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In this episode of About Your Mother, we hear the story of Diane Danvers Simmons, whose mother left and moved next door with three college men when Diane was sixteen years old.
A successful businesswoman, mother, and stepmom, Diane was on a trip with her daughter when she heard she needed to forgive her mother, which set her on a path to writing her book. The exercise launched a ten-year journey into uncovering her past, her mother’s story, and ultimately finding a way to accept her experience.
“You need to let go. You need to forgive your mother.” – Diane Danvers Simmons
Listen to how Diane’s writing journey became an exploration of generational trauma and lessons learned growing up in the 70s while her narcissistic mother chartered her unfathomable course to independence and freedom.
“We need to stop blaming our mothers…I never blamed my mother for leaving or her actions thereafter. I never held her accountable for her narcissism. It wasn’t until a few years before she died that I found myself at a breaking point from the latest torrent of her maternal wrath.” – Dianne Danvers Simmons
Listen to an inspiring conversation on survival, reflection, acceptance, and motherhood.
Order Diane’s book today:
Reflections of the Mother
Diane’s relationship with her Mother was very complicated. On the one hand, she describes her as a handful-and-a-half and a little 4’11” Irish pistol. But she also knew what she had a huge heart and would help people when she could.
“She could create this environment, which was Spring sprinkled with fairy dust and magic. And in the next moment, she could curse you and just, you’d be on the floor just wondering what on earth had happened?” – Diane Danvers Simmons
What made things complicated was that her mother left when she was still young. Listen to how Diane’s writing journey became an exploration of generational trauma and lessons learned growing up in the 70s. At the same time, her narcissistic Mother chartered her unfathomable course to independence and freedom.
Coping and AcceptanceI tell this story because I see so many women in pain because of their mothers. Don't blame your Mother. Let go of that. You have your choices to make. Don't carry your Mother's burden. – Diane Danvers Simmons Click To Tweet
When asked how she managed to cope, accept, and finally forgive her Mother, Diane shares that her loved ones encouraged her along the way.
Diane would often share this story in keynote speeches at empowerment conferences and would get asked the question: “Well, how come you ended up like this happy, positive, normal person?”
She attributes her contentment to learning how to accept everything that happened and removing that huge chip from her shoulder she had for a long time.
“I’m certainly not normal, but I am happy and positive. But I you know; I have my moments too. Of course, I’m not perfect. I always like to say, the thing we forget about humanity in each era and each other is that we’re all deeply flawed. But that’s what makes us human and interesting. And it’s about that word acceptance, acceptance of each other for those flaws.” – Diane Danvers Simmons
My Mother Next Door
As Diane asked her close friends and acquaintances about her Mother, she heard many interesting stories about her. Some she had forgotten, others told from a different perspective. It had the makings of a fascinating story, all set in the 70’s environment.
Yet, the decision to write the story did not come easily. After all, who would want to paint their mother in a negative light, much less turn it into a book and publish it?
But once she started to write it, there was no going back. Though she had to rewrite some parts as she was learning new information about her Mother, Diane wanted to share these details with her readers. Because it’s one thing to share this fantastic story, she also enjoys the readers knowing why her mother felt it was necessary.
To hear more from Diane Danvers Simmons and her Mother next door, download and listen to this episode.
Diane Danvers Simmons is a born-and-raised Brit who moved to America in her late twenties for business and success.
After an accomplished career as a senior vice president at Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising and then Omnicom Media in London, New York, and LA, she became a mother.
Drawing from her advertising and marketing skills, Chopra center teachings, and life experiences, Diane transitioned her skills into female-empowerment activism through speaking engagements, workshops, writing (published online articles), film, online communities, and mentorship in the USA and globally.
Embarking on a personal journey to write My Mother Next Door, she was further inspired to create and host a new podcast series with her millennial daughter called Mothers and Daughters Unfiltered (the title says it all), launched Jan 2020, at www.mothersanddaughtersunfiltered.com.
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