Is it bad to fantasize about my mom?

Robin Landwehr, DBH, LPCC, NCC
Robin Landwehr, DBH, LPCC, NCC
Mental Health in a Primary Care Setting
Hello, and thank you for your question. There are a couple of things I want to mention and some other colleagues may add other types of information. I want to talk about fantasies (an internal behavior not known by others) versus external behaviors that others can see, and your specific question about fantasizing about a parent. I am going to assume that you are meaning sexual fantasies, and I apologize if that is not your meaning.

It is important to remember that we may fantasize about a bunch of things that we would never do. Someone may fantasize about punching his boss right in the nose, but would never do it. And not just because of the consequences, but because they genuinely would not want to hurt someone in real life. It is also true that some people fantasize about things as a way to "work up" to doing the actual thing they want to do. You may be in one of  these categories.

The specific issue of fantasizing about a mother is something  commonly found in Sigmund Freud's theories about psychosexual development. He called it the Oedipus Complex, and determined it is generally found in early childhood development, but can move into adulthood. The reason I am sharing this with you isn't to make you a psychology major, but rather so that you will know that you are NOT the only person to have such fantasies in adulthood.

Something to think about is whether or not you should feel guilty about fantasies. Of course, if the answer is yes, you may find yourself feeling guilty a lot of the time. Or should you only concern yourself with behaviors that others can actually see or be affected by? For example, should you only be concerned if you are actually planning on ACTING on one of your fantasies toward your mother. The answer to that could certainly be yes, since someone acting on their fantasies would certainly impact someone else.

Sometimes our minds will have a fantasy and we recognize that it is taboo, and when that happens it is possible that we will actually fantasize about it MORE. That is also a possibility here, too. You may have had a rogue fantasy that has now taken root.  

The most important thing I am trying to get across to you is that there may be many reasons for these fantasies and they don't all lead to them, or you, being "bad."

If you have real concerns about what this may mean about you as a person, you may want to go to a counselor. This is especially true if you think you want to act on these fantasies and you know that would be harmful. There are many possible explanations for these fantasies and a counselor's office may be the safest place to explore them.

Be well.

Robin J. Landwehr, DBH, LPCC, NCC

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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