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My inner child. My inner old wise woman. My inner bully

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Fabi, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    I like that response to tms--slowing everything down. Perhaps that's why I'm healthier in the summer; I'm off for almost two months when school is out.:bored: Of course, it's usually not the kids, but the administrators who increase my stress level!
    Ines likes this.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Gigi, Ines and Fabi like this.
  3. Ines

    Ines Well known member

  4. Fabi

    Fabi Well known member

    Thank you Ines, I had not been able to see her name in the picture before. I will take some time to look at her site, it looks very nice!
    Ines likes this.
  5. Maribel

    Maribel New Member

    love the drawings!! :)
  6. Maribel

    Maribel New Member

    "Everything that has been done with effort will have to die, will have to be let go"

    Andy, I liked this about Fabi's post above when I first saw it and didn't comment about it. Was not surprised you expounded on this. The man you spoke of that didn't journal or use affirmations or anything that just slowed everything down sounds like what I feel I need. I need the thoughts and the pressure to stop.

    When I was sick once with a cold - I remember how happy I felt to be in bed and felt content to just be as I was for that moment. I allowed myself to rest and it was the most heavenly feeling despite feeling badly with the cold. I might add that things felt like they had slowed down, like nothing was going too fast. My experience was absent of the awareness of timing, no pressure, just being.
    Fabi likes this.
  7. Maribel

    Maribel New Member

    Nice you are from Argentina my mum is Bolivian!
    Fabi likes this.
  8. Maribel

    Maribel New Member

    From our broken past we have created inner demons which we carry around!
  9. Maribel

    Maribel New Member

    Self-sabotage is when we are excited about a goal but we unconsciously create obstacles that directly prevent that the achievement of that goal.

    For some women--being big, visible and powerful may unconsciously feel like a betrayal of their mothers . . . and to relieve this unconscious guilt, they self-sabotage.

    The connection between the mother wound and self-sabotage is rather complex. I'll do my best to eludicate this connection in this blog article. (I suggest grabbing a cup of tea and sitting in a comfy chair. This is a longer article!)

    This pattern starts very early in our development and that's why it can be so insidious. Children are biologically hard-wired to seek mother's approval at all costs to ensure their survival.

    As adult women, this pattern may still be unconsciously operating. We may still feel like our happiness rests on the happiness of our mother. You may observe your mother's unhappiness and begin to feel guilty for your own success. This is particularly common in women who were parentified daughters as children; (the daughter being used as a surrogate parent to the unhealed child within their mother.)

    Self-sabotage may have served as a survival mechanism to prevent abandonment and rejection by mother.

    We may unconsciously think: "I can't possibly be fully happy or successful if my mother is lonely, sad, uncomfortable, bitter, jealous, etc." This is the viewpoint of the child within us that still thinks her survival rests on the well-being of her mother.

    The most common theme I've heard from women is "My mother's happier when I'm experiencing challenges. But when things start going well in my life, she gets increasingly cold, distant and critical."

    Another common thing I've heard is "On some level, I can sense that my mother wants to destroy me."

    Usually this is very unconscious and unintentional on the part of the mother. But unfortunately, on the other end of the spectrum, there are mothers who willingly make their daughters feel responsible for their own happiness. This may be due to the deprivation consciousness that can be found in some women in patriarchal cultures; women feeling owed and entitled due to the level of sacrifice and the inner split they had to make within themselves to be acceptable and loved in this culture. It's nothing short of tragic.

    In patriarchal cultures, the power of the parent is often considered unquestionable and can easily be mis-used; power for power's sake. If a mother has not acknowledged or refuses to directly address how her child may be triggering a painful emotional wound within her, she may unconsciously bully her daughter in covert and overt ways to relieve herself of the pain she is pushing into shadow within herself.

    (The trigger in itself is not a problem; it's normal to feel triggered in moments by your children. The problem is when it is not directly addressed and the mother begins to project her wounds onto the child.)

    For the sake of illustration, here is a more extreme example of a patriarchal mother who has not addressed her own wounds. She may unconsciously convey the following message to her daughter:

    "Your smallness makes me feel safe. By staying small you protect me from my pain. Please don't be your full self--it will remind me of what I had to give up in order to have you. Please don't leave me with my pain. I'll be all alone. Be a good daughter and carry my pain for me."

    More examples of unspoken messages of mothers in a patriarchal mindset: (comes from feeling powerless and out of control in her own life.)

    • "You're being ungrateful when you're being your full, big, authentic self."
    • "You're honoring me when you're suffering because look how much suffering I endured to bring you in the world."
    • "I'm your mother and I deserve your respect no matter how much I denigrate or abuse you."
    • "You make me feel inadequate when you reach your goals."
    What happens is there begins to be an association between being small and non-threatening as a way of feeling loved by mother. In this situation, we give our power away to our mothers in exchange for her love. We may sense her fragility, her weakness, her unacknowledged pain, and out of compassion, we commit to staying small so as not to cause her any more pain. The child within us feels it is the cause of her pain, but the cause never had anything to do with us. I've talked to hundreds of women all over the world about their mother wounds and it's incredibly sad to hear about the level of emotional abuse mothers are capable of when they feel threatened by their daughters. This is not about love, but about power and control. Because this is such a taboo subject, most women feel very alone in this predicament.

    For many women, one of THE hardest things is allowing your mother to have her own painful lessons and her own healing process. This is aboutreleasing the need to display a false self to please your mother and instead being your authentic self in her presence, even if she expresses disapproval. It involves allowing your mother to express displeasure about your truth without allowing it to dis-orient you and without getting pulled into a battle with her.

    You are not a "bad daughter" for allowing your mother to have her own lessons and challenges without rushing to solve them for her.

    In the best of situations, letting your mother handle her own painful lessons and problems is what may stimulate the grief that is necessary to bring true healing within her, but only if your mother is open and willing to grow. The unfortunate truth is that some mothers are patently unwilling to do the hard work of healing their own wounds and would rather make their daughters feel responsible for them.

    As a daughter, when you express your own separate self-hood, individuality, realness, power, etc. if your mother has a pattern of reacting with hostility, it may be because your authentic expression has stimulated the seeds of those things that never came to blossom in herself. Your mother may experience your true, vital, authentic self as a painful mirror showing her the ways she had to forsake herself in order to survive her own family and patriarchal society. It may trigger deep grief over her of her loss of self. If she's unable or unwilling to feel the full grief and process it, she may react with anger, manipulation, competition, jealousy or withdrawal.


    The deprivation that your mother feels cannot be solved by anything that YOU do.

    Her pain cannot be filled by you staying small and unhappy. Walking on eggshells and "not rocking the boat" may accomplish short-term "peace" but in the long-term you are handing your life-force over to the mother wound. It's a form of giving your power away. You do not owe your mother anything. Your unhappiness and dissatisfaction will never compensate for her unhealed wounds and struggles. She is the only one that can take the necessary actions to change her situation.

    When we emotionally caretake our mother in the form of self-sabotage we actually inhibit our mother's healing because we become complicit in maintaining her illusions. And we put our lives indefinitely on hold waiting for her approval that will never come.

    We best serve both ourselves AND our mothers when we confidently and non-defensively rest in our worth and authenticity while she has her upset.


    I call these upsets "mother tantrums" because this is when the unhealed inner child within a mother starts projecting unprocessed pain onto her daughter (or son) in response to the daughter not complying with an unspoken mandate to stay non-threatening to her. A mother tantrum can be expected if the daughter has had the role of being subservient, deferential or submissive to the mother, and is now changing the dynamic in the relationship by more fully expressing her authentic, true self around her mother. (This could be in the form of the daughter setting boundaries, speaking her truth, limiting contact, making authentic choices that are not necessarily in alignment with the beliefs of the mother, etc.)

    In that moment of a mother tantrum, your mother is NOT seeing you accurately (as her daughter) but rather, she may be seeing you as her own rejecting mother.That's why it feels like she may want to destroy you--that is the regressive energy of the angry child within your mother that she has yet to integrate and heal within herself. (Understanding this helps to not take your mother's behavior personally. It's really not about you at all.)


    The "mother tantrum" can range from a minor upset to a full-on episode that can include the mother flying into a vicious rage, jealously withdrawing or sulking, calling you every name in the book or bringing up every mistake you ever made to shame you back into being her emotional crutch.

    The intensity or duration of the tantrum depends on how severe her mother wound is.

    No one wants to witness or be subject to this kind of event as it can be incredibly hurtful and disturbing. It's understandable to want to ignore or prevent this at all costs. And the child within you is terrified of this situation. The point is to support your inner child in realizing that although you were not safe THEN as a child (rejection by mother meant death), NOW you are an adult capable of supporting your inner child through this experience. This is what breaks the spell of self-sabotage and it's such an important step in healing the mother wound. (It's important to be ready and fully supported before attempting this. It can take a while to work up to this.)


    You WILL survive the tantrum and it will liberate you in more ways than you can imagine. You just have to be emotionally prepared for the consequences and have vital support in place. How you respond in the face of a mother tantrum can look different for many different people and it will be specific to the particular dynamics between you and your mother. The challenge is not get pulled into the drama of victim, perpetrator or rescuer, but to stand in your truth. For example, it may mean speaking out or it may mean remaining silent. Reflecting on what would be the most empowering and appropriate response to a mother tantrum is a powerful process of discovery in itself.

    I recommend that this be deeply reflected upon prior to taking action steps to change patterns of relating with your mother. The most important part is to feel supported on the inner and the outer before attempting a confrontation.


    How do we stop self-sabotage?

    The experience that breaks this pattern is realizing that you can survive your mother's rejection of you. This may seem obvious to your intellectual, adult mind, but to your inner child, or primitive emotional parts of your brain, rejection from mother still feels very dangerous and way too risky. That's why we get so far and then, BOOM, we unconsciously feel unsafe and revert to old patterns of guilt, emotional-caretaking, shrinking to please others, apologizing for existing and being addicted to approval and external validation.

    Feeling small and stuck doesn't feel good, but to our inner child it feels SAFE.

    • In order to heal self-sabotage, we need to break the link between: Being authentic = abandonment, rejection (Loss of Mother)
    • And we need to create a NEW link between: Being authentic = Being safe, Loved, Cherished (by inner mother)
    We do this by separating out the past and the present. In the past we needed mother's approval for survival. But now as an adult you are capable of surviving her disapproval which can take the form of a mother tantrum (her upset when you refuse to cater to her illusions).

    This is one of the most empowering steps of healing the mother wound and self-sabotage. It's a form of creating the healthy emotional separation between mother and daughter that needs to happen for both to flourish as individuals and to have an authentic, nourishing heart connection between them.

    Healing the mother wound is part of healing the female "pain body."

    In order to truly own our worth and live our greatness, we must be willing to be disapproved of, misperceived and unseen -- all while feeling deeply safe, loved and cherished within ourselves. Creating this inner safety is essential to blazing new trails, innovation, soulful creativity, inventiveness and originality. There are limitless gifts within you waiting to be discovered and manifested. As we heal self-sabotage we become liberated to access and enjoy ALL that lies within us.

    (art credits in order of appearance: Alet Pilon, Frederic Leighton, Jonathan Glazer, Sofia Bonati, Hans Holbein, Lindsay Stripling, Heather Murray, Taras Loboda,)

    © Bethany Webster 2014-2016


    Question for reflection:

    When you were a little girl, what were the specific situations in which your mother responded to you with praise, recognition, rewards, validation and love?

    And what were the specific situations in which you were met with some degree of rejection, aggressive hostility, cold withdrawal, animosity, jealousy or bitterness?

    Can you see a connection between what responses you were met with when you were a child and what comes up for you when you approach new, exciting ventures and goals that require you to be seen, vulnerable, visible and confident? Is your inner child trying to keep you safe by self-sabotage? A simple exercise is to help your inner child feel safe by explaining to her in writing that what happened in the past is not a danger now in the present because you are a grown adult. Empathize with her pain of what she experienced and her desire for safety. Think of ways you can demonstrate in the present that she is safe. Soothe and nurture her on a daily basis so that her trust of you increases.

    © Bethany Webster 2014 - 2016

    Does this article resonate with you?
    I invite you to explore my offerings on healing the mother wound:

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    About Bethany

    Bethany Webster is a writer, transformational coach, international speaker and a midwife of the heart. Her work is focused on helping women heal the mother wound so that they can fully claim their brilliance, own their power and live as their authentic selves.

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    readytoheal likes this.
  10. Fabi

    Fabi Well known member

    Thank you for taking the time to post such a long article.
    I read it and I found it very useful. I was thinking what would the author have to say about men, men in general, and in their relationship to their parents, both mother and father.
    Personally, I have made tremendous improvement with the relationship with my mother. We have both changed in strange ways. I do not feel the deep resentment I used to towards her, it is more like some kind of "compassionate feeling" though it is a new feeling, and I hope it can grow, I am able to be more honest with myself and with her as well.
    What still is not addressed is how self sabotage is related to my relationship to my father.
    This issue is still not clear to me, and I know it has a connection with the kind of men I have chosen in my life, as well as my friends.
    It is amazing how these invisible ties work in our lives. I always remember when my mother used to call me "my little princess" (Now I wonder who is the queen) and I still hear very often my father´s criticism for not finding a "good guy" to be my life partner. Well, this is the state of the situation today.

    Curiously enough, I feel ok with myself. I feel that I am making a lot of progress. I am not reacting to situations (in general of course) I am more aware of the emotions behing my thinking and actions. I am working towards living a more coherent life between my thoughts, feelings and beliefs.

    I think I mentioned in another post I am working on a weekly workshop of "Biodanza", as created by Rolando Toro Araneda. I believe there is some kind of explanation in English in Wikipedia. I know there are no facilitators of such method in the US and I feel this workshop is really touching and gently working with my inner parts.
    The general feeling I have is that "the drama" has left and it has left place for a more soothing and gentle sense of being. I am also trying parts of me I think I haven´t tried before. It is very nice, when you can do this in a safe environment.

    My " body of pain" as the author of the article states it, has found a lot of relief in Biodanza. I am able to receive and give love and attention just for being there. It is kind of magicaland I wish there were more places where one could behave like that. So, all the soothing embraces and touches have diminished the energy I used to put into "pain" and it is more directed into some actions. Like renewing my home, maybe changing jobs, and feeling good about myself.

    Maribel, I think if you have a Bolivian mother you must have grown in a very strong men´s domination family. At least this is the rule for most Latino American homes. Also women tend to submit themselves to the men´s wishing, thinking and the general sense of "what a woman is supposed to be and do".
    Anyway, I believe all this thread is very useful, at least to me.
  11. Maribel

    Maribel New Member

    Thanks for your reply, I will look into the biodanza, I need to start dancing again and feeling just happy!

    About the father boyfriend connection - I realized looking at myself and at my girlfriends that we repeat the patterns of our parents - the unhappy, divorce, cold... patterns. So have a good look at the relationship between your parents, you will find the answer of why you are choosing unhappiness!
  12. Maribel

    Maribel New Member

    Also women tend to submit themselves to the men´s wishing, thinking and the general sense of "what a woman is supposed to be and do". -This thus describe my mum pretty well - though my father (with the wisdom of an adult) wasn't so band and dominant if my mother had stood her ground.
    Fabi likes this.
  13. Maribel

    Maribel New Member

    In actual fact my father has been more present and caring than my mum - she is simply not there and never really was!
  14. Lady Phoenix

    Lady Phoenix Peer Supporter

    Maribel, I loved your lengthy article. It really resonated with me. I forwarded it to my sister right away. It's especially sad because I just buried my mother yesterday. So many years of guilt and confusion (and PAIN)!
    Maribel likes this.
  15. Maribel

    Maribel New Member

    Doing a lot of digging and soul searching about my mum I discovered that she had post part depression which never went away -it would come and go in the form of migraine and feeling that she was being chased by train -to much to do, to little time.....
    We never bonded, I was take care physically but never emotionally. Its like slowly the pieces of the puzzle are falling in place. That would explain why she adored my older sister - she had then the normal lover hormones of a mother something that never happened with me. We are just from two different planets. And why my older sister hates me, for things changed when I arrived...

    I internalized this lack of emotional response in a child's manner and felt not good enough!!!! Which led me down the path of choosing a husband that emotionally abandoned me and the TMS nightmare I got myself in.

    Now my mother has parkinson and is really not available at all.... and I feel sadness loading through my body....
  16. Lady Phoenix

    Lady Phoenix Peer Supporter

    That is so sad. It is a consequence of post partum depression that I never would have thought of and your sister's resentment also.

    My mom threw the tantrums as described in the article and played the martyr and piled on the guilt to manipulate me. I never thought about how dependent a small child is on their Mom to survive and how this would impact me. It makes me angry although I am sure I was already plenty angry. My latest strategy (when pain starts) is to close my eyes and imagine I am screaming and swearing at the people who have wronged me in the past and lately I even envision throwing things at them. It's embarrassing to admit but it seems to work well.
    Maribel likes this.
  17. Maribel

    Maribel New Member

    Under the anger is the sorrow of feeling abandoned, and under the sorrow I hope is feeling free of all the hidden emotions that have weight you done.
  18. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Fabi,
    I am glad you are finding such moments! To be tender with myself, to attend, to allow, to gently feel...these are precious to me. Your description feels soothing to me when I read it.
    Andy B
    Fabi likes this.

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