what footing you&rsquore on.

Erratic responses to a child&rsquos behavior can be a sign of emotional instability in an emotionally abusive parent, and can leave the child with the feeling that their parent could blow up at any moment -- as though they&rsquore walking on eggshells in their own home. The anxiety this can cause can have long term effects, and can lead to mental health problems later on down the line.

Emotionally abusive mothers are particularly adept at putting guilt trips on their children. Their passive aggressive language can make their tactics harder to spot and give them plausible deniability about the way they&rsquore attempting to make you feel, which can make this behavior hard to spot.

She might say things like, "Well, if you stopped by more often&hellip" or "My friend's daughter calls her every morning to check in on her." She might have a way of making comments that appear to be harmless on their face, but which might leave you feeling guilty, like you're doing something wrong.

It&rsquos possible for adults to communicate the ways in which we might feel neglected without being passive aggressive, manipulative, or placing undue guilt on those we care for -- emotionally abusive parents don&rsquot communicate clearly, however, and they attempt to use their subtlety to make you bear the brunt of their feelings. In this way, emotionally abused children learn that their parents&rsquo feelings are their responsibility, or worse yet, they may feel that they are secretly bad people without being able to put a finger on why they feel so negatively about themselves.

Similarly, emotional abusive parents often refuse to take responsibility for their behavior or their feelings. Instead, they project their problems outward onto those they abuse, placing undue guilt and responsibility on their children and family members.

This behavior can be something that is quite hard to ignore or resist. Even though you want to defend yourself against it, inside you may secretly feel responsible for things that had nothing to do with you, which can lead to mental health issues and other problems later in life.

Another sign that your mother is emotionally abusive is if she gives you the silent treatment -- if she doesn't like your behavior, something you said to her, or is in any other way unhappy with you, she stops talking to you.

The silent treatment is another way to make you feel guilty, and it compels you, her child, to make the first move in reaching out to make things right (even if you didn&rsquot do anything wrong). Not only is it completely maddening to deal with -- after all, who wants to have to guess why someone else is angry? -- but it can also lead to problems later in life with romantic partners as we learn that passive aggressive communication styles are acceptable ways to talk to our partners, or for them to talk to us.

While everyone, including parents, get frustrated from time to time, frequently withholding attention or affection from a child is wrong and can lead to a breakdown of communication.

Emotionally abusive parents have a tendency to externalize their emotions and to place the brunt of what they&rsquore feeling on those in their vicinity, oftentimes making it their families&rsquo responsibility to please or even soothe them. Additionally, they can tend to have poor emotional boundaries with their children, leading them to overshare their emotional difficulties and leaving it up to them to make things right, even if they are too young to be able to handle that responsibility, or if they did not make things &lsquowrong&rsquo in the first place.

Some abusive parents might not even realize consciously that this is what they're doing, but their extreme responses to everyday situations can be so intolerable that you might try to do everything in your power to avoid dealing with the repercussions -- like putting aside your agenda for the day in order to cater to your mothers&rsquo emotional whims.

As an extreme extension of being overly critical, emotionally abusive mothers may never be satisfied by your accomplishments, no matter how big or small. They aren't supportive of your efforts and don't celebrate your successes with you. It&rsquos not particularly important whether or not you lived up to what they expected of you, or whether or not your achievement was perfect -- a hyper-critical mother will still find ways to downplay your wins and up-play your mistakes.

These sorts of unrealistic standards can leave abused children and adults feeling perpetually unsatisfied with themselves, even when their mother is not present. When we cannot please emotionally abusive caretakers, it feels like we can&rsquot please ourselves, no matter how objectively successful we might be.

Unconditional love does not always exist with emotionally abusive parents, which can mean that their children have been expected, from a young age, to meet a certain bar of performance in order to get the things that their caretakers should willingly and unconditionally give to them.

For some, this means they constantly had to watch their behavior to make sure they were doing "enough" for their parent to be proud or happy with them. For others, this means that they have to do certain things to get what they need. In some abusive households, children are expected to perform jobs around the house or find ways to pay their parent to receive basic necessities like a room to sleep in or food to eat.

Not only do some of these behaviors, such as withholding food or appropriate shelter, verge into the territory of physical abuse, they can create a significant and frightening feeling of precarity or unworthiness in the mind of an abused child.

Healthy boundaries around privacy are necessary in a parent-child relationship in order to give one&rsquos child the freedom to explore, think, and problem-solve on their own without harsh consequences, judgement, or fear of embarrassment. However, emotionally abusive parents often cultivate relationships with their children that are overly invasive in a variety of ways, particularly surrounding their child&rsquos personal life.

This can mean that they don't respect your privacy -- in childhood, this could manifest itself in household rules like not being allowed to close your bedroom door, or in invasive behaviors, like your parent rifling through diaries, journals, or private social media. As an adult, it can manifest as persistent questioning in order to pry into your personal life, finances, or other relationships. If you refuse to give them the information that they want, then you may receive the silent treatment or a guilt trip.

Verbal put-downs, negative comments, name-calling, or even threats are not uncommon in the playbook of emotionally abusive parents. For some emotionally abusive mothers, in fact, these attacks can be cudgels used in order to get their children to behave in the ways that they like.

This can mean calling you hurtful names or insulting you or your intelligence, manner of dress, appearance, personality, or other aspects about you. In especially extreme cases this can also mean screaming, shouting, threatening, or otherwise verbally terrorizing a child.

Sometimes this aggressive communication does not have to be directed at the child themselves, either, to have a significant impact witnessing, hearing, or hearing threats of domestic abuse or violence in the house counts as emotional abuse, even if the child is relatively uninvolved.

A parent raising their voice once in a blue moon is not necessarily wrong, and neither is a little bit of light ribbing in a family within certain bounds. However, frequent screaming, shouting or hurtful insults should not be passed off as jokes. These behaviors can have a range of impacts on a child&rsquos mental health, and can leave them feeling not only unwanted or unworthy, but as though they are in great danger when taken too far, and may leave a child feeling overly anxious well into adulthood.

Emotionally abusive parents often prioritize having control over their children over nurturing their growth, including the growth of their individuality. This means that they will not only demand that their kids behave in ways that reflect their interests and priorities as parents, but that they may also harshly punish their children for behaving in a way that seems foreign, unique, or otherwise distinct from what they&rsquore used to.

For many narcissistic parents, their children are an extension of themselves rather than their own unique being. Your mother may have forced you to do activities that she liked, dress the way she did, or behave exactly as she did. If you are LGBT+, she may have strong prejudices against your self-expression and try to stifle it with demeaning comments or outright punishment for your sexuality or gender identity. She might dismiss or mock your genuine interests, or she might mock you for being proficient at an activity.

How To Recover From Being Emotionally Abused

While emotional abuse doesn't leave behind the same scars as physical abuse, that doesn't mean that it doesn't leave you scarred. Emotional abuse can leave you struggling with many emotional and personal issues that you might not know the root of, or that you might not feel capable of handling on your own.

Some of the side effects of being a victim to this type of abuse from a parent can include low self-esteem, or being overly anxious, which can make it difficult for you to move forward healthily in life. We know that difficult experiences in childhood can be an influential factor in the development or onset of many mental health problems in adulthood, including mood disorders like depression, seasonal affective disorder, bipolar, and more, or in anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and more. Additionally, many of the behaviors you were trained to accept from your parents can leak into other relationships later on in life, including in how you engage with your romantic partner, or how you might choose to raise your own kids. That means even when you're an adult and can create distance between you and your mother, the effects of her behavior can still impact you.

However, it's important to know that you don't have to continue to live like with the emotional wounds that your mother created. As an adult, you can put space between you and your mother. If you want to continue to try to build a healthy relationship with her it will be important to learn how to set boundaries. This allows you to set standards for what is acceptable treatment and allows you to not put up with anything other than that.

Learning how to set boundaries and how to retrain your thoughts after experiencing emotional abuse can be difficult. A licensed therapist can help you identify the behaviors you have been exposed to and the impact that they've had on your life. Then, they can help you learn how to replace your negative thoughts and self-talk with positive ones. With ReGain, you can get started today on recovering from your emotionally abusive mother.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What do you do with an emotionally abusive parent?

Once you have taken the steps to recognize the signs and symptoms of emotional abuse, it&rsquos hard sometimes to know how to proceed. It can be difficult and painful to take action in these sorts of situations, but it is incredibly important.

If you are an adult who is living on your own, nothing is more important when dealing with an abusive parent than creating distance. Setting firm boundaries and making clear what behaviors you will not tolerate from an abusive parent can feel mean or hurtful -- and your parent may even try to make you feel as though you are doing something wrong -- but you are not doing anything wrong by deciding that you need to have your needs and emotions respected by someone who claims to love you. Remember that you do not have any obligation or responsibility to those who have abused you, no matter what they may try to tell you.

If you feel that you can&rsquot create a healthy distance between you and your abusive parent, or if you feel that your relationship is too damaged to keep them at arm's length, consider going no contact with them. While this may feel extreme, sometimes it is the best option if your parent is not willing to respect you or your boundaries.

What makes a parent abusive?

Abuse can come in many forms. While physical violence in any form is considered abuse, there does not need to be physical violence involved in order for someone to be considered abusive. If a parent puts you down an belittles you constantly, that it also abuse.

Psychologists generally categorize four major signs of emotional abuse.

This may include blatant insults to your character, appearance, or intelligence. It could be calling you names or embarrassing you in front of other people. Generally, an abusive parent will try to put you down instead of building you up. A healthy parent tries to make you feel positively about who you are and what you do, but an abusive parent tears you down.

This may include monitoring your every move or logging into your social media accounts an dreading your texts messages constantly. It could also manifest itself as ordering you around, making decisions for you, or having sudden, angry outbursts.

An abuser is very good at making you feel guilty for their mistakes. This could include, for example, making a cruel joke, then when you defend yourself, claiming that you have no sense of humor. They could make you feel guilty for not &ldquoappreciating&rdquo them, they could deny their abuse, and even go so far as to claim that you are abusing them. An abuser will do everything they can to trivialize and invalidate your feelings.

While a healthy parent sees and respects your emotions as a person, an abusive parent will withhold any affection from you, then call you needy if you ask for it. They may try to turn other people against you, and shut you down or interrupt you any time you try to speak openly and honestly about your thoughts and emotions.

It&rsquos difficult to conclusively determine how or why some people end up being abusive parents. It&rsquos sometimes thought to be associated with having experienced abuse themselves as children, with hereditary mental health disorders that make regulating emotional responses hard, or with environmental factors that make parenting difficult, such as being a single parent.

However, none of these factors determine for certain that someone will be an abusive parent, and they certainly don&rsquot excuse abuse, either.

What are the signs and symptoms of emotional abuse?

In a child who has been abused, the signs and symptoms can vary greatly depending on the type of abuse they endured, whether they were emotionally, physically, or sexually abused, or whether they suffered neglect. However, there are some typical behaviors that manifest in children who have been emotionally abused:

  • Abnormal emotional development
  • Low or poor self-esteem, especially if it has been lost suddenly
  • Loss of interest in activities that once made them happy
  • Depression
  • Avoidant behaviors
  • Seeking attention in unusual ways

What are the 2 types of emotional abuse?

There are lots of forms of emotional abuse, but emotional abuse is often referred to by two names -- psychological abuse, or emotional abuse.

    1. Emotional abuse is a larger umbrella term that often includes things like name calling and putting someone down. An emotionally abusive person may call you nicknames that belittle you, or call you stupid, foolish, or ugly. Emotional abuse is clear in any circumstance when someone who is supposed to be your ally or loved one, is instead working to tear you down, and make you feel small and worthless.
    2. Psychological abuse is the term used when the abuser directly tries to make the victim question their own sense of reality. This may include gaslighting, which is denying very obvious things that the victim knows to be true in order to make the victim question their own sense of reality. In an extreme situation of psychological abuse, the victim may believe that he or she is psychologically unwell and often, therefore, dependent on their abuser for a sense of reality.

    What is a toxic parent?

    A toxic parent is a parent who is unable to maintain healthy relationships with their children, and they often engage in damaging behaviors. They might have few or no boundaries and burden their children with private and emotionally stressful information, or they might have far too many boundaries, and treat their child somewhat coldly.

    A healthy parent works to build you up and care for you. A healthy parent should make you feel strong and capable, while a toxic parent only makes you feel weak and useless. A toxic parent may even go so far as to psychologically abuse you, making you dependent up on them and their view of reality.

    What are the signs of a toxic parent?

    The signs of a toxic parent can be similar to the signs of an abusive parent, since it&rsquos a much more broadly defined phrase. Oftentimes, a toxic parent is harsh, overly critical, controlling, judgmental, or has inappropriate boundaries. They may leave you feeling insecure, uncomfortable, or unwanted, and might offer up support in meager ways, or not at all.


    Men and Their Mommies:How the Mother Son Relationship Can Contribute to Divorce

    The mother son relationship is really complicated. I know this because I have an ex-husband, a dad, a brother and a son.

    There is nothing more attractive to a woman than a man who adores his mom, treats her well, treats her with respect and goes out of his way to help her.

    There is also nothing more unattractive to a woman than a man who can't stand up to his mother, who let's his mom control him, who fears his mother and who puts his mommy first (in front of his girlfriend or wife.)

    I think there are many, many men who don't know what kind of relationship to have with their mom once they get a girlfriend or get married. And a lot of times, the mother son relationship has a huge effect on the marriage, to the point of divorce in some cases.

    So much of the mother son relationship stems from childhood, and circumstances that might have happened. For example, maybe the guy's dad left when he was just a little boy, and he was all his mother had. Or maybe his father died, and the man has always felt sad for his mom and tried to compensate for his dad not being there. Maybe the guy's dad treated his mom like crap and the guy feels like he needs to pick up the slack.

    While all of these scenarios are heartfelt and while I can understand a guy's need to treat his mother like gold, there are differences between healthy and unhealthy mother son relationships. Here are 3.

    1. Obligation Versus Choice:

    Unhealthy: The son always feels obligated to see his mom and put her first in front of his plans. In other words, he will drop anything if she calls because he feels some kind of guilt. This causes huge problems with his girlfriend/wife.

    Healthy: The son WANTS to see his mother, and if she happens to call and ask to get together when he already has plans -- say a date, he tells her he will instead meet her for breakfast the next morning. When he meets her, he might bring her flowers or just give her a huge hug and say, "Mom, I know you already know this, but I really really love you a lot."

    2. Fear Versus Honesty:

    Unhealthy: The guy always fears that his mother will be angry with him or not speak to him if he disappoints her and doesn't do everything she asks. A wife or girlfriend will get frustrated by this and it will surely cause tension in their relationship.

    Healthy: The guy doesn't fear the person who is supposed to love him unconditionally, and who understands that there is no son in history who didn't disappoint his mother at one time or another during a lifetime. Instead, if he has to say or do something he knows will upset his mother, he sucks it up and is honest about it because he knows his mother will eventually get over it.

    3. Annoyance Versus Happiness:

    Unhealthy: The guy who fears his mother tends to resent her (but won't even let himself realize that). That emotion then turns into annoyance with her, which then turns into his guilt for feeling annoyed by his own mother. Because of this annoyance, he will then become annoyed with his wife/girlfriend, completely unaware of it!

    Healthy: A guy who has a great relationship with his mother gets joy out of seeing her EVERY time they get together. He cherishes the time, they laugh together, maybe reminisce and have heartfelt talks.

    Here's the thing. I'm a mom, and when my son grows up, meets a woman, brings her home and marries her, I am really going to try to understand that he is madly in love with her, and that he will put her above me a lot of times. And that is how it should be! And any mother who doesn't see it that way is just plain selfish! Sure, it might be hard, and your feelings might get a little hurt at times, but that NORMAL!

    The last thing I will say is something I always tell women. "How your man treats his mother is how he is going to treat you."

    I will never forget being on a date with a guy who (I promise I'm not making this up) was referring to his mom as a "stupid idiot." I couldn't get out of the car fast enough when he dropped me off, and I never saw the guy again.

    If a guy fears his mom and then resents her, he will do that to the person he marries, even subconsciously.

    All men should treat their moms with kindness, respect and gratitude. That's a given. But he should do that because he WANTS to do that, not because the mom expects it. No mom is perfect, but men should do the best they can to try to have the best relationship they possibly can with their mom, AND to facilitate the best relationship between their mom and their girlfriend or wife.

    THAT is how women feel about men and their mommies!

    Jackie Pilossoph is the author of her blog, Divorced Girl Smiling, and the comedic divorce novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase. She also writes feature stories, along with the weekly dating and relationships column, "Love Essentially" for Sun-Times Media local publications. Pilossoph lives in Chicago. Oh, and she's divorced.


    Oedipus complex

    The Oedipus complex (also spelled Œdipus complex) is a concept of psychoanalytic theory. Sigmund Freud introduced the concept in his Interpretation of Dreams (1899) and coined the expression in his A Special Type of Choice of Object made by Men (1910). [1] [2] The positive Oedipus complex refers to a child's unconscious sexual desire for the opposite-sex parent and hatred for the same-sex parent. The negative Oedipus complex refers to a child's unconscious sexual desire for the same-sex parent and hatred for the opposite-sex parent. [2] [3] [4] Freud considered that the child's identification with the same-sex parent is the successful outcome of the complex and that unsuccessful outcome of the complex might lead to neurosis, and pedophilia. [ not verified in body ]

    Freud rejected the term "Electra complex", [5] which was introduced by Carl Gustav Jung in 1913 in his work, Theory of Psychoanalysis [6] in regard to the Oedipus complex manifested in young girls. [5] Freud further proposed that the Oedipus complex, which originally refers to the sexual desire of a son for his mother, is a desire for the parent in both males and females, and that boys and girls experience the complex differently: boys in a form of castration anxiety, girls in a form of penis envy. [7]


    What You See in This Classic Optical Illusion May Say a Lot About Your Age, Study Finds

    The optical illusion titled “My Wife and My Mother-in-Law” has made people scratch their heads for a long time — since 1915, to be exact. The famous brainteaser by British cartoonist William Ely Hill boasts a facial perception trick: When you look at the image, you either see the face of a wife or the face of a mother-in-law, but it’s pretty darn impossible to see both at the same time.

    Many folks who take a close look at the illusion report spotting either the younger woman or the older woman first, and then struggling to see the second woman afterward. As it turns out, recent research reveals that whichever woman you see first might have something to do with how old you are.

    If you’ve never seen the “My Wife and My Mother-in-Law” optical illusion before, take a look at the clever illustration for yourself below. (And even if you have seen it before, it never hurts to refresh your memory.) So, which one do you see first: the wife or the mother-in-law?

    (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

    If you saw the wife first and have trouble seeing the mother-in-law, here’s a clue that might help: The younger woman’s necklace is supposed to be the older woman’s mouth. And if you saw the mother-in-law first and can’t figure out where the wife is supposed to be, take a closer look at the older woman’s nose that’s supposed to be the younger woman’s jawline! Clever, huh?

    Now, back to the study: Australian researchers asked 393 participants aged 18 to 68 to tell them who they saw in the optical illusion. The results, published in the August 2018 issue of Scientific Reports, showed that the youngest set of people tended to see the wife first, while the oldest set of participants tended to see the mother-in-law first.

    The researchers wrote, “Faces from a social in-group, such as people of a similar age, receive more in-depth processing and are processed holistically.”

    If you think about the results, it’s not super shocking that most folks would see an image that they could possibly relate to more — even if the only similarity was potentially being closer in age to the fictional person. But hey: If you saw an image much younger than your actual age, maybe that’s just a sign that you’re super young at heart!


    The Mother Archetype

    Like any other archetype, the mother archetype appears under an almost infinite variety of aspects.

    I mention here only some of the more characteristic.

    First in importance are the personal mother and grandmother, stepmother and mother-in-law then any woman with whom a relationship exists—for example, a nurse or governess or perhaps a remote ancestress. Then there are what might be termed mothers in a figurative sense.

    To this category belongs the goddess, and especially the Mother of God, the Virgin, and Sophia. Mythology offers many variations of the mother archetype, as for instance the mother who reappears as the maiden in the myth of Demeter and Kore or the mother who is also the beloved, as in the Cybele-Attis myth.

    Other symbols of the mother in a figurative sense appear in things representing the goal of our longing for redemption, such as Paradise, the Kingdom of God, the Heavenly Jerusalem.

    Many things arousing devotion or feelings of awe, as for instance the Church, university, city or country, heaven, earth, the woods, the sea or any still waters, matter even, the underworld and the moon, can be mother-symbols.

    The archetype is often associated with things and places standing for fertility and fruitfulness: the cornucopia, a ploughed field, a garden.

    It can be attached to a rock, a cave, a tree, a spring, a deep well, or to various vessels such as the baptismal font, or to vessel-shaped flowers like the rose or the lotus.

    Because of the protection it implies, the magic circle or mandala can be a form of mother archetype.

    Hollow objects such as ovens and cooking vessels are associated with the mother archetype, and, of course, the uterus, yoni, and anything of a like shape. Added to this list there are many animals, such as the cow, hare, and helpful animals in general.

    All these symbols can have a positive, favourable meaning or a negative, evil meaning. An ambivalent aspect is seen in the goddesses of fate (Moira, Graeae, Norns).

    Evil symbols are the witch, the dragon (or any devouring and entwining animal, such as a large fish or a serpent), the grave, the sarcophagus, deep water, death, nightmares and bogies (Empusa, Lilith, etc.). This list is not, of course, complete it presents only the most important features of the mother archetype.

    The qualities associated with it are maternal solicitude and sympathy the magic authority of the female the wisdom and spiritual exaltation that transcend reason any helpful instinct or impulse all that is benign, all that cherishes and sustains, that fosters growth and fertility.

    The place of magic transformation and rebirth, together with the underworld and its inhabitants, are presided over by the mother.

    On the negative side the mother archetype may connote anything secret, hidden, dark the abyss, the world of the dead, anything that devours, seduces, and poisons, that is terrifying and inescapable like fate.

    All these attributes of the mother archetype have been fully described and documented in my book Symbols of Transformation.

    There I formulated the ambivalence of these attributes as “the loving and the terrible mother.” Perhaps the historical example of the dual nature of the mother most familiar to us is the Virgin Mary, who the mother archetype is not only the Lord’s mother, but also, according to the medieval allegories, his cross.

    In India, “the loving and terrible mother” is the paradoxical Kali. Sankhya philosophy has elaborated the mother archetype into the concept of prakrti (matter) and assigned to it the three gunas or fundamental attributes: sattva, rajas, tamas: goodness, passion, and darkness.

    These are three essential aspects of the mother: her cherishing and nourishing goodness, her orgiastic emotionality, and her Stygian depths.

    The special feature of the philosophical myth, which shows Prakrti dancing before Purusha in order to remind him of “discriminating knowledge,” does not belong to the mother archetype but to the archetype of the anima, which in a man’s psychology invariably appears, at first, mingled with the mother-image.

    Although the figure of the mother as it appears in folklore is more or less universal, this image changes markedly when it appears in the individual psyche. In treating patients one is at first impressed, and indeed arrested, by the apparent significance of the personal mother.

    This figure of the personal mother looms so large in all personalistic psychologies that, as we know, they never got beyond it, even in theory, to other important aetiological factors. My own view differs from that of other medico-psychological theories principally in that I attribute to the personal mother only a limited aetiological significance.

    That is to say, all those influences which the literature describes as being exerted on the children do not come from the mother herself, but rather from the archetype projected upon her, which gives her a mythological background and invests her with authority and numinosity. The aetiological and traumatic effects produced by the mother must be divided into two groups:

    (1) those corresponding to traits of character or attitudes actually present in the mother, and (2) those referring to traits which the mother only seems to possess, the reality being composed of more or less fantastic (i.e., archetypal) projections on the part of the child.

    Freud himself had already seen that the real aetiology of neuroses does not lie in traumatic effects, as he at first suspected, but in a peculiar development of infantile fantasy.

    This is not to deny that such a development can be traced back to disturbing influences emanating from the mother.

    I myself make it a rule to look first for the cause of infantile neuroses in the mother, as I know from experience that a child is much more likely to develop normally than neurotically, and that in the great majority of cases definite causes of disturbances can be found in the parents, especially in the mother.

    The contents of the child’s abnormal fantasies can be referred to the personal mother only in part, since they often contain clear and unmistakable allusions which could not possibly have reference to human beings.

    This is especially true where definitely mythological products are concerned, as is frequently the case in infantile phobias where the mother may appear as a wild beast, a witch, a spectre, an ogre, a hermaphrodite, and so on.

    It must be borne in mind, however, that such fantasies are not always of unmistakably mythological origin, and even if they are, they may not always be rooted in the unconscious archetype but may have been occasioned by fairytales or accidental remarks.

    A thorough investigation is therefore indicated in each case. For practical reasons, such an investigation cannot be made so readily with children as with adults, who almost invariably transfer their fantasies to the physician during treatment—or, to be more precise, the fantasies are projected upon him automatically.

    When that happens, nothing is gained by brushing them aside as ridiculous, for archetypes are among the inalienable assets of every psyche.

    They form the “treasure in the realm of shadowy thoughts” of which Kant spoke, and of which we have ample the mother archetype evidence in the countless treasure motifs of mythology.

    An archetype is in no sense just an annoying prejudice it becomes so only when it is in the wrong place.

    In themselves, archetypal images are among the highest values of the human psyche they have peopled the heavens of all races from time immemorial.

    To discard them as valueless would be a distinct loss. Our task is not, therefore, to deny the archetype, but to dissolve the projections, in order to restore their contents to the individual who has involuntarily lost them by projecting them outside himself.


    Let’s be honest: Are you a covert narcissistic mother?

    Look within and ask yourself, do you fit any of these indicators of being a parent like this? If you relate to any of these things, please try to change as much as possible for the sake of your child’s future. The treatment they receive now will be the foundation of their adult lives.

    If you know someone who is a covert narcissistic type of mother, please provide help for their children if you can. Remember, you cannot break boundaries either or the mother will only punish the children for that as well. If anything, get anonymous support or help.

    I hope these indicators and words of hope have helped you as well.

    Copyright © 2012-2021 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

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    This Post Has 27 Comments

    Scaringly accurate description of my mother. It was hell for both my sister and I growing up with her as our mother. Please heed the author’s advice and seek help if you recognise behaviour like this in your own life. You deserve it.

    I knew a mother who would beat her children and drag them by the hair. She had a favorite, although, who would get much less of this treatment. Now, she is gone, one child is dead, one is still struggling with addiction and as for the others, they have other problems. Rest this mother’s soul, she is gone now, but she scarred her children and it’s difficult for them to have a life void of constant fighting and competition. I stay away.

    Do you think a covert narcissistic mother might dress her children better than herself if she uses that as evidence of her sacrifice for them? Especially if the mother became socially isolated, physically disabled, and/or obese, do you think she could begin to feel so ashamed of her own appearance that she turns focus on dressing her children well instead of herself? In this scenario, the mother would constantly brag about this sacrifice to others and would hold it over her children’s heads to manipulate them further.

    All I know is that a mother should never brag on money spent for her children. Spending money on children, buying food, school supplies, and clothing is a given. Doing these things do not make you an exemplary mother. It makes you a mother, period….a person who is doing what she’s supposed to do anyway.

    This describes my mum and the thing is that she knows that I dont like to be compared to my sister but she still does it anyway and I seriously dont know what to do because I’m 15 and I’m tired of not being enough and trying to please my mum just so she would be in a good mood and wouldn’t yell

    Fiona It is to your advantage that you know what your Mother is while you are so young, when you are a few years older it will be easier to get away from the cruel family dynamics for good. I was the scapegoat child and unlike you, I was 53 before I knew anything about narcissistic Mothers, and the terrible damage that they inflict on their children will stay with them for life and affect all other relationships that they have. Hugs to you.

    Tia,
    Her mother could have these dysfunctions, but she may not. I don’t think she should go at her mother with this belief 100%. There are many other reasons her mother could be doing these things. Yes, it’s important to be aware, but it’s also important to pay attention to the details as well.

    Fiona, honey you are a star. I thought my dramas started when I was 15, having realised the world portrayed by the maternal unit was not indeed the world that my school, mates, everything else in the world opperated in. I appeared to be dumbed down as conditioned. I was over fed so I wouldn’t be perceived as attractive…If I’d become a nun, she’d have been delighted. (we weren’t catholic!).
    We didn’t have the webz in the 70’s so no way to look up ‘my mothers a fckn lunatic’, Librarys just don’t work that way. I’m finally seeing how abusive my childhood actually was, as too the majority of my adult relationships and getting ‘therapied’. I’m in my 50’s now hon, and feel just a bit ripped of.
    Sweetheart hang in there, u’ve survived her for 15 years, can u manage a few more months till u hit 16? (Guessing ur in USA, and have Legal Emancipation at 16 years if neccesary?).
    Now ur aware of how Ur mum’s head works, u’ll find it easier to stay out of the firing line, u’ll start to be able to predict her ‘next move’. Keep learning as much as can about personality psycholgy. Not just how narcs work, but the effect they have on targets psych. Mix up ur study tho, too much psych without some entertainment will do ur head in further.
    Just observe ur mum, don’t bait her. Got a school councilor, teacher, principal that u can trust to keep confidentiallity? U need advice on Social Security benefits for technically homeless youth, how to access counciling to recalibrate damage she’s done to ur head ( ur young, u’ll get any false ideas she programmed u with dealt with real quick). U’ll need advice on housing options – maybe an accomodation on campus scholarship for the ‘disadvantaged’? Make it clear before confiding with this adult that they are dealing with you , there can be no letters being sent home advising ” Your daughter attended counciling… Should you like to discuss further….”. They must understand that it would cause intensified abuse for you.
    Keep safe, keep learning, beware of i’net narcs, and good luck.
    (We all are, but ) never forget you are a star. You are allowed to shine. You’re entitled to courteous dealings with people. You are allowed to ‘draw the line’ with how cheaky, or smutty others can act towards you.
    Have a wonderful life x
    M

    Thank you for reading and your help.

    Since you are 15, you still have to abide by the rules of the household, and any dysfunction will come with that. I do believe mothers should listen to their children too sometimes, and kids and teens are right sometimes…GASP! hehe. Anyway, on the other hand, parents will act in ways you don’t understand, and that’s because you are still young. Some of the yelling could be coming from somewhere else and she is frustrated. Although comparisons between children aren’t good, it does happen, sometimes unintentionally. Right now, you are going through a hard period in your life, but after a few years, things won’t bother you as much. Soon you will be grown and on your own. You just be the best you can and try to respect her authority. Some of these things will look different when your around 45. Any bad things are done, just don’t repeat them with your children. Yes, there are narcissistic parents, but I’m not sure if she is. She just may have some things you don’t know about that is causing her to interact with you the way she does. I’ve been guilty of all these same things before.

    I wish you the best in the remainder of your teen years.

    I myself went through quite similar circumstances.myself. She was the Stay st Home Mom of the 1950’s on. My Dad Traveled 3 weeks out of the month. So, she had both my Brother & I to take care of. Naturally there was the normal Sibling Rivalry, as in most Families. Difference here was it my Fault, not my Brothers. He was the youngest, but an instigatore, but did no wrong in Moms eyes. Mom would tell me in no uncertain terms, “Just wait until your Father get home”
    Shortly after his return, whatever the Issue was, she would Multiply it by Ten Fold. Far worse that the actual event.
    Then came the beatings from my Dad. If I tried to set the story straight, it was considered Talkng Back.
    Occurences like this continued until I Graduated High School. Then joined the U.S. Navy & Bailed out for good.
    This one just one of many other things I experienced in those years. Only resulted in a hatred for her. Too many to continue on further. I figured she was JUST CRAZY until later in life I began reading & learning that this is truly a disease.
    Only then, could I begin to have a shred of forgiveness in my heart. I thank Quora and all who contribute to this Site.
    Keep spreadng the knowledge.

    In your case, Gene. Your mother probably did have a personality disorder. Unfortunately, she didn’t get help during your childhood. I am sorry. I hope things are working out well for you now, and I hope you can forgive her. This doesn’t mean you have to endure any more punishment from her. Spend as much time with her as you can, but leave when you feel those gaslighting and manipulating tactics start.

    Hi Sherrie, I’m Marlene and would like to know what your opinion would be in regards to my current situation living with my narrsisistic daughter and my 2 yr old grandson who at times is mistreated at times by his mother. Sometimes she seems to be in a good mood and spends time singing to him, playing with him or watching cartoons with him giggling which doesn’t last for too long because suddenly she’s yelling at him, calling him a monster or telling him that something is wrong with him and he’s being a very bad and disobedient child. Basically putting him down with negative and angry words which I know in my heart even though he’s not talking yet, that he somehow understands that his mother is verbally abusing him and he feels scared and confused by his mothers sudden change in her attitude and treatment towards him because as I’m hearing all of her negative and aggressive behavior towards him followed by him crying and in happy, I get up and approach her and say ” whats going on here? Or What’s wrong with the baby? Is he ok?” I’ll even attempt to pick him up immediately and get him away from her but doing it in a rather calm and non peaceful manner because she has reacted in a aggressive and non supported way towards me refusing to let me take him with me and removing him from her, and slamming her door in my face and continuing her name calling to him saying ” your a bad baby and this is all your fault! You caused this mess on purpose and you knew better! Your making me go crazy and your nothing but drama, drama, drama!” I feel so my pain inside me and I become desperate and feel like breaking down her door and taking him away from her presence regardless of her demands. I see the sadness in his eyes and wanting to come with me. My grandson and I share a strong bond between us from the time he was born and she resents me for that. She’s told me before that it makes her uncomfortable to see him wanting to be with me rather with her and that that’s not right and she’s the mother not me and he needs to be broken from that bad habit that I’m inflicting into him and teaching him to disrespect her by not acknowledging her as his mother. I can’t believe her actions and accusations towards me almost as if shes making it all up just to put me down and all of a sudden now I’m a part of the problem and me and him are creating the drama and caose just to attack her and ruin her peaceful day. We’re the trouble makers and she the innocent victlm. I’ve always had issues with her since she was about 10 yrs old, finding her doctors to evaluate her mental health not to mention being on prescription medication only to stop taking them and becoming more out if control against me and on 2 occasions, becoming physically abusive towards me eventually having the need to go to the hospital for treatment. She finally became an adult and moved out but soon enough she’s always found me and apologizes and asking me to help her because she’s homeless and has no support from anyone. I eventually forgive her and take her into my home thinking she’s changed and learned her lesson and will be a better and loving daughter but it doesn’t last for long. This time she’s showed up to my front door 7 months pregnant and I could find it in my heart to turn my back and leave her in the street, homeless. My grandson means everything to me I would give my life for him and I know in my heart she’s the problem and she has mental issues but not looking for help or not allowing me to help her get help. My grandson is a normal and innocent toddler who’s only doing what all toddlers do as they grow and go thru stages in life. I found out her reason for becoming upset with him and verbally mistreating him was because he spilled his juice on him self and floor and she had just cleaned the floor but now he caused a mess so she has to drop everything and clean his mess over again which became an convince to her and he’s trying to drive her crazy. I no longer want to maintain the peace to avoid confrontation with her I feel she knows my good intentions and is taking advantage of my approach to allow her to get away with her behavior and continue to behave this way with him and now me. It tears my heart and I fall into a deep depression crying myself to the point where I just want to get him and run away with him and spare him from her hurt full treatment. I’ve thought many times to call CPS and report but in reality, I’m not financially able to take care of him if they removed him from her leading him to be taken away from his loving family but more so from his grandmother. I fear that I won’t see him again and won’t even know where he would be. It would break my heart and be devastated for the rest of my life. But still this situation is not right and he’s being mistreated when shes feeling miserable and needs to take it out on someone this case it’s him and he does not deserve this and continue to be exposed to this cruel and harmful treatment. In well aware of this in the meantime, I’m lost in taking action and doing what is right and giving him the peace and safe enviornment he deserves. I love my grandson with all my heart and just don’t want to lose him. It would devastate me, he would realize I’m not there anymore and not in his life. Not to mention what it would do to me, so devastating! I appreciate your thoughts or opinion on this situation that I’m lost in thought. Thank you.

    I apologise for any mispelled wording on my recent comment and able to clearly read without problem. Thank you.


    Sorry, Pelosi: Eliminating official use of ‘mother’ isn’t inclusive — it’s waging war on women

    One of the first acts of our new House of Representatives might be to cancel Mom.

    On Sunday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic majority proposed to eliminate “father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister” and all other language deemed insufficiently “gender-inclusive” from House rules. They would be ­replaced with terms like “parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling” and so on.

    “Mother” — among the most important concepts in human life — would be erased from the lexicon of the US House of Representatives. It’s important to recognize how radical this is. And no, it isn’t akin to updating federal law to replace “policeman” with “police officer,” a rational corrective sought by feminists for generations.

    There, the terms were changed for the benefit of clarity and accuracy. “Fireman” became “firefighter” to reflect that women could be firefighters under the law and, in fact, were already serving as such. However much fun it is to say “mailman,” we all knew and know female mail carriers. It was silly, archaic and inaccurate to pretend such jobs could be filled only by men.

    But “mother” is a fundamental biological, emotional, familial reality. It captures the irreplaceable bond between a baby and the woman who bore her in her womb. That others can be excellent guardians — a fact no one disputes — can’t justify extirpating Mom from our vocabulary. (For that matter, the political erasure of “dad” is also dehumanizing, because it ­entails the loss of our capacity to describe relationships that define what it means to be fully human.)

    House Democrats don’t pretend to seek this change merely for the sake of “streamlining” congressional language. The explicit point is to advance “inclusion and diversity” and to “honor all gender identities.” Pelosi & Co. are desperate to accommodate an ­aggressive gender ideology that ­insists “man” and “woman” are fuzzy, subjective categories, rather than biological ones.

    Lest you think this a harmless alteration, consider the ways California’s Democrats have run wild with Newspeak. As Quillette ­reported last week, California’s insurance commissioner has ­issued a directive to reclassify double mastectomies of healthy breasts from “cosmetic” procedures to “reconstructive,” necessary to “correct or repair the abnormal structures of the body caused by congenital defects.”


    The Birth of a Mother

    For most women, pregnancy and new motherhood is a joy — at least some of the time. But most mothers also experience worry, disappointment, guilt, competition, frustration, and even anger and fear.

    As the psychiatrist Daniel Stern explained in the 1990s in his books “The Motherhood Constellation” and “The Birth of a Mother,” giving birth to a new identity can be as demanding as giving birth to a baby.

    Dr. Stern showed that becoming a mother is an identity shift, and one of the most significant physical and psychological changes a woman will ever experience.

    The process of becoming a mother, which anthropologists call “matrescence,” has been largely unexplored in the medical community. Instead of focusing on the woman’s identity transition, more research is focused on how the baby turns out. But a woman’s story, in addition to how her psychology impacts her parenting, is important to examine, too. Of course, this transition is also significant for fathers and partners, but women who go through the hormonal changes of pregnancy may have a specific neurobiological experience.

    When people have more insight into their emotions, they can be more in control of their behaviors. So even when the focus remains on the child, understanding the psychology of pregnant and postpartum women can help promote healthier parenting. Mothers with greater awareness of their own psychology may be more empathetic to their children’s emotions.

    Knowing the challenges of matrescence will normalize and validate how new mothers may be feeling. These are the four key things to look out for:

    Changing Family Dynamics: Having a baby is an act of creation. Pregnancy is more than creating a new human, it’s also creating a new family. A baby is the catalyst that will open new possibilities for more intimate connections as well as new stresses in a woman’s closest relationships with her partner, siblings and friends.

    In her 2012 book “The Maternal Lineage,” Paola Mariotti, a psychoanalyst and fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, says that a woman’s maternal identity is founded in her mother’s style, which in turn was influenced by how she was raised.

    Whether a woman parents her child as her mother raised her, or adopts a different style, becoming a mother provides an opportunity for a do-over. In a way, a woman gets to re-experience her own childhood in the act of parenting, repeating what was good, and trying to improve what was not. If a woman had a difficult relationship with her mother, she may try to be the mother she wishes she’d had.

    Ambivalence: The British psychotherapist Rozsika Parker wrote in “Torn in Two: The Experience of Maternal Ambivalence” about the pull and push of wanting a child close, and also craving space (physically and emotionally) as the normal wave of motherhood. Ambivalence is a feeling that comes up in the roles and relationships a person is most invested in, because they’re always a juggling act between giving and taking. Motherhood is no exception. Part of why people have a hard time dealing with ambivalence is that it’s uncomfortable to feel two opposing things at the same time.

    Most of the time, the experience of motherhood is not good or bad, it’s both good and bad. It’s important to learn how to tolerate, and even get comfortable with the discomfort of ambivalence.

    Fantasy vs. Reality: The psychoanalyst Joan Raphael-Leff, the head of the University College London Anna Freud Centre academic faculty for psychoanalytic research, explains that by the time the baby arrives, a woman has already developed feelings about her fantasy baby. As a pregnancy progresses, a woman creates a story about her make-believe child and becomes emotionally invested in that story.

    A woman’s fantasies of pregnancy and motherhood are informed by her observations of the experiences of her own mother and other female relatives and friends and her community and culture. They may be powerful enough that reality disappoints if it doesn’t align with her vision.

    Guilt, Shame and “The Good Enough Mother”: There’s also the ideal mother in a woman’s mind. She’s always cheerful and happy, and always puts her child’s needs first. She has few needs of her own. She doesn’t make decisions that she regrets. Most women compare themselves to that mother, but they never measure up because she’s a fantasy. Some women think that “good enough” (a phrase coined by the pediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott) is not acceptable, because it sounds like settling. But striving for perfection sets women up to feel shame and guilt.

    Mothers will feel guilty because they’re always making challenging and sometimes impossible choices. At times they are required to put their own needs over those of their child. Most women don’t talk about feeling ashamed because it’s usually about something that they don’t want anyone else to know. Shame is the feeling that there’s something wrong with me. This is often the result of comparing yourself to an unrealistic, unattainable standard.

    Too many women are ashamed to speak openly about their complicated experiences for fear of being judged. This type of social isolation may even trigger postpartum depression.

    When women find themselves feeling lost somewhere between who they were before motherhood and who they think they should be now, many worry that something is terribly wrong, when in fact this discomfort is absolutely common.

    In the April issue of Glamour magazine, the model Chrissy Teigen became the latest in a series of celebrities who announced her struggle with postpartum depression. She joined Adele, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields and other prominent women who have used their platforms to call attention to this serious condition.

    Postpartum depression is an underdiagnosed and undertreated public health issue that affects 10 to 15 percent of mothers. But many other mothers may still be struggling with the transition to motherhood.

    Consider the Instagram image of the pregnant and postpartum supermom: a nurturing, organized, sexy-but-modest multitasker who glows during prenatal yoga and seems unfazed by the challenges of leaking breasts, dirty laundry and sleep training. This woman is a fiction. She’s an unrealistic example of perfection that makes other women feel inadequate when they pursue and can’t achieve that impossible standard.

    As the Yale psychiatrist Rosemary H. Balsam showed in an article in February in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, the history of psychiatrists ignoring how pregnancy impacts a woman’s development can be traced back to Freud. Women are often left with a false binary: They either have postpartum depression or they should breeze through the transition to motherhood.

    Knowing the causes of distress and feeling comfortable talking about them with others is critical to growing into a well-adjusted mother. It will help new mothers and those around them to acknowledge that while postpartum depression is an extreme manifestation of the transition to motherhood, even those who do not experience it are undergoing a significant transformation.


    The couples on TLC's 'You, Me & My Ex' all have a bizarre third wheel

    The Bible says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.” But does he have to cleave so much?

    A new study from the University of Cambridge Center for Family Research and an organization called the Stand Alone Institute has found that rifts between parents and their son’s wife are among the most common reasons for family estrangement.

    The study, which was based on the responses of more than 800 men and women in England who had little or no contact with their families, found that divisions between parents and sons lasted a third longer than those between parents and daughters. The issues most commonly listed as “very relevant” in the breakdown of relationships with daughters included mental health problems and emotional abuse.

    But the issues most closely associated with sons included divorce, in-laws and marriage.

    As one respondent wrote, “My son and I had a very strong loving relationship for 25 years. He met his soon-to-be wife and our relationship and his relationships with everyone on his side slowly went away. Everyone that knew him including friends and family saw this and felt this. He disowned anyone that does not like his now-wife.”

    “Marriage has become so separated from family and community.”

    There was a time when these relationships were more likely to end because of parents disowning their children. A child might go astray, marry the wrong person, perhaps outside of the community. Now it seems that the reverse is more common. The researchers report that “those estranged from parents were more likely to report having initiated the estrangement, whereas those estranged from children were more likely to report that their son or daughter had cut contact with them.”

    So what’s changed? How we marry, for one thing.

    As we are getting married later in life, it is less likely that a parent would be able to tell us whom to marry. It’s much easier to demand obedience from a 25-year-old than a 35-year-old. But there are other factors too. Marriage has become so separated from family and community. We have moved from marriages as economic alliances between families and beyond arranged marriages for religious and cultural purposes toward the soulmate model of marriage, in which the only thing that matters is whether two people are in love. We have largely discounted the opinions of family when making decisions about a spouse.

    But that has unfortunate consequences. When multiple generations of families get along, it has positive effects for everyone. Vern Bengtson, a professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work, has been studying extended families for the better part of four decades now. He says, “These intergenerational connections are protective factors for a lot of life risk conditions.”

    Indeed, Bengtson suggests there are not a lot of downsides to these relationships. “The stereotype of a terrible mother-in-law is really a myth. I don’t know of any study that has found any link between marital unhappiness and conflict with in-laws.” On the other hand, he says, “You do hear happily married couples talk about how satisfying their new family ties are and how much they respect father-in-law or mother-in-law.”

    Shutterstock But it is interesting that cases of estrangement are more likely to occur with sons. Is it true, as they say, that a son is a son until he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter all her life?

    More likely it is simply a matter of the way families work. Wives tend to be the ones who are in charge of a family’s social life, its travel schedule, planning for holidays, etc. If they don’t want much contact with extended family, they may be able to exert a kind of practical influence over that that husbands simply don’t.

    Lauren Groff’s bestselling novel of last year, “Fates and Furies,” offers a useful — if extreme — example of this dynamic. The story of a 25-year marriage is told first from the perspective of the husband Lotto and then from the perspective of Mathilde, the wife. The fact that Lotto’s mother doesn’t approve of Mathilde is revealed early in the novel. The couple is cut off in every sense. But it is only later that we learn how year in and year out, Mathilde has ensured that no reconciliation is possible.

    It’s not an attractive picture of extended families, but for many it is the sad reality.


    Let’s be honest: Are you a covert narcissistic mother?

    Look within and ask yourself, do you fit any of these indicators of being a parent like this? If you relate to any of these things, please try to change as much as possible for the sake of your child’s future. The treatment they receive now will be the foundation of their adult lives.

    If you know someone who is a covert narcissistic type of mother, please provide help for their children if you can. Remember, you cannot break boundaries either or the mother will only punish the children for that as well. If anything, get anonymous support or help.

    I hope these indicators and words of hope have helped you as well.

    Copyright © 2012-2021 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

    Share This Story! Share this content

    This Post Has 27 Comments

    Scaringly accurate description of my mother. It was hell for both my sister and I growing up with her as our mother. Please heed the author’s advice and seek help if you recognise behaviour like this in your own life. You deserve it.

    I knew a mother who would beat her children and drag them by the hair. She had a favorite, although, who would get much less of this treatment. Now, she is gone, one child is dead, one is still struggling with addiction and as for the others, they have other problems. Rest this mother’s soul, she is gone now, but she scarred her children and it’s difficult for them to have a life void of constant fighting and competition. I stay away.

    Do you think a covert narcissistic mother might dress her children better than herself if she uses that as evidence of her sacrifice for them? Especially if the mother became socially isolated, physically disabled, and/or obese, do you think she could begin to feel so ashamed of her own appearance that she turns focus on dressing her children well instead of herself? In this scenario, the mother would constantly brag about this sacrifice to others and would hold it over her children’s heads to manipulate them further.

    All I know is that a mother should never brag on money spent for her children. Spending money on children, buying food, school supplies, and clothing is a given. Doing these things do not make you an exemplary mother. It makes you a mother, period….a person who is doing what she’s supposed to do anyway.

    This describes my mum and the thing is that she knows that I dont like to be compared to my sister but she still does it anyway and I seriously dont know what to do because I’m 15 and I’m tired of not being enough and trying to please my mum just so she would be in a good mood and wouldn’t yell

    Fiona It is to your advantage that you know what your Mother is while you are so young, when you are a few years older it will be easier to get away from the cruel family dynamics for good. I was the scapegoat child and unlike you, I was 53 before I knew anything about narcissistic Mothers, and the terrible damage that they inflict on their children will stay with them for life and affect all other relationships that they have. Hugs to you.

    Tia,
    Her mother could have these dysfunctions, but she may not. I don’t think she should go at her mother with this belief 100%. There are many other reasons her mother could be doing these things. Yes, it’s important to be aware, but it’s also important to pay attention to the details as well.

    Fiona, honey you are a star. I thought my dramas started when I was 15, having realised the world portrayed by the maternal unit was not indeed the world that my school, mates, everything else in the world opperated in. I appeared to be dumbed down as conditioned. I was over fed so I wouldn’t be perceived as attractive…If I’d become a nun, she’d have been delighted. (we weren’t catholic!).
    We didn’t have the webz in the 70’s so no way to look up ‘my mothers a fckn lunatic’, Librarys just don’t work that way. I’m finally seeing how abusive my childhood actually was, as too the majority of my adult relationships and getting ‘therapied’. I’m in my 50’s now hon, and feel just a bit ripped of.
    Sweetheart hang in there, u’ve survived her for 15 years, can u manage a few more months till u hit 16? (Guessing ur in USA, and have Legal Emancipation at 16 years if neccesary?).
    Now ur aware of how Ur mum’s head works, u’ll find it easier to stay out of the firing line, u’ll start to be able to predict her ‘next move’. Keep learning as much as can about personality psycholgy. Not just how narcs work, but the effect they have on targets psych. Mix up ur study tho, too much psych without some entertainment will do ur head in further.
    Just observe ur mum, don’t bait her. Got a school councilor, teacher, principal that u can trust to keep confidentiallity? U need advice on Social Security benefits for technically homeless youth, how to access counciling to recalibrate damage she’s done to ur head ( ur young, u’ll get any false ideas she programmed u with dealt with real quick). U’ll need advice on housing options – maybe an accomodation on campus scholarship for the ‘disadvantaged’? Make it clear before confiding with this adult that they are dealing with you , there can be no letters being sent home advising ” Your daughter attended counciling… Should you like to discuss further….”. They must understand that it would cause intensified abuse for you.
    Keep safe, keep learning, beware of i’net narcs, and good luck.
    (We all are, but ) never forget you are a star. You are allowed to shine. You’re entitled to courteous dealings with people. You are allowed to ‘draw the line’ with how cheaky, or smutty others can act towards you.
    Have a wonderful life x
    M

    Thank you for reading and your help.

    Since you are 15, you still have to abide by the rules of the household, and any dysfunction will come with that. I do believe mothers should listen to their children too sometimes, and kids and teens are right sometimes…GASP! hehe. Anyway, on the other hand, parents will act in ways you don’t understand, and that’s because you are still young. Some of the yelling could be coming from somewhere else and she is frustrated. Although comparisons between children aren’t good, it does happen, sometimes unintentionally. Right now, you are going through a hard period in your life, but after a few years, things won’t bother you as much. Soon you will be grown and on your own. You just be the best you can and try to respect her authority. Some of these things will look different when your around 45. Any bad things are done, just don’t repeat them with your children. Yes, there are narcissistic parents, but I’m not sure if she is. She just may have some things you don’t know about that is causing her to interact with you the way she does. I’ve been guilty of all these same things before.

    I wish you the best in the remainder of your teen years.

    I myself went through quite similar circumstances.myself. She was the Stay st Home Mom of the 1950’s on. My Dad Traveled 3 weeks out of the month. So, she had both my Brother & I to take care of. Naturally there was the normal Sibling Rivalry, as in most Families. Difference here was it my Fault, not my Brothers. He was the youngest, but an instigatore, but did no wrong in Moms eyes. Mom would tell me in no uncertain terms, “Just wait until your Father get home”
    Shortly after his return, whatever the Issue was, she would Multiply it by Ten Fold. Far worse that the actual event.
    Then came the beatings from my Dad. If I tried to set the story straight, it was considered Talkng Back.
    Occurences like this continued until I Graduated High School. Then joined the U.S. Navy & Bailed out for good.
    This one just one of many other things I experienced in those years. Only resulted in a hatred for her. Too many to continue on further. I figured she was JUST CRAZY until later in life I began reading & learning that this is truly a disease.
    Only then, could I begin to have a shred of forgiveness in my heart. I thank Quora and all who contribute to this Site.
    Keep spreadng the knowledge.

    In your case, Gene. Your mother probably did have a personality disorder. Unfortunately, she didn’t get help during your childhood. I am sorry. I hope things are working out well for you now, and I hope you can forgive her. This doesn’t mean you have to endure any more punishment from her. Spend as much time with her as you can, but leave when you feel those gaslighting and manipulating tactics start.

    Hi Sherrie, I’m Marlene and would like to know what your opinion would be in regards to my current situation living with my narrsisistic daughter and my 2 yr old grandson who at times is mistreated at times by his mother. Sometimes she seems to be in a good mood and spends time singing to him, playing with him or watching cartoons with him giggling which doesn’t last for too long because suddenly she’s yelling at him, calling him a monster or telling him that something is wrong with him and he’s being a very bad and disobedient child. Basically putting him down with negative and angry words which I know in my heart even though he’s not talking yet, that he somehow understands that his mother is verbally abusing him and he feels scared and confused by his mothers sudden change in her attitude and treatment towards him because as I’m hearing all of her negative and aggressive behavior towards him followed by him crying and in happy, I get up and approach her and say ” whats going on here? Or What’s wrong with the baby? Is he ok?” I’ll even attempt to pick him up immediately and get him away from her but doing it in a rather calm and non peaceful manner because she has reacted in a aggressive and non supported way towards me refusing to let me take him with me and removing him from her, and slamming her door in my face and continuing her name calling to him saying ” your a bad baby and this is all your fault! You caused this mess on purpose and you knew better! Your making me go crazy and your nothing but drama, drama, drama!” I feel so my pain inside me and I become desperate and feel like breaking down her door and taking him away from her presence regardless of her demands. I see the sadness in his eyes and wanting to come with me. My grandson and I share a strong bond between us from the time he was born and she resents me for that. She’s told me before that it makes her uncomfortable to see him wanting to be with me rather with her and that that’s not right and she’s the mother not me and he needs to be broken from that bad habit that I’m inflicting into him and teaching him to disrespect her by not acknowledging her as his mother. I can’t believe her actions and accusations towards me almost as if shes making it all up just to put me down and all of a sudden now I’m a part of the problem and me and him are creating the drama and caose just to attack her and ruin her peaceful day. We’re the trouble makers and she the innocent victlm. I’ve always had issues with her since she was about 10 yrs old, finding her doctors to evaluate her mental health not to mention being on prescription medication only to stop taking them and becoming more out if control against me and on 2 occasions, becoming physically abusive towards me eventually having the need to go to the hospital for treatment. She finally became an adult and moved out but soon enough she’s always found me and apologizes and asking me to help her because she’s homeless and has no support from anyone. I eventually forgive her and take her into my home thinking she’s changed and learned her lesson and will be a better and loving daughter but it doesn’t last for long. This time she’s showed up to my front door 7 months pregnant and I could find it in my heart to turn my back and leave her in the street, homeless. My grandson means everything to me I would give my life for him and I know in my heart she’s the problem and she has mental issues but not looking for help or not allowing me to help her get help. My grandson is a normal and innocent toddler who’s only doing what all toddlers do as they grow and go thru stages in life. I found out her reason for becoming upset with him and verbally mistreating him was because he spilled his juice on him self and floor and she had just cleaned the floor but now he caused a mess so she has to drop everything and clean his mess over again which became an convince to her and he’s trying to drive her crazy. I no longer want to maintain the peace to avoid confrontation with her I feel she knows my good intentions and is taking advantage of my approach to allow her to get away with her behavior and continue to behave this way with him and now me. It tears my heart and I fall into a deep depression crying myself to the point where I just want to get him and run away with him and spare him from her hurt full treatment. I’ve thought many times to call CPS and report but in reality, I’m not financially able to take care of him if they removed him from her leading him to be taken away from his loving family but more so from his grandmother. I fear that I won’t see him again and won’t even know where he would be. It would break my heart and be devastated for the rest of my life. But still this situation is not right and he’s being mistreated when shes feeling miserable and needs to take it out on someone this case it’s him and he does not deserve this and continue to be exposed to this cruel and harmful treatment. In well aware of this in the meantime, I’m lost in taking action and doing what is right and giving him the peace and safe enviornment he deserves. I love my grandson with all my heart and just don’t want to lose him. It would devastate me, he would realize I’m not there anymore and not in his life. Not to mention what it would do to me, so devastating! I appreciate your thoughts or opinion on this situation that I’m lost in thought. Thank you.

    I apologise for any mispelled wording on my recent comment and able to clearly read without problem. Thank you.


    Sorry, Pelosi: Eliminating official use of ‘mother’ isn’t inclusive — it’s waging war on women

    One of the first acts of our new House of Representatives might be to cancel Mom.

    On Sunday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic majority proposed to eliminate “father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister” and all other language deemed insufficiently “gender-inclusive” from House rules. They would be ­replaced with terms like “parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling” and so on.

    “Mother” — among the most important concepts in human life — would be erased from the lexicon of the US House of Representatives. It’s important to recognize how radical this is. And no, it isn’t akin to updating federal law to replace “policeman” with “police officer,” a rational corrective sought by feminists for generations.

    There, the terms were changed for the benefit of clarity and accuracy. “Fireman” became “firefighter” to reflect that women could be firefighters under the law and, in fact, were already serving as such. However much fun it is to say “mailman,” we all knew and know female mail carriers. It was silly, archaic and inaccurate to pretend such jobs could be filled only by men.

    But “mother” is a fundamental biological, emotional, familial reality. It captures the irreplaceable bond between a baby and the woman who bore her in her womb. That others can be excellent guardians — a fact no one disputes — can’t justify extirpating Mom from our vocabulary. (For that matter, the political erasure of “dad” is also dehumanizing, because it ­entails the loss of our capacity to describe relationships that define what it means to be fully human.)

    House Democrats don’t pretend to seek this change merely for the sake of “streamlining” congressional language. The explicit point is to advance “inclusion and diversity” and to “honor all gender identities.” Pelosi & Co. are desperate to accommodate an ­aggressive gender ideology that ­insists “man” and “woman” are fuzzy, subjective categories, rather than biological ones.

    Lest you think this a harmless alteration, consider the ways California’s Democrats have run wild with Newspeak. As Quillette ­reported last week, California’s insurance commissioner has ­issued a directive to reclassify double mastectomies of healthy breasts from “cosmetic” procedures to “reconstructive,” necessary to “correct or repair the abnormal structures of the body caused by congenital defects.”


    The Birth of a Mother

    For most women, pregnancy and new motherhood is a joy — at least some of the time. But most mothers also experience worry, disappointment, guilt, competition, frustration, and even anger and fear.

    As the psychiatrist Daniel Stern explained in the 1990s in his books “The Motherhood Constellation” and “The Birth of a Mother,” giving birth to a new identity can be as demanding as giving birth to a baby.

    Dr. Stern showed that becoming a mother is an identity shift, and one of the most significant physical and psychological changes a woman will ever experience.

    The process of becoming a mother, which anthropologists call “matrescence,” has been largely unexplored in the medical community. Instead of focusing on the woman’s identity transition, more research is focused on how the baby turns out. But a woman’s story, in addition to how her psychology impacts her parenting, is important to examine, too. Of course, this transition is also significant for fathers and partners, but women who go through the hormonal changes of pregnancy may have a specific neurobiological experience.

    When people have more insight into their emotions, they can be more in control of their behaviors. So even when the focus remains on the child, understanding the psychology of pregnant and postpartum women can help promote healthier parenting. Mothers with greater awareness of their own psychology may be more empathetic to their children’s emotions.

    Knowing the challenges of matrescence will normalize and validate how new mothers may be feeling. These are the four key things to look out for:

    Changing Family Dynamics: Having a baby is an act of creation. Pregnancy is more than creating a new human, it’s also creating a new family. A baby is the catalyst that will open new possibilities for more intimate connections as well as new stresses in a woman’s closest relationships with her partner, siblings and friends.

    In her 2012 book “The Maternal Lineage,” Paola Mariotti, a psychoanalyst and fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, says that a woman’s maternal identity is founded in her mother’s style, which in turn was influenced by how she was raised.

    Whether a woman parents her child as her mother raised her, or adopts a different style, becoming a mother provides an opportunity for a do-over. In a way, a woman gets to re-experience her own childhood in the act of parenting, repeating what was good, and trying to improve what was not. If a woman had a difficult relationship with her mother, she may try to be the mother she wishes she’d had.

    Ambivalence: The British psychotherapist Rozsika Parker wrote in “Torn in Two: The Experience of Maternal Ambivalence” about the pull and push of wanting a child close, and also craving space (physically and emotionally) as the normal wave of motherhood. Ambivalence is a feeling that comes up in the roles and relationships a person is most invested in, because they’re always a juggling act between giving and taking. Motherhood is no exception. Part of why people have a hard time dealing with ambivalence is that it’s uncomfortable to feel two opposing things at the same time.

    Most of the time, the experience of motherhood is not good or bad, it’s both good and bad. It’s important to learn how to tolerate, and even get comfortable with the discomfort of ambivalence.

    Fantasy vs. Reality: The psychoanalyst Joan Raphael-Leff, the head of the University College London Anna Freud Centre academic faculty for psychoanalytic research, explains that by the time the baby arrives, a woman has already developed feelings about her fantasy baby. As a pregnancy progresses, a woman creates a story about her make-believe child and becomes emotionally invested in that story.

    A woman’s fantasies of pregnancy and motherhood are informed by her observations of the experiences of her own mother and other female relatives and friends and her community and culture. They may be powerful enough that reality disappoints if it doesn’t align with her vision.

    Guilt, Shame and “The Good Enough Mother”: There’s also the ideal mother in a woman’s mind. She’s always cheerful and happy, and always puts her child’s needs first. She has few needs of her own. She doesn’t make decisions that she regrets. Most women compare themselves to that mother, but they never measure up because she’s a fantasy. Some women think that “good enough” (a phrase coined by the pediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott) is not acceptable, because it sounds like settling. But striving for perfection sets women up to feel shame and guilt.

    Mothers will feel guilty because they’re always making challenging and sometimes impossible choices. At times they are required to put their own needs over those of their child. Most women don’t talk about feeling ashamed because it’s usually about something that they don’t want anyone else to know. Shame is the feeling that there’s something wrong with me. This is often the result of comparing yourself to an unrealistic, unattainable standard.

    Too many women are ashamed to speak openly about their complicated experiences for fear of being judged. This type of social isolation may even trigger postpartum depression.

    When women find themselves feeling lost somewhere between who they were before motherhood and who they think they should be now, many worry that something is terribly wrong, when in fact this discomfort is absolutely common.

    In the April issue of Glamour magazine, the model Chrissy Teigen became the latest in a series of celebrities who announced her struggle with postpartum depression. She joined Adele, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields and other prominent women who have used their platforms to call attention to this serious condition.

    Postpartum depression is an underdiagnosed and undertreated public health issue that affects 10 to 15 percent of mothers. But many other mothers may still be struggling with the transition to motherhood.

    Consider the Instagram image of the pregnant and postpartum supermom: a nurturing, organized, sexy-but-modest multitasker who glows during prenatal yoga and seems unfazed by the challenges of leaking breasts, dirty laundry and sleep training. This woman is a fiction. She’s an unrealistic example of perfection that makes other women feel inadequate when they pursue and can’t achieve that impossible standard.

    As the Yale psychiatrist Rosemary H. Balsam showed in an article in February in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, the history of psychiatrists ignoring how pregnancy impacts a woman’s development can be traced back to Freud. Women are often left with a false binary: They either have postpartum depression or they should breeze through the transition to motherhood.

    Knowing the causes of distress and feeling comfortable talking about them with others is critical to growing into a well-adjusted mother. It will help new mothers and those around them to acknowledge that while postpartum depression is an extreme manifestation of the transition to motherhood, even those who do not experience it are undergoing a significant transformation.


    11 Signs You Have An Emotionally Abusive Mother

    The parent-child relationship is typically considered one of the most naturally and unconditionally loving bonds in our day-to-day lives. We expect, from childhood well into adulthood, that our mothers will always have our best interests at heart, that she will act with the intention of guiding us, or that she will know the appropriate emotional boundaries to maintain. Unfortunately, the reality is that this is not always the case, and sometimes it can take time for children of emotionally abusive parents to realize what ways exactly in which they were abused.

    Physical abuse -- what many of us think of when we hear the word &ldquoabuse&rdquo -- is sometimes easier to recognize or understand, as many signs of emotional or psychological abuse can fly under the radar and may be dismissed as circumstantial or as a particular parenting type. This is not the case, however emotional abuse can leave significant lasting damage, and it is more than worth addressing.

    While it can be difficult or even painful to recognize that you may have an emotionally abusive parent, it&rsquos important to learn some of the signs in order to potentially move forward with your life, or to develop an increased awareness of the patterns your parents may have instilled in you earlier on in life.

    What Is Emotional Abuse?

    Emotional abuse can include verbal abuse, name-calling, ignoring, belittling, and other behaviors that cause the victim to feel bad about themselves and question their worth and value. It often works in a cycle. Here is how Healthy Place describes the cycle:

    "In a relationship, this cycle starts when one partner emotionally abuses the other, typically to show dominance. The abuser then feels guilt, but not about what he (or she) has done, but moreover the consequences of his actions. The abuser then makes up excuses for his behavior to avoid taking responsibility for what has happened. The abuser then resumes "normal" behavior as if the abuse never happened and maybe extra charming, apologetic, and giving - making the abused party believe that the abuser is sorry. The abuser then begins to fantasize about abusing his partner again and sets up a situation in which more emotional abuse can take place."

    Why It's Not Easy To Recognize

    Emotional abuse can sometimes fly under the radar partially because many abusive behaviors exist on a spectrum of more &ldquoacceptable&rdquo parenting methods many emotionally abusive parents don&rsquot even realize that what they&rsquore doing is wrong, because it&rsquos what they&rsquove always known, and it feels to them like they aren&rsquot abusive simply because they don&rsquot engage in physical abuse. Your abusive parent might even think they&rsquore doing the right thing, or believe that their behavior is simply &ldquotough love.&rdquo Some people might even excuse abusive behavior on the basis of what that parent has been through, implying that being a single parent, or having been abused themselves might be why they perpetuate abusive behaviors. However, none of these are good excuses for inflicting pain onto your child, and no amount of good intentions will erase the fact that emotional abuse can leave lasting damage on everyone in a household.

    As with other abusive behaviors, the cycle of abuse is also part of what can make emotional abuse so difficult to recognize in your own life. Your mother might act loving and kind in one moment and the next time you talk to her might be completely different. She may even apologize for her hurtful behavior. This can be especially confusing and hurtful -- you may really want to believe that she&rsquos sorry and forgive her. But without taking real steps towards changing her behavior or without seeking professional help, these good patches are just antecedents to continued abusive behavior.

    If you try to confront her about her behavior, she may do a great job of explaining it away or even making you feel like you're the one that has a problem. She's so convincing that you end up feeling like maybe it is your problem and not her's. This is emotional abuse. Being able to recognize it and spot it in your own life is the first step to getting the help that you need. This can be especially difficult if you have lived like this for years.

    Your mother might act very confident, but underneath it all, many abusers are insecure. Just like bullies, they are exerting their power to cover their feelings of being unworthy and not enough.

    In order to make some of these behaviors easier to spot, here is a list of some of the most common behaviors in emotionally abusive mothers:

    Signs Of An Emotionally Abusive Mother

    All healthy and intimate relationships involve a degree of honesty and a willingness to give constructive feedback to help one another grow, with the understanding that it is done out of a genuine sense of love, and only if it is coupled with ample support. The act of providing criticism, however, can become a tool of abuse when excessive and can break down a child&rsquos self-esteem, self-importance, and willingness to advocate for themselves.

    If your mother constantly harps on what she perceives as &lsquofaults&rsquo of yours, in matters both big and small, this could be a sign of emotional abuse. This is especially true if she currently does or used to point out only your negative behaviors without any acknowledgement of your positive traits or accomplishments.

    Feeling belittled by a parent can be incredibly hurtful, and the negative comments your parent offered you can lead to negative self talk and poor self-image well into adulthood.

    When your mother never has the same response to the same behaviors, it can be extremely hard to know what to expect out of her or to know how you should behave. If you make a small mistake, she might be kind and forgiving, or she might be angry and spiteful. These mood swings can make it hard to know what to expect from your relationship, or to even know what footing you&rsquore on.

    Erratic responses to a child&rsquos behavior can be a sign of emotional instability in an emotionally abusive parent, and can leave the child with the feeling that their parent could blow up at any moment -- as though they&rsquore walking on eggshells in their own home. The anxiety this can cause can have long term effects, and can lead to mental health problems later on down the line.

    Emotionally abusive mothers are particularly adept at putting guilt trips on their children. Their passive aggressive language can make their tactics harder to spot and give them plausible deniability about the way they&rsquore attempting to make you feel, which can make this behavior hard to spot.

    She might say things like, "Well, if you stopped by more often&hellip" or "My friend's daughter calls her every morning to check in on her." She might have a way of making comments that appear to be harmless on their face, but which might leave you feeling guilty, like you're doing something wrong.

    It&rsquos possible for adults to communicate the ways in which we might feel neglected without being passive aggressive, manipulative, or placing undue guilt on those we care for -- emotionally abusive parents don&rsquot communicate clearly, however, and they attempt to use their subtlety to make you bear the brunt of their feelings. In this way, emotionally abused children learn that their parents&rsquo feelings are their responsibility, or worse yet, they may feel that they are secretly bad people without being able to put a finger on why they feel so negatively about themselves.

    Similarly, emotional abusive parents often refuse to take responsibility for their behavior or their feelings. Instead, they project their problems outward onto those they abuse, placing undue guilt and responsibility on their children and family members.

    This behavior can be something that is quite hard to ignore or resist. Even though you want to defend yourself against it, inside you may secretly feel responsible for things that had nothing to do with you, which can lead to mental health issues and other problems later in life.

    Another sign that your mother is emotionally abusive is if she gives you the silent treatment -- if she doesn't like your behavior, something you said to her, or is in any other way unhappy with you, she stops talking to you.

    The silent treatment is another way to make you feel guilty, and it compels you, her child, to make the first move in reaching out to make things right (even if you didn&rsquot do anything wrong). Not only is it completely maddening to deal with -- after all, who wants to have to guess why someone else is angry? -- but it can also lead to problems later in life with romantic partners as we learn that passive aggressive communication styles are acceptable ways to talk to our partners, or for them to talk to us.

    While everyone, including parents, get frustrated from time to time, frequently withholding attention or affection from a child is wrong and can lead to a breakdown of communication.

    Emotionally abusive parents have a tendency to externalize their emotions and to place the brunt of what they&rsquore feeling on those in their vicinity, oftentimes making it their families&rsquo responsibility to please or even soothe them. Additionally, they can tend to have poor emotional boundaries with their children, leading them to overshare their emotional difficulties and leaving it up to them to make things right, even if they are too young to be able to handle that responsibility, or if they did not make things &lsquowrong&rsquo in the first place.

    Some abusive parents might not even realize consciously that this is what they're doing, but their extreme responses to everyday situations can be so intolerable that you might try to do everything in your power to avoid dealing with the repercussions -- like putting aside your agenda for the day in order to cater to your mothers&rsquo emotional whims.

    As an extreme extension of being overly critical, emotionally abusive mothers may never be satisfied by your accomplishments, no matter how big or small. They aren't supportive of your efforts and don't celebrate your successes with you. It&rsquos not particularly important whether or not you lived up to what they expected of you, or whether or not your achievement was perfect -- a hyper-critical mother will still find ways to downplay your wins and up-play your mistakes.

    These sorts of unrealistic standards can leave abused children and adults feeling perpetually unsatisfied with themselves, even when their mother is not present. When we cannot please emotionally abusive caretakers, it feels like we can&rsquot please ourselves, no matter how objectively successful we might be.

    Unconditional love does not always exist with emotionally abusive parents, which can mean that their children have been expected, from a young age, to meet a certain bar of performance in order to get the things that their caretakers should willingly and unconditionally give to them.

    For some, this means they constantly had to watch their behavior to make sure they were doing "enough" for their parent to be proud or happy with them. For others, this means that they have to do certain things to get what they need. In some abusive households, children are expected to perform jobs around the house or find ways to pay their parent to receive basic necessities like a room to sleep in or food to eat.

    Not only do some of these behaviors, such as withholding food or appropriate shelter, verge into the territory of physical abuse, they can create a significant and frightening feeling of precarity or unworthiness in the mind of an abused child.

    Healthy boundaries around privacy are necessary in a parent-child relationship in order to give one&rsquos child the freedom to explore, think, and problem-solve on their own without harsh consequences, judgement, or fear of embarrassment. However, emotionally abusive parents often cultivate relationships with their children that are overly invasive in a variety of ways, particularly surrounding their child&rsquos personal life.

    This can mean that they don't respect your privacy -- in childhood, this could manifest itself in household rules like not being allowed to close your bedroom door, or in invasive behaviors, like your parent rifling through diaries, journals, or private social media. As an adult, it can manifest as persistent questioning in order to pry into your personal life, finances, or other relationships. If you refuse to give them the information that they want, then you may receive the silent treatment or a guilt trip.

    Verbal put-downs, negative comments, name-calling, or even threats are not uncommon in the playbook of emotionally abusive parents. For some emotionally abusive mothers, in fact, these attacks can be cudgels used in order to get their children to behave in the ways that they like.

    This can mean calling you hurtful names or insulting you or your intelligence, manner of dress, appearance, personality, or other aspects about you. In especially extreme cases this can also mean screaming, shouting, threatening, or otherwise verbally terrorizing a child.

    Sometimes this aggressive communication does not have to be directed at the child themselves, either, to have a significant impact witnessing, hearing, or hearing threats of domestic abuse or violence in the house counts as emotional abuse, even if the child is relatively uninvolved.

    A parent raising their voice once in a blue moon is not necessarily wrong, and neither is a little bit of light ribbing in a family within certain bounds. However, frequent screaming, shouting or hurtful insults should not be passed off as jokes. These behaviors can have a range of impacts on a child&rsquos mental health, and can leave them feeling not only unwanted or unworthy, but as though they are in great danger when taken too far, and may leave a child feeling overly anxious well into adulthood.

    Emotionally abusive parents often prioritize having control over their children over nurturing their growth, including the growth of their individuality. This means that they will not only demand that their kids behave in ways that reflect their interests and priorities as parents, but that they may also harshly punish their children for behaving in a way that seems foreign, unique, or otherwise distinct from what they&rsquore used to.

    For many narcissistic parents, their children are an extension of themselves rather than their own unique being. Your mother may have forced you to do activities that she liked, dress the way she did, or behave exactly as she did. If you are LGBT+, she may have strong prejudices against your self-expression and try to stifle it with demeaning comments or outright punishment for your sexuality or gender identity. She might dismiss or mock your genuine interests, or she might mock you for being proficient at an activity.

    How To Recover From Being Emotionally Abused

    While emotional abuse doesn't leave behind the same scars as physical abuse, that doesn't mean that it doesn't leave you scarred. Emotional abuse can leave you struggling with many emotional and personal issues that you might not know the root of, or that you might not feel capable of handling on your own.

    Some of the side effects of being a victim to this type of abuse from a parent can include low self-esteem, or being overly anxious, which can make it difficult for you to move forward healthily in life. We know that difficult experiences in childhood can be an influential factor in the development or onset of many mental health problems in adulthood, including mood disorders like depression, seasonal affective disorder, bipolar, and more, or in anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and more. Additionally, many of the behaviors you were trained to accept from your parents can leak into other relationships later on in life, including in how you engage with your romantic partner, or how you might choose to raise your own kids. That means even when you're an adult and can create distance between you and your mother, the effects of her behavior can still impact you.

    However, it's important to know that you don't have to continue to live like with the emotional wounds that your mother created. As an adult, you can put space between you and your mother. If you want to continue to try to build a healthy relationship with her it will be important to learn how to set boundaries. This allows you to set standards for what is acceptable treatment and allows you to not put up with anything other than that.

    Learning how to set boundaries and how to retrain your thoughts after experiencing emotional abuse can be difficult. A licensed therapist can help you identify the behaviors you have been exposed to and the impact that they've had on your life. Then, they can help you learn how to replace your negative thoughts and self-talk with positive ones. With ReGain, you can get started today on recovering from your emotionally abusive mother.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    What do you do with an emotionally abusive parent?

    Once you have taken the steps to recognize the signs and symptoms of emotional abuse, it&rsquos hard sometimes to know how to proceed. It can be difficult and painful to take action in these sorts of situations, but it is incredibly important.

    If you are an adult who is living on your own, nothing is more important when dealing with an abusive parent than creating distance. Setting firm boundaries and making clear what behaviors you will not tolerate from an abusive parent can feel mean or hurtful -- and your parent may even try to make you feel as though you are doing something wrong -- but you are not doing anything wrong by deciding that you need to have your needs and emotions respected by someone who claims to love you. Remember that you do not have any obligation or responsibility to those who have abused you, no matter what they may try to tell you.

    If you feel that you can&rsquot create a healthy distance between you and your abusive parent, or if you feel that your relationship is too damaged to keep them at arm's length, consider going no contact with them. While this may feel extreme, sometimes it is the best option if your parent is not willing to respect you or your boundaries.

    What makes a parent abusive?

    Abuse can come in many forms. While physical violence in any form is considered abuse, there does not need to be physical violence involved in order for someone to be considered abusive. If a parent puts you down an belittles you constantly, that it also abuse.

    Psychologists generally categorize four major signs of emotional abuse.

    This may include blatant insults to your character, appearance, or intelligence. It could be calling you names or embarrassing you in front of other people. Generally, an abusive parent will try to put you down instead of building you up. A healthy parent tries to make you feel positively about who you are and what you do, but an abusive parent tears you down.

    This may include monitoring your every move or logging into your social media accounts an dreading your texts messages constantly. It could also manifest itself as ordering you around, making decisions for you, or having sudden, angry outbursts.

    An abuser is very good at making you feel guilty for their mistakes. This could include, for example, making a cruel joke, then when you defend yourself, claiming that you have no sense of humor. They could make you feel guilty for not &ldquoappreciating&rdquo them, they could deny their abuse, and even go so far as to claim that you are abusing them. An abuser will do everything they can to trivialize and invalidate your feelings.

    While a healthy parent sees and respects your emotions as a person, an abusive parent will withhold any affection from you, then call you needy if you ask for it. They may try to turn other people against you, and shut you down or interrupt you any time you try to speak openly and honestly about your thoughts and emotions.

    It&rsquos difficult to conclusively determine how or why some people end up being abusive parents. It&rsquos sometimes thought to be associated with having experienced abuse themselves as children, with hereditary mental health disorders that make regulating emotional responses hard, or with environmental factors that make parenting difficult, such as being a single parent.

    However, none of these factors determine for certain that someone will be an abusive parent, and they certainly don&rsquot excuse abuse, either.

    What are the signs and symptoms of emotional abuse?

    In a child who has been abused, the signs and symptoms can vary greatly depending on the type of abuse they endured, whether they were emotionally, physically, or sexually abused, or whether they suffered neglect. However, there are some typical behaviors that manifest in children who have been emotionally abused:

    • Abnormal emotional development
    • Low or poor self-esteem, especially if it has been lost suddenly
    • Loss of interest in activities that once made them happy
    • Depression
    • Avoidant behaviors
    • Seeking attention in unusual ways

    What are the 2 types of emotional abuse?

    There are lots of forms of emotional abuse, but emotional abuse is often referred to by two names -- psychological abuse, or emotional abuse.

      1. Emotional abuse is a larger umbrella term that often includes things like name calling and putting someone down. An emotionally abusive person may call you nicknames that belittle you, or call you stupid, foolish, or ugly. Emotional abuse is clear in any circumstance when someone who is supposed to be your ally or loved one, is instead working to tear you down, and make you feel small and worthless.
      2. Psychological abuse is the term used when the abuser directly tries to make the victim question their own sense of reality. This may include gaslighting, which is denying very obvious things that the victim knows to be true in order to make the victim question their own sense of reality. In an extreme situation of psychological abuse, the victim may believe that he or she is psychologically unwell and often, therefore, dependent on their abuser for a sense of reality.

      What is a toxic parent?

      A toxic parent is a parent who is unable to maintain healthy relationships with their children, and they often engage in damaging behaviors. They might have few or no boundaries and burden their children with private and emotionally stressful information, or they might have far too many boundaries, and treat their child somewhat coldly.

      A healthy parent works to build you up and care for you. A healthy parent should make you feel strong and capable, while a toxic parent only makes you feel weak and useless. A toxic parent may even go so far as to psychologically abuse you, making you dependent up on them and their view of reality.

      What are the signs of a toxic parent?

      The signs of a toxic parent can be similar to the signs of an abusive parent, since it&rsquos a much more broadly defined phrase. Oftentimes, a toxic parent is harsh, overly critical, controlling, judgmental, or has inappropriate boundaries. They may leave you feeling insecure, uncomfortable, or unwanted, and might offer up support in meager ways, or not at all.


      Men and Their Mommies:How the Mother Son Relationship Can Contribute to Divorce

      The mother son relationship is really complicated. I know this because I have an ex-husband, a dad, a brother and a son.

      There is nothing more attractive to a woman than a man who adores his mom, treats her well, treats her with respect and goes out of his way to help her.

      There is also nothing more unattractive to a woman than a man who can't stand up to his mother, who let's his mom control him, who fears his mother and who puts his mommy first (in front of his girlfriend or wife.)

      I think there are many, many men who don't know what kind of relationship to have with their mom once they get a girlfriend or get married. And a lot of times, the mother son relationship has a huge effect on the marriage, to the point of divorce in some cases.

      So much of the mother son relationship stems from childhood, and circumstances that might have happened. For example, maybe the guy's dad left when he was just a little boy, and he was all his mother had. Or maybe his father died, and the man has always felt sad for his mom and tried to compensate for his dad not being there. Maybe the guy's dad treated his mom like crap and the guy feels like he needs to pick up the slack.

      While all of these scenarios are heartfelt and while I can understand a guy's need to treat his mother like gold, there are differences between healthy and unhealthy mother son relationships. Here are 3.

      1. Obligation Versus Choice:

      Unhealthy: The son always feels obligated to see his mom and put her first in front of his plans. In other words, he will drop anything if she calls because he feels some kind of guilt. This causes huge problems with his girlfriend/wife.

      Healthy: The son WANTS to see his mother, and if she happens to call and ask to get together when he already has plans -- say a date, he tells her he will instead meet her for breakfast the next morning. When he meets her, he might bring her flowers or just give her a huge hug and say, "Mom, I know you already know this, but I really really love you a lot."

      2. Fear Versus Honesty:

      Unhealthy: The guy always fears that his mother will be angry with him or not speak to him if he disappoints her and doesn't do everything she asks. A wife or girlfriend will get frustrated by this and it will surely cause tension in their relationship.

      Healthy: The guy doesn't fear the person who is supposed to love him unconditionally, and who understands that there is no son in history who didn't disappoint his mother at one time or another during a lifetime. Instead, if he has to say or do something he knows will upset his mother, he sucks it up and is honest about it because he knows his mother will eventually get over it.

      3. Annoyance Versus Happiness:

      Unhealthy: The guy who fears his mother tends to resent her (but won't even let himself realize that). That emotion then turns into annoyance with her, which then turns into his guilt for feeling annoyed by his own mother. Because of this annoyance, he will then become annoyed with his wife/girlfriend, completely unaware of it!

      Healthy: A guy who has a great relationship with his mother gets joy out of seeing her EVERY time they get together. He cherishes the time, they laugh together, maybe reminisce and have heartfelt talks.

      Here's the thing. I'm a mom, and when my son grows up, meets a woman, brings her home and marries her, I am really going to try to understand that he is madly in love with her, and that he will put her above me a lot of times. And that is how it should be! And any mother who doesn't see it that way is just plain selfish! Sure, it might be hard, and your feelings might get a little hurt at times, but that NORMAL!

      The last thing I will say is something I always tell women. "How your man treats his mother is how he is going to treat you."

      I will never forget being on a date with a guy who (I promise I'm not making this up) was referring to his mom as a "stupid idiot." I couldn't get out of the car fast enough when he dropped me off, and I never saw the guy again.

      If a guy fears his mom and then resents her, he will do that to the person he marries, even subconsciously.

      All men should treat their moms with kindness, respect and gratitude. That's a given. But he should do that because he WANTS to do that, not because the mom expects it. No mom is perfect, but men should do the best they can to try to have the best relationship they possibly can with their mom, AND to facilitate the best relationship between their mom and their girlfriend or wife.

      THAT is how women feel about men and their mommies!

      Jackie Pilossoph is the author of her blog, Divorced Girl Smiling, and the comedic divorce novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase. She also writes feature stories, along with the weekly dating and relationships column, "Love Essentially" for Sun-Times Media local publications. Pilossoph lives in Chicago. Oh, and she's divorced.


      The couples on TLC's 'You, Me & My Ex' all have a bizarre third wheel

      The Bible says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.” But does he have to cleave so much?

      A new study from the University of Cambridge Center for Family Research and an organization called the Stand Alone Institute has found that rifts between parents and their son’s wife are among the most common reasons for family estrangement.

      The study, which was based on the responses of more than 800 men and women in England who had little or no contact with their families, found that divisions between parents and sons lasted a third longer than those between parents and daughters. The issues most commonly listed as “very relevant” in the breakdown of relationships with daughters included mental health problems and emotional abuse.

      But the issues most closely associated with sons included divorce, in-laws and marriage.

      As one respondent wrote, “My son and I had a very strong loving relationship for 25 years. He met his soon-to-be wife and our relationship and his relationships with everyone on his side slowly went away. Everyone that knew him including friends and family saw this and felt this. He disowned anyone that does not like his now-wife.”

      “Marriage has become so separated from family and community.”

      There was a time when these relationships were more likely to end because of parents disowning their children. A child might go astray, marry the wrong person, perhaps outside of the community. Now it seems that the reverse is more common. The researchers report that “those estranged from parents were more likely to report having initiated the estrangement, whereas those estranged from children were more likely to report that their son or daughter had cut contact with them.”

      So what’s changed? How we marry, for one thing.

      As we are getting married later in life, it is less likely that a parent would be able to tell us whom to marry. It’s much easier to demand obedience from a 25-year-old than a 35-year-old. But there are other factors too. Marriage has become so separated from family and community. We have moved from marriages as economic alliances between families and beyond arranged marriages for religious and cultural purposes toward the soulmate model of marriage, in which the only thing that matters is whether two people are in love. We have largely discounted the opinions of family when making decisions about a spouse.

      But that has unfortunate consequences. When multiple generations of families get along, it has positive effects for everyone. Vern Bengtson, a professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work, has been studying extended families for the better part of four decades now. He says, “These intergenerational connections are protective factors for a lot of life risk conditions.”

      Indeed, Bengtson suggests there are not a lot of downsides to these relationships. “The stereotype of a terrible mother-in-law is really a myth. I don’t know of any study that has found any link between marital unhappiness and conflict with in-laws.” On the other hand, he says, “You do hear happily married couples talk about how satisfying their new family ties are and how much they respect father-in-law or mother-in-law.”

      Shutterstock But it is interesting that cases of estrangement are more likely to occur with sons. Is it true, as they say, that a son is a son until he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter all her life?

      More likely it is simply a matter of the way families work. Wives tend to be the ones who are in charge of a family’s social life, its travel schedule, planning for holidays, etc. If they don’t want much contact with extended family, they may be able to exert a kind of practical influence over that that husbands simply don’t.

      Lauren Groff’s bestselling novel of last year, “Fates and Furies,” offers a useful — if extreme — example of this dynamic. The story of a 25-year marriage is told first from the perspective of the husband Lotto and then from the perspective of Mathilde, the wife. The fact that Lotto’s mother doesn’t approve of Mathilde is revealed early in the novel. The couple is cut off in every sense. But it is only later that we learn how year in and year out, Mathilde has ensured that no reconciliation is possible.

      It’s not an attractive picture of extended families, but for many it is the sad reality.


      Oedipus complex

      The Oedipus complex (also spelled Œdipus complex) is a concept of psychoanalytic theory. Sigmund Freud introduced the concept in his Interpretation of Dreams (1899) and coined the expression in his A Special Type of Choice of Object made by Men (1910). [1] [2] The positive Oedipus complex refers to a child's unconscious sexual desire for the opposite-sex parent and hatred for the same-sex parent. The negative Oedipus complex refers to a child's unconscious sexual desire for the same-sex parent and hatred for the opposite-sex parent. [2] [3] [4] Freud considered that the child's identification with the same-sex parent is the successful outcome of the complex and that unsuccessful outcome of the complex might lead to neurosis, and pedophilia. [ not verified in body ]

      Freud rejected the term "Electra complex", [5] which was introduced by Carl Gustav Jung in 1913 in his work, Theory of Psychoanalysis [6] in regard to the Oedipus complex manifested in young girls. [5] Freud further proposed that the Oedipus complex, which originally refers to the sexual desire of a son for his mother, is a desire for the parent in both males and females, and that boys and girls experience the complex differently: boys in a form of castration anxiety, girls in a form of penis envy. [7]


      The Mother Archetype

      Like any other archetype, the mother archetype appears under an almost infinite variety of aspects.

      I mention here only some of the more characteristic.

      First in importance are the personal mother and grandmother, stepmother and mother-in-law then any woman with whom a relationship exists—for example, a nurse or governess or perhaps a remote ancestress. Then there are what might be termed mothers in a figurative sense.

      To this category belongs the goddess, and especially the Mother of God, the Virgin, and Sophia. Mythology offers many variations of the mother archetype, as for instance the mother who reappears as the maiden in the myth of Demeter and Kore or the mother who is also the beloved, as in the Cybele-Attis myth.

      Other symbols of the mother in a figurative sense appear in things representing the goal of our longing for redemption, such as Paradise, the Kingdom of God, the Heavenly Jerusalem.

      Many things arousing devotion or feelings of awe, as for instance the Church, university, city or country, heaven, earth, the woods, the sea or any still waters, matter even, the underworld and the moon, can be mother-symbols.

      The archetype is often associated with things and places standing for fertility and fruitfulness: the cornucopia, a ploughed field, a garden.

      It can be attached to a rock, a cave, a tree, a spring, a deep well, or to various vessels such as the baptismal font, or to vessel-shaped flowers like the rose or the lotus.

      Because of the protection it implies, the magic circle or mandala can be a form of mother archetype.

      Hollow objects such as ovens and cooking vessels are associated with the mother archetype, and, of course, the uterus, yoni, and anything of a like shape. Added to this list there are many animals, such as the cow, hare, and helpful animals in general.

      All these symbols can have a positive, favourable meaning or a negative, evil meaning. An ambivalent aspect is seen in the goddesses of fate (Moira, Graeae, Norns).

      Evil symbols are the witch, the dragon (or any devouring and entwining animal, such as a large fish or a serpent), the grave, the sarcophagus, deep water, death, nightmares and bogies (Empusa, Lilith, etc.). This list is not, of course, complete it presents only the most important features of the mother archetype.

      The qualities associated with it are maternal solicitude and sympathy the magic authority of the female the wisdom and spiritual exaltation that transcend reason any helpful instinct or impulse all that is benign, all that cherishes and sustains, that fosters growth and fertility.

      The place of magic transformation and rebirth, together with the underworld and its inhabitants, are presided over by the mother.

      On the negative side the mother archetype may connote anything secret, hidden, dark the abyss, the world of the dead, anything that devours, seduces, and poisons, that is terrifying and inescapable like fate.

      All these attributes of the mother archetype have been fully described and documented in my book Symbols of Transformation.

      There I formulated the ambivalence of these attributes as “the loving and the terrible mother.” Perhaps the historical example of the dual nature of the mother most familiar to us is the Virgin Mary, who the mother archetype is not only the Lord’s mother, but also, according to the medieval allegories, his cross.

      In India, “the loving and terrible mother” is the paradoxical Kali. Sankhya philosophy has elaborated the mother archetype into the concept of prakrti (matter) and assigned to it the three gunas or fundamental attributes: sattva, rajas, tamas: goodness, passion, and darkness.

      These are three essential aspects of the mother: her cherishing and nourishing goodness, her orgiastic emotionality, and her Stygian depths.

      The special feature of the philosophical myth, which shows Prakrti dancing before Purusha in order to remind him of “discriminating knowledge,” does not belong to the mother archetype but to the archetype of the anima, which in a man’s psychology invariably appears, at first, mingled with the mother-image.

      Although the figure of the mother as it appears in folklore is more or less universal, this image changes markedly when it appears in the individual psyche. In treating patients one is at first impressed, and indeed arrested, by the apparent significance of the personal mother.

      This figure of the personal mother looms so large in all personalistic psychologies that, as we know, they never got beyond it, even in theory, to other important aetiological factors. My own view differs from that of other medico-psychological theories principally in that I attribute to the personal mother only a limited aetiological significance.

      That is to say, all those influences which the literature describes as being exerted on the children do not come from the mother herself, but rather from the archetype projected upon her, which gives her a mythological background and invests her with authority and numinosity. The aetiological and traumatic effects produced by the mother must be divided into two groups:

      (1) those corresponding to traits of character or attitudes actually present in the mother, and (2) those referring to traits which the mother only seems to possess, the reality being composed of more or less fantastic (i.e., archetypal) projections on the part of the child.

      Freud himself had already seen that the real aetiology of neuroses does not lie in traumatic effects, as he at first suspected, but in a peculiar development of infantile fantasy.

      This is not to deny that such a development can be traced back to disturbing influences emanating from the mother.

      I myself make it a rule to look first for the cause of infantile neuroses in the mother, as I know from experience that a child is much more likely to develop normally than neurotically, and that in the great majority of cases definite causes of disturbances can be found in the parents, especially in the mother.

      The contents of the child’s abnormal fantasies can be referred to the personal mother only in part, since they often contain clear and unmistakable allusions which could not possibly have reference to human beings.

      This is especially true where definitely mythological products are concerned, as is frequently the case in infantile phobias where the mother may appear as a wild beast, a witch, a spectre, an ogre, a hermaphrodite, and so on.

      It must be borne in mind, however, that such fantasies are not always of unmistakably mythological origin, and even if they are, they may not always be rooted in the unconscious archetype but may have been occasioned by fairytales or accidental remarks.

      A thorough investigation is therefore indicated in each case. For practical reasons, such an investigation cannot be made so readily with children as with adults, who almost invariably transfer their fantasies to the physician during treatment—or, to be more precise, the fantasies are projected upon him automatically.

      When that happens, nothing is gained by brushing them aside as ridiculous, for archetypes are among the inalienable assets of every psyche.

      They form the “treasure in the realm of shadowy thoughts” of which Kant spoke, and of which we have ample the mother archetype evidence in the countless treasure motifs of mythology.

      An archetype is in no sense just an annoying prejudice it becomes so only when it is in the wrong place.

      In themselves, archetypal images are among the highest values of the human psyche they have peopled the heavens of all races from time immemorial.

      To discard them as valueless would be a distinct loss. Our task is not, therefore, to deny the archetype, but to dissolve the projections, in order to restore their contents to the individual who has involuntarily lost them by projecting them outside himself.


      What You See in This Classic Optical Illusion May Say a Lot About Your Age, Study Finds

      The optical illusion titled “My Wife and My Mother-in-Law” has made people scratch their heads for a long time — since 1915, to be exact. The famous brainteaser by British cartoonist William Ely Hill boasts a facial perception trick: When you look at the image, you either see the face of a wife or the face of a mother-in-law, but it’s pretty darn impossible to see both at the same time.

      Many folks who take a close look at the illusion report spotting either the younger woman or the older woman first, and then struggling to see the second woman afterward. As it turns out, recent research reveals that whichever woman you see first might have something to do with how old you are.

      If you’ve never seen the “My Wife and My Mother-in-Law” optical illusion before, take a look at the clever illustration for yourself below. (And even if you have seen it before, it never hurts to refresh your memory.) So, which one do you see first: the wife or the mother-in-law?

      (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

      If you saw the wife first and have trouble seeing the mother-in-law, here’s a clue that might help: The younger woman’s necklace is supposed to be the older woman’s mouth. And if you saw the mother-in-law first and can’t figure out where the wife is supposed to be, take a closer look at the older woman’s nose that’s supposed to be the younger woman’s jawline! Clever, huh?

      Now, back to the study: Australian researchers asked 393 participants aged 18 to 68 to tell them who they saw in the optical illusion. The results, published in the August 2018 issue of Scientific Reports, showed that the youngest set of people tended to see the wife first, while the oldest set of participants tended to see the mother-in-law first.

      The researchers wrote, “Faces from a social in-group, such as people of a similar age, receive more in-depth processing and are processed holistically.”

      If you think about the results, it’s not super shocking that most folks would see an image that they could possibly relate to more — even if the only similarity was potentially being closer in age to the fictional person. But hey: If you saw an image much younger than your actual age, maybe that’s just a sign that you’re super young at heart!


      Watch the video: Man Accused Of Always Taking His Mothers Side Claims Wife Always Has To Feel Like She Comes First (January 2022).