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Secrets of the Motherworld

Nov 12, 2019

Here’s the story we discuss this week:


“The long story would be a book but the short story goes something like this. 

When my daughter was 16 she moved in with her out of work boyfriend. Two months later she was pregnant with her first child and this is when the domestic violence began. I begged her to come home and leave but she chose to stay, although she did escape a couple of times and the police and courts were involved due to the beatings she received whilst being pregnant. 

This all happened 16 years ago and today it feels like she died back then although I never gave up trying to contact her despite her silent replies. And so I embarked on therapy myself, including reading, studying domestic violence and personality disorders in great depth. Occasionally, when I did bump into her without him in tow I would ask her to go for a coffee and try to talk to her about what had happened between us but she wouldn’t listen. I have two daughters and she stopped talking to her younger sister too, which continues to cause pain. 

What hurts so much is that I’m estranged from my own mother as she was from hers. For context, I’ve been working as a psychotherapist for 25 years and have explored my heartache in many ways, including unpacking dreams, studying myths, family constellation workshops and everything else I can think of to ease the pain and move towards acceptance. 

The reason I’m writing is because nobody ever talks about the heartbreak of estrangement between a mother and a daughter and how some wrongly assume that there must be something inherently wrong with the family, and yet this is not the case as my daughter was loved, encouraged and nurtured throughout her childhood. Sixteen years later my daughter remains in the same relationship and has had subsequent children and still doesn’t talk to us. Thank you for reading.”

Stella mentions the Nancy Griffith song ‘The Speed of the Sound of Loneliness’