When she realized that she had lost everything, she initiated a search for the culprit. Anyone would do: her first husband, manly and unloved, who had failed to heed her whispered warning (which resulted in her unplanned pregnancy); her second husband, unmanly and much loved, who had dragged her away from Prague to a small town and kept her in a state of permanent jealousy by going through one woman after another. But she was powerless against either. The only person who belonged to her and had no means of escape , the hostage who could do penance for all the culprits, was Tereza.
Indeed, was she not the principle culprit determining her mother’s fate? She, the absurd encounter of the sperm of the most manly of men and the egg of the most beautiful of women? Yes, it was in that fateful second, which was named Tereza, that the botched long-distance race, her mother’s life, had begun.
Tereza’s mother never stopped reminding her that being a mother meant sacrificing everything. Her words had the ring of truth, backed as they were by the experience of a woman who had lost everything because of her child. Tereza would listen and believe that being a mother was the highest value in life and that being a mother was a great sacrifice. If a mother was Sacrifice personified, then a daughter was Guilt, with no possibility of redress.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Milan Kundera 1984
Cribb Comment : I have personally witnessed this dynamic or a similar variation of such adversely affecting a number of women that I have known over my lifetime. Such guilt is not solely directed at daughters and it may just as easily and indiscriminately find it’s bullseye in the heart and psyche of a son. Regardless of the specific target, this dynamic is heinous and I believe it to be a major cause of the “unexplained” behavioral instability, anxiety, and fear that many children and the resulting adults suffer from in life; and particularly within the throws and realms of all of their future relationships.