She walked in the building beautifully dressed, hair neat without a strand out of place. We locked eyes, and I smiled as I did as I greeted everyone. I don’t remember if she smiled back, but I know I felt a wall between us. First meetings can be awkward, as everyone was cautious. However, this wall was different; a coldness accompanied it, that couldn’t go unnoticed. I made a mental note to pay close attention over the weekend, something significant happened here, and I hoped the weekend was able to unravel it.
She reported making her mental note. On day 2 of the retreat, she shared her story, and it was chilling in its intensity. As she spoke, it felt like everyone sat on the edges of their chair feeling the emotions with her as we walked with her through the horrific scenes, the near-death experiences and the fight for survival. It was a miracle that she survived. She was still surviving because she had not allowed herself to heal so that she could thrive.
Sadly she handed the pain to her daughter. She told her trust no one, friends arent real you can only trust yourself. My heart broke with the realisation that another generation would live with inherited pain.
We mentally returned to the room as she said, looking at me ‘I didn’t trust you’. When I saw you, I wondered what does she know? Can she help me? That’s the chill I felt. She dismissed me on sight because I didn’t fit her idea of a counsellor or retreat organiser. That Saturday evening, she began her journey after locking the pain away for years. I met her daughter later and saw the effect on mothers pain on her. She presented similarly nicely dressed, every hair in place and the sweet smile.
Mothers have the power to transfer their pain onto their daughters. This transference is not intentional; however, without healing, a mother’s hurt will inevitably become the daughters legacy.
Often the mother’s story will repeat in some way in the daughter’s life. Whether its abuse, unrequited love, rejection, abandonment, lack of self-worth
The only template that children have is the one we give them. Patterns transfer through the way we do life. They will use your remedy for headache, stomach bug. They will likely cook the way you do, love the kind of men you love and love in the way they experienced love from you.
Likewise, they will deal with pain in similar ways using the same strategies they see you use. When a mother denies her pain, she teaches her daughter that pain is unimportant. By denying herself the opportunity to heal, she creates the same pain shaped hole that she has in her daughter’s life.
This lack of awareness for the impact of unhealed pain can create a cycle of pain that spans generations.
When a mother chooses not to heal, she will also forfeit having a deep, meaningful relationship with her daughter.
As humans connection is vital to survival, when a daughter misses out on bonding with her mother, this need has to be filled in some way. Often loyalty even to the weak bond prevents the daughter from seeking support. This lack of attention to the wound creates an ongoing legacy of pain that goes through to the next generation.
The unhealed wound might display in behaviour that on the surface looks like anger. Emotions are often a call for a connection; however, when these signs go unnoticed, it could result in bitterness and more hurt. You can learn the skills to ask for what you need clearly. You can create boundaries that keep you safe. You can also develop a healthy relationship that will be restorative.
When mothers allow themselves to heal, they will understand the nature of the call for attention and will be able to accept that their actions have contributed to the pain that they see.
Acceptance can be challenging and will not be successful without support. Gaining the ability to accept responsibility without sinking in shame and guilt takes skill.
The call for attention is a delicate dance that needs care and attention. When we try to engage someone in conversation in an attempt to communicate a need, there’s often a level of fear. Will my needs be met? Will I be rejected? The fear of rejection is a strong deterrent to reaching out and showing vulnerability.
Rejection can reaffirm feelings of low self-worth.
Despite attempts at connection interaction with the mother creates a deficit. This lack can take a while to be detected. At first, it might manifest in different ways. The void can show up as depression, anxiety, lack of self-esteem, fear of commitment, toxic shame, avoiding vulnerability the list is endless. Through the years as a daughter, you used many things to fill that gap. Nothing would have compensated for the missing nurturing relationship with mother.
This missing link can send the daughter in search of people, and things to be with that will compensate for the loss of a mother-daughter bond. She will invariably stumble into relationships that are not satisfying, looking for love from people who are unable to love. Or live in a world where people pleasing and performance gets her what feels like love and affection.
Join us on Sunday 24th November at 8 pm for an exclusive masterclass. In this meeting, I will be teaching how to address the issues in your life so that you can have a healthy mother-daughter connection. Read more about the masterclass HERE