Excerpt About Good Mother

Splitting Mother Into Good Mother and Bad Mother

At the beginning, in childhood, there is a relationship between the child and the mother, the parents, the environment. When the relationship is difficult or painful, the child deals with it by splitting the difficult from the easy, the love from the hatred. But to do that, you have to do it with your mind, because it is not real. You have to split your perception. You have to split your mind. You have to believe something that is not there. That is the beginning of mental structure. You have to split the reality into this and that, split mother into good mother and bad mother. Well, your mother is never all good or all bad. She is a mixture. So if you split her into good mother and bad mother, and you have to remember this and that, you are creating something in your mind that is not really there. In time, that becomes the mental relationship that you reenact in your life relationships. So there is the idealized mother, there is the frustrating mother, and there is the attacking mother. And your relationships with those three parts are what become reenacted in your life as mental relationships. We usually look at ego from the perspective of self-image. I am looking at it now in terms of relationship, instead of only from self-image: That includes both the self-image and the object image, both you and your mother. I am looking at the totality of the relationship, within which the self-image and the ego developed. We are seeing how we split those relationships, and how that splitting led to the ego and the identifications of the ego. At the beginning, there may have been a need for that splitting, because the child actually could not tolerate the whole thing, didn’t have enough understanding, didn’t know. The system was not developed, the perception was not developed enough to see the totality, to understand it, and tolerate it. The child had to split the different parts. But for us now, this splitting is no longer needed. We can tolerate reality now. The child, we could say, could not tolerate reality completely.

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