“One day when my mother is healed, she will finally be able to be a mother to me” or, “One day when I am good enough, mother will be here for me.” This is the dream forged in the heart of the parentified child, that her hard work will pay off one day and her mother will finally “come for her” and she will then be able to rest and finally be a child. The amount of energy and effort expended unconsciously is vast and we usually don’t realize this until afterwards, when we can feel the energy returned to us as it is released from the wound. The impossible dream is a survival mechanism that helps the child survive an emotionally abusive and barren maternal landscape. In this way it is brilliant and effective, yet this adaptation is a major barrier to our fulfillment as adult women. Until we address this unconscious, powerful dream at the heart of present struggles, we will continue to exhaust ourselves with hypervigilance and projections onto various areas of our lives. Freedom dawns when we can come directly into the center and address the primary scarcity at the core, the primitive, unmet ‘need for mother’ from our earliest days.

Parentified Daughters as Female Leaders: Keys to your Emergence