Monday, January 23, 2012

The sins of the Mother

This is arguably the most painful post I shall ever write. Because this subject delves into the greatest fears of both men and women. It is almost taboo to 'go there.'

We have all heard of the sins of the father.
Deut 5:9. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.

I am not sure the bible ever touches on the 'sins of the mother'. If it does, I stand corrected.
However, I would be surprised.

It is said that the only reason that lesbianism was never a crime in Britain (as opposed to male homosexuality) during Victorian times was that Queen Victoria simply did not believe that women could be homosexual. She did not therefore feel the need to outlaw something which did not exist.

During the Iraq war, the British press went crazy on the topic of 'weapons of mass destruction'. Several comedians picked up on this, some of them making jokes about a certain part (or two) of a woman's anatomy being 'weapons of mass destruction'.

A woman's breasts can never really be her best or worst (whichever way you look at it!) weapons of mass destruction.
In a tragic twist, it could be her motherhood.

A woman's greatest fear is abandonment. Of herself and her children. As a lot of single mothers would testify to, it is incredibly hard to raise children alone.

So a woman who finds herself in this position has to survive somehow. No matter how she got to this state of affairs.
She may have been unlucky. The man she trusted with her body betrayed that trust. She may have been irresponsible. The man she should never have gone near, she defied her innate intuition and did. She may be divorced. She may actually have conceived with another man to break up her marriage. She may have been widowed. She may have been a 'reluctant bride' and chosen 'anyone' because she wanted a child, but not the man. She may have decided to 'go it alone' right from the start and naturally or 'artificially' became a mother with a known or unknown man.

For some women, motherhood is a noble art.
Unfortunately, for some, it is a chance to have a bargaining tool at one's disposal. 

For others, it is totally subconscious what plays out. And for yet others, it is a conscious choice to have a child, a "mini-me" to groom into the role of helper and future provider.

A man's greatest fear is betrayal by a woman. Whilst this often means betrayal by a 'mate' in the form of cuckoldry, consider this:
What if the traitor is his own mother?

The post on MGTOW produced a lively debate on the various reasons for MGTOW. Some of them were due to a man just wishing to live his own life with no disturbances from female influences, some were as a direct result of previous bad experiences with women, some were to do with the anti-male and prohibitive laws regarding fatherhood, child custody, alimony, etc.
All valid reasons.

This comment from BeijaFlor* stood out:

I'm very familiar with women's fear of abandonment. I saw it in my (single) mother's eyes, heard it in her voice, when I grew to manhood and could have struck out on my own. I stayed with her instead, but picked up the load of "breadwinner" and even bought a house for the two of us ... she died in that house, died of cancer, with her hand in mine, ten years ago. I was 48 that day, with friends that age who were grandparents. So I believe I know what it is to "man up."

No-one else had touched on this particular issue.

A lone mother sometimes depends on her child(ren) to shoulder the burden. That's to be expected to some degree. I would even argue that it is good for the child(ren) to understand how hard life can be.

But when a son is forced to take on an absent father's role, sometimes before he is emotionally ready, I find that criminal. Because it reveals a certain selfishness in the mother (which, tragically she may not even be aware of).

A son like this will pedestalise his mother. He wants to help a woman, as his male nature dictates. Especially if that woman is the one who gave him life. It may follow on from his natural Oedipus complex.
But if this woman denies him what is rightfully his, i.e. the right to make his own choices in life, follow his own dreams, live his own life, then she is doing him a great disservice.
This man will pedestalise women until one day he will wake up and realise that he was betrayed. His whole life up to that point was a lie.

And worse, the traitor is also the one he loves the most.

This is one of the rare sources of cognitive dissonance in a man. He understands women so well because he was around one a lot, more than was necessary in fact, but at the same time he is seething with rage at a wrong that was done him. Especially if there was no other man around to take him on the road to manhood. Psychologists believe that the Oedipus complex is finally resolved in a boy when, instead of childishly competing with his father for his mother, resolves to become a man, like Father.  But what if there is no Father figure to allow this to happen?

This man often seeks out women, because on principle he loves women. He wants a fulfilling relationship with a woman, just as much as the next guy. But he will struggle to form meaningful relationships with them. Until that is, he finds the key to the riddle in his heart. By himself.

For him, it is not so much a mistrust of women, but an unresolved, sometimes subconscious fear.
A fear that can be entangled with an anger, tangled further with his love for Mother and his shame at feeling such rage. It may remain sealed away, bubbling inwardly like a pressure-cooker. And his efforts to seal it away could leave him sealing away his emotions - or it could erupt inside him, doing who-knows-what greater damage to his own soul.

Outwardly, this man may appear to be a 'principled mangina'. Or the worst woman-hating PUA there is. Or both. At the same time. Which will be confusing, even to him. Until he works out for himself what is going on in his soul.

And there is no guarantee that he ever will ... which could leave him endlessly wandering that dark wilderness, stripped of inward mercy, that is finally all that is left in his scarred, cankered heart.
In the end, that road can be both excruciatingly painful and at the same time headily redeeming. A man who can bounce back from this kind of trauma is the ultimate hero, because, to face one's worst fear and win is the ultimate test of life.

The daughter of a mother like this also suffers.

This woman is usually on one of two trajectories:
On the one hand, she becomes a 'son' in her drive to please Mother. She loses out on her femininity because she is 'replacing' an absent man. She is acting out the role of 'husband' without her express knowledge or consent. This woman will usually have a deep love for men, because she will have lived most of her life as one, but will struggle to form a relationship with (a masculine) one because she is, at least in her head, not feminine enough. She has been too busy playing 'husband' to another woman to know what it is to be 'wife' to a man.

On the other hand, a daughter of a lone mother could also be 'trained' by Mother to become 'strong and independent'. Never need a man! would be all she hears from infancy. They are bad for you. They will break your heart. Earn your own money, kill your own snakes, buy your own jewellery.

Mother thinks she is helping. She wants to 'save' daughter from a fate similar to hers. But she is in fact doing the opposite. Because in this mindset, daughter's worst fear will be realised.

Both these daughters have a saving grace though. Like Mother, they are also women. So they can recover more easily from the sins of Mother than their male counterparts.
One day they will wake up and reject Mother's brand of womanhood as they come into their own.
What they may suffer more from, is the absence of the mitigating influence of Father.

We all know the effects of fatherlessness, in both sexes.

Motherhood is a powerful force.
Rarely, it can be devastatingly destructive.
Strangely enough, I do not believe that this form of destructive motherhood is connected to feminism per se. Although of course it can have a perjorative effect on it.
Because feminism, with its core of rage against men and manhood, is fighting to make single motherhood the norm, and thus multiplying not only the victimisation of the children, but also the power of destructive motherhood.
Let us minimise the risk of destructive motherhood.
And let us bring back Father into the home.

*A massive humongous 'Thank You' to BeijaFlor for his help with this post.


BeijaFlor said...

And thank you, Soacetraveller, for treating the subject so well. I loved my mother, enough to do my best for her; I still do, even though she's beyond any need of my "best", save in fond memories and grateful prayers.

I feel I "done right by her" by staying with her till the end - too complex a story for here. But her presence, for long, did me an unexpected bit of good, too - by 48, I was free of the need to find a mate and nest with her; and free, moreover, to pursue my own interests, without having a mate's veto power hanging over my dreams.

A couple of months after her passing, I was talking about Mom with one of the nurses at the HMO center we both used. I said something on the lines of "Well, I did my best, and I don't have anything to flinch about when I look in the mirror." Gail patted me on the shoulder, a tear in her eye, nodded, and said, "You're a good man, Charlie Brown."

Well, thanks, Gail. I tried.

Christian J. said...

A great article Jo and one that is often ignored and forgotten. I have seen quite a few sons and daughters driving, wheeling, walking their single parent. It has often been the case that "carers" have always been regarded as being females only and this just demonstrates once again that it is just not the case.

BeijaFlor, a job well done. It would appear to be the case that out of every negative there are always some positives. You are quite right to be proud of your long term effort..

Spacetraveller said...

@ Christian,

Thanks Christian. Yes it is more common for women to be carers of their elderly parents, but usually it is a mutually beneficial interaction, eg. as in grandparents make the best babysitters :-) and also, the social interaction grandparents get in so doing, and in shaing in the lives of their children and grandchildren actually decreases the decline into dementia, depression, etc.

What is regrettable is when doing this altruistic deed results in loss of one's own goals. In BeijaFlor's case, it worked out very well for him in the end. He has what he wants - his freedom.
Other people are not so lucky.

@ BeijaFlor,

Cosign Gail's and Christian's words.
'You done good' indeed for Mom!
Not everyone can do what you did.

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