How can I want a child when my mother stole my childhood?

How can I want a child when my mother stole my childhood?

My friend and I are determined to have a child, but I am afraid of having to sacrifice myself for him. Because I already, child and teenager, sacrificed everything for my depressed mother. My friend thinks I am selfish and immature. What should I do? Anne-Marie - Toulon

Claude Halmos



I do not think at all, Anne-Marie, whether you are selfish or immature. I think that the therapies you have done may not have allowed you to appreciate what your childhood was like. You tell me indeed that your mother was blackmailing you to suicide as soon as you went to play with your friends; that you must have sacrificed your dream of being a choreographer because the high school where you were doing "sport-studies" was far from home; that she would call you to school, warning that she would be dead when you returned, and so on. It's terrifying, and no one has helped you, which is outrageous. You write: "I have the impression that she stole my childhood, my dreams, my freedom, I want to take all this away because it's vital."

You're right. She stole your childhood (probably because it had stolen his ...). And it is normal for a child's perspective to awaken this misfortune. But where, I think, you are wrong is when you hold yourself in the belief that you could recover what it took from you. It's a lure. The stolen years are past. They will not come back. It would be necessary for you to admit it, even if it is painful, and to draw in this suffering the desire to put today "the double works" to live. Not like the teenager you are no longer but like the woman you are. That, your mother can not stop it anymore.

A child is not a thief of life, Anne-Marie. On the contrary. Because he needs, to get well (you know something about it), that his parents have a life of which he is not the center. So, why be afraid?

Psychoanalyst, author of Talking is living (Nil, 1997), Claude Halmos responds each month to four letters selected from an abundant mail, of which we publish excerpts.


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