I grew up with a feeling of being in the way; a sense of not being wanted, of being a nuisance to my mother, a bother, an unwanted distraction. My mother was pleasure seeking and I was not her pleasure.
What is pleasure?
Kahil Gibran on pleasure:
Pleasure is a freedom-song, But it is not freedom. It is the blossoming of your desires,
But it is not their fruit.
I feel my mother sought pleasure without understanding pleasure itself. Her pleasures were ultimately her pain. She was not able to distinguish pleasure’s truth from it’s pain.
And now you ask in your heart, “How shall we distinguish that which is good in pleasure from that which is not good?”
Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower,
But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee.
For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life,
And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love,
And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.
What was it like as a child, not to be pleasing to my mother?
It was a heartbreak, a lonely, confusing place.
A child learns the world from their mother’s face, the eyes especially are a child’s refuge, the mirror where their existence is confirmed. From the doting reflection of a mother’s eyes, a child draws their earliest, wordless lessons about connection, care and love.
For me, being ignored by my mother, craving attention and that craving being unfulfilled left me feeling bereft, unworthy and feeling small.