Family Constellation Case Study: A Mother-Daughter Healing

by Samvedam Randles, LMHC, Dipl. Psych.

Introductory comments:  What we find in each Family Constellation is unique and belongs to only one family system. That said, our family may be playing out its own version of a pattern we observe in another’s family system. I offer these case studies to give you a small taste of the issues that can arise in this work.

As you will see, some of these patterns originate in the current generation. Others originated several generations back.

Please keep in mind that constellation work functions in a rather kinesthetic, felt-sense, so the written examples will not convey the impact of a constellation; but I hope they give you a better understanding of how the work is done.

THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER RIFT

Angela presented this issue: “I was always very close to my daughter until she turned 15. Then, she began hating me.”

My first reaction was that maybe this was more of a developmental movement rather than a Family Constellation issue. But when I voiced this, Angela replied, “The same thing happened to me. I loved my mom until I turned 15, and we still barely speak.”

This clarified the generational component. And so we began.

First we put up 3 representatives: for mother, daughter and grandmother. With the representatives installed, the constellation indeed displayed a similar disconnect between mother and daughter in both generations.

I decided to add another representative: the great-grandmother. Interestingly, the same stony coldness was felt between the representatives for mother and daughter in this generation, too.

Wondering what might be going on, I asked if there was any further information about this great-grandmother.

Put on a boat to the New World at age 15

After some thought, my client offered, “She is the one that was put on a boat at age 15 to to live with an uncle in the United States.”

As soon as she brought that information forth, the energies in the room began to shift.

We added a representative for the great-great-grandmother, who lived through the time of the potato famine, unable to feed her children.

In the constellation that unfolded, we learned that several of this great-great-grandmother’s family members had died; and that the family had barely enough money to send one child to the New World, where she would have a chance for a future.

When the representative for this daughter faced her mother, feelings rose within her with great force. Voicing her fury, she demanded to know: How could you send me away from everything I loved and knew? How could you send me to a total stranger? I hate you for this!”

I Sent You Away Out of Love!

And there stood the mother in tears, looking at her daughter: “There was not a day in my life I did not think of you! I sent you away out of love! And I missed you so very much!”

It took time for the fury to melt, giving way to the underlying tears of grief. She had missed her home and her mother desperately. To adapt to her new life, she had hardened her heart and moved forwards; but when her own daughter had turned 15, the same emotional event repeated and her own daughter turned away from her in anger.

Once this poor Irish mother held her heart-broken daughter in her arms, the energy in the room changed profoundly. The feelings of abandonment were healed. Love flowed again. Everyone could witness the daughter filling up with the re-found connection. She drank it in, and finally was able to turn around to see her own daughter.

As Constellations so often reveal, the unhealed emotion repeated in the next generation, though this next daughter was not as angry as the first. Still, she was careful, and distrustful of the newly offered presence of her mother, who stated “I see you now!”

Again, it took time for the daughter to receive her mother’s love. But in time, this generation was healed, too. And the process moved forward. Soon, we had a line of beaming women, all of whom felt a powerful connection to their roots through the women that walked before them.

There were few dry eyes in the circle of witnesses of this re-connection. We were all grateful for the healing that occurred.

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