Julia Vaughan Smith: Writer, Action researcher, Thinker, Public speaker
‘Daughters: How to Untangle Yourself from Your Mother’
Do join me - I’ll be delighted to talk to you about the book and why I wrote it and will do a reading at 5pm. You can drop in or let me know in advance. The café is open for tea, coffee, cake and cream teas.
I recently had the experience of being devastated by someone’s response to request I had made. It wasn’t the content of what they said it was the tone. I had realised my hurt child had been activated and I was distraught. When I reflected, I recognised the pattern. I had reached out for support, which I realised carried a hope that it would bring praise and encouragement. What came back was something I experienced as critical and negatively expressed. This had deep associations for me. I am now in my 70s, so this inner child was hurt a long time ago, and it is a pattern I have become aware of before and, I thought, done some therapeutic work on. And yet, here it was again. I am sure the other person felt they were being helpful; I don’t really think they set out to cause me distress.
This is a similar response to many who carry pain from childhood, and it might not be from the mother, it could be from the father. My book ‘Daughters: How to Untangle Yourself from Your Mother’ focuses on daughters and mothers and I talk about how quickly triggered we can be when an experience in the present is similar to something in the past.
What helped move through this?
It was a journey (again) through a dark wood. I had also been very tired from having had a lot of work on, so I was vulnerable and didn’t have the resources to protect that hurt child.
The important learning is that I came through it; parts of me knew what I needed and helped moved me through while respecting this pain and not trying to push it away. My Healthy Self came back into a leadership position with its ability to calm me, bring curiosity, compassion for myself and creativity.
The relationship with our mother leaves all kinds of legacies. This is one of mine. One I had met before several times. It really is a spiral of learning, each time we meet it again we do so from a different point from last time, due to the learning we did then.
If it feels familiar to you, maybe map out, like I have done what the stages were and what really helped you to ‘come back’ to the resourceful adult you are. For a while we get stuck in the wounded and hurt child, who may be quite young.
I will get to the stage of being able to be grateful to the other person in this instance, for enabling me to learn more about this legacy of trauma.
You can order a copy of the book through my website or any book seller. It is available in paperback and e-book.
Julia Vaughan Smith
Access Octomono Masonry Settings