Hey everybody! Happy thursday. Now today’s question comes from the website. You know, katimorton.com, where you go under videos and Q&A for videos or submit an idea And you can put your questions in there, and people answer them and I answer them Yeah that place. So the question today is ‘”One topic I’d love for you to discuss on your channel someday is recovering from an emotionally abusive, emotionally unavailable, or generally ‘mean’ mother. How do we heal from the hurt of not having a “‘good enough'” mother? As adults, how do we fulfill that longing to be held and hugged most importantly, feel fully accepted, understood, and comforted?” And I really wanted to talk about this because this is something that comes up in my practice a lot and honestly, comes up online a lot. Many of my viewers, many of you have spoken to me about how you grew up without a mother that was either available, maybe she worked too much maybe she just wasn’t like a lovey-dovey mom like you needed Or, you were told that it wasn’t ok to cry or to feel anything, and so we slowly as children start shutting down and disconnecting from those emotions And so today, I want to talk with you about that But I want you to stay tuned until the end because I’m trying something new I asked you on twitter or facebook if you had any other questions about this topic and I’m gonna pull one of those and answer it at the end of the video, so make sure you stay tuned for that. Before I even get into this topic I want to recommend that I’ve used in my practice multiple times and even with some of you, you’ve told me about this book and how much it helped and that is, I don’t know if you can see it but it says “The Emotionally Absent Mother” And I think I’ve mentioned this before and I wish it had like, a nicer title and didn’t look quite so sad But it is extremely helpful And I can’t tell you how amazing this has been for so many of my clients and so many of you Because the truth about healing from an emotionally absent mother Is that is has so much to do with attachment an attachment is something that is so vitally important because it tells us, as children that we have a safe foundation. Almost like, it is really safe for us to go out in the world and to try things that we either do well or not and know that it’s ok because we have this foundation We have this base, this I like to think of it like a safe harbour like we can always come back to our safe harbour bring our boat in and we can relax knowing that people are there to support us and they’re behind us And when we don’t have that safe attachment It can lead to a lot of different things. I’m just gonna name a couple But the book is amazing! If you’re struggling with this, please purchase this! and read it, and work with your therapist on it. It has amazing tools and techniques and things in there that are easily usable and things that you can do in your daily life But when we don’t have a safe attachment, it can lead to us struggling to manage any emotion Every emotion can feel really scary because when we were children we were told that it wasn’t ok and it wasn’t something that was comforted, like feeling sad, it wasn’t something that our mother was like “It’ll be ok, don’t worry” We never got that. And so we feel like those emotions are scary and overwhelming and no one is there to soothe us. It can also make it difficult for us to have empathy in others because if we aren’t ok expressing ourselves, when we see someone else expressing it, we thing” eeeh woah woah woah” I don’t think thats quite ok and it can make us really uncomfortable Also it can cause us to struggle in relationships we can struggle to let people close to us, because it can feel really unsafe and uncomfortable And also, it can make us really uncomfortable with anything that’s emotionally driven. If someone is really emotional towards us we’re uncomfortable, Everything that we feel and every emotion that we go through in a day can be really uncomfortable and so you can see how this can hinder us in so many ways. Along with understanding what not having a good enough mother can do to us, I think it’s also important to note how we heal from it Because that’s really the question, and that’s what I get more excited about Is how can we get better? But I do believe that understanding where it comes from, and how it can affect us, is really pivotal in our recovery from it. I do think it’s really, really important for you to take time reading through the first few chapters of this because understanding how not having an emotionally available, or a “good enough” mother Affected you I think that’s really important but also now, moving forward and the question at hand is: How do we heal from it? What can we do? And that’s why I love this book so much because it starts out telling us what it may what symptoms we may have because of it. and the later, gets into what things we can do to help heal and a lot of that work comes, like, from the “child voice” and I know you’re thinking, “What the hell does that mean, Kati?” But often, when we grow up without an emotionally available mom We don’t feel like we have a voice as a child We often snuff out all of the emotions, all of the experiences and we just don’t feel safe expressing it And so part of the work that I do with my clients in my practice is having them express from that child voice all the things they maybe wanted to say when they were growing up and felt that they couldn’t. I know that can be very awkward in session sometimes But something that has helped a lot of my clients is writing it down, or typing it out and bringing it in to session later and it can be a letter from your child-like self to your adult self. All the things maybe that were really hurtful and that happend all the feeling you have about it and really just letting that child be a child and letting it throw a tantrum letting it vent I know this can sound really crazy but often when we grow up without an emotionally available mom We don’t feel that it’s safe to do that and having a safe space like the therapy setting to do it can be so incredibly healing. There are also techniques for self-soothing and that’s something that I think a lot of people who didn’t have an emotionally available mother struggle with beause we didn’t get any of those rubs on the back, and “It’ll be ok” and “I’m here for you” and “I believe in you!” We didn’t get any of that softness and that mothering that we so very much desired and so what I have a lot of my clients do is practice what I call “good mother messages” and I’m taking it directly from this book and these “good mother messages” are things that you wish you could have heard from your mom It could be “I love you no matter what” it could be “You’re so amazing, and I’m always here for you.” It could be any number of messages and they even give examples in the book Which is what I love because sometimes, when I’m saying this to clients they’re like: “I don’t know what that means, good mother message?” Because, we didn’t have it. So how can we just, pull it out of thin air? And so it can help to kind of think of things that maybe we really wanted to hear and reading about it can really help spark those ideas. so I have my clients tell themselves these good mother messages while doing something caring for themselves this could be, you know, rubbing your own feet this could be taking a bath it could be just relaxing, put it on your cozy pjs and watching your favorite movie. Could be any of those things that are kind of part of the self care realm, right? we’re doing things that feel good to us at the same time we’re starting to re-mother ourselves and I know that sounds kind of creepy and odd and it’s hard to put it all together but what we have to do is we have to heal that child and we have to talk to that child in us that didn’t get all the things i’m talking about and so it’s really important that even if we don’t believe them at the beginning we continue to tell ourselves these good mother messages And one of the last techniques that I’m gonna talk about today but like I said there’s so much more about this that I, this is just like the tip of the iceberg if you want me to do more in-depth videos about different parts of this let me know and give us a thumbs up but the last thing that I would encourage you to do if you’re struggling with this is to build up your support who are your people that you know love you unconditionally? who are friends that have been there for a really long time? we may not have these people yet but we but we can start to build them maybe that’s getting the therapist can help support and you know you have regular touch bases with I would recommend that you see an attachment based or trauma therapist because that is such a part of this and it can make it so much more healthy for you to count on a therapist and they know all the techniques and tools to make sure that it’s done healthfully but those are just some of the things that I would encourage you to do and i know this is really hard like I said, there’s so much more to get into when it comes to this I worked on this book a lot with my clients and I know many of you have worked on it. There’s so much to talk about so like I said if you want me to do more and get more in-depth let me know in the comments and give us a thumbs up. like I said remember the beginning I said stay tuned to the end I’m going to answer some of your questions on Facebook and Twitter well let’s do just that so on facebook one of the questions is: “what do you do if your mom acknowledges that she ” Could have done better” but when you start talking about your gripes about her parenting she becomes defensive.” Now, a lot of the work when we’re healing from an emotionally absent mother has to be done on our end because the truth about it is that a mom is always going to be defensive about her parenting and someone who is emotionally absent usually has their own ish going on that they need to workout and truthfully, has nothing to do with you so I would encourage you to not work on the relationship with your mom directly, work on your relationship with yourself because that’s how we learn to re-mother ourselves and slowly start healing from this. Another question is: “How about a mother who is too emotional? My psychologist that it’s like my mother- i’m my mother’s personal therapist. Obviously ,that’s a bad thing right? This can go both ways, even a mother being too emotional expressing too much to you means that there was no time for you to express things to her hence she’s still emotionally absent to you and that’s really where the work comes in and it’s very similar and I know it can feel very different but you having to be a parentified child, that’s what we call it in the therapy world, when you have to act older than you were and like, parent your own parent we still need to learn how to re-mother ourselves now i’m hopping over to Twitter on Twitter one of the questions is: “My mom knows she’s an unfit mother but she won’t let me stay with another family member because she doesn’t want me to be happy.Why?” Like I said before, often mothers that were emotionally absent have a lot of their own problems. They may have had trauma in their life. Often they came from an emotionally absent mother as well and truthfully, imagine what it’s like for them because if they can’t be emotionally available to their own child chances are they don’t have any healthy, close relationships that they can count on therefore, by your mom saying this, she’s kind of forcing you to be her only support and I would encourage you to set healthy boundaries and know that you get to choose where you go and what, where you stay and what you do and then you get to work on the whole process of re-mothering yourself Another question on Twitter says: “Is it considered emotionally absent when she wants me to open up to her but then ends up devaluating my problems on her own?” I would call an emotional abuse and It could definitely be part of this but you can check out, i’ll put in the description my link to my emotional abuse video because her asking for you to express things and then devaluing it is really part of emotional abuse. Next question, we got a couple more says: Is it normal to find another mother figure who you feel very attracted to, maybe an older friend, family, friends etc. It’s very common and like i said i can’t recommend this book enough because it really helps you recognize where that attachment comes from and work to heal it because when we are so attracted to other people and trying to fill that mom void it can honestly be unhealthy and so it’s important that it’s done slowly. I think family, friends and close friends are really great but making sure at the same time that you’re still learning to re-mother yourself and healing the wounds and because no matter who we try to stuff in there what that whole really represents is the mom that we wish we had. Next question: Is it healthy to just give up on ever having a good relationship with an emotionally absent parent? The truth is yes, if they are not healthy for us I would compare it to kind of like a toxic family member or toxic person in your life if it’s not good and they’re not working on it and they’re not trying to help you then it’s completely ok to not try to have a relationship with them if it benefits you none it’s okay to not do that and to even cut them off because often people who are emotionally absent don’t recognize their faults and will continue to do it over and over Last two questions, this question says: “Does that gap have to be filled or can’t just stay that way? if so how would one fill it and not let it affect the rest?” The gap cannot stay there for us to be healthy if we leave that gap in ourselves where a good mother would have been we will find ourselves attaching unhelpfully to people in our lives that can really harm us and often will get in really unhealthy relationships as a way to try to cultivate the love and care that we wanted for so long and so the truth is that it may not need to be filled with another person but we’re going to need to learn how to heal that stitch up that wound give it time so that we don’t need to fill it with someone else. And the final question: “Can emotionally absent parents influence/damage our own future relationships? I try to be the opposite.” It definitely can but if we work on ourselves and if we do some of the tools and the tips and tricks that are in this book and that I’ve mentioned in this video we can heal from it and grow from it and not do the same thing again. They find that a lot of people who come from emotionally absent parents will try to do it again themselves if they’re not aware of it and they don’t do things to try to heal and to re-mother themselves so that you have complete control over this. I know it’s really hard work, therapy is really hard, but using some of these tools and doing some of these things can help us begin to heal that wound and know that we can move forward without feeling like there’s a void or it having an effect on any of our future relationships. A lot of the answers and tips and tricks that I offer in this video, like I said, come from this amazing book and you can find it under my amazon list that I have on my website so hop over there and check it out i’ll put a link in the description so you can get so you can get over there easier but know that I will keep following up on this I know it’s a really important topic Thank you so much for asking your questions! I love you all! Have a wonderful day, And I will see you next time. Bye!