Reflections on mother hunger, attachment, needs and the power of dreams

I am aware lately of what a push pull attachment I have with my Mum.  There are times when I feel myself to be almost like a small baby or child longing to be with my mother, to be attached, noticed, cared for loved.  I may then hear a shaming voice that tells me I am not a baby, I am a 55 year old woman.    But yesterday when I felt this need for independence after my Mum asked me on an outing and then felt an ocean of tears fall after I hung up the phone to say ‘No’ with a deep pain in my left breast (the one that had the cancer) I realised the depth of a longing for the absent mother that went four generations back and realised I was fighting it.

Often when I have contact with my Mum I feel really sad.  I am also aware of the link between mother hunger and difficulties with addictions or substances, a challenge in finding the right emotional nourishment which then gets subverted onto food or things or friendships but the hunger can overlie a deeper need that I need to be aware of and attuned to in my soul.

I logged onto messages today to find a blog post on dependency and another bloggers struggle with feelings of need directed toward her therapist.  There was so much in it that was a deep cry which said this in a lot of different ways… “do you see me?  Do I matter to you?” and maybe even “Do I really exist?”  We so badly need to be seen and seen as we are, not to have others images or ideal or ideas for us projected on us.  We need those who see deep into our souls and even into the shadow, the parts of us we hide, that we learned long ago might not be fully acceptable to others and most of all we need to develop acceptance of these parts of us, most particularly the deeper, darker hidden needs, vulnerabilities and fears we all carry.

In emotional neglect our parents are often there providing for us, but not always present emotionally, not always seeing and guiding us as youngsters.  We end up lacking this development of essential boundaries and deeper knowing of who we are in terms of accepting all of us light and shade.  In addition we can often be shamed for our feelings and needs.  Our parents may have needed us to hide parts or ourselves they could not deal with, they may have wanted to use us as the mirror they never had.  All kinds of problematic issues can take place in our earliest attachments which make attaching to others and to our inner child and real self problematic.

This morning after considering everything that happened yesterday I gave my Mum a call to say I had felt sad not to get together yesterday, this felt good as it meant I had not had to put away the feelings of wanting to attach and dismiss them.  At the same time I noticed Mum asked me very little about my day yesterday, including the meeting with a friend I recently made.  I notice and my therapist has noticed that for me attaching to Mum is problematic for me including depending on her.  60 percent of the time she will show up and the rest of the time I fall out of her mind.  This shows me why when I consider making any agreement to get together with a friend a push pull scenario goes on in my mind.  Am I scared on some level I will be let down?  In my early adolescence I attracted a girlfriend who not only stole my boyfriend, she also would let me down, failing to turn up to agreed meetings or telling me at the last moment she had a better offer.  The truth I have realised lately is that I just don’t trust others to show up, so I get ambivalent about showing up or committing to anything.  I am glad to becoming aware of this deeper connection.

I am also on some level glad to be more aware of the mother hunger I feel deep inside.  I think my painful day a week ago was after a night spent with friends where I relived the most painful motherless time of my life :  a six year span in which I nearly lost my life, had my older sister nearly die as well, then lay in a coma for weeks, then later found her after she attempted suicide, had three terminations of pregnancy, watched my father die and then went overseas alone burying it all but also acting it out.  This week a week on I can see why I was in so much pain last week.

As someone interested in astrology I am also very interested that all this mother hunger stuff is coming up as the planet of action and instinct, Mars has just moved into the sign of Cancer which relates to issues of emotional need and mothering, mothering is more associated to the feminine planet the Moon than a very masculine action planet, Mars so we can feel uncomfortable feelings if we have these kinds of issues in our psyche at this time  We may be in a battle (Mars) with emotional needs (Moon) but we may also gain insights (Moon) through weathering such conflicts (Mars).

My Mum’s generation had Pluto in Cancer, they were the generation born out of war (WW1) and then weathered the depression and World War 2.  They knew little emotional stability and much separation and trauma.  The family unit got torn apart due to the collective events of that time.  My own Mum had next to no mothering and her own mother possibly even less.  In a previous generation my great great grandmother struggled alone with supporting 16 children.  My Mum and my grandmothers were  driven woman, they had to be to survive!  My Mum put her entire focus on work and perfection rather than nurturing us or even herself, she did her best she cooked lovely meals but the hugs and the attention and the deeper attunement was often not there.

I know I have deep deficits in this area as a result.  This was shown to me in a dream last night where I found myself to be in a very dark and desolate place where the floor was all covered in urine, I had no shoes and was pushing a shopping trolley like a homeless person.  This is the depth I can go to when I don’t recognise my own need for emotional nurture and also my need to be connected.   As I consider it I see I haven’t really known how to care for myself but that I must learn.  I need to value my heart and my needs and most particularly the need to nourish myself in positive, filling rather than emptying ways.

I trust my dreams to show me essential truths. Night and moonlight shine a torch light into my inner world and inner depths.  Daylight reveals the struggles of others that synchronise with my own and daylight helps me shed light too on what moon light and night revealed to me.  The unconscious both personal and collective opens its secrets to me when I am willing to listen to my soul and take its messages as well as my own needs and feelings seriously.

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