In the part 1 of this blog, I touched on what I call a state of toxic peace. A son who was emotionally dominated by the mother from a tender age until his resolve for independence is comprehensively broken and he submits powerlessly to her demands. He finds a sense of peace floating in a stagnant pool of toxicity. It seems like happiness because there is total surrender.
A prisoner of his own life
But this state of childlike utopia is, of course, impractical and leaves the son unprepared for life. He hopes that the domination and insecurities he experiences when battling the outside world will be countered by the comfort of the parental warmth. It is only if his incompleteness and failures become hellish and unbearable that he realizes what really must be done. The shackles need to be broken at all cost.
But before he gets to that point, he is never really complete. How does this condition affect the emotionally strangled son? As stated in the previous article, he lives for the comfort of the matriarch. The feelings of the mother take precedence over that of the son. He is ashamed of his feelings. Ashamed of any resentment that he feels, warranted or not. He feels that he should not be speaking out. These feelings of shame toward speaking out on his own behalf carries on to his life in general.
The son is not taken seriously by his peers or left out. He somehow he never seems to fit in even if he is the quintessential nice guy. The relationships forged with peers, and people in general are lacking in mutual respect. Every time he is challenged with necessary confrontation by his peers he not only fails to win but more importantly, fails to mount an offense. His instincts to fight back are so under-developed it invites disrespect.
He feels incapable of gaining their respect. The fundamental instincts required to stand your ground and earn respect has been brutally burnt to ash by the dominating mother. It’s as if he knows what he needs to do in the face of adversity, he can learn it in theory, he can fantasize about standing his ground, but the chains welded to his head and his heart are stopping him from fighting back. It’s frustrating and depressing. Submission is his plan A, just as it has always been. He fears admonition and conflict and humiliation just as he did as a child.
To the emotionally dominated son, the damage to his self esteem is severe. However, all seems well so long as he has the option of crawling back to the stability and almost childlike maternal comfort of the matriarch. A paradigm that the mother all too willingly accepts.
Since the son cannot break free from these shackles and may not see the need to, he seeks to compensate for it through other means. Find freedom through scholastic achievement, material gain, blind friendship etc. So long as it doesn’t involve more conflict than can be swept under the carpet or absorbed, he can do it.
Breaking the chains of bondage
Unless there is some external challenge that forces the son to look hard at his situation, he is tolerant to it. But one of the main problems here is that he will never really know himself until he starts thinking on his own with freedom, without restraint and acting regardless of fear. He will never really achieve his full potential. He starts to see over time that he will never be whole unless he breaks the shackles. Any achievements are meaningless when he has not yet found peace within.
The only way forward is to challenge the matriarch for his own independence as absurd as it may seem. He must dare to think, engage in deep introspection and discover how he really feels; then say what he really thinks. A riveting yet scary experience. But very importantly he must be willing and almost eager to live with the consequences of freedom. Understand that it will come with guilt, it will come with resentment, anger and hurt. The status quo so deeply embedded will not easily be uprooted. But he must understand that its OK to feel that way.
The idea here is to overcome the feelings of shame and replace it with feelings of self acceptance and self love. It doesn’t matter that it does not seem “nice”, the only thing that matters is the truth. Being good and being nice are different things.
Just be honest. Nothing else matters!!