Blog Post – 20th October 2022
The mother’s contribution to the child’s life script… And the problem of “wounded mothers”…
By Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling, October 20th 2022.
An individual’s “life script” – or early childhood decisions about who they are and what their life holds for them – is clearly one of the main determinants of their destination in life.
That life script will of course represent to some small degree the kind of biological heritage of the individual; but much more importantly, it will be shaped by “mothering”, much more than “fathering” – thought fathering has a significant role to play.
That is why, this morning, I woke up with a determination to write about those two subjects. Please see the blog post – Some difficulties of being a writer – Books about life scripts and problematical mothers… – on the ABC Counselling website.
In effect, the mother’s mind gets woven into the mind of her child, through the processes of socializing the child.
About the life script…
Recently I thought it would be good to write a book entitled ‘What is your Life Script – and how to change your destiny’.
It took quite a while for me to realize that this would duplicate a large part of a book which I have already written. Here is a brief extract:
“Most people spend the whole of their life living as largely non-conscious victims of a script that they wrote for themselves, with the aid of their parents, when they were less than seven years old, when they hadn’t got enough sense to write a really good script for themselves.”
That book is titled as follows: Who Are You, And Where Are You Going? Transformative insights from psychology and the philosophy of psychotherapy.
Working on the “Mother Wound”
Anyway, before I could make much headway with sketching out the content of a new volume on life script, I was overtaken by the desire to write a book about the way in which many humans are harmed, in the most vulnerable period of their lives – in the first three or four years – by damaged or difficult or unskilful mothers.
(Of course, motherhood is an almost impossible job in the modern world; and it always surprises me that it works out as well as it does, for the exploited and oppressed mothers and their strangely resilient children!)
This volume would have, as its core, my Story of the Relationship with my Own Mother; with an opening section that would explore the nature of “mother wounding”, the symptoms resulting; and how to heal a “mother wound”. The final section would be about how you can heal your own “mother wound” (if you have one), resulting from neglect, abuse or abandonment (physically or psychologically).
However, in the process I overloaded myself, and had to mothball this project for a quieter time in my later life.
And, in any case, I have written at great length about my grossly unsatisfactory childhood relationship with my mother, in my fictionalized autobiography: Metal Dog – Long Road Home.***
The extract from Metal Dog shown on the ABC Bookstore does not focus on my relationship with my mother; but the core of my fictionalized autobiography is about that relationship, and the aftermath of its dysfunctionality.
It is so very hard to be a write of psychological material, because it is not clear who is out there wanting to learn something of the insights of psychotherapy into how each of us is wired up in childhood for a life that is largely predetermined, but with a little bit of plasticity which has to be worked at to bring about any degree of liberation from our childhood script.
That’s all for today.
Dr Jim Byrne
Doctor of Counselling