Family

Mother-daughter: The crisis is inevitable

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Does a girl have to "kill" her mother (as they say about a son with her father)? What is this necessary separation? Answers and explanations of the clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst Brigitte Allain Dupré.

Interview by Hélène Fresnel

Psychologies: Why is mother-daughter fusion untenable?

Brigitte Allain Dupré: Because it prevents them, one and the other, from living their lives. This bond is the mother who institutes it when she is not sufficiently narcissized elsewhere - in her marriage, in her work, in her social life. This fusion is the consequence of a lack that is played elsewhere. Eventually, she threatens the mother with a psychic collapse if she is not prepared for the end of this relationship. And, moreover, it prevents the girl from opening up to the world by letting her believe that the world is her mother, that she is the only value and that she will bring everything to her. The girl will not be able to socialize, to go to the other children, those of the neighborhood, of the school. It is therefore something very strong, which looks like love but is not. It's need. If the mother "misses" for one reason or another, the little girl will not be able to compensate for it, will sink into distress, and it will be the same for the mother.

But the little girl is growing up, meeting people ...

Brigitte Allain Dupré: As a psychoanalyst, I was able to observe how the arrival of a boyfriend, who comes to break the duo girl- mother, sometimes makes her dive into a deep depression. She finds herself helpless, feels abandoned. We also all know stories of couples who can not keep up because the woman is always hanging on to her mother and the companion feels that her partner has not passed the necessary separation. It's as if she's trying to make an adult's pseudo-life live with a companion and an addiction to the mother she can not get rid of. In these mothers there is a thirst for youthism and, in these girls, a desire for pseudo-maturity that the mother would incarnate.

Is there a break?

Brigitte Allain Dupré: No, but the crisis is necessary. There is no growth, no autonomy without it. It brings to light the issues of the past with those of the present and the future. It hurts. Of course, when it takes place, the subsidiary requirements are untenable: the mother must be perfect, totally present or totally absent. It's a break in family life. But it allows differentiation. The girl says, "You offered me a model, I am well educated, I did what you wanted, but now I need to be me."If the mother is quiet enough, she will be able to answer:" Do your crisis. I do not ask you to be like me, I know you love me and know that I love you. Do what you have to do and if you need help, I'm here. "Ideally, this leads to the fact that the girl will be able to recognize the qualities and faults of her mother. instaure: the girl agrees to recognize her strengths, her weaknesses and can exchange with her mother as an adult The level of relationships changes

How does this process of "de-idealization" take place?

Brigitte Allain Dupré: The opposite of the ideal is not the reality, it is the erasure, we are bringing someone to the pinnacle because if he was not on this pedestal he would not exist. What one needs to achieve with one's mother is not an erasure, but a return to one's humanity, to that dimension to which one can identify oneself. two parts: the girl will know that it is necessary to keep secrets for oneself, that there are things that her mother would not understand. tionally close to the one that gave birth to it without trying to pour in the transparency, which is really the symptom of an immature and fusional link. On the mother's side, the greatest gift she can give to her daughter is to say, "Look, you're different from me, but I'm proud of what you're doing, I would not have done that to you. but it's great that you can do it, I'm glad I gave you that freedom. "

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