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  1. k.little90
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    k.little90 Active Member

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    Can a Mother TRULY hate her son?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by k.little90, Mar 28, 2011.

    A little background info.....

    One of the MCs in my story is a Prince (Yeah, yeah... I know...). He is horribly disformed in an attack that also kills his father. In the time it takes for him to heal, I want his relationship with his mother to fall apart.

    Question: Can I make his mother hate him and make it realistic? Would you believe that a mother can hate her own child? What are somethings I can have him do/have her think to MAKE her hate him?

    All comments welcome :D
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Crown Princess Athena in my stories hates her son Socrates. She is the only character who i hate - I throughly enjoyed the scene where her daughter poisons her. Athena's is the only death scene I really enjoyed every moment of its writing.

    She alternates neglecting him with beating him. Only time she pays him any attention is when she is hitting him for bad manners, behaving in an unprincelike fashion etc She does everything she can not to look at him at all. She hates him probably because she had an affair and became pregnant with twins, he is his birth father's double. Everytime she looks at him he is the reminder of her own failure. He reacts by trying to be as good as he can, which makes her hate herself worse and she takes it out on him.

    I think when she looks at him all she feels is hatred for herself, I think that overrides anything she may ever have felt for him. Not sure she truly hates him think he just makes her numb inside. Maybe with yours you could have her hate him for the death of his father in someway it may not be justified but she blames him for living and his father not, his disformity helps because he doesn't look like her son.
     
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  3. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    The short answer to your Q is yes.

    Think of all the high-profile cases of child abuse you read or hear of in the media - sadly these cases are non-fiction.

    However it seems that in your story the mother loves the child in the first place - therefore it may be more difficult for her to change her opinion.
     
  4. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I know of a certain mother whose son was an addict. He would sell any valuable thing they own to get his fix, and when he couldn't find anything to sell, he would beg his mother for money. Then they would start fighting, verbally and physically. She prayed aloud for her son to die because she couldn't kill him herself even though she could have easily done it (how? that's for another discussion). She cried and suffered the most when he finally OD-ed and died. She actually blamed herself for not properly looking after him, which simply wasn't true. So, I think a mother can dislike her son so much as to want him die, but there can never be true hatred. There has to be a tender something somewhere deep inside her even though all she does suggest she hates her son.

    The addict case may not apply to your Prince, but you can come up with other similar things suitable to the time period. Basically make the son do things that will put her and her other love ones (the king, siblings) lives on the brink of destruction.
     
  5. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    A book you can read for inspiration is "The boy call it." Dave Pelzer's autobiographical account of his alleged abuse as a child by an alcoholic mother. A sickening but very good book.
     
  6. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I don't think alcohol related child abuses can be called as TRUE hatred. I think true hatred will be when a mother is in sound mind and health and still hates her son for some reason or reasons.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I haven't read It, but didn't he have siblings she didn't abuse though ? I might have the wrong book but what I have read about it from other sources it sounded like the alcohol wasn't the cause of the abuse.

    I mean my Mum got abusive at times with her alcoholism but it wouldn't have been that calculated - anyone in her way would do.
     
  8. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think love and hate is stated trough actions, not just feelings. But that is a matter of philosophy. Anyway, it would be a great inspiration for a very troubled relationship.
     
  9. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I agree and disagreee. Objectively, no, it's an illness. Most forms of child abuse and neglect are a result of mental illness of some type. From the childs perspective, if that is how it written? How could it be anything else?


    "True" hatred, although it's a stretch for me because there's nothing my kids could do, in his situation I suppose would have to do with him somehow being the cause of his fathers death, so she blames him? Even then, it's a misplaced coping mechanism and I still don't think "true" hatred, but that's probably your best motive.
     
  10. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I haven't read it either, but there are cases in the real world where parents would have multiple kids. One child would be singled out and abused while the others were never touched. It's more common than you would think. Or hope. :(
     
  11. bumblebot
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    bumblebot Senior Member

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    How long does it take for him to heal? What was their relationship before?

    I think it's possible for a woman's affection to be destroyed by the burden of caring for her adult son for an extended period of time, especially if he is cruel to her, or acts entitled, or something like that.
     
  12. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    Hell yes.

    There's "mothers' who throw their kids in dumpsters.

    A good example of a somewhat slower process is what I observed going on with some neighbors I had. These people lived in a house within the view of the deck of an old apartment.

    Initially, there was an extremely LOUD overweight women and a guy living in the house. Then about a year later the woman had a baby. The woman frequently hollered at the man at such volumes that I could hear every word through closed doors and windows. After a few months of this I witness the woman clutching the guy's truck pleading as he drove away. He never returned and the woman's mother comes to live at the house. She screams even more and louder than the daughter. Seemingly at random, both women would emerge from the house and scream at the baby (a boy) that he was just like his father. From what I saw the baby was sitting their playing with grass, not lighting the house on fire.

    It's classic that people will transfer the hate they have for a spouse/biological parent onto the girl.
     
  13. Kio
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    Kio Contributing Member

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    That's a very sad story. I've heard of things like this and it is shockingly common for any human being to displace their emotions onto a whole group of people because of the misdoings of one member of that particular group. However, I still can't seem to believe that a mother can truly hate her offspring. She might abuse it, throw it in a dumpster, and do other ridiculous things, but I can't seem to believe that she can hate her child. Hurting=/= hate.

    Hate in general is such a strong word and, really, it's completely relative. I can say that I hate tests, but that I truly feel sickened and distraught as soon as I get one. I can strongly dislike something, but maybe not hate it. I know that there are women who feel indifference for their children. That, personally, is the worst. If you feel no passion or drive for someone, it is always the most hurtful.

    Then again, I am currently not a mother and I have grown up in a hostile-free home, so I wouldn't know. This is just my two cents.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as a mother of 7, my opinion is that since this mother once did love her son, she can never actually hate him... no matter what he does, some of that love will still remain, even if she can no longer 'like' what he has become...

    so if you want her to hate him, she'll have to do so from birth... such as if he's the child of a brutal rape, or if she hated his father, even though the conception was not due to rape... or if giving birth to him had left her paralyzed, or whatever...
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hate is a pretty extreme emotions in any case. You have toi think of the reasons that drive people to hate, and decide if you can extrapolate to your MC.

    One thing about hate is it always, always is a strong connection to someone. Hate is the opposite of indifference, and so is intense love. Both are obsessions.

    A mother can irrationally blame the baby for ruining her life. It may be easier than taking the responsibility herself. A narcissistic mother might hate the baby for taking the attention from her. She could hate the baby born from a beast of a man she was involved with.
     
  16. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    It's my belief that action is more telling than sentimental words. In life, as in writing, Show Do Not Tell. So, if mother isn't acting like a mother, showing it, then she is not. If anyone consistently acts like they don't like or hate you, then they probably do.

    If something is happening frequently there's volitional planning going on that's not raw animal hate but it's part of "grinding someone up" as the saying goes.
     
  17. Kio
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    Kio Contributing Member

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    That's definitely a possibility. Hate is a real emotion and it does show, so no one really has to mention it. On the other hand, actions aren't anything. There are always these layers of the human psyche that are hard to get into and maybe even harder for the person him/herself. Hate nowadays, when it comes to humans, is hardly animal anymore. It is more calculated, more thought out, and far more biting than anything animal. Human hatred is worse than raw animal hatred because, due to our upbringing, our backgrounds, our more complex thought-process, it spawns bad health in those subjected to it.

    These actions which you've described to me earlier are definitely signs of ignorance, intolerance, and maybe hate, but no one knows if the hate is truly as profound as it looks. If she truly hated the child, I doubt she would keep him, though I do feel sorry for him. On a side note, has anyone reported this woman to authorities?
     
  18. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    I have a positive attitude toward people and believe that everyone is good on a basic level. However, when deeds have created such a scab, or better yet callus over that positive core there's a question about whether anything or anyone can actually get to it.

    There's a recent thread about serial killers and such people are a good example. I "know" that they've been behaviorally conditioned to be what they are, but concerns about them as people are made secondary by their history of behavior. That's why the legal system doesn't supply second chances for people.
     
  19. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't help but be a bit jealous of the people who believe a mother can't hate her own offspring. I'm glad you haven't seen how horrible parents can be.

    That said, it will be tough to make a mother who at one point truly loved her child start to hate him. But it is possible. From what you've said, I can gather that this accident took both her husband and, to a certain extent, her son (since he is left disfigured). This stress alone could drive her to irrationally start to hate her son. Maybe she couldn't cope with the loss and has started to see her son as a demon of sorts and treats him as such. I don't know if it's important that she appear rational though. You won't lose much sympathy for your MC (the son) by making it an irrational behavior of the mother. You may even gain some of it.
     
  20. jelinekjava415
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    jelinekjava415 Member

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    Well what I can say is that I have been working on a story about my childhood....kind of an inspiration. I think that my mom did hate me since she beat me when I was only four years old, but not long enough...cause the police came and took me away. She would also leave me alone in the apartment for several hours at end. After that I went into foster care.....

    I have only one idea for your story: I would say that maybe she thinks of him as a failure like his father....something like that.
     
  21. HBAdams
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    I just saw a play over the weekend in which a father lost his wife during childbirth. Throughout the entirety of the play, he loathes the daughter because he blames her for the death of his wife. Nothing the daughter does is ever good enough for him, no matter how hard she tries to please him. He constantly compares her as being less than her mother ever was.

    Sure, it's not physical child abuse, but the loathing is still there!
     
  22. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    The media personalities Rosie O'Donald and Madonna had similar situations.

    Some interesting results there.
     
  23. Finhorn
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    Finhorn Senior Member

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    Definitions for the moment:
    Love: Willing to die for someone else.
    Hate: Wanting the other person dead.

    People who aren’t mentally unstable in some way have a hard time generating true hate. More often what we see is self-loathing manifested as hatred of someone else (“life isn’t my fault”). This is much more common in real life and hence used much more often in stories.

    To answer the question: Let’s say mom encouraged son to go on the trip and son got in the way and dad died. Mom may blame herself for losing the love of her life but is transferring that guilt to the son. Then the kid could have no idea why he’s hated making the story tragic. Or mom, the queen, wants to remarry but knows that finding a new king would look like she’s just trying to oust the rightful heir. So she feels trapped (like all her life decisions have been chosen for her) and transfers that frustration into thoughts of “If only son weren’t around anymore. Then I could be happy.”

    True hatred is tougher because she has to have a reason. We really need more info on your story to give solid suggestions. Here are my thoughts anyway: Son arranged for dad to die but didn’t intent to get hurt himself. Slowly mom puts the pieces together and seeks revenge. Or you could have the son raised by governesses and tutors of some sort. This would take away the parent child relationship. Then when they’re just related by blood (no emotional ties) you can use any reason someone may hate someone else.
     
  24. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    A guy named Albert Ellis invented REBT, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, which is derived in part from Stoic Philosophy. The premise there is that your thoughts create your emotions and so if you control those, you control your emotions and are able to achieve less suffering from strong emotions.

    Regarding there's a gradation:

    1. Irritation.
    2. Annoyance.
    3. Anger.
    4. Hatred.
    5. Rage.

    All are natural to people and that's why we have names for them. According to REBT we are at our best when we strive to keep things in 1 and 2. The 3 and 4 states are slow miserable states where you and others, but especially you, are made to suffer. Number 5, Rage, is when you loose control and say and do extreme things, like kill people.

    If you buy those ideas, then it's easy to see that you can hate someone for a long time and build your world around it. Imagine how people feel about those who committed war crimes and whatnot.
     
  25. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...that's awful, certainly!... but doesn't necessarily mean she 'hated' you... it's more likely she simply didn't love you and/or had mental or emotional issues that caused her to be so abusive... but the absence of love doesn't = 'hate'... neither does being abusive... 'hatred' is a consciously directed emotion of its own, not merely the absence of a better one...
     
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