Archive for Mother Daughter
“Putting up with abuse or abusive treatment is not love for the abuser. It is not love for the self. It has nothing to do with love at all. Finding out what LOVE really is went miles towards my recovery” ~ Darlene Ouimet
Long before I ever ‘emerged from broken’ I had this burning question about the obligation involved in loving my parents. I had been told/warned that it was a sin if I didn’t honor them, and I had honor and love all mixed up. I didn’t really understand what either word actually meant since I had never been taught the true meaning of those words. My real question was more about my right to ‘stand up to them’ and since I believed that standing up to them was not a loving action, that standing up to them was going against them which meant “noncompliance” I believed that love was putting up with unacceptable treatment.
Each year around Mother’s Day, I re-visit my belief system and the longings that I had in the past, the judgments that I made on myself and the roots of where they came from; In order to find out what love really is, I had to realize what it was not. I had to realize how I had been taught what love was and realize that that teaching was false and not based on truth or the true definition of love at all.
I had been told that love was the answer but I had not been taught what LOVE actually was. So I took my false belief about love and what I ‘thought’ it was, and I applied that false definition of ‘love’ to everyone in my life.
I believed that loving abusive people like my mother, until they could love themselves was equal to having a higher purpose. I believed that I was ‘the better person’ because I could take the abuse, mistreatment or disrespect and that would communicate that I could love unconditionally. I believed that accepting devaluing treatment in some way ‘proved’ my value; even if it only proved it to God.
The truth is that putting up with the abuse, disrespect and devaluing treatment only served to validate the way they treated me. It communicated my permission for them to treat me like dirt. How can that be love? Sometimes I wonder if deep down they were laughing at me. I wonder if they ever thought “What an idiot this girl is! No matter how nasty I am to her she keeps coming back for more; no matter how I treat her she ‘LOVES’ me!”
I don’t think my acceptance of abuse did anything to serve any kind of higher purpose once I entered into adulthood; I think it served to communicate that these people (like my mother) had rights that I didn’t have which is really what abuse is; compliance to abusive treatment communicates to the abuser that Read More→
Narcissism vs. Narcissistic in Mother Daughter Relationship Problems
Someone on the EFB facebook page wrote (in a comment to someone else) that I say that my mother is a narcissist and that she was mentally ill. I have never actually said that. I have said that my mother has narcissistic tendencies. I don’t actually think that my mother is a narcissist OR that she is mentally ill. (I don’t give much weight to the way the ‘mentally ill’ diagnosis is used in our society. I recovered by realizing that my depressions were a result of ‘what happened to me’ and that they had become an ineffective coping method for me.) Having said that, my mother suffers from depressions and she has for years and for the most part she has behaved towards me in a way that communicated that she thinks that she is more important than I am. She is disrespectful when it comes to me and she reacts to me in narcissistic ways communicating that my needs are not as valid as hers.
Her actions towards me are very discounting but that doesn’t make her a narcissist. Those things don’t make my mother a narcissist simply because she isn’t the same way with everyone. If my mother is a narcissist, there is a lot of evidence that she is able to control it. At best I might say that when it comes to the way my mother regards ME, she leans toward narcissistic tendencies.
A true mental health disorder is not controllable. People who have a true disorder can’t turn it on and turn it off. They can’t convince other people that they are wonderful and then in the privacy of home treat their own children like dirt. It doesn’t work that way. True narcissists are not Read More→
I have written about how my mother accused me of flirting with her boyfriend’s when I was only a young teenage girl. I have expressed the pain of being accused of causing one of her boyfriends to come into my bedroom in the night and how it was communicated to me by my mother that I must have done something to send him the message that I wanted him to… and that I ‘invited him’ by some action that I wasn’t aware of. I have expressed the terror of “causing this to happen again” that I lived with for so long after that, because I was not protected or believed and instead I was blamed. And soon after that it was as though my mother saw me as a threat to HER after her, which makes sense if she really believed that I HAD done something to attract him even though I was an innocent teenager and a victim of his assault. By the time I was 15 my mother was accusing me of acting inappropriately with her men.
But there was another consequence to that event that I have not written about; my mother flirted with my boyfriends. It was very confusing to me when my mother expressed inappropriate interest in some of the boys in my life. She said inappropriate things to them. She acted in a way that confused me, embarrassed me and hurt me. I felt powerless and stunned ~ I can’t even express everything about HOW it made me feel when my mother did this stuff. I still don’t have the words.
The first time I heard the expression ‘Cougar’ as a description for a mature woman who goes after young men, I cringed. The though repulsed me and I felt creeped out. In my mind’s eye I felt like I was physically trying to push something away from me.
As is common for me when a new ‘reminder of the past pops up” I thought those feelings of disgust that I had had something to do with me…that perhaps I needed to check my actions in case I was acting like a cougar, but I quickly realized that if this expression had existed when I was a teenager, my mother may have been called a cougar. She certainly fit the description of one. That little fact was the actual trigger of my reaction to the word and concept of what a “Cougar” is. My mother may have been a cougar.
I started to recall the feelings that came up for me back then when my mother acted flirty towards my male friends. What a terrible feeling it was to feel ‘threatened’ by my own mother; to feel afraid that my own mother might Read More→
“When someone is unrelentingly critical of you, always finds fault, can never be pleased, and blames you for everything that goes wrong, it is the insidious nature and cumulative effects of the abuse that do the damage. Over time, this type of abuse eats away at your self-confidence and sense of self-worth, undermining any good feelings you have about yourself and about your accomplishments.” The Emotionally Abusive Relationship by Beverly Engle
Although this quote is aimed at the victim for the purpose of exposing how the self-esteem gets torn down, the first time I read this quote I thought of my mother and how much she said that I hurt her; she always said that I was the problem and that I did this to her ~ that I tore HER down;
“Darlene, you are so critical”
“Darlene, I can never do anything right in your eyes, I am always wrong”.
“Darlene, there is no pleasing you”
And overtime I believed that my words, actions and behavior (although I could not figure out what I was doing that was so offending) had eaten away at her self-confidence and harmed her sense of self-worth and undermined any good feelings that she ever had about herself and her accomplishments. I believed everything she said about me. I believed that I was the critical one and that I was the one doing all the damage.
When I became an adult she adjusted her accusations. She used a different voice infliction when she said things like;
“Darlene you always were so hard on me”. This was to remind me that I was “always” this way and always the problem.
“Darlene I have always been afraid that you would take your kids away from me and use them as a weapon against me”. She said this as a kind of reverse psychology or a warning that if I did it, she had predicted that I would do it because I am a mean and spiteful daughter who has always done mean and spiteful things to her. And I set out to prove that I would never do something ‘like that’.
This is the brainwashing; this is what happened that caused me to try harder with her and to try so hard to ‘understand her.’ I tried to reassure her, to soothe her and to be the daughter she always wanted.
And when I started to look at the way SHE treated me in this profoundly dysfunctional mother daughter relationship we had, I became aware that now I was saying some of the same critical type things about her too. When I started to look at the truth about how toxic our mother daughter relationship was, I felt guilty because I believed that I was being critical of my mother, and I had tried so hard all my life to prove her wrong about me! In the first couple years of my healing process I kept saying stuff like “well in all fairness to my mother, I was not the perfect Read More→
It amazes me what people think I will publish on this website. Emerging from Broken is about healing from abuse and neglect. It is about overcoming and healing from the damage after having been discounted, devalued and defined by the statements and actions of carless and for the most part unloving people. It is about having to submit to the thoughts and value system of our elders, parents, grandparents, grandparents, teachers or any others who placed their importance above ours.
I got this comment this week from Nancy on one of articles I wrote about my mother and our dysfunctional mother daughter relationship. I am highlighting it today because it is such a good example of toxic mother behaviour and attitudes. Children should “know their place” and “what goes around comes around”. This comment is so typical of what we were/are told and how we were/are treated.
Nancy is the very angry mother of a daughter who drew a boundary. At first her comment communicates that the boundary her daughter is drawing is unfair. That she as a mother has done nothing but support her daughter and now she is being called selfish and accused of doing things with a wrong motive. She justifies her behaviour, all the while denying that she ever did anything wrong. But then her comments which I have highlighted in bold print reveal a different story. I read this comment several times and each time I saw with more clarity the depth of the manipulation and the disgusting (and false) belief system of the writer.
Nancy writes: (Note: I did not edit this comment)
To all of you young ladies who claim abuse, I am the 64 yr old mother of a 28 year old who claims she needs to stay away from me because i have so abused her. Now mind you, she’s not talking about hitting her or yelling at her, or telling her she is a worthless so and so that I don’t love her. No. She says I am selfish because I did all i could to help her pursue her interests and was right there in the front row clapping and encouraging her. Apparently according to her, I was doing all this in order to live through her and so I would look good in others peoples eyes that my daughter was such a success. What a bunch of BS!!!!! So let me get this straight, we parents are accused of being abusive no matter what we do!!! Is that right Get over yourslves. Your parents did the best they could and you just want to whine about your unhappiness and blame and it on the easiest target you can find. Your mother. What goes around comes around. Come back after your kids are grown and reject you for these rediculous “charges” because what goes around comes around. The Bible says “honor your mother and father that YOU will live long.” There’s nothing in there about honoring you children. In fact it says “spare the rod, spoil the child”. You are all spoiled and ungrateful and are cruel if you keep your children and parents estranged.
I put the most important part of her comments in BOLD print. This is where the ‘truth leaks” are about the belief system of this angry mother. Let’s take a closer look;
~”What goes around comes around” ~to warn the daughter that whatever ever she is doing to her mother now, will happen to her; that the daughters children are going to do this to her BECAUSE of what she is ‘doing’ to her mother.
~ “Come back after your kids are grown and reject you for these ridiculous “charges” because what goes around comes around”. ~ This is used as a threat to inspire FEAR. But fear of what? If I treated my children with the same disregard and disrespect that my mother treated me with, then I guess I could expect this same rejection from my kids. But it is not because I stood up to my mother that I need to have fear in Read More→
“Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence or strong self-esteem, it’s not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence and self-esteem into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal. In contrast, people who have healthy confidence and self-esteem don’t value themselves more than they value others”. ~ The Mayo Clinic
I would like to add that people who have healthy confidence and self-esteem don’t value themselves LESS than they value others either.
I was not drawn to this quote because it helped me to understand narcissism or narcissistic behaviour but because it reminded me of how much I was willing to see myself as ‘the problem’ when I first began the healing process that I write about here in ‘emerging from broken’. So many ‘victims’ of dysfunctional family systems or any type of abusive or one sided relationship see themselves as the one who might be the narcissist. Narcissistic people groom their victims to always look at themselves and make every effort to avoid letting anyone look more closely at them. They make sure the flashlight of self-examination is always firmly on Read More→
“You can’t solve the problems of today by using the same thinking that created them” Einstein
As I started to go through the healing process I realized that there were roots to the feelings of loneliness and that feeling of being alone. I felt let down in a world where I didn’t fit in and didn’t belong and believed I wasn’t worthy of the love that I craved. I believed that I had brought on my own problems that I created the life of depression that I lived in and believed that if I could just figure out what was wrong with me then everything would be okay. I believed this stuff because it had been communicated to me through the actions of other people.
I started to realize that some of the things that had happened to me left me believing that I was somehow lacking and that I was somehow undeserving of the love that other people deserved. As I progressed farther into my emotional healing journey, I realized that my own parents had contributed to those beliefs and were still contributing to them well into my adult life. I was a disappointment to my parents and nothing I did was ever “good enough” and as I grew older I was beginning to comprehend that nothing I ever accomplished was EVER going to be “good enough”.
When I first started this website I never intended to talk about my parents as part of where the problem began. I thought I could just keep it about the belief system development resulting from trauma and I could just sort of keep my parents out of it.
As my confidence grew, I started to write about some specific incidents with my mother and father that caused some of the false beliefs about myself to take root in my belief system. And when I started to get really specific about Read More→
I want to validate all the readers who comment here in Emerging from Broken. There is nothing wrong with talking about the pain of child abuse and neglect. There is nothing wrong with healing and becoming empowered by exposing how we lost our power and choice in our lives. We have everything to gain by doing this! I took my life back when I finally validated the pain of rejection that I had felt most of my life at the hands of other people. If the truth is what sets us free then it’s time to expose the truth and talk about it.
I think that fear gets in the way most of the time. Although there is a lot of personal fear when we begin to face the truth about what caused the damage to our self-esteem in the first place, there is also fear that comes up in the people around us too. There are people who can’t stand anyone else facing the truth or facing their fears in case they have to face their own truth ~ so rather than listening or simply ignoring, they have to jump in and try to STOP other people from achieving self-love and freedom from oppression by reprimanding them. Abused people use abuse tactics to keep other people in the prison abuse put them in in the first place.
Although it ‘seems’ logical that everyone would want to escape this prison of oppression , it is surprising how many are terrified to look past it. Fear of facing the truth petrifies many. Such is the case when back in Feb of 2012 this woman tried to post the following comment (which I did not publish) on a post I had written in October of 2010. This is a typical example of the lengths people will go to, to shut down the healing process of others in order defend their own choices and deny themselves true freedom and wholeness in their own lives.
Here is what this woman had to say to me and then to the rest of the readers here.
I have three amazing and wonderful children. They were all under the age of 12 when I started this specific type of emotional healing journey that I write about here in Emerging from Broken.
I have worked at being close to my children. I decided when each of them were born that I would be intentional in the way that I did relationship with them. I was intentional about what I communicated and how I showed them love and acceptance. My main goal in the beginning was to inspire them to be who they are in spite of living in a world full of people living a dream someone else had for them. I had a slight concept of the millions of kids (like me) who tried to “fit in” by being what they perceived others wanted and by being / doing what they thought others would “love” them for.
Mothers Day articles and dysfunctional mother daughter posts along with dysfunctional and toxic parent child relationship posts are the most popular posts that I write when it comes to the search engines like “Google”. (not so much when it comes to sharing with social networks such as Facebook) My blog posts on this subject are found in search engines hundreds of times a day. There is a lot of pain in the world around toxic mother and child relationships. This year I became aware of some new things about motherhood; the emotions I had to face as a mother caused me to reflect even MORE deeply on the way that my own mother treated me. And it was painful.
This year my oldest daughter Katie Read More→
I convinced myself of many things in order to cope with child abuse, emotional abuse and being defined as less important than others in my life.
I was unable to cope with the truth so I changed the truth to suit me. I learned how to view “unhealthy attention” as though it was healthy and validating in order to cope with my dysfunctional world the way that it was and by doing so I was able to pretend that my world was actually functional. I found a way to believe that I was special.
But in order to feel loved and to believe that I had at least some degree of self worth, I had to change my understanding of the word “special”. I had to warp my definition of that word in order to fit it to the actual circumstances. The things I accepted as “proof” and validation that I was “special” became pretty sick and unhealthy.
I remember when I was about 13 or 14 years old, my mother started Read More→