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  • Giustina D'Elia

The Mother Wound

Updated: Oct 15, 2019

As I was walking to work today, I had this thought “I can’t wait for my mother to die.”


Was I surprised to hear myself have this thought? Not really.

I have always had a strained relationship with my mother which I believe started in the womb. While I cannot speak for her, I believe she carries a deep belief that she is not good enough and by having me, her first daughter, she gave birth to a real manifestation of that belief.


Growing up she wasn’t a good mother to me. Her anger, resentment, self-loathing negative self-talk, critical judgements and insecurities were projected on to me. I was made to feel responsible for her feeling inadequate as a mother. The damage I endured as a child up until adult hood had taken countless hours to heal. I felt responsible for her. I felt nothing I could do was good enough to fix her or make her happy. I internalized her lack of self-worth as my own, I absorbed her projections of me as true beliefs of who I was. A never good enough daughter to earn her mother’s love and validation. I ruined her body with stretchmarks and scarring. I represented negative things to her which made me fee unworthy and undeserving of love.


I can’t remember the last time my mother hugged me. But she would insist that we were a family and that she loved me. Maybe in her own secret way she did. Or maybe it was what she said to rid herself of the guilt she felt. Or maybe it was a way to pass her pain on to me because it was unbearable for her to feel, so instead I would feel bad, wrong, guilty and ashamed for causing her to feel the pain that was already alive inside of her.

Love was just a hurtful word that caused confusion.


It took me a long time to get to a place where I could understand and accept that her life is not my responsibility. Her emotional state is not my responsibility. To truly let go of the guilt I had carried for doing what was best for my life when I left home at 16 years old did not make me responsible for her choices.


As soon as I had the thought this morning, I stopped walking. I was in the middle of a side street, crossing the road.

It was early in the morning, the roads were not busy yet. It was quiet, it was calm. It was cold.


For the first time,

I let myself have this thought. I didn’t push it away, I didn’t judge it, and I didn’t long for a different thought. I let it be what it was. I let it touch my heart, I let it go through my body. I let it enrage me, I let it cry. I let it be what it was. My truth.


As I did that, I looked up and saw three paintings that hung side by side on a concrete wall of a local women’s shelter. It read, “It’s a long journey..being a woman; I cherish every moment”.


I believe in signs, and that the universe speaks to us in messages.

A big part of my Journey has been to give myself the validation I didn’t receive as a child. With hopes that one day I will get to a place where I can have the space within me to hold compassionate forgiveness.


What you seek, is seeking you. Rumi


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