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Myths About the Mother Wound You're Believing

Updated: Mar 27

“The most important question anyone can ask is: What myth am I living?” - Carl Jung

mom and children

Myths about the mother wound and painful mother-adult child relationships seem to be more common than Disney sequels these days. If you’ve been wondering how to separate the facts from the fiction, then this blog post is for you.

Myth #1: “Healing the mother wound and having a mom who has narcissistic personality disorder are the same thing”

Hands down this is the #1 biggest myth out there. While healing the mother wound and having a mom who has narcissistic personality disorder certainly do overlap in places (think one of those Venn diagrams with the circles that overlap in the middle) the two are not synonyms. So what’s different? What’s different - and totally game-changing - is the focus. While the second keeps the focus on your mom - the person you can’t change - the second shifts the focus onto you - the person you can change. And this is where the magic happens!

Healing the mother wound is the fast lane to healing from your difficult, painful, or even abusive relationship with your mom. Say goodbye to wasting time and energy focusing on your mom unpacking *her* mental health or psychoanalyzing *her* patterns and behaviors (there you go again doing her work for her!) by asking exhausting, down-the-rabbit-hole, never-ending questions that sound like:

  • “Does *she* tick enough of the boxes to qualify for an NPD diagnosis?”

  • “Does *she* have BPD or NPD or both?”

  • “Is *she* a covert narc or an overt narc?”

  • “Was *she* narcissistic back when I was a baby or are her symptoms more recent?”

  • “Was *she* gaslighting or was she blame-shifting or was she playing the victim?”

  • “Is *her* NPD from trauma and therefore not her fault? What then?!”

I was getting overwhelmed just typing those! Gah! And who wants to be focusing on their hurtful mom that much?! Nobody!! Thank the stars there’s another way. When you’re riding in the healing the mother wound express lane all you need to do is focus on YOU! That’s it. Ahhhhh. So.much.easier!

With all that time you’re saving by not trying to figure your mom out anymore, now you get to finally focus on figuring YOU out. That’s where the deepest healing always happens, isn’t it?

  • Want to improve your parenting? Look inward.

  • Want to put an end to a pattern that’s no longer serving you? Look inward.

  • Want more out of your relationships? Look inward.

Healing the mother wound transforms the whole landscape of healing from dysfunctional mother-adult child relationships. It does this by getting you right to the core of the problem - think actually healing the infection rather than slapping a bandaid on up on the surface. How does it do this? It does this by helping you keep your focus where it really matters - on you. Check out these examples. You’ll notice right away how the focus is kept on you instead of on your mom:

  • What happened in *my* relationship with mom when I was little that caused me pain or even trauma? How about when I was a teen? How about when I was an adult?

  • What did *I* need to receive from mom that I did not receive?

  • What dysfunctional coping mechanisms have *I* developed in response to #1 and #2?

  • What do *I* need to unlearn about myself and/or the world that mom taught me?

  • What do *I* still need to learn about myself and/or the world that mom did not teach me?

  • Who am *I* when I finally put down trying to be who mom thinks I am or needs me to be?

  • What do *I* need to do to be the loving inner mother to myself that I’ve always needed that mom was/is not able to be?

Talk about an empowering difference! Don’t like one of your answers? Wish you were further along in your healing journey? Want to feel more peace and less guilt? With the mother wound method you aren’t just a passive observer in your own life. Now you’re in the driver’s seat. Healing the mother wound is different than all the other approaches that haven’t worked because it isn’t even about your mom. It’s about YOU. Your mom’s already taken up enough space. It’s your turn now.

Myth #2: “Only women & daughters can have the mother wound”

This myth is mostly on its way out, thank the avocados, but it’s still worth talking about for anyone out there who might still be confused. The truth is that anyone can have the mother wound regardless of their gender. Unlike us humans, the mother wound does not discriminate. If you have a mom, whether she is still on this earth or not, then you can have the mother wound.

Myth #3: “If it wasn’t illegal it can’t cause the mother wound”

The myth that laws can somehow clearly define where the mother wound can and can’t happen certainly is a pleasant one, but it’s completely unfounded. Rules and laws have come and gone since the dawn of humans. Something made illegal 100 years ago is now back to being legal again today, and vice versa. While laws are always changing, morality is not. For example, stealing someone’s land was just as wrong then as it is now. Something doesn’t suddenly become moral simply because the people who write the rulebooks say so. The uncomfortable truth for many is that actions don’t need to be recognized by the law as illegal for them to be painful or even traumatic for the person experiencing them. Ultimately, the law doesn’t say what is and isn’t harmful. It says what is and isn’t legal. Big important difference.

Here’s an example: Before 1920 it was perfectly legal for men in the United States to hit their wives. In 1920 the law changed and it became illegal for men to hit their wives. Does this mean that a woman who was hit by her husband before the law changed couldn’t possibly have been harmed? Absolutely not. The same is true for people who have been hurt by their moms. Trauma doesn’t first check in with the law to validate it’s own existence. Trauma either is or it isn’t. And as much as we all would like laws to be more than they are, the fact of the matter is that they aren’t. A mother can do something very legal and her child can still come away feeling very hurt. This is the real world that we live in. We all are much better off to see our human condition for what it really is than to continue to delude ourselves for the sake of momentary comfort.

Are you someone who wants to take your mother wound healing journey to the next level? Come join the conversation, learn more about the mother wound, and receive compassionate support in our now 100% free private mother wound healing community over in The Porch. Interested in keeping up with the latest Mother Wound Project news? Follow us on Instagram.


Meet Reclaim!

Stephi Wagner, MSW's 60-day mother wound healing journal is here! If you like what Stephi shares on Instagram, you won't want to miss this. Mother wound recovery here you come!

reclaim - 60-day mother wound journal


Learn about how the Mother Wound Project can help with 1:1 support.

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