Monday, May 25th, 2009Healing for the Invisible Mother
To be an invisible mother is to fuse with a child and become a non-self, servant to a young master, a strategy harmful to mother, child and her partner. I am reminded of an African-American colleague of mine who cried painfully as she remembered events in her life where she was not seen because of her color. According to my colleague, Jean, "White people treat Black people as if they are invisible. They do not see us." She sadly recounted what it was like to walk into a room filled with people who look past you as if you were not there. For my colleague being invisible is not a badge of honor. Rather it is a painful reminder of a period in our history that accepted master-servant relationships. The good servant was polite and as invisible as possible. Fading into the background but being there to meet the master's needs was the norm.
Perhaps Michelle Obama will help mothers to value themselves and not permit young Johnny or Jane to treat them as invisible. Healing begins when Mom recognizes that the greatest gift she can give little Johnny is sharing her uniqueness with him and encouraging him to see her as a valued individual rather than a person he can ignore. With warmth, she connects and feels a deep attachment to Johnny, with love, she teaches him she is a mother who will support him in his individuality. She will not be invisible to create her ideal image of a mother and son. To be an ideal mother, one needs to create an ideal son.<< Back to the Blog