Dr. Lawrence Hedges wrote the foreword to Horrible Mothers and says the following:
“Horrible Mothers is full of stories about psychotherapy clients who have endured devastating damage at the hands of thoughtless, incompetent, self-centered, and openly destructive mothers and who have been helped in their reconstructive work by Dr. Vieira’s willingness to connect deeply and to offer help and support when needed. If you think this is a subject that should continue to be overlooked, think again. I strongly recommend you read, introspect, and allow yourself to grow through contemplating some of the horrible ways that mothers can be mothers.”
Some mothers simply should not be mothers. Some mothers feel that being a mother is a burden. Some mothers, even if they have the best feelings about mothering, are simply ignorant of what it is to be a good mother. The effect of this ignorance can have a grave effect on the children in their sacred care.
As a clinical psychologist working with children, adolescents, and adults for almost 40 years, I am struck by the lasting damage done by inadequate mothering. Some injuries, like mine from my own mother, had to do with one subject or one incident. Some mothers were just so focused on themselves that there was no room for mothering of the child. (I devote an entire chapter to narcissistic mothers.)
I have come to feel that a book about that damage and how it is inflicted is essential. I realize that I am stepping on hallowed ground— that conventional wisdom has it that mothers deserve credit for the sacrifice of giving birth and providing for another human being. I do not agree. I feel that the very act of conceiving a child brings with it grave responsibility—and that just conceiving and giving birth does not innately earn points against this responsibility. The cold, hard fact is that any child who is not adequately mothered will sustain a “mother wound” and that even if the issues that caused that wound are resolved, a scar will remain. But even so, becoming aware and facing the reality of who your mother is and what she did that affected you detrimentally is crucial to avoid perpetuating the cycle into the next generation.
Quotes from victims of horrible mothering:
“I just realized that my mother is a narcissist. My wife and I were recalling our wedding day when my mom did some embarrassing things:
My mom parked her limo in front of the church so when the bride arrived, they had to get my mom’s limo moved so our limo would be there for us to get into after the wedding.
My mom disregarded the fact that the flowers on the table were labeled with bridal party names, and she gave some of these flowers to her relatives.
When my mom came down the aisle to be seated, she turned around and waved to the audience.
My mom yelled at my wife when the photographer was taking the bridal pictures of her – the bride. My mom felt she was taking too much time and time was running out and wanted the photographer to take pictures of the groom and her family.”
“I called my mother to tell her I was going into the hospital to have a biopsy for possible uterine cancer. Her comment was that she was sure that I would be OK and proceeded to tell me about her luncheon. I went into the hospital alone, had the biopsy and my mother forgot that I had gone in, never called and never asked me about it. No news was good news “or did she really just not care? Would she qualify for your book as a horrible mother? Or am I expecting too much?”
The point of this book is not to condemn or even judge your mother BUT instead to recognize what happened to you, assign responsibility and see how the neglect and/or abuse has been reflected in your life.
“The greater the abuse or neglect the greater the attachment.” And as long as we are attached, we don’t separate from the past and can never be all we can be (Individuation). And “WHAT IS UNRESOLVED WILL BE REPAIRED.”
This book is about resolving the issues with your mother (also applied to father and parents).