The paradox of absent love: When affection is silent.

The paradox of absent love: When affection is silent.

We are usually accompanied throughout our lives by our mother's affection, but there are times when these affections are absent. A friend told me about how difficult her mother's lack of affection for her was. I tried to narrate her sadness in this article that she herself gave me permission to shar

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The paradox of absent love.



At times, life grants us the chance to share stories that etch themselves deep within us. Recently, my lifelong friend confided in me a fragment of her world that she'd always kept in the shadows. Her account of maternal affection withheld moved me, and with her consent, I'd like to share the narrative she entrusted to me.

Whenever I conjure her story, the image of my friend surfaces—her unbroken smile, her eyes brimming with determination. Yet beneath that smile, beneath that determination, lies a surge of emotions only those who've endured similar absences can truly comprehend.

"It's as if my heart always carries with it an empty space," she confessed, her voice echoing years of longing. The ceaseless search for maternal affection began in her childhood. She grew up sensing an emotional void, a feeling of inadequacy, of something deeply amiss. In her eyes, I sensed the sadness of a child yearning to be loved by the one who should've been her secure haven.

Each word she shared resonated the depth of her pain. She recounted how her mother was always physically present, yet emotionally distant. She grew up without warm embraces, without the uplifting words she so yearned to hear. "I always felt I had to double my efforts to earn her approval, to prove I deserved her love," she confessed, her moist eyes baring her vulnerability.




Throughout the years, my friend attempted to fill the void in her heart through various means. She immersed herself in relationships, longing to find validation and love her mother couldn't provide. She poured herself into academic and professional achievements, hoping that by attaining remarkable goals, she'd finally secure the attention and acknowledgment she so yearned for.

However, each achievement seemed only to deepen the wound. "Sometimes, I still feel like that little girl desperately seeking her mother's love," she whispered, and in that instant, I understood her struggle was ceaseless, a shadow relentlessly trailing her.

Yet amid this struggle, a story of hope and courage emerges. My friend is learning to heal, to peel away the layers of accumulated pain, and fill her own heart with self-love. Through therapy and emotional support, she's discovering she deserves love and care, even if it wasn't delivered in the way she craved. "I'm working on becoming my own source of affection and support," she declared, a determination igniting her eyes.

Listening to my friend's story, I've learned we all carry our own internal battles, our hidden struggles beneath the smiles we present to the world. Maternal love withheld is an experience that can shape one's self-perception and relationships. But it's also a tale of strength and triumph, of learning to heal and find love in new, unexpected forms.

Today, my friend continues on her journey of self-discovery and healing. Each day is a step toward embracing her story and creating a future filled with self-love. Her story reminds us of the importance of compassion and support, of offering a shoulder on which someone can lean during moments of vulnerability. Amidst all this paradox, I'm left pondering life's irony: the same person who gives us life can also withhold parts of it.




Poor me, poor my mother.


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