Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Archive for April 2nd, 2012

“Mom Does Not Make Sense: What is Wrong With Me?

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on April 2, 2012

No matter the age, people believe that their mom should make sense. I am not sure why this is true, as we know from experience that some people make a lot more sense than others. We have friends, colleagues and relatives where we fear for their children in that the adult’s way of looking at things is  chaotic, incoherent or fictional. To grow up with that kind of thinking, in a world which supports the idealization of moms, creates in the child a terrible sense of anxiety and instability: a deep insecurity, if you will. As children do, this lack of coherent thinking in the mom, convinces the child that he has the thinking problem, not his mom. It may take years, maybe a lifetime, to uncover this twist that it is not he who has the problem, but it is her, the mom.

Gideon, fifty-one, wants to celebrate his birthday with his wife, his children and his parents. His mom says yes, then says no, and then gets angry with Gideon for “never considering her schedule when planning things.” Gideon, wants his mother there, but he also knows that he called way in advance to plan the celebration and that he did consider her schedule when making the festivities. He could change the date to a time that she prefers, but he also does not want to “roll over” and give into a “crazy” way of thinking. “You are in the bind you have been in your entire life. When you make your mom uncomfortable you feel it is your fault, even though she did not plan her time well. ” I say, reminding Gideon that his mom’s unhappiness makes him feel guilty, even though cognitively, he knows he did nothing wrong. “It is hard to see my mom so upset,” he says with deep feeling. “Yes, but it is also hard not to have your birthday the way you want it, without too much of this emotional chaos.” I say, helping him accept that he cannot change his mom and her way of thinking, but he can change his reaction to it. “I am probably going to change the date,” he says with a bit of shame. “I know,” I reply, understanding that change is slow.

Posted in Child Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapy | 2 Comments »

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