I finally got around to watch the film "Coraline". I had been putting it off because I was afraid that it would be too triggering. It wasn't. It gave me a lot of food for thought and brought up some old memories, not of my parents, but of a friend I had many years ago. We used to hang out with the same group of friends but I didn't know her very well. Then, all of a sudden, she took a shine to me. I say "all of a sudden" because it literally felt like a switch had been turned on. She would constantly call me to talk and to arrange outings. At first it was fun and l was flattered and amused by the attention but after a while I started to feel smothered. Before I had a chance to "plan my escape" though, she moved on to someone else. Just like that. Like a butterfly or a bee moves on to the next flower. I felt relieved. I guess that in a different set of circumstances I would have felt abandoned and let down, but perhaps because I was already feeling "choked" in the relationship, her moving on to someone else felt like a happy solution. Watching the smothering "other mother" reminded me a lot of that experience, of how at first the attention feels so good but after a while it feels like a straight jacket.
I see my experience reflected in Coraline's experience with the "other mother", in how she picks up the signals that something is wrong and frees herself from the tight grip of the "other mother". It reminded me of my relationship with Mr. Ego and how -just like the other mother- he never forgave me for freeing myself of his influence and control. The analogy of these types in the film is very accurate: how they use people to amuse/entertain themselves and then move on to whoever he holds their interest next (their new toy) once they've sucked up the soul of the previous one, but how they will still keep the "discarded" souls in captivity. (This made me think also of the character of Ursula in The Little Mermaid.)
I was discussing the film with a friend and she pointed out how people like the other mother can't pull the stunt on their own, but need a host of other people around them to help them create the environment/set up needed to deceive their victims. I can see that a certain amount of talent is required to create such a setting. That they use said talent merely to trap people is very sad. Instead of using their talent for good, they spend their lives designing a human fly trap.