At the age of 37, having never been married and always feeling deeply uncomfortable and ambivalent about my own sexuality, relationships and connections, I'm finally starting to understand that there's a hole in my soul and my understanding where a mother's love should have gone.
I'm not going to type out my full case history here, but I'll highlight a few points I think are the most important. She's never come straight out and said she wants me sexually, but there's been about a million little dots over the years, and if you connect them all, it paints a very clear and disturbing picture. She's not an idiot, though – everything has plausible deniability.
My parents' marriage was dying when I was born, and it was dead when I was in grade school. My father has been stoic, distant and emotionally closed off for as long as I've ever known him, and my mother, desperate to find an emotional connection and have someone to share all of her thoughts, feelings, concerns, frustrations and hopes with, chose me. I looked and talked like my father, and unlike him, I couldn't just leave any time I wanted to. He physically left the house before I was a teenager so I had no buffer against her advances, no one to take me under his wing and help me become a man with a father's guidance.
Just typing out this following part makes me want to puke. My Mom would tell me over and over exactly how much she loved me, in long, poetic, passionate words – that I was her rock, her teacher, her heart, the most wonderful thing that ever happened to her, a miracle, blah blah blah. She'd put her arms around me and gaze into my eyes as though I was her romantic partner, and tell me that there was nothing I could do to make her stop loving me. This never, ever made me feel comfortable, secure or cared for – honestly, it creeped me out so much I wanted to peel off my skin and run away.
Before I was a teenager, she'd tell me (obviously joking, of COURSE, duh) about how she wished she could date me – because we just "got" each other so well, you know? I enlisted in the military to get away from everything (her) and the month before I shipped off to boot camp, she took me on a vacation – just me and her, to a major American city where at one point, we both dressed up nicely for a dinner cruise on the water, the kind of thing a couple would do. It's like she wanted one last romantic trip with me before I became property of the US government. I was 17 years old and I just went along with it because I didn't know anything about relationships or boundaries. I thought I was just going to dinner with my Mom. When I think about it now with the knowledge I possess, it makes me want to chug bleach and vomit.
When I got into my twenties, I was in the military and I had grown up, bulked up and toned out. When Mom would hug me, she'd lean in kiss my neck (YUCK) and if we ran an errand, she'd say things like "I'm so proud to be going out with such a handsome young man with great biceps" (PUKE). At one point, (only JOKING again, I'm sure), she asked me a question about fellatio and even said that if I resembled my father in regards to a part of my anatomy, that I would have nothing to worry about in regards to satisfying a woman. What the hell kind of mother talks to her son that way? If a father said that to his daughter, he'd be chased out of town with baseball bats and pitchforks.
Not long enough ago, I severely limited my contact with her, but even then, when I did see her, she'd still do things that disgusted me. Last Christmas, I found out she wanted to buy me underwear as a present. Let's flip the genders again here – what would you think of a 68 year old man wanting to buy underwear for his 36 year old daughter? You'd want to slap him and ask him what the hell he thinks he's doing. One day, a few months ago, she was drunk and tried to kiss me on the mouth. After that, I told her I wanted no physical contact from her at all, whatsoever, period, from here on out.
Books I've found useful –
Silently Seduced by Kenneth Adams
The Emotional Incest Syndrome by Patricia Love
Any other suggestions are welcome.