Vignette 22: I Was A Mother-Bound Daughter

From Heartbreak, Mourning, Loss. Volume One, Detach or Die

The necessity to separate

When my mother fired the nanny, I lost not only my nanny, but also the possibility of affection for my mother. It is only now that I understand that the only way for my mother to feel safe was to keep me bound to herself.

It is also only now that I can see, looking back, that she also prevented me from forming a deep attachment to my father, prevented my relationships to my grandparents, to the aunts and uncles that I liked.

All through my childhood, she always had rational reasons to keep me under her emotional control. It is as if she had put me under a spell, a hypnotic suggestion that said: “I will tell you whom to love (me, exclusively), what to like (all the things I buy for you), what to fear (other kids, water, snow, rain, mud, new food, climbing a tree).”