Yesterday, I was bitching about my hair on facebook, and a friend passed on her mother’s advice about spending too much time at the mirror.
I couldn’t even imagine my own mother giving me any advice, although she did warn me not to have ‘intercourse’ after I started coming home at 3:AM. She was pretty useless in the advice department. She didn’t prepare me for anything except a conviction that I would never, ever, grow up to be like her.
Look at her body language in this picture. She holds me like I’m a time bomb or some infectious agent. And me, I look away anxiously, maybe at someone less scary.
It is pointless to blame your crazy mom for all your shortcomings, and yet. Getting over a crazy mom is a tall order.
An interesting school of psychology maintains that Adverse Childhood Experiences can represent trauma that doesn’t just ‘go away.’ Having a crazy mom is an ACE; enough ACE’s and you are screwed, unless other factors were present to create some resilience. You can get your ACE score here.
“The CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study uncovered a stunning link between childhood trauma and the chronic diseases people develop as adults, as well as social and emotional problems.This includes heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes and many autoimmune diseases, as well as depression, violence, being a victim of violence, and suicide.”
Bummer! On the one hand, you now have an excuse for being dysfunctional. On the other, it is awful to reflect on your childhood helplessness, or on your own failings as a mother.