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  • Terri Jackson

Challenging the Narrative: "You Only Have One Mom"

The narrative of "you only have one mom" can be challenging for individuals who have experienced absence, neglect, or abandonment from their biological mother. While the sentiment may hold true in a traditional sense, it fails to acknowledge the complexity of familial relationships and the impact of maternal absence or dysfunction on a person's life. Here are some reasons why this narrative can be difficult for individuals whose mothers weren't there for them:

1. Emotional Void: Growing up without a present or nurturing mother can create a significant emotional void in a person's life. This absence can lead to feelings of abandonment, loneliness, and rejection, which may persist into adulthood.

2. Identity Struggles: Maternal absence can also lead to identity struggles as individuals grapple with questions about their worth, belonging, and place in the world. They may struggle to understand their own identity without the guidance and influence of a mother figure.

3. Loss of Support and Guidance: Mothers typically play a crucial role in providing emotional support, guidance, and encouragement to their children. When this support is absent, individuals may feel lost and unsure of themselves, lacking the guidance and reassurance that a mother's presence can provide.

4. Challenges in Building Trust: Maternal absence or abandonment can erode trust and security in relationships. Individuals who have experienced this may struggle to trust others, especially maternal figures, leading to difficulties in forming healthy attachments and relationships.

5. Sense of Injustice: The narrative of "you only have one mom" can feel dismissive and invalidating to individuals who have suffered due to their mother's absence or neglect. It may reinforce feelings of injustice and unfairness, as they grapple with the reality of not having had the maternal love and care they deserved.

6. Impact on Mental Health: The absence of a nurturing mother figure can have long-lasting effects on mental health, contributing to issues such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and unresolved trauma.

7. Alternative Maternal Figures: While biological mothers may be absent or unable to provide the support needed, individuals may find maternal figures elsewhere in their lives, such as grandmothers, aunts, mentors, or adoptive mothers. These alternative relationships can be crucial in providing the support and guidance that may be lacking from a biological mother.

In summary, the narrative of "you only have one mom" fails to acknowledge the complexities of familial relationships and the profound impact of maternal absence or dysfunction on individuals' lives. It's essential to recognize and validate the experiences of those who have not had the presence or support of a nurturing mother figure and to acknowledge the resilience they demonstrate in navigating their lives despite this absence.

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