Since writing my To the Motherless on Mother's Day piece, I have heard several fresh stories from people with extreme and painful mother stories.
While not wanting to publicize their responses, many personal messages on the subject of being emotionally motherless while having a biological mother who remains physically alive, seemed to flood into my email.
I began to wonder how this experience of mother, this toxic state of mothering, could be so common, even pandemic, and yet remain so undercover. How off the track these secret stories are from how mothers are recalled by adult children in print, conversation, on the month of May walls of buildings, stores, Facebook, and blog pages.
It seems unfair, and wildly so, how unrepresented the motherless are in the celebratory parade of euphoria that is Mother's Day.
"Tell your mother you love her" is the mantra on every broadcast.
"Call your mother today" is on the lips of every so-called expert.
I realize that there must be a thick wall of shame for adult children who were born into a world with a mentally unwell mother.
Sometimes people try to speak about this secret and the
shame of it, only to be shut down by other people's
aggressive discomfort and alarm.
The society teaches that the mother is sacred.
The child is soiled for not honoring the sacred mother.
Even ordinary people act as gatekeepers of this mythology, unconsciously referring to not wanting to open "cans of worms".
The problem for those adults who are motherless is that the
worms are out of the can, and internally running
In my opinion, they best be expelled and allowed to fry in the sun of truth.
It is my professional and personal experience that people are eager to talk about being emotionally motherless with a physically alive mother.