Why Do I Feel So Angry At These Other Mums?
Feeling excluded and rejected by an adult peer group can trigger our own painful childhood memories - and affect our children too.
Q - I had a bad upbringing and horrible school years, and I never made any good friends at school. And now my son is also being excluded from his school social groups and get-togethers.
I hear the other mums talking about what they’re all arranging, but they never invite me or my son along. It’s as if we’re not good enough for them and don’t belong in their posh little club. I imagine them laughing about me and my son and that makes my blood boil. I’d hate him to feel as isolated and lonely as I felt as a child.
My husband has built up a good business and we can now afford to send our boy to a good private school, since we moved into a much bigger house in a nicer area. I never expected the snobbery though. I feel so angry towards these stuck-up mums. What shall I do?
A - Either they do all share the need to feel superior to you, or you are projecting your own dislike of yourself (and what you experienced in school) onto them and believing it’s them who are disliking and rejecting you now.
Or perhaps your childhood conditioning means that you now behave towards them in ways they find uncomfortable or even strange. That's not to say that you are behaving strangely, it might just be that your body language is giving out messages to them which you’re not aware of.
you were meeting yourself for the first time. What impression would
you have of you?
Maybe you could relax and smile more when with the other mums at the school gate – so that you appear more welcoming and approachable. You might also be able to get into general conversations about the weather or what’s happening at the school (lessons, events etc.).
If your angry feelings continue towards the other mums, your son will become more aware of it, and not know how to help you - so you must remedy it yourself as soon as possible.
Is there at least one mum whom you can become friendlier with? Maybe someone you might have more in common with. Someone who doesn’t trigger your old stuff about not feeling good enough (and with that those old feelings of not belonging, feeling excluded, and of being rejected and ridiculed).
If there was at least one such mum this would dispel the belief that they’re all alike and all against you. You might then be able to arrange for your son to have a child around to play, and have someone to build a stronger friendship with.
Speak with your son (and get him to draw and talk about) his class mates and what they do together each day, and how he feels about what happens. Ask him to speak of the highlight from each school day, and then about anything he didn't like.
Ask your child’s teacher about his peer relationships and how your son interacts. Is he popular and included in the other children’s games? If not, the school – with your input – must rectify this urgently!
If the teacher says that things are fine for your son, then all this may just be about your relationship with the other mums.
This is also about your relationship with yourself, and how much of your own past is seeping into the present day.
Maybe your own ‘inner child’ doesn’t feel and believe that she belongs in the life you now have – with money, a big house, a nice neighbourhood and a private school.
There's always an underlying layer and cause of our surface behaviours and feelings. When we become aware of this and its origins, we can put the original pain or trauma back where it belongs - and make peace with the past by healing any emotional wounds which are messing things up for us in our current relationships.
This might require professional help to reveal and heal your childhood traumas.
Please have a look at the free e-books (e.g. ‘How To Overcome A Troubled Childhood’), and other videos and articles which you might find helpful - you can find these on my website www.maxineharley.com/free-resources/
Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy) MIND HEALER & MENTOR
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