A little while before a relationship came to an end, at the beginning of 2013; I had got to the point where I no longer wanted to behave in the same way. Up until this point, I was easy-going and generally came across as happy.
It wasn’t that I no longer wanted to be easy-going or to come across as happy, it was that I wanted to decide when I would behave in this way. For so long, behaving in this way was something that would just happen.
The trouble was that I felt the need to behave in this way when I was around a certain friend. In a way, this friend had a lot in common with how I saw my mother as a child, and this meant that the role I played around them was similar to how I behaved when I was growing up.
I saw this person as having it all together and being a larger than life figure, which was one of the main reasons why we were drawn together in the first place. When I first met them I didn’t know this, of course, but another part of me did.
The Same Dynamic
This was then the same as what happens when someone ends up in an intimate relationship with someone who reminds them of their mother/father. In my case, I had ended up with a friend who reminded me of my mother.
When I was growing up, I had to overlook my own needs and focus on my mother needs instead. And, when I was around this friend, this is what typically took place.
So, in the same say that I was nothing more than extension of my mother when I grew up, I ended up acting as though I was an extension of this person. As a result of this, I did what I could to please them.
In the beginning, I thought it was great to spend time with them, but as time passed I felt as though I had lost touch with myself. For a few years prior to this, I had got to the point where I had a relatively good idea who I was and this allowed me to fulfil my needs from time to time.
But through spending time with this person, I slowly turned my back on who I had become, and I started to feel trapped. Being around someone who reminded me of my mother was familiar and, therefore, what pulled me in, but as time passed, I soon experienced how I felt when I felt repelled by her.
I wasn’t Waking in the Dark
This meant that in the same way that I was fearful of my mother, I also felt fearful of this person. Consciously, I could see what was going on and how we were both playing out old family drama, but my body was full of trauma.
Fortunately, due to what I had learned about childhood abuse and neglect and the work that I had done up until this point, I could see what was taking place. However, although I was doing what I could to understand what was going on, I got the impression that this person didn’t have the same desire.
A Tough Time
I did my best to avoid any more drama being created, but there was only so much that I could do. What made this even harder was the amount of pain that I was in at the time, and this meant that the last thing I needed was to be around someone who couldn’t see how their early years were affecting their behaviour.
Yet, if I had felt safer around women, this would have probably been something that I would have experienced with a woman in an intimate relationship. This was a time when I had to do my best to work though what was coming up in order to heal myself.
If I had no understanding of how my younger years were effecting my adult years and lacked self-awareness, I would have been normal for me to feel like a victim and to blame this person for everything. This would have stopped me from being able to move forward and I would have probably experienced the same thing with someone else.
At the end of the day, the reason this was taking place was to allow me to heal my childhood wounds. Having said all that, it wouldn’t be right to say that this person was a carbon copy of my mother as it wasn’t this black and white.
Prolific writer, author, and coach, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over one thousand five hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.