View Full Version : Emotional Dependency

04-22-2010, 07:32 AM
Hey guys,

This might be a shot in the dark, but I am going to ask anyways...

I want to research emotional dependency, specifically the search for a maternal replacement of sorts as the result of mother loss (either death or abandonment is fine). I have searched B&N, as well as googled it, but haven't really found much, and am looking for a book that will discuss this rather than a website. Even if it's not having to do with mother loss/maternal replacements, that's fine, those are just the things my story revolves around.

Thanks in advance.

04-22-2010, 11:39 AM
If you're looking for books about maternal abandonment and the search for a replacement, here are a few suggestions.

I found Jennifer Lauck's two autobiographies Blackbird and Still Waters particularly disturbing. Many people (not me) found great meaning in The Glass Castle, written by Jeannette Walls - there are more than 1400 user reviews posted on Amazon for the book, so she must have hit an emotional nerve with readers.

I highly recommend another book, Hope's Boy, also an autobiography. The story falls apart halfway through the book, but the emotion is real. If you came from a normal family, the story may seem unrealistic and over the top, but it made perfect sense to me. One important thing to understand is that kids separated from their mothers for any reason other than death live with a fantasy, however remote. As soon as I get back to Mom's house, everything will be just fine.

Even the youngest child will try to negotiate with their new caretakers, explaining they have to get home as soon as possible. Mom needs me. It's insane from a logical point of view. A kid could be wrapped up like a mummy in bandages from being burned, and they know their mother (or the female substitute, aunt, grandma, whoever) was responsible for their injuries, but they still want her.

I almost didn't come back after my first day on the job as a child care worker in a group home for infants and children who had been taken away from their parents by social workers. A kid no older than five attached himself to me, believing I had the ability to get him back home to Grandma. He was frantic about having to get home before dark, because she was home alone, and he didn't want her to be sad all by herself. The child never mentioned having a mother. I can still hear his voice after all these years, the seriousness, pitching the story to me like he was about to close a million-dollar real-estate deal.

Children who lose a mother through death go through a different kind of grieving process (although I'm sure the experience is just as traumatic and life-altering). Death has an ending. Abandonment leaves the door wide open for kids to live in a fantasy world, even into adulthood. When she's dead, you figure out one day that she's never coming back, but a mother who's still alive leaves open the possibility for a happy ending.

04-23-2010, 07:05 AM
Julie, thank you so much for your response. It's such a wide subject, and there are so many different reactions, it's hard to find something that really relates. I am working on a novel with a character that is like me. I guess I am hoping that it will be therapuetic in some wierd way. There is a lot of anger towards my mother stemming from incidents preceding and revolving around a very messy divorce. I've lived with my father since the age of 9, and very rarely see my mom. I don't want to, either. And yet, my lack of a maternal attachment affects me every single day, and it's literally driving me crazy. I can't have friends, or relationships, and I pick random people to latch on to.

Anyways, I will check out those books. I have actually heard of a couple of them, just never picked them up. Thanks again for your thoughts.

04-25-2010, 08:23 AM
Kelsey, I don't have a book suggestion regarding this subject, but if you did a search for "attachment disorder" it might give you more information. Here's a link from Wiki, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_disorder) and it includes what is considered suspect theories on the subject, as well. (What fun!;-) )

As far as a general book on emotional healing (if you don't mind the extreme dryness of the first part of the book) is called Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman. I found it to be excellent for my own journey, but of course books aren't one-size-fits-all.

Good luck on finding what you need.

04-27-2010, 04:24 PM
One of my friends was abaondoned by her mother when she was 2 months old.
She hates her mum. So when her Mum got back in touch when she was 17 she took everything her mum was giving her (pressie wise), but it didn't change her feelings towards her.
She attached herself to me (I was 13 at the time). Her older sister's friend.
She now a mum herself, refers to me as her mum (grandmum now she has a baby).

I don't know if that helps a little, from a small perspective.