Jessie came to work with me yesterday and we had several good discussions throughout the day on various topics. Inevitably, the topic of her mother always comes up one way or another and yesterday was no exception. Jessie shared a profound thought, likening the story of Coraline with her relationship with her own mother — but in reverse. Jessie’s mother is a bit clingy and Jessie, understandably, feels smothered. She told me, “She’s just like the Other Mother, she wants me to always stay with her and says I can never leave.”
My mother-in-law tells me all the time what a positive influence I’ve been to Jessie. In essence, somewhere over the years, the roles of “mother” and “the other mother” became switched. Jessie remarked about her mother’s behavior and wondered if that’s why she and Jim divorced. She said would leave her too if she could, that she wanted to leave her “like Coraline wanted to leave the Other Mother after realizing what she was really like.”
While I laugh at Jessie’s analogy, I can’t help but feel sorry for her mother. I’ve said for years that one day Jessie will grow up and see her mother for what she really is. I think that day has come sooner than anyone thought.