Friday, January 28, 2011

Mother's Emotional Agenda - A Writing Prompt

My mother, Gertrude, holding her new baby daughter, Susan Gertrude.
What was your mother's "emotional agenda"?  This is the prompt for our next read-around. Hopefully, this exercise produces a valuable piece of writing for a memoir, novel or short story project.

Psychologists have long noted that the struggling family is usually dominated by its least conscious parent.  The reasons women are often less "conscious"  or self-actualized than men have been the subject of numerous novels, memoirs and feminist treatises.  

I have spent time thinking about my mother and how she imposed her will on our family.  Whatever happened to the glamorous brunette whose life by the time she was 40 was reduced to bargain hunting at supermarkets and flirting with pharmacists who filled her antidepressant prescriptions?  What became of Gertrude who once must have had dreams and aspirations of her own? 

As Carl Jung once claimed, "The greatest burden the child must bear is the unlived life of the parents." 

An emotional agenda could be the need to be taken care of, a demand to be the center of attention, passivity as a way of making a husband or child feel guilty for life's shortcomings, vicarious living through you, fear of risk-taking.

As always, if this prompt does not  interest you or pertain to your experience, please bring whatever you want to the Circle.  We are a supportive and caring group. All kinds of work are welcome and appreciated. See you on February 12 at Wellington Square.

All the best,
Susan
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