A letter to Barbara starting with a story about PAT from the book Circle of Stones by Judith Duerk
Pat’s mother died only hours after her birth and she spent a lifetime in search of ‘the lost mother’ who created a depth of sadness…a black hole within this motherless child.
The Mother, first representative of the Self, constellates to the infant what will become of the Self within as she grows. She sees herself mirrored in the face of her mother, sees her own image lovingly reflected in her mother’s eyes, a fledgling sense of self is born, a sense of being seen, recognized and valued for who she really is!
“Each woman must go through the slow process of discovering who she is, of bringing herself to birth, living in relationship with the Great Mother, but feeling her own personal separateness, her own equal reality – of being of the same, but not the same as the Mother – and bringing her own individual life to manifest form in a way that expresses the power, substance, and wisdom of the Archetypal Feminine within herself.”
Circle of Stones – Woman’s Journey to Herself: Judith Duerk
My darling friend Barbara, do you not see that you were given a THIMBLE full of this recognition as a young girl because no one knew (including your Father) HOW to replace your mother, so what you needed could not be provided. You have looked and looked and looked for that deep love, only to be forced to accept a thimble full or nothing at all if you were bad. Time and again you proven yourself worthy of so much more but time and again, you only received a thimble of love, of recognition, of value.
Loss of the personal mother may leave you without a sense of self / self-worth, without hope that you will ever be seen as oneself. There is a fear of being unable to become one’s true self, of never being intimately known—never knowing who one truly is.
One is left, abandoned, isolated, without hope of future…PAT wrote…floating into a ‘black emptiness’.
Loss of the mother is experienced as a totality of loss of safety, loss of nurture, loss of comfort, loss of joy. I know this about you Barbara and I do appreciate that you have allowed me to be present for you in your Circle of Stones. The girl without a mother does not know herself as valued, embraced, and precious. When it comes to love—this girl chooses LOW to those who might taint her, taunt her, shame her, guilt her and leave her. Her choice is always the thimble person who does not have the capacity of possibly acknowledging the deepest part of her wanting.
PAT says it is essential to separate from those THIMBLEs.
IF IT IS TO BE – IT IS UP TO ME
This girl (no matter her chronological age) must find a source of nurture within herself—and this is doubly hard for a girl who has lost her mother . . . therefore to counter what she must do, she will argue that she is confident, she is a giver, she is well liked, and she has high self-esteem. When the truth is she finds it impossible to nurture within herself, so she lives in a fantasy, conscious + unconscious of restoring the original unbroken uruboric connection, the hope of complete unity with that mother’s love. With this intense hope, she may go through life endlessly seeking her mother, involved in ceaseless activity, seeing her image in suitable and mostly unsuitable individuals—seeking from them the love, the nurturing SHE so deeply longs for. She may give love to many, seeking appropriately + inappropriately through her giving of mothering to ease the pain of her own loss. At worst, she may catch herself compulsively force feeding nurture to those whom neither need it nor want it.
The steps of separating from this THIMBLE of love is necessary, so YOU may re-identify, re-evaluate, reconsider how you are worthy, how you need to be loved and accept nothing less ever again—and this will require practice since you have rehearsed + rehearsed PAT’s story.
Interestingly, your friend SCOT demonstrates this sort of love as a great friend as HE encourages you to find your own individual self as a woman with a center, a grace and maturity of her own, and no longer in relationship with anyone or anything that reminds you of the PAIN of accepting a THIMBLE of love in return for nurturing someone who did not need or want to be nurtured—you were the ONE who wanting it + needed it.
And if you are still doing this at 69, that means you understand this all psychologically, but throw your mindset away when it comes to falling into HELL with a man who has a little THIMBLE waiting in his pocket for you.
In Greek Mythology, Persephone (my favorite character) searched for her mother (Demeter) and Persephone followed Hades into HELL because the slide into Hell was one that she knew from birth. Once in HELL, miserable, lonely, desperate for love-light-laughter, she had to learn how to climb out of ‘that place’. She not only had to learn how to climb out, she had to recognize the THIMBLES all around her that she had used as toys because they brought her back into her childhood fantasy.
YOU KNOW… I say: Fantasy is FUN and Reality SUCKS. At some point, Persephone had to make the very hard decision that it was time to get out and to stay out of HELL. OF course it is important to GRIEVE & MOURN the collective loss of a long history of behavior that has supported the THIMBLE—but a greater loss of a sustainable connection to her rootedness, her substance, strength and pwer that grounds her and fills her with a sense of what she was, she in, and what she may become. Each woman must come to a new awareness of her own womanhood, taking NOT from the fall into her unconscious identification (HELL-thimble), but from drawing upon the image of Great Mother, the Archetypal Eternal woman who bore her and loved her!!
I am here for you in your circle of stone my friend–journey on!!