The catastrophe of a devouring oedipal mother

An [overprotective/overbearing/over-soliticious/smothering/suffocating/oppressive/intrusive mother] is [giving/dominant] = so she creates a [submissive/receiving son].
Who only receives [pleasure/pain] from [others] and then [withdraws/hides] and then plays touch and go with this firey one-directional intrusive force.
So then the whole task for the boy is to create a wall and direct the intensity of force entering.
But this also totally [suppresses/inhibits] and growth of [independence/self-structure/relationship-structures] because then the only relationship is with this [super-pushy other] who given a chance will penetrate everything and vanquish all independence.
The boy is then a hostage.

He lives in a [secretive/reclusive/hiding/withdrawn/defensive/protective/prey-like-stance/invisibly] because if spotted, the mother is ready to smother him totally at all levels and [absolutely enslave him] from the perspective of his [developing independent self].
The mother becomes a [mortal threat] to the [developing self].
The boy is perenially concerned with:
1. How to develop an independent self (which is super difficult anyways) and
2. How to keep the mother out of this process because her [total interference and destruction].
She is a [mortal threat] to these [selfing-efforts].
And so this becomes an extraordinarily hostile and hostage situation because the boy’s self is vastly deficient compared to his peers who suffered no such [oppressive continuous suffocation].

Not only must he [survive/negotiate with the world] but he also has to [survive/negotiate with his mother].
And since it is impossible to negotiate with an [smothering mother], because there isn’t enough enough self formed to have such [assertion abilities and analytical power], the boy is in a trap.
It is like if you the [mother] prevent a [cheetah cub] from growing up, can it ever fight you? You have prevented it from even [growing teeth] (metaphorically speaking) to defend itself from [YOU] or [ANYBODY] for that matter.
The cheetah will be [helpless/harmless] and [unfit to survive] in the wild and now it will have to [stay with you] in [your DEN] for the rest of your life.
This is the [reality and seriousness] of this situation.
A crippling oedipal mother issue.

The boy has been [crippled/stunted in arrested development] much like the cheetah cub is rendered a prey in the wild because of the continuous [unwanted intrusive suffocating smothering interference] by the mother.
Here the problem is not winning the mother’s interest in him.
Rather it is to allow the mother to leave him alone and allow him to breathe, which is impossible to do when he is a child.
So from the boy’s perspective, this is a [continuous mortal threat from a giant omnipotent other] he has to defend against, to retain a slightest amount of independence which he maintains by [hiding/withholding] from the mother AS much as possible and living his life in 90% secret.
Also the care given by such a mother is [BLIND] and [INHERENTLY dehumanizing] too.
Because she reduces him to a [helpless infant] and [absolutely actively represses/suppresses/thwarts/prevents/and literally attacks] any development of him beyond that stage.
Because his [growing up/becoming self-sufficient/independent/and her training you for that] is seen as the greatest threat for the mother because her whole meaning in life is now him, and she will fight his development forces to death out of wanting to cling to this new purpose that has come as a huge break from her probably otherwise empty unfulfilled life.

The mother literally guilts the son, and communicates:
“Don’t grow up, don’t become independent, because if you leave me, I will die.
You staying a helpless infant and me taking care of your every need is my only purpose and meaning for existing. Don’t make me lose all meaning in life by growing up, NEVER do that please, FOR MY SAKE!!”.
On the other hand, the mother might reject every need expressed by the boy outside of her “blind physical need focused infant time table rigid schedule” and may constantly speak about the boy being a burden to her whenever he asks her for ANYTHING with the message of: “Oh god, can’t you even do this much, can’t you take care of yourself? I am already burdened, please deal with your stuff by yourself”.
Imagine putting a child in such a double bind.

This is archetypal and very similar to the situation of [RAPUNZEL and the WITCH], where the witch convinces her that the [world is unsafe] and that [she needs the witch to protect her] and that [she must serve the witch] and [never leave the tower] at the same time.
(only here there is no prince who will rescue, the boy will die in the tower in absolute disgust and hatred towards his mother who used him like a rag-doll)
What is he going to do?
Not only will he [never express his needs] to the mother, he will have to [silently handle his own problems] and also be a [giver of meaning] to the mother by being her [cute/helpless infant/pretending to need her] that gives her [meaning and pleases her] in the way she wants.

This is a role reversal.
And he is literally [bringing himself up] and [TAKING CARE] of the mother, and tackling all his [needs and developmental problems] alone with no help whatsoever because the mother has made it clear that he must be [loyal and never betray] his mother by INVESTING/depending on [someone else or anyone else but her].
He is trapped in an unspeakable double bind.
He cannot tell anybody about it from the unsaid contract.
He has to also bring himself up alone in the [shadow and hiding].
He has to please the mother and be her [confidant/support/emotional helper] which is in actuality him being the [caregiver] for the mother.
The mother here is the child and the infant now has to play mother and take care of the real mother and bring himself up alone and never take any help outside because of the mother’s blackmail about loyalty breach.

And also the mother is never pleased with him, because her expectations are that the boy-infant must fulfill all her needs that her spouse is not fulfilling, making the boy her husband.
As you can see, this is an extraordinarily difficult oppressive and extremely hostile condition to grow up in.
This leads to the son wearing out very early in life, from having to shoulder [unbelievable amounts of responsibility] and [impossible goals].
He grows up with [enormous guilt] and a [sense of crippling failure], with a [deep fear of the world], and with a [lop-sided ruined relationship-matrix] and an attraction to women who would torture and smother him in the same way repeating the trauma endlessly.

Such a boy was never allowed to be a kid, never allowed to grow up, never nurtured, never understood, never seen.
He lives in the shadows and lives like a touch and go slave in his avoidant relationship to the world.
He was just a servant of this mother who was supposed to take care of him and also had to bear the brunt of the world without ANY support, and ALONE.
And adding to the pain of this, this boy will never be understood by anybody because all this is deep shameful secret.
Nobody would ever believe him, even if he explained it super well.
He would become a [psychologically cripple] still trying to [rescue others] so that he can [atone his guilt and failure] and get back [his honor], and attract the [very same impossible people] into his life and keep repeating the efforts until he drops dead.
Such is the fate of such a boy, unless he wakes up to the true ghastly reality of the situation.

6 Replies to “The catastrophe of a devouring oedipal mother”

  1. This is my childhood. This is my life. Please write more about possible recovery options. Different things will work for different people, but still your advice would be a place to start with myself and my therapist.

  2. This is my life too- and my mothers too-
    My mother was raised by an oedipal mother, she is even still babied by her mother at the age of 44 and lets it happen. completely unaware. her life is a complete failure- on anti-depressants, obese, sensitive, unable to take criticism, unable to deal with problems, constantly moody, drug dependent, cant sleep at night- has an anxiety condition.
    I wasn’t even raised much by mother- more so my grandmother. who continues to baby us to this very day- i am 20 and I came to realize this when i was 18- my only hope is to make enough money to move out and finally cut out the parasite.
    i have had extreme problems growing up- severe issues with drug addiction- video game addiction- issues with depression, anxiety- cannot seem to keep my life in order- stay motivated- stay focused- only in brief bursts I become completely disciplined and abstain from all pleasures but eventually i come knocking back.
    i sometimes feel a bit sad thinking that entire life is seemingly perfect- where I live, the people im surrounded by- the prosperous times we live in. and yet i feel there is nothing to do, no purpose for me, except to get away from my family who will squeeze me to death.
    this isn’t even the worse of it as well- it continues much much more than this.

    i just want to become independent enough to raise my own family and make sure I break this cycle once and for all. but even this i feel- is not a real accomplishment- i still feel as if i must do this and have a successful career yet i sometimes wonder if this is even possible… if i spend the rest of my life continually trying to fix what was broken in my childhood- i will never know happiness.

  3. Thank you for this. It felt great to see stated so clearly what I too have troubled myself with throughout this life. I agree with the other comment saying that watching Jordan Peterson talk about this kind of stuff helps. Cheers everyone, get the fuck out there in life!

  4. I grew up with a narcissistic mother, and they narcissistics do fit in this picture of a devouring eodipal mother, they are intrusive/smothering/ want you to depend on them yet there is no actual help, instead as a child you are guilted into taking their of them. Very very twisted.
    Jordan B Peterson youtubes videos will help alot, but they are even better after you do some inner child healing. However, i understand that sometimes healing is felt /seen as a fantasy that may never come, so in that regard, listen to youtube videos first, Jordan B Peterson, narc mothers videos, codependency and people pleaser syndrome videos and those will trigger internal work and transformation and step by step claim your life back. It is absolutely possible to get to the other side of the tunnel ( so much freedom, love and gratitude).

  5. My mother was like this, my father was absent minded. By the time I was a teenager the roles in parenthood were reversed entirely until the whole house of cards crashed when our relationship broke in my early twenties. I’m 35 now and consider myself pretty well balanced with a happy family (three kids and a wife). Still no contact with my parents. Maybe one day. The honest thing is my life has been without drama ever since I stepped out of it. That is good. Without drama drawing me down I can work on becoming a better human.
    I wish my parents much love and the strength to look at their demons.
    I wish others who’ve experienced similar things the same. You are strong.

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