Call Me Traditional, But Mothers Aren’t Meant to Be “Imbibed” By Their Sons Like This

    Elle: “A therapist might suggest that Flanagan disowns the aspects of herself that don’t fit into her nostalgic picture of her mother, pre-fall, then projects the hated parts onto other women, simultaneously distorting herself and them. Why does she so strenuously romanticize her mother? For that matter, why does she come off as so terrified that her children might hate her? Even after she hired a nanny, she writes, she barely left the house, which she herself calls ‘possibly pathological.’ ‘I had to be there not to share in the labor, but to exert my presence, to make sure my beloved sons were imbibing as much of me, their mother, as they were of her.’ (Even odder, Flanagan says that during her self-imposed home detention she suffered from ‘depression.’) If I didn’t know better, I’d think Flanagan harbors some unacknowledged fury at her mother, and not just for having the temerity to go back to work.” (via Jenny D)

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