The mother's wound comes from what girls experience from their mothers in their formative years. Women are often taught to prioritize relationships above all else, and as their mothers adjust to these pressures, they too learn to believe that access to their power will somehow damage their connection with others. This belief creates a psychological limitation on who they want to be.
“The job of our caregivers is to create and nurture a safe place where we learn to connect with others, make mistakes and, essentially, learn what it means to be human and imperfect and to accept this and is okay, ”explains King. "If this does not happen, emotional difficulties can arise."
As children grow up, they may feel guilty as they feel at odds between wanting to live their authentic truth and fear of losing their mother's love if this is perceived as a rejection of their teachings. They can react subconsciously by developing adaptive survival mechanisms to secure their mother's love and, hopefully, receive care from her and others in return. However, twisting yourself to please someone else does not address the underlying social programming and instead just tries to reinforce the pattern of the mother's wound. Macaluso points out that separating from your true self creates a fundamental distrust of your own needs, feelings, desires, your gut instinct, and your perception of reality. The bias manifests itself in behaviors such as codependency and philanthropy.
King adds that the effects of the mother's wound "can make one more susceptible to insecure attachment styles, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, difficulty in romantic and platonic relationships, lack of emotional awareness, and difficulty in self-calming."
While repetitive conditioning by society formed the core wound of our mothers and grandmothers, Wolkin says that the inheritance of this wound can theoretically begin in the womb. “According to epigenetics, the trauma of our ancestors affects DNA in such a way that it is passed on from generation to generation. You could think of them as molecular wounds, ”she explains. "So if we notice something disturbing or unsettling in our lives but cannot really relate it to our own lived experience, it may be experiences of previous generations."