What happens if a mother not only is unable to recognize and fulfill her child's needs, but is herself in need of assuarance? Quite unconsciously, the mother then tries to assuage her own needs through her child.
The reliability, continuity, and constancy that are so important for the child are therefore missing from this exploitative relationthip. What is missing above all is the framework within which the child could experience his feeling and emotions. Instead, he develops something the mother needs, and although this certainly saves his life ...
The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self, Third Edition (English Edition) Alice Miller p.21
This child would remain without a mirror, and for the rest of his life would be seeking this mirror in vain.
The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self, Third Edition (English Edition) Alice Miller p.27