After having recently experienced something that has enabled him to see clearly, a man who is overly focused on his mother may now feel a strong need to live his own life. At this point, he could wonder why it has taken him so long to see clearly.

Then again, he could look back and see that due to how caught up he was in his mother's world, it simply wasn’t possible for him to see clearly. It was then to be expected that it would take a while for him to wake up.

For Example

Now, this could mean that he has just experienced a breakup, started a relationship or lost his job, for instance. Either way, it will be something that turned the light on and allowed him to see clearly.

He is then still going to be caught up in his mother’s world but he will now have been able to step back and see what is going on. However, although his intellect will be on board with his desire to change his behaviour, it doesn’t mean that all of his emotional self will be.

Inner Conflict

On, the one hand, he will want to live his own life and, on the other, he will feel the need to carry on behaving in the same way. This is because his intellect will be no match for his emotional self.

Now that he is aware of what is going on and how he is neglecting himself, it will be a lot harder for him to behave in the same way. But, as a big part of his emotional self won’t be on board with this desire to change, he can feel as though he is nothing more than a slave.

An Exercise

If he was to imagine that he was to stand his ground with his mother and make it clear that he is no longer willing to abandon himself, he could end up being filled with fear, anxiety and shame. He is then just going to be speaking to his mother and expressing his needs but it will be as if his very survival is at risk.

Based on how he feels, it will be like he is a powerless and dependent boy that is talking to his mother, not a fully grown man. He could struggle to understand why he feels this way.

Going Deeper

If he was to stay with how he feels, he could soon find that he fears that he will be rejected and abandoned and that his life will come to an end. Thank to how he feels, he will have two options.

He focuses on his mother and survives, or he lives his own life and his life will come to an end. This fear can be so strong that he is simply unable to break away from his mother and live his own life.

Taken Over

It might not be accurate to say that he will just experience feelings during this time, though, as his whole body could be taken over by the feelings and sensations that he experiences. In fact, it could as though his body and mind have been possessed by an external force.

Once he has stopped imagining living his own life, he could end up feeling angry, frustrated and totally helpless. He will be an individual with his own life to lead, but this won’t be seen as an option.

What’s going on?

Right now, he will believe that his life will come to an end if he draws the line and implements boundaries with his mother. Nonetheless, there is a strong chance that what he fears will happen has already happened.

Throughout his early years, he is likely to have often been punished and disapproved of and rejected and abandoned. So, even though he won’t have died before, he will have experienced everything else that he feels will happen if he changes his behaviour.

A Brutal Time

Or to be more accurate, while he won’t have physically died all those years ago, his true self might have withdrawn and practically died in the process. During this time, his mother is likely to have primarily used him to meet some of her adult and unmet developmental needs.

Quite simply, he would have been deprived of the nutrients that he needed to grow and develop in the right way. To handle the pain of being deprived, his brain would have automatically repressed how he felt to allow him to keep it together and function.

Repressed Pain

With this in mind, what he feels will happen if he expresses himself is likely to have already happened. The pain that he experienced all those years ago will start to enter his conscious awareness when he changes his behaviour.

Therefore, while it will seem as though his mother has control over him, this is an illusion. Behaving in this way is a way for him to keep his pain at bay, a secondary defence, and, as he faces and works through this pain, along with the unmet development needs that go with it, he will gradually liberate himself.


If a man can relate to this and he is ready to change his life, he may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, inner child and inner awareness. With over two thousand, eight hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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