I Love You but I Don’t Like You


I Love You, but I Don’t Like You: Psychic Abortion & the Cinderella Effect

I have a theory:

First, if you look in Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, you’ll find listings for psychological miscarriage and psychic suicide. Those are bona fide, recognized medical diagnoses.

Second, working from the premise that, in psychoanalysis, it’s not only the words that count but the deepest possible underlying meaning behind those words, if you look up psychic in an unabridged Merriam-Webster, you don’t get the usual voodoo metaphysical definition first. You do get, “of or pertaining to the human soul or mind.”

Third, I submit that the adjective psychic is stronger emotionally than the adjective psychological.

Fourth, I submit that “psychological miscarriage” is far too mild, bland, and lacking in personal culpability for what went on in my family, and if it happened to me, it happened to others, and it’s time somebody talked about it.

NOTE: There is a decided difference between the so-called Cinderella Complex—which, while not perhaps invalid, can be a bit too pop-psychology when it comes to clinical diagnoses—and the albeit controversial Cinderella Effect recognized via evolutionary psychology and parental investment theory. I shall most certainly address each as we go along.

My mother said to me one day, after I finally (and respectfully) cornered her with, “You don’t love me, do you?”

“I love you, but I don’t like you.”

Her response was nowhere in the neighborhood of I love you, but I don’t like how you’re acting or any other “good parenting” observation. The woman did not, never has, and never will, like me. I don’t think ours was “just” a dysfunctional family. I think there’s a valid pathological psycho-social issue to be explored.

Mine will not be an academic work per se. There are no clinical trials. Just my experience and my conjectures, and particularly what comes out of our collective minds—my analyst’s and mine—as we continue to try to puzzle through his never-ending quandary, “I just don’t understand your mother.”

Neither do I. Or maybe I do just a little bit. I’ll develop this paper (it’s probably more of a paper than a book) over time, but I’ll leave you with a taste of where this all comes from and hope you come back and see how it all develops.

Jack and Jill went up the hill,
got drunk and did each other.
But, “Oh, no, Jack,” said Jill.
“’Twas against my will.
‘Tis all your fault I’ll soon be a mother.”


He couldn’t escape
‘cause she lied and cried, “Rape!”
right in front of his daddy, the preacher.
So Jack did the right thing
and purchased a ring
with the proceeds from pawning his future.

Hint: If you Click Here and subscribe to my mailing list, you’ll get a gentle prompt that I’ve cyber-published more material on this topic. But remember: You will not be inundated with anything. I write fairly slowly because I want everything to be as thoughtfully accurate as possible. So don’t let all-of-a-sudden three published books plus four In Progress throw you. I’ve been thinking, and writing, and being analyzed, and writing about being analyzed, for four years. I’m very much like my first husband’s younger brother:

He saved pretty much every penny he earned in high school and his 20s, then over a period of a few short months, spent in the neighborhood of $50,000. He bought a small house; moved it so as to dig a basement; bought appliances and furniture; and went on a spender bender to beat any Bal Harbour diva six ways to Sunday.

I’m like his savings account, only his was filled with money.

Mine is filled with words.