This website is for people who were abandoned by, or for some reason lost, their mother as a baby or young child. It is intended as a support resource, to help them recognise and cope with the resulting trauma.
What Is Maternal Abandonment?
After birth, a baby normally spends much of the first year or so of life close to mother. She is everything to him or her; the source of food, warmth, touch, love and tenderness. Her eyes will be the first ones he or she recognises, her smell and her touch familiar and reassuring. In time, baby will learn to recognise and respond to others, but at first – she is everything.
But sometimes things don’t work out this way. Mother and baby are separated, for whatever reason. (Of course, brief separation is normal; mothers need a break sometimes, and baby must slowly learn to detach.)
If the separation goes on for too long, perhaps permanently, the experience is traumatic for the baby. Something very sad has happened; the world has been shaken, and a connection has been broken. This is likely to have lasting effects in adult life.
The most difficult thing for adults who lost their mothers as babies is that they have no conscious memory of what happened. Unlike other PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) sufferers, they have no “before and after” to compare. However, the psychological effects are no less real or serious.
This site is about recognising those effects, and coping with them.
About me, and why I made this site
My name is Daniel McBrearty, and I spent very many years dealing with the effects of maternal abandonment in my personal life. The psychological trauma had quite devastating effects through my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, particularly on my personal relationships. (I am now 53.) It was after my marriage ended, after 10 years, that I began really digging into what was going on. It was quite tough for a while, a few years, and to some extent, the process is, perhaps always will be, ongoing.
But – and this is really wonderful – I suffer much less now than I used to. I can’t tell you how much this means. Not having repeated bouts of depression, and knowing that so much of what I went through was not my fault is such a very big deal.
As well as the many wonderful friends who helped and stood by me, one very important thing that helped me survive emotionally was the fact that I was given the gift of music as a young man. Kind, enlightened people somehow opened my ears, heart and mind to the power of music, and I heard the message. I learned to create music as a way to express complicated, often painful emotions, which I could not put into words.
These days – I am still busy with music, partly because I need to, but also as a kind of way of saying “thank you” to life – and just because it makes me, and other people, happy. What better reason could there be?
So – that’s why I created this website. I want to share my story, and perhaps say to others some things that that I might have said to my younger, more troubled, self, if I could. I hope very much that this helps a few people, and perhaps raises some awareness of what a serious effect maternal abandonment has.