FREE SHIPPING on orders over $100

the mother wound


This is one of my favorite photos of my mom and me. Before.

Before life did what life does. Before things got messy and complicated. Before we broke each others hearts, time and time again.

We loved each other deeply. Enmeshed, some might say.

My mother wound is subtle. Subtle, in the way that it went unnoticed for quite some time.

It wasn’t until I got sober in my thirties that I even realized anything was amiss in my relationship with my mother. I knew I had daddy issues. That much was clear. But the sly codependency that I had with my mom just seemed normal to me.

The truth was that my mom was deeply unhappy when I was a child. And she tried to hide it. But I knew she spent a lot of time alone, in her room, crying in the dark.

And I, as a little girl who loved her mom so, wanted desperately to make it better for her. And I tried. Through all manner of perfectionism and achievement and outrage on her behalf.

I thought if I could be the bright spot in her world, then she’d stay in this world. As in, she wouldn’t kill herself. And I have no idea if she was ever actually suicidal, I just know that that was my deepest fear.

Over and over, I tried to fix her. And over and over, I couldn’t.

And of course, it is no surprise, that over and over, I’ve amassed quite a collection of other broken humans I’ve tried to fix, to no avail.

And so, when I began to do work on myself in my thirties, I pulled away from my mom. I had to in order to heal myself. But I did so clumsily and without explanation. And I know it hurt her.

And I always thought we’d circle back to one another. And we had begun to a bit. But then she died. A heart attack out of the blue. And there was so much that was left unsaid, that feeling of unfinished business.

And in the days immediately following her death, all I felt was the love. I literally could not even remember what our issues were. It was just pure love.

And now, 3+ years later, it is a strange mix of that pure love and also and acknowledgment of the fullness of our relationship, hurts and all.

And the most shocking and wonderful thing is, we’ve been able to circle back to each other after all. Through the veil.

1 comment

  • Oh Dawn, I really love this series—I love your writing and can truly relate to what you call a subtle wound. Sending you so much love and peace and curiosity around this, especially on crazy tomorrow. 🤎🐦‍⬛ 🪡

    Alison Moncrieff

Leave a comment