The Mother is used as a broad term in psychodynamic thinking – it can include the environment in which a child grows as well as the actual mother. In some cases, the father is more maternal than the mother.
We have no control over who gives birth to us. It is the first and most powerful experience with another human being and much as we love and hate her in later life, we are deeply and irreversibly influenced by her – both genetically and psychologically.
She makes up our external world and her reflection and her shadow falls within, in our internal world. Some of us idealise mothers, others feel ambivalent and another group hate their mothers. There is a big majority which sits in the middle, feeling all the feelings of love, hate and ambivalence.
In her absence, one begins to understand how much of her is inside us -in one’s internal world.
“I don’t want to be like my mother!” is a sentence oft spoken. Psychotherapy, for some people, would mean processing the toxic mother and allowing some goodness to seep through.
If we are able to create and maintain good relationships, overcome the troubled times and continue to live life in a deep and satisfying way,it is felt that there is a good mother inside, who prevails over the bad one (felt during bad times) and continues to feel that life is worth living.