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)– read a book together– scrapbook– rollerblade– train for a 5k, then do one together!
It’s true enough that all daughters of unloving and unattuned mothers have common experiences.
They feel unworthy of attention and experience deep, gut-wrenching self-doubt, all the while feeling intense longing for love and validation.
Here’s how one daughter described it: “My mother literally didn’t listen to me or hear me.
Literal abandonment leaves its own special scars, especially in a culture which believes in the automatic nature of mother love and instinctual behavior.
In addition to being excruciatingly painful, it is also bewildering.
try sign language.– start a mother/daughter journal– sundaes chick flick– go see a ballet or play– visit the children's museum– makeovers– picnic at home– photo shoot – at home or around the city!
This is one of the ways I bond with Gracelynn, all the time.– window shopping ice cream– theme dinner – from another country, era, etc. – coffee date (cocoa for the little ones) – at home or out at Dunkin Donuts– volunteer together– go to a concert– take a class together (at a craft store, or at a gym)– hit up a thrift store | see my goodwill finds– fashion show mini makeovers– go for a hike– take a boat ride– write a story together– act out the story you wrote!
These behaviors aren’t mutually exclusive, of course; my own mother was dismissive, combative, unreliable, and self-involved by turns. Dismissive “My mother ignored me,” Gwen, 47, confides.
I’ve compiled a list of these patterns, drawn from my own experiences and those of the many daughters I’ve spoken to over the years since I first began researching Mean Mothers.
Since I’m neither a therapist nor a psychologist, the names I’ve given them aren’t scientific but chosen for clarity.
Human offspring are hardwired to need and seek proximity to their mothers, and therein lies the problem: the daughter’s need for her mother’s attention and love isn’t diminished by the mother’s dismissal.
In fact, from my own personal experience, I know that it can amp up the need, thrusting the daughter into an active pattern of demand (“Why don’t you care about me/ love me, Mom? ”) or a plan to “fix” the situation (“I’ll get all A’s in school or win a prize, and then she’ll love me for sure! The response, alas, is inevitably the mother’s further withdrawal, often accompanied by complete denial about what took place. Controlling In many ways, this is another form of the dismissive interaction although it presents very differently; the key link is that the controlling mother doesn’t acknowledge her daughter any more than the dismissive one does.
Be mindful that all children are hardwired to rely on their mothers thanks to evolution.