This post goes out to all neurotic mothers, but as I’ve realized: you don’t have to have an actual human child to activate a neurotic-mother-program. Cats will do perfectly fine as surrogate children to trigger this program.
Whether you are a neurotic mother to a human child, a cat or even if you have projected this program onto a partner or yourself, this post is about sourcing the neurosis and taking responsibility for letting it go, so that you can actually be the mother you want to be.
Let me start by sharing my story:
About two months ago, on the same day our female cat got hit by a car and was killed, we took in a stray male cat that had been roaming our premises clearly wanting contact (and food!). After checking that it wasn’t someone’s runaway cat, together with my partner, we decided to take in this cat and swiftly took it to the vet and got it neutered and id-marked.
The cat is a young male around a year old who, because it was unneutered had already activated some ‘tomcat’ instincts of wanting to establish a territory and fighting other male cats. Because of this we couldn’t simply place him with our other male cat as he automatically attacks him as soon as he sees him. To keep both cats and find a way to integrate them with one another I devised a plan where one cat will be in one room and the other cat in another room and I created a little gate to place between rooms so that the two cats can see each other.
Two months have passed and not much progress has been made. The stray cat still attacks our other cat as soon as he sees him and I still have to use the ‘compartmentalization’ method of never having both cats in the same room, so for example when one wants to come in after having been outside, the other must go outside. I’ve done a lot of research on this type of scenario and have also talked to experts about it, who mostly say that it is perfectly possible to eventually integrate the cats to be able to co-exist peacefully but that it may take many months and may never happen, especially with two male cats.
Because of this, I am at a crossroads where I don’t know whether we should push through and keep the process going or whether it would be best for everyone to try and find another home for the stray cat where he can for example be the only cat in the house and not have to share his territory.
Now, since another cat attacked my cats when we moved to the farm and our female cat died, but even before that, some very intense emotions has arisen within me – stronger emotions than I have ever felt in my life before.
It started when we got our cats almost five years ago, where I slowly but surely started developing more and more anxiety, guilty and worry towards providing the cats with the best possible life. Simultaneously I have also during the past couple of years had a staple dream/nightmare which centers around the topic of taking care of tiny defenseless animals and feeling desperate and panicking because I feel responsible for them and don’t want them to get hurt.
As I see it, the program/pattern that has been triggered inside my mind is a distinct ‘mother program’ that is usually triggered in women when they have children. Given the fact that I don’t yet have children but that I am at the age of otherwise having had children it is therefore not strange that these patterns are triggering even if it is towards having pets instead of a child.
As I mentioned before, I have never felt as strong emotions as I have towards taking care of these cats, to the point where I’ve felt like it was going to either tear me apart of drive me insane. The specific emotions involved are: guilt, worry and anxiety, and it is not so much about fearing that the animals will get hurt, but more that they are not living the best life possible and that I am responsible for providing/creating that for them.
So, what has become clear to me is that this is one very extensive mother program triggering neurotic fears and control issues in relation to the care and well being of one’s ‘children’ and oneself as playing the part of the ‘parent’. It is actually quite interesting how a ‘mothership’ programming can trigger in relation to pets (or other points) because that would indicate firstly that it doesn’t have anything specifically to do with being an actual mother and for example giving birth but also that I’ve created the same association in my mind to my pets as I would to a child.
Another interesting point in this context is that I have seen animals and children as innocent and adults as contaminated/guilty, so in my mind animals and children belong in the same category of beings who must be protected and kept safe at all cost where I myself fall under the category of being an adult which creates a conflict within me because I am then part of the ‘enemy’ while also seeing or positioning myself as the protector.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to go into and give into a state of neurotic worry and anxiety towards my cats and whether or not they are safe and happy and content and whether or not I am providing them with the best life possible and not realize that for every time that I accept and allow these experiences to roam and exist within me, I accept and allow them to fester, grow and accumulate inside of me to the point where they eventually become a personality-system, as a part of me and a possessive state of emotion where I have no control over myself or my body because I have thrown myself completely into the emotions
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to participate in and engage within emotions of worry and anxiety which I trigger in myself when I start thinking about my cat and start imagining how it is feeling/experiencing itself, for example by lying alone in a dark room or how it is locked outside in the rain when I am not home which then escalates into an intense emotion of guilt after which I go into a state of panic and want to ‘fix the situation’ or start lashing out at my partner and project my own guilt onto him as blame
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not take directive responsibility for myself and who I am in/as and in relation to my mind and to stop the moment I see myself engaging in thoughts and imaginations towards how my cats are doing – where I am not looking practically within myself but am instead deliberately going into conflict inside myself
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to place animals and children on a pedestal inside my mind due to a memory of reading and watching the Never-Ending story in which a child-like ‘princess’ had to be saved for the ‘kingdom’ to not disappear into nothingness
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create a fantasy definition of children and animals as these fairytale type characters who are one-dimensional as extremely positively polarized with adults playing the role of the evil perpetrators who the children and animals must be protected from – thus placing myself in a position of conflict because I on one hand want to protect the children and the animals and on the other ‘know’ that I can’t because I am one of the evil ones
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to see and define adults, and thereby myself by default as inherently evil and guilty of inflicting suffering on the innocent, as the defenseless animals and children, but also on nature and on ‘child-like’ adults who are more like children and who therefore need protection, and that I have seen myself as a protector against these ‘villains’ but at the same time known that I WAS a villain and therefore haven’t trusted myself to actually care for a child or an animal fully, which is why I am always on edge and nervous and very controlling of myself and my behavior when it comes to animals or children, because I know the potential within me (as an ‘adult villain’) to hurt them – and so I try my hardest to be perfect for them, but knowing that I can’t it is a constant catch 22 where I try to live up to something that I know deep down is impossible
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that it is possible for me to ‘rid’ myself of evil and be a perfect caretaker for an animal or a child and never hurt them or allow harm to come to them and as such set myself up to fail due to the fact that we exist in a flawed reality where things aren’t perfect and where I am not perfect and therefore I am setting up an unrealistic expectation for myself, one that I can only fail at
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not consider or realize that I am projecting something in my relationship to myself/my mind/my body onto animals and children that I have accepted and allowed myself to exist in separation from/within/as, as I have separated myself from my own innocence and believe that my innocence is lost/condemned and so I have positioned myself as a ‘ward’ of the innocence that isn’t lost/condemned/contaminated and become obsessed with protecting it at all cost, even protecting it from myself (which is impossible) – because I believe my own innocence to be lost
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create the belief and accept that my innocence is lost due to the fact that I have become contaminated through the process of adulthood and that the only way I am going to ‘get it’ is by protecting it in children and animals because I have accepted myself as a ‘lost case’ because I have created the belief that children and animals are innocent only, but adults are not, but I haven’t considered that innocence maybe isn’t defined by age or even what you’ve done but that it is something else entirely
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not consider that innocence in essence means ‘in-no-sin’ and since sin is an illusion, I am in-no-sin and then innocence also means ‘blameless’ which I am also, since it is pointless to blame myself for the mistakes I’ve made. Innocence also means ‘harmless’ and I am not harmless, because I am a human being with a mind and the mind is volatile, and so I realize that yes, I am not innocent and I am innocent at the same time, exactly as a child or an animal can be both not harmless, free of sin and blame. So I realize that innocence doesn’t have to be this extremely positively polarized word that refers to beings who are ‘untouched’ and that everyone else is basically evil and deserves to be treated harshly and without care or compassion, as I have seen it up until now.
A friend of mine recently wrote that innocence is: “That which is real can never be broken or compromised”. The way that I see this in relation to children, animals and the earth as well is that they are ‘whole’ which is the same as ‘uncontaminated’ by the system, by the mind, by the way we’ve created life to be – and so in so desperately trying to protect that in animals and children, I’m actually looking for myself, to protect my own innocence.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to deliberately hold onto and insist on a definition of myself as being a villain where it has become such a habit for me to see myself as a villain that it has become a comfort zone that I am comfortable with, whereas allowing myself to let go of this definition feels uncomfortable and unacceptable – like I have to hold onto myself as being a ‘sinner’, not realizing that by defining myself as a sinner/villain, that is also what I accept myself as – and will accordingly live
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to create and participate in the belief that I am being a ‘good person’ by holding onto being a sinner/villain, like it is the ‘noble’ thing to do – to constantly remind myself that I can’t be trusted and that I must ‘do better’ and ‘be better’ – but not from a perspective of constructively assisting myself to change, but from a perspective of holding myself down, actually ensuring that I don’t stand up
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize how being innocent is or can be a decision to be/become harmless which means to take responsibility for the aspects of myself where I still accept and allow myself to do harm, to myself or others or indirectly – and as such how, holding onto being a villain is actually also a ‘backdoor’ of accepting and allowing that I am contaminated and therefore have a ‘free pass’ to sin because I don’t expect anything more from myself
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to create a polarized relationship with myself where I’ve separated myself in and from two aspects of myself that I then project onto the animals and children in my life as well as the adults of ‘innocence’ on one hand and ‘villains’ on the other – not realizing how we’re all both of these aspects and how supporting the villain to purify and change is equally as important as protecting innocence from being harmed. Judging and suppressing the ‘bad’ aspects of myself and this world isn’t going to help the situation and neither is thinking that I can create a ‘perfect’ situation where no harm comes to the animals or children under my care.
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to drive myself to the point of becoming neurotic when it comes to taking care of my animals, where I’ve so desperately tried to make it perfect – and have so desperately feared making a mistake that I’ve nearly driven myself mad with worry and guilt – because I was trying to accomplish something entirely unrealistic
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to go into a state of panic whenever my plan with the cats doesn’t work out and I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to exist in a constant state of stress, anxiety, worry and guilt when it comes to taking care of the cats – because I’ve known deep down that I couldn’t give them the perfect life or be a perfect caretaker because I know that I am partly corrupted/contaminated/a villain due to who and what I’ve accepted and allowed myself to be and become through/within my participation in/abdication of myself to the mind – and instead of admitting this and practically change myself, I’ve tried ‘battling’ it, believing that I could be perfect and create the perfect living environment for them
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to drag my partner into my ‘perfect cat life’ project and that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to project the ‘villain’ aspect onto him, blaming him for not being perfect, and going into panic and worry when he didn’t adhere to the standards that I had created in my mind of how the cats were to be treated, instead of stopping and bringing everything back to myself – and first and foremost take responsibility for myself
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to think and believe that I could solve the problem by staying away and handing the responsibility over to my partner, within and through which I was actually ignoring/suppressing my experiences and postponing dealing with them/walking through them, because as soon as I was alone with the cats again, the same anxiety, worry and guilt would emerge
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to hold a definition of myself as being a perpetually ‘evil’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ person, as an underlying self-judgment and self-belief that I carry with me into everything I do, where I believe that the solution to the problem of ‘ME’ is to ‘better myself’, ‘do better’, ‘be better’, ‘become good enough’ – but from an emotional perspective where I’m trying to resolve my emotions and not actually change and take responsibility for myself, without taking who I am or what I do personal, but to simply admit/realize that who and what I’ve accepted and allowed myself to be and become is not necessarily who and what I have to be in the future, as I have the power and the creative ability to change myself – and therefore have a responsibility to do so when it comes to points/aspects of myself that aren’t supportive or best for me or best for all
I forgive myself that I’ve not accepted and allowed myself to realize that I cannot change an inner experience by changing things in my outside reality, like how I’ve been desperately trying to give the cats a perfect life so that I didn’t have to feel so worried and guilty all the time – but that I have to actually change my inner experience within myself and also change things outside myself
When and as I see that I am accepting and allowing myself to accept and engage in thoughts about the cats I stop engaging with the thoughts and I breathe.
I realize that it is through engaging with thoughts about the cats that I activate and trigger anxiety, worry and guilt within myself, as the thoughts represent/contain ‘who I am’ in relation to the cats, where, already when I engage with the thoughts I am accepting myself in a certain relationship with the cats based on who I have defined myself as in relation to them on a subconscious level, which is a person that can’t be trusted to take care of animals, who is inherently doing/being wrong and who therefore has to push and prove themselves worthy by making sure everything is perfect and in control.
I realize that this is not a person that I want to be, because I am not even taking care of anything or anyone in being this way, I think I am, but I am not. So this personality system/character isn’t even doing what it’s supposed to do and therefore it doesn’t make any sense to live in/as it.
I realize that the solution to my ‘problem’ is to change how I experience myself and therefore/thereby change who I accept myself to be, in relation to the cats and in relation to myself where I stop accepting and allowing myself to go into anxiety, worry and guilt towards the cats and instead focus on practical solutions while stabilizing myself inside my body.
I realize that I cannot create a perfect life for the cats where everything is just right and they are always happy and content because we do not live in a perfect reality and there are lots of things that all of us has to live with that isn’t perfect or what we’d prefer, simply due to the limitations of this reality, some of which can be changed long-term and some of which can’t.
So I commit myself to check the reality that I am in, practically and without emotion and given the current situation, see how I can create a life for the cats and myself and the people I live with that is the best possible, and to, when I see that I can’t change a certain point that I know isn’t optimal – allow myself to let it go and accept the situation for what it is, instead of blaming myself and going into anxiety.
I commit myself to, when the emotions of guilt, worry and anxiety comes up towards the cats, to breathe and stabilize myself here and not accept or allow these emotions to take a hold on me, and to calm myself down and only once I am calm/stable look at the situation/moment again and in stability and self-support look at if there’s something I can change/adjust/realign to make the situation/moment best for everyone – and if not, to let it go.
I commit myself to let go of the belief that I can control the cats life through bettering myself and within doing that make their life perfect and so if can’t, take it personal and blame myself. I commit myself to stop blaming myself for not being able to make the cats lives perfect and for sometimes placing them in a situation that they obviously do not prefer where I believe that it is my fault that they aren’t satisfied and that if I had just been good enough they would have been.
I realize that I cannot control everything and that I might not always be able to give everyone around me the most optimal or beneficial experience. I realize and I accept that sometimes we have to live with and accept situations that we wouldn’t have preferred due to the way this reality is constructed – and that all I can do is to create the best possible situation given the circumstances and otherwise work towards creating a better situation in the future.
I commit myself to let go of the anxiety, guilt and worry that I have generated and accepted to exist within me in relation to the cats and I commit myself to trust myself to do what is best within the context that I am in, and to, once I am satisfied that I have done so – let the point go, and to recalibrate whenever necessary – but to not calibrate constantly and continuously in a state of anxiety, worry and guilt.
I commit myself to trust myself to take care of my cats in the best way possible.
I commit myself to stop projecting my desire to control the cats lives so that they will always be satisfied and content, so that I may feel that I am good enough and not have to feel guilty, worried and anxious onto others around me and I commit myself to let go of my desire to control the world around me and to accept when there are things I cannot change that I know aren’t best without taking it personal – because I know that I have done everything in my power to create the best possible situation, and will continue to do so.
Related blogs that I’ve written on this topic: