Mother-Daughter Relationships: The Way Out Is Through

by dena on December 9, 2013

When the Love Revealed Stories blog was new, the first few guest posts were by authors of our book,  Mother-Daughter Memories: Love Revealed. They brought forth reflections on how writing their own real life stories had affected them. Intriguing and compassionate dimensions are revealed in the writers’ posts as well as in the comments evoked in those who read the posts and the highlighted essays in the book.

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The first of these was Sheila Foster’s A Writer on Writing & an Invitation, from Sheila and it was re-posted on June 27, 2013.

Today you will see Nancy Kern’s post, The Way Out Is Through, including the comments. It was first published on our original blog January 29th, 2012. “Thirst” is her essay in  Mother-Daughter Memories: Love Revealed.

In addition, please see Nancy’s update in the Comments section. She shares today from her perspective of 2 years later – revealing more love and profound changes!

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Post title:  The Way Out Is Through

Dena’s call for submissions on the Mother-Daughter relationship appealed to me right away.

For  2 or 3 weeks of obsessive writing, I polished a clever, driving,  staccato piece. Draft after draft took me deeper into my ancient pain  and repressed infant rage. Giving voice to that was so satisfying.

My righteous outrage, well placed and uncensored, was like an arrow hitting the bullseye. I passed through a purifying fire of transformation. The way out of Hades is arduous. Rage got me there, but  grieving got me out.

I wrote the final essay, “Thirst,” from a place of raw vulnerability. I took the armor off, a huge personal risk.

Following  the trail of my authentic emotions was an arduous journey that  eventually landed me home, in my heart. I arrived at a deeper level of  compassion for my mother and myself, and for all mothers and daughters.

Before I wrote “Thirst,” I wanted to feel compassion, but it took effort. Now compassion just is.

Nancy Kern

  1. I was deeply touched by Thirst and am once again touched by your courage to speak from the depths of your being. Your story reminds me so much of a quote from the gnostic gospels “when you bring forth what is within you, what is within you will save you, when you do not bring forth what is within you what is within you will destroy you”. Thank you for inspiring us to bring forth what is within us.

  2. Kate, your response moves me deeply, and helps me know that the process I went through is universal. This is my first published memoir piece. I felt trepidation, revealing in myself the very qualities I spent much of my life trying to suppress. It is a relief to let go, and let the truth speak through me. I appreciate sharing the inner journey with you, and your thoughtful response. Thank you.

  3. Thanks for this wisdom. Hard and heart-breaking truth. I am glad you are here, here, here to tell it.

  4. Nancy, I bow to your telling such raw and heartbreaking truths in “Thirst”… my viscera responded and my heart broke open as i read what you went through… you have spoken for the many women who can not yet break that taboo…i hope you keep on writing memoir… your words and memories are so clear, to the bones and viscera that your direct experience was palpable for me… what a Gift you are to this Little One who’s coming… and to the soul of your family — may all generations before and after you feel the ripples of the healing and love that you are. A zillion blessings!!!

  5. Sheila, Thank you for your encouragement. I do and will keep writing. That memory came into my conscious awareness while in a medicine bath 20 years ago. I actually had a physical blister on my navel for days. I treated it like a current time injury, with lavender oil and Rescue Remedy, and I meditated and prayed for healing for the baby within me. There is so much more to the story….but until my sister told me about my mother’s postpartum psychosis, I feared no one would believe me. That information validated my experience. I can’t express what effect being believed and supported is having on me. Thank you.

  6. Nancy, Witnessing the courage to speak your truth and break the cycle.  A true gift to yourself and your family. Monica

Nancy’’s work also appears in “Drawing Grandmother Home” from the newest book, Living Through Grief: Love Revealed and in “Banana Man” from Parent-Child Memories: Love Revealed.

Biographies for all of our Love Revealed authors are on our site,


We welcome your comments, also. Maybe you have something to share about your own mother-daughter relationship. Maybe you would like to leave a message for Nancy Kern.

Blissings, Dena

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