Aléas et devenirs du lien mère-fille à l'épreuve de la vieillesse et de la mort de la mère

Abstract : In this research, the mother-daughter interaction is examined through time, from clinical observations and examples took in literature ans arts. Passing through different stages, some life's ups and downs, lights up the future of this link, especially when facing the mother's old age and approaching her death. The central theme of the encounter spreads around many encounters with the mother's psyche and body, which mark the identity and narcissistic construction of the daughter. As environment may support inhibition, the shadow of the many maternal and feminine figures weighs down this structure. We point out that the power of the bond between a mother and a daughter persists, despite time and libidinal investments carried out on both sides. This interaction is rather encouraged, even valued, by family environment, society, and is highlighted in literature and pictorial representations. Thus, disengaging herself from the mother's shadow and primacy, accessing a soothed feminine position of being, is rather tricky for the daughter. The mother's old age and the approach of her death allow to revisit the primary bond. Meanwhile, some anguish is renewed, aside pre-oedipal and oedipal fantasies. Hatred and ambivalence are often noticeable, even if they are mostly contra-invested, like they can be between a mother and her infant. The encounter with the mother's old age and body might appear traumatic if carried along with archaic and pulsional resurgences, tagged with negative feelings. In our society, women mostly involve themselves in elderly people, and the violence made to them is rather underestimated. It is even more vivid to daughters, who are not protected by the touch prohibition, unlike sons. To a motherly love widely acclaimed, the daughter is supposed to answer by a tireless commitment. However, there is another solution, a softer one, which sets aside any sacrificial tendency, if it is well tempered. The daughter’s care to her mother takes the form of a « tertiary maternal preoccupation », then, the daughter is inversely reliving her mother's own preoccupation during the first months of her life. The dependency - fantasized or real, to the aged mother emphasizes this reversal movement, the daughter becoming her mother's mother. Acceptance or denial mark on both sides the ultimate moment when the daughter agrees or not to become a « key object », and when the mother gives her this role or not. This ultimate encounter allows an integrative upturn of loss, separation and double movement of weaning from the link.
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Monique Letang. Aléas et devenirs du lien mère-fille à l'épreuve de la vieillesse et de la mort de la mère. Psychologie. Université de Lyon, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017LYSE2009⟩. ⟨tel-02166062v2⟩

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