Lately, I have been focusing on re-mothering myself. I now recognize that I was “under-mothered.” That’s when really basic, elementary things most children can rely upon simply were not there. The secure attachment does not exist. The protection did not happen. I learned how to function at a surprisingly high level for survival’s sake. I radically skipped non-negotiable developmental steps. And now it has caught up with me and I am left with the task of giving myself all that I did not receive in the normal course of childhood.
It might be working. I have been feeling very vulnerable lately. Some of it is Covid-related chaos and some of it is leftover, never-ending fear from a lifetime of being unprotected. So I have been doing a lot of meditations and focusing on figuring out what my “inner child” needs now.
Yesterday, I had a rush of…security? I felt safe. I am waiting to see if this is an anomaly or if this might be something more permanent. But even if this is just a blip of safety, at least I now have it in my repertoire. Is this how normal people with “good enough mothers” feel all the time? That’s the Winnicott concept.
On the one hand, I feel like I am so late to the game of having normal feelings and processing them. On the other hand, I come from a family where people would rather die than grow. I am where I am. It’s a whole lot better than where I was even a year ago.