Chapter twenty two 22
[ME moder, fr. OE modor; akin to OHG muoter mother, L mater, Gk meter, Skt matr]
1 a: a female parent b (1): a woman in authority; specifically: the superior of a religious community of women (2): an old or elderly woman
2: SOURCE, ORIGIN
3: maternal tenderness or affection
[ME fader, fr. OE faeder; akin to OHG fater father, L pater, Gk pater}
1 a: a man who has begotten a child; also: SIRE b (1): (capitalized) GOD (2): the first person of the Trinity
3 a: one related to another in a way suggesting that of father to child b: an old man….
5 a: one that originates or institutes b: SOURCE c: PROTOTYPE
6: a priest of the regular clergy: PRIEST
7: one of the leading men
[ME, fr. MF, fr. L parent-, parens, fr. prp. Of parere to give birth to]
1: one that begets or brings forth offspring
2 a: an animal or plant that is regarded in relation to its offspring b: the material or source from which something is derived
(verb – 1663)
Parents are supposed to provide care giving to infants. The use of the word “care” implicates a sense of responsibility – the ability to respond. The reality is that caring as a responsibility is burdensome. It is a burden many parents carry essentially care-free and care-fully. Yet for parents who are overwhelmed by the cares they have experienced in their lives, by the care they did not receive themselves, it makes it difficult for some to provide adequate, and cheerful, caring for their offspring.
Siegel makes that distinction: that “earned attachments” that some troubled people are able to establish with their offspring may be essentially adequate, but they are not happy. These caregivers are carrying a great burden of sorrow and sadness, and demonstrate high levels of depressive symptomology. Yet they do manage NOT to traumatize their own children the way their parents traumatized them.