Question: Dear A.: I am a 32 year old married woman and mother of a beautiful 2 year old daughter. When I was just 2 years old my parents divorced and my Mom ended up leaving my brother and I. My father raised us very strictly, and he is not very affectionate. Our Mom was in and out of our lives until I was 8, then she disappeared and I have not seen her since. I am finding that many emotions are surfacing and I am often depressed and confused with how my mom could leave us. I feel like an awful Mother and Wife and not sure what I should do at this point. After almost 25 years it’s hard to begin peeling back the layers of emotions and confusion. Where do you recommend I start when embarking on my journey to healing? A.
Answer: Dear A.: First of all, you are doing a great job at looking for answers. It’s not easy, I know from personal experience. Please know that most new wives and mothers, if they are at all aware of their awesome responsibility, become depressed and overwhelmed at the magnitude of the job. There is no “User’s Manual” to help with the transition. A lot of “stuff” can surface and it’s no small task to sort through it.
Most of us have trauma and dysfunction in our childhoods because very few of us were raised by perfect parents in an optimal environment. Growing up is difficult. We have to “edit and select” where role models are concerned, after the fact…and when we enter adulthood it is with more bravado than reliable qualifications.
You are capable of love or you wouldn’t be in this situation. You fell in love with and married your guy and he loved you right back. That’s your beginning point…being loving and loved. There’s no way it won’t spill over onto your little daughter.
My suggestion is that you find a safe online community in which to begin processing what you are up against and how to grow into and through it. Caring deeply about others and being committed to them can be scary. Where in this is the Self? The reason I suggest a community (specifically the one that I have established, if you’re interested) is because it can be extremely hard to find the right therapist or counselor. They come in all sizes and shapes and many might not be the right match. In an e-community, you get the benefit of feedback and encouragement from more than one person. Most of them have “been there and done that” and know first hand what you’re up against. I’d start there. It may be enough.
My Web-forum, www.WiseWomenUnite.com has been around a year and a half. Lots of good work is being done there and you are more than welcome to join us. Blessings, Luise