Mommy and I are one

Tom, the hobby horse

Symbols of childhood: remember your favorite toy?

Freud’s Oedipal complex stresses the attachment of young boys to their mothers. Likewise young girls are driven to say they will someday marry their fathers (usually occurring around four years old.) Subliminal messages flashed for 4 milliseconds to research participants who were schizophrenic showed that male patients who were shown the message “Mommy and I are one” showed improvement.  And female patients showed improvement when shown the message “Daddy and I are one.”  Oedipal and Electra complexes aside, adoptees have their own dilemmas with splitting.  One side of the self experiences, and the other is carried off to a safe place where it will not be harmed (again).  One idea would be to perform a kind of intervention by saying to oneself “My mother and I are one” regardless of your gender.  I have often altered the Sunday school adage to say “My mother loves me.”  These are remarkably settling statements, especially if repeated before bedtime, or, when upset or uncertain.  It’s a glimpse into the psyche, a cure, and as simple as a nursery rhyme. In all likelihood, it may even be true.


Silverman & Weinberger, 1985. As quoted in Schultz, D. P., & Schultz E. S., (2009.) Theories of Personality, Ninth edition, Wadsworth Cengage Learning, Belmont, CA.

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