THE OTHER MOTHER
by Mary Jo Heyen
“Mothers are lost to their daughters when they’re lost to themselves.” ~Geneen Roth
Dream – I’m at some large event, people milling around. I’m standing at a bistro height table with three teen girls, 17-19. I am much shorter, my head just clears the table top. One asks me, “So what do you have to say about the mother?” I feel pain and sadness, no desire to talk, tears rising. The others continue asking me similar questions. I don’t respond, maybe some fear but a lot of feeling. Shift – We are all now entering the large auditorium. As I walk with purpose down the aisle towards the front I look down. I am wearing a beautiful elegant red dress with one white button at the waist. Every step I take it gets looser and looser on me. I’m about to grab a fistful of material at the waist to cinch it up but then don’t.
In the dream I’m covering my pain by saying, “I have no desire to speak.” As we worked with the dream and I felt into this what emerged was, “I have always had this feeling…not that I am not able to speak about a different kind of mother than others enjoyed, but that I shouldn’t speak of it. Yet here they are, the older girls, parts of my soul, here to encourage and to help me find my voice…to speak…from my soul…of what I have always felt shouldn’t be spoken.
Mother’s Day…with Facebook photos, postings, restaurant brunch tables, flower vases and candy boxes…filled with the outpouring of love by so many for their mothers…and the outpouring of love by so many mothers for their children. It’s really quite beautiful to witness…and yet a tender strangeness…and ache…for others of us…our noses pressed up to a window looking in at an experience of being mothered that we never knew.
For those who have not experienced this loss, no words can explain it. For those of us who have…the depth of this pain and sadness is so great because the need to love and be loved by our mother is so great. It’s about the forever raw heart wound we carry…often in silence. In the sea of those loving their mothers, mothers loving their children, it can feel like there is no room for the inconceivable experience of those of us for whom the mother was source of our pain, loss and sadness.
Today I write for all those who have trauma around the mother, who would like to or who have stepped out from behind story, beyond blame and shame and confusion…and feel the feelings of this terrible wound, this rejection by the mother. Feelings that have included pain, fear, sadness, loss and so much more…including a reluctance to speak…for fear that there is no room for the voices of us who had the ‘other mother.’
And many still try…still hope things can be different…until we know it can’t…still looking for the magic words that will be heard…until we know there are none…when we gently lay it down. Perhaps there is nothing more tenacious and core than a child’s desire to love and be loved by his/her mother.
And yet there can be healing. Opening to our soul, with the support and love of our dreams, we learn we don’t have to let that love go. What can’t be reconciled in the world can be reconciled in the wounded heart…discovered where we thought it was lost forever. The simple truth…we love our mother…and we need our mother’s love.
The soul loves and the soul needs love…
For those who had the other mother, may you find even a moment to touch into…untouched and pure…the shared place in the heart where love and loss live together.
Mary Jo Heyen is a Natural Dreamwork Practitioner working with clients throughout the country and abroad in person, phone or Skype. Learn more about her work with dreams at www.maryjoheyen.com or www.thenaturaldream.com