My mother will not talk about my conception by a man who was not my father - why is it unbearable for me to be around her?
The questioner's philosophy
Two sisters and a brother came along during the years. Although I was only 4 to 5 years old at the time, I picked up that this sister was my Father's favorite, nothing to do with sibling rivalry. Dad had an endearing nick-name for her - but not for me; Dad always beckoned her over on to his lap - but never me; etc. We all grew up and married. In my late 30's Dad took a heart attack while mowing the back yard and passed away. Shortly after, my Mother (in a very emotional state) told me how it came to be, that the man I thought was my father - was not! She continued to tell me the story, but also begged me not to tell the other sisters and brother, until after she died.
During years that followed, I found it very hard to honor that request and when I broached the subject with Mum, every time her reaction was the same, she would not elaborate on details and ended up by telling me to forget it, as it was only a one-night stand and it didn't mean anything. Mum had a serious illness during 2005, I told my sisters and brother as I felt that Mum should experience their understanding and compassion before she might pass on. Happily she survived and is enjoying life again. My question: Why is it unbearable for me to have my mother near or around me?
As a child, when you were not invited to sit on your father's lap, and when you were not given an endearing nickname, you were being given the message, even at that very early age, that you did not belong, that you were different. As you grew up, this experience of separation, and the understanding of it, became the central mission of your life - entering into your philosophy when you chose to "accept that it is 'separation' that is the cause of all emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual pain." Your experience of separation was, and still is, the defining experience of your life. Why is this and how can this experience of separation, of not belonging, come to an end?
You were born into the family situation you found yourself in for a reason. Your soul choose to incarnate into this situation so that you could work out unresolved karma and have the opportunity to learn lessons vital to your evolution, that would assist toward merger, or union with your soul - the Godhead. Consequently the resolution of your life long experience of separation and not belonging, carries with it the possibility of your transformation into a higher level of soul connection and heightened experience of inner peace, love and joy. But first you need to understand the lesson contained within, what appears to you to be, an intractable situation.
It is a rule of spiritual evolution that the more intractable a problem appears, the bigger the lesson it contains - therefore I am going to give you a very big lesson, but because your soul has chosen this family, it has also chosen this lesson and I feel confident that you are now ready to receive it.
You will have to forgive your mother, even if she decides to never talk about your illegitimate birth again, even if the secrets of your birth are buried with her in her grave.
This is a big task, but I am now going to help you to accept it. You asked me why it is unbearable for you to have your mother near or around. The answer is because of all the anger, bitterness and resentment you feel toward your mother. You feel that she is the cause of your not belonging, of your being different, of your separation from family. You also feel that she is unwilling to help you resolve this issue by her telling you briefly of your origins, then begging you to not discuss it with your two sisters and brother and refusing to discuss the matter with you again.
I now want you to distinguish between you as adult and you as child. As a child you experienced a degree of separation and not belonging to your family. Why this was, was a mystery to you. You lacked the means to understand it. For you it meant a degree of pain and alienation. Then you grew into an adult and learnt new things about your origin and began to understand it. Currently you are both the child who experienced the alienation (we still contain our childhood experiences as adults) and the adult who partially understands it. Now I want you to transmute into the person who still contains her childhood experiences and the adult who fully understands them. This full understanding will assist with forgiveness.
To attain this full adult understanding I want you to see your mother as she really is - a woman near the end of her life, who knows she has made a major indiscretion with life-long consequences, but who, because she is afraid of the truth, is currently unable and unwilling to talk about it. This unwillingness may change, but it may not. Your mother is near the end of her life. She is frail and elderly. Her personal reserves are low. She may not be up to the task of addressing this issue. On the other hand she may surprise you and be willing to talk - we cannot tell. By all means see if you can instigate conversation on this topic. Tell her how much it would mean to you to talk about it. Then look for any signs that she is willing to talk, encouraging her if you see such signs. That is the best you can do. The passage of time will add its own pressures. Your job is to be ready, should she decide to address this issue with you.
You also need to accept now that your mother may choose to never talk about your birth. If this indeed proves to be the case, her silence is not so much because she is unwilling or because she wants to punish you, but because she is simply unable to face up to the consequences of her indiscretion. If this proves to be the case you must accept that and forgive her anyway. Find it in your heart to forgive your mother because you see her as she is, a woman afraid of the truth and who is unable to face up to it. Your mother's decision to stay silent, if this is what she does, is nothing to do with you - it is because she is terrified of her own demons. As such she deserves your compassion and not your hate. This is your big lesson, to feel compassion for your mother because you see her for what she is and forgive her for being uncommunicative.
As you do this remember all your mother's good points - how she gave birth, raised and educated you and brought you into independent adulthood. Recall the fun times you had with her. Keep these thoughts uppermost in your mind by appreciating and remembering them and her. Her passing may well illicit profound emotion but if you keep in mind what I have written you will be able to enjoy your remaining time together and that needs to be valued.
Further Help and Resources
It is currently not possible for you to talk to your mother about your family situation and it is awkward to talk to your brother and sisters, so if you feel a need to talk and explore this issue further I would suggest you see a local counselor. Also take a look at our articles on having successful relationships with parents and siblings. These are about listening and communication and are available in the Heart to Heart Quick Coach facility.