Shelley is about to admit to one of the great taboos of motherhood. No matter how hard she has tried, she says she can’t bring herself to love her elder daughter, Catherine. ‘I know what people will think. Everyone will hate me. I’m the woman who doesn’t like her own child. But I’m speaking out because I’m convinced I’m not alone,’ says the 33-year-old.
This experience of Shelley’s (or try here or here if the article is down) is worthy of discussion and I’m sure she’s right and other mothers feel this way too, and I could say a lot about fathers who don’t seem to have any particular attachment to their children (ie. the whole ‘deadbeat dad’ phenomenon) but who don’t seem to trigger nearly the outrage.. but instead what I will say is fu-uck, how masochistic do you have to be to tell a story like this to a conservative sensationalist newspaper like the UK’s Daily Mail? That act alone tells me that you are in desperate need of counselling.
And, reading this article reminded me just how cathartic confessing something terrible can be for you, but not necessarily for the recipient of your burdensome secret – not sure how this whole newspaper article bizzo will help the daughter, Catherine any.
Post Script: This piece remains in my blog statistics as one of the most searched for topics bringing people to my blog, a fact that has surprised me greatly. At least according to the comments, it seems the bulk of people searching the Internet for this topic are adult children of mothers who didn’t love them. There is consequently a world of sadness in the comments below and I want to express my deepest sympathy to those of you who find yourself here because you are coping with the experience of not being loved by your parent. This is not a topic I have particularly explored on my blog and I have little to offer you here, except for the growing number of comments below indicating that you are not alone.