Mother Daughter Relationship Lies

mother daughter relationship abuse
Aware of the Danger

It is devastating to realize how little regard parents can have for their own child when that child is you. It is deeply wounding; I was filled with self doubt about why they felt this way. They planted that doubt; they made me question my value all along. This is a difficult cycle to understand and even more difficult to escape because the roots go so deep.

One of the things that I realized in the process of recovery was that the fear of losing my parents love was still very real. Even as an adult, the thought of standing up to my mother about our dysfunctional mother daughter relationship filled me with dread and could cause my heartbeat to spike with an anxiety that I never understood. No one wants to be rejected by their own parents. What I didn’t realize is that I still had the fears from the view point of a child. 

When I was a child I was pretty sure that if my parents rejected me that I would be left to die. I could not survive in the world without them. That’s not just a fear; that is a reality. I didn’t think about someone else taking care of me. I think this is why it was easy for me as a child to take the blame for things that went wrong. If it was my fault, I could try harder. If I blamed my parents, and they rejected me, then I had no hope. So I tried harder.

Many other problems can grow out of this mindset though. When we have been kept down this way, it is easy for other people to treat us the same way; like we are less important than they are because we accept that we are less important and this sort of opens the door to other maltreatment. This was something that I fought accepting for a very long time but when I began to understand this concept I began to realize how my life was like a big sticky mess that kept snowballing into a bigger sticky mess. Everyone seemed to disregard me and there were times I was shocked at how I was treated by people. 

So it was time for the untangling and rebuilding process. The tricky part was that I had to learn to refuse to be treated like I was less than anyone else. The first step was believing that I was equally valuable by exposing all the lies I believed, and replacing them with truth and then I had to learn how to draw boundaries. Now that was scary but I came to realize that if I didn’t do it, I would stay right where I was and my new growth and my hope for excellent mental health would be stalled.

Although I became aware of the way that I had been devalued by my mother and the damage it caused, for several years afterwards I continued talking to her and just ignored her jabs. I think I believed the new me would finally be good enough. I still wasn’t ready to deal with our dysfunctional mother daughter relationship but my life had already begun to change. I was speaking in mental health seminars about my recovery from Dissociative Identity Disorder and Chronic Depression and I was good at it. I was impacting people and inspiring hope that they too could overcome their mental health problems. I was impacting mental health professionals too.

I was invited to do the content edit on a book being written by a therapist about the destructive nature of power and control. I was SO excited to tell my Mom. She wasn’t impressed at all. She wanted to know why he asked me. She wondered (out loud) if I was having an affair with him. Something snapped in me. Ever since I was 6 she had communicated to me in various ways that the only thing that I was good for was sex or something to do with sex. That realization had been a big part of my therapy. Now, I was building a professional career and I had gone back to school. I was speaking regularly in seminars about recovery and my Mother, my own Mother, decided that if someone was noticing me, it couldn’t possibly be because I was smart or that I had a talent in that area; it had to be because I was having an affair and that any man who saw value in me really just wanted to have sex with me.  I was so stunned that I didn’t say anything. I was silent and didn’t stand up to her. I knew that I didn’t deserve that kind of treatment and I thought long and hard about what to do about it. In my therapy process, I had taken a close look at my trust issues with others, but what about the trust issues that I had with myself? I knew that it was time for me to take action; to honour myself and step into my new belief; that I was worthy.

I was already aware of my fear of being rejected by her if I told her that she couldn’t treat me that way anymore but I also knew that if I didn’t tell her what my boundaries were, and stick to them, that nothing would change. The time had come.  

Exposing truth one snapshot at a time,

Darlene Ouimet

25 response to "Mother Daughter Relationship Lies"

  1. By: Sally Posted: 2nd November

    My mother will not let me heal ! I was abused when I was 6 years old by my cousin who was a cocky 12 year old at performing arts school . The first “game” was played the weekend my mum left me with my auntie and cousin house because my dad had a massive accident and was in a coma . Two shocking things happened to me that weekend. I was told to not tell as my mum was under so much stress be good keep quite etc etc . So I didn’t say anything until I was 38 years old . I told my mum and she rang her sister . My mum told as many people and family as she could without me knowing. My auntie gave my mum a harrasment order and nothing further was done . I have lost all contact with my mums side of family they assume I am lying . I know for a fact my mum had an affair with my auntie husband as I caught them ! When I was 10 . My mum has always been controlling and manipulated so I was told a story and as a good girl kept quite . Now I realise why my abuse is not been taken seriously because she had the affair and so my truth gets swept under the rug . I have recently had this out with my mum telling her I can’t heal until this is resolved and get “ your turning into a nasty little girl “ for telling the truth AGAIN ???? feel alone sad upset and let down . Police say because of the age 12 in 1983 he had to be 14 ? To be held for his behaviour although it went on till i was 10 and he was 16 ! Stuck in hole can’t get out lost everything my business my health my family all because of lies . I do have a fantastic husband and two wonderful children and get great joy from them but there is this other side my mother !!!!

  2. By: joanne zinn cordero Posted: 9th December

    Good day to all. I was baffled by the behavior and cruelty of my flesh and blood “my daughter”. I was looking for answers and came across Darlene Quimet.
    I felt rescued and found the closure I needed “MY DAUGHTER IS A NARCISSIST”. I read the stories and see most of the victims are the daughters (or sons). In my case the Mom is the victim.

    ‘I noticed it when my daughter was a child she was selfish and better than all the other kids. Her behavior progressed, about age 18 she had an unrealistic sense of superiority and exploited others without remorse. When she was 27 she attacked with envy and was judgmental and defiant. I could no longer handle this behavior. I decided to confront her. She reacted as she usual does, with rage, aggression, temper tantrums and sarcasm. I was a Mom feeling inferior, when I stood up to her she was cursing and verbally degrading.

    My daughter always acted entitled, self focused with lack of empathy. She criticized and exaggerated other peoples faults with arrogance. BUT my daughter made a good first impression. She has charm and charisma and is popular in her circle of friends. The smiles displayed in public was seldom shown at home. My daughter is a narcissist leading a double life. When I confronted her and her behavior she knew she no longer had control. I stood up for myself, she never spoke a word to me and moved out weeks later. She is now 32 years old and we have not spoke. Doing research on Narcissism I do not expect her to apologize or show any remorse. I feel better about myself today, more confidence. My son was also her victim. She called him a loser and other horrible things. When she left our home. the sun came out. My son flourished in school and is happy confident with a great job.

    Thank you Darlene for giving me the closure and courage i needed to move forward.

  3. By: Meg Posted: 11th July

    This article was quite helpful to me. You see I have quite a dysfunctional (some-what) relationship with my mother. She always thinks that I can’t do anything by myself or care for myself (she thinks its funny-a joke well it annoys me) and she always has to blow up in my face or have an attitude problem. She bitches about every little thing-EVEN when I tell a white lie (I know its wrong and its a habit I’m trying to kick-BUT I lie very rarely and I tell the truth). SHE ALWAYS has to use the ‘TRUST SCALE’ WHICH annoys me very much. You can’t use a Trust scale to see how much to trust somebody.

    SHE Never seems to want to talk about things even about our relationship. I know she is worried and cares for me, but when it comes to our bonding (Well we go grocery shopping, mall going and going about anywhere)-Its just so-so. I mean even about talking about stuff we have different point of views, yet we have a neutral ground between.

    Still sometimes I wish my mother would listen to me more. I mean for years I’ve put up with her verbal abuse and now 23 I’m more confident, high self-esteem, and braver than I was as a teenager who always teared up. I even stood up to her when she accused me-AND BELIEVE ME IT FELT VERY GOOD to get it all out even in an email I sent her to tell her how I truly felt.

    I mean my mother needs to learn to control her outbursts and anger sometimes if she wants to simulate as a normal-human being when it comes to bitching about the little things. Unlike my mother I know how to keep my anger in check and I’m mostly calm all the time, yet I get angry if push comes to shove.

    A mother should always talk about things with their daughters and find positive solutions to problems than the dirty and negative. I mean she thinks I’m not “mature” enough-BUT I Am very mature but she never sees it! I am tired of her treating me like a kid and reminding me about stuff-I AM NOT just her daughter, BUT I AM A WOMAN! AND I AM PROUD OF IT! I am woman hear me roar!

    I like being me! I like being a kid at heart! I like having ADHD and everything about me! I am proud of who I am and I won’t let anyone change me!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 12th July

      Hi Meg
      Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. We all have equal value and one of the biggest issues between parents and children is that the children so often are NOT treated with respect OR equal value. The message is that the parent has more value and therefore more rights. The damage that this message causes is what we are dealing with here. Good for your for pointing a few things out and expressing your feeelings. for me when I did that, I had to remind myself that I did it “for me” and when my mother didn’t listen or understand, I had to remind myself that my goal was really about MY healing and to validate myself in all this. Thank you so much for writing and for your self empowering statements!
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Teresa Posted: 20th March

    *Rollo May concluded this: Daughters who were out-and-out rejected were far more confident, and had far higher self esteem, than those daughters who were raised in a lie. Daughters who had mothers who claimed to love them, who did the ‘right’ things, and yet had no actual affection for their daughters – well, these grown daughters were the very troubled ones.

  5. By: Lana Posted: 20th January

    You are not the only one sweetheart, I feel so bad for you. My mother and whole family chose to believe rumors and they all stopped talking to me. Noone tried to help. Stacks of cash are never the answer. My family told me to tell the truth and everything will be fine. When I told the truth, they decided that I was lying. It really hurts. I am a grown up now but that thing affected all my relationships. I always get scared to trust people and get close to people. But always remember it is not your fault, they were mature people and knew better, yet they decided to throw a child away!!!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st January

      Hi Lana,
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken, great to have you here.
      Thank you for sharing your story, so much like so many of us have endured. It really does hurt!
      Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th July

    Hi Laurie,
    I have read your comment three times. No matter how many times I read things like this it stuns me. So sad. He offered you money??!! And all your mom wanted to know is why you didn’t call her to say goodbye when you called others? WOW. This is the kind of thing that I am always talking about when I talk about being devalued. Both those things serve to remind us of our low value in their eyes. OUCH. It was like my mother went out of her way to make sure that I knew I just wasn’t that important. As for my father, he was so disinterested in me that today I feel as though I never really had a father. I am sure that he is a nice guy where the rest of the world is concerned. One of these days I will write about the father daughter stuff.

    You know what though? One of the unexpected benefits for me that came as a result of doing the work I have done to really look at the truth about my life, abuse, mental health issues and my parents is that I no longer do want their approval. That is a freedom that I never expected!
    Thanks for sharing so honestly Laurie, it really makes a difference to the readers when others are willing to share this kind of thing.
    Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Laurie Johns Posted: 29th July

    Darlene, I too was abused as a child but by my father. I didn’t remember til almost 2 years ago and when confronted with it…a letter, He waited til after my mother was asleep and called me,not knowing he was on a speaker phone, and didn’t deny it but instead offered me money and/or a new lawyer. I kinda wish I had told him “Ok, 5 thousand a month til I say when.” He lives his life for his reputation and money. Hit him where it hurts is what I should have done. He and my mother and the rest of the family chose when I divorced my ex,who was also abusive,to take his side. After listening to my pastor preach on father’s day I chose to call and leave him a message. All it said was that I loved him. I chose to honor him simply for his “office” cause because of him and my mother I am alive and here and Happy with my new husband. Two days after that he called and left me a message. He doesn’t seem to realize that Yes, I will forgive him but I DO NOT want a relationship with him. Yesterday was my birthday and he had to call and leave a sappy message that tore my heart to pieces. I think no matter how old I get somehow I’m always going to want my fathers approval although he and especially my mother made it clear that I was not wanted…I was a replacement baby for the son they lost the year before. I overdosed 5 years ago due to deep depression and the only thing my mother said to me at the hospital was “why didn’t you call me to say goodbye?” because I HAD called a couple of my best friends to say goodbye and they had notified my ex who rushed me to the hospital. I still sometimes struggle with my mind and thoughts of unworthiness but know that I am loved first by God and second by my husband.

  8. By: Dee Posted: 29th July

    Wow. I am crying as I read this. It’s time to heal. Thank you for sharing. Although I can say it does feel really lonely because I have a hard time with relationships as a result of my mother. She is only loving to me when I am giving her something or when she is taking something from, at times without my knowledge. It really hurts.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th July

      Hi Dee and welcome !!
      I had huge problems with relationships too. (and not just because of my mother; my father too) When love means what can I get from you, it isn’t love. If I do what she wants, she loves me; that isn’t love. I got so mixed up when I realized that this definition of love is NOT how she loved me… which is really how I was able to crack this code. I looked at the definition of love according to my mother. ie: Love was doing what she wanted. Then I looked at how that applies to me. She never did what I wanted. I don’t think I wanted much because I was too busy trying to be what she wanted! She doesn’t love me by the definition of love that she believes in. Her own history is the same with her mother too. She thinks because she tried harder and harder with her mother, that I should do the same.. as though she paid her dues and now it is her turn to be the queen.. I am not in that fog anymore.
      Thanks so much for your comment!
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Paulette Posted: 28th July

    Great posts!! Sheila, I feel for you. I’m 44 and my mother and I haven’t been in each other’s lives for ten years. I literally mourned the loss of the possibility of a healthy mother-daughter relationship for 2-3 months after I told her I didn’t want her in my life anymore. It was awful. I was so broken-hearted. Up until then, I still tried earning her love and affection by being super kind – it didn’t work; when the abuse endured and got worse, then I distanced myself; when I did see her, the abuse continued. When I told her I didn’t want to see her anymore it was because she humiliated me in my own house at my son’s birthday party. When everyone left, it suddenly hit me, “No matter what you do or how hard you try, you cannot make someone love you.” It was true. Love is a choice and a verb and you cannot make someone choose to love you.

    I had dreams of our relationship being restored, so much so that I am the one who initiated correspondence with my mother yet again about a week ago, to which she replied, “I can’t help the way I ‘raised’ you,” (her abuse she excuses as how she raised me) and “I don’t know what you want from me?” after I’ve told her a billion times that its about how she abused me, not how she raised me and I have also told her over and over again what I wanted from her. So, after ten years, she’s still not getting it. After ten years of playing this game, I have folded my cards and closed the door. I refuse to put up with her manipulation games anymore. The door has been ajar concerning her for 10 years and I am tired of always having one foot in the past. It’s time to step out of that doorway, off the porch and into my life. I have accepted that there is no possibility of any mother-daughter relationship, much less a healthy one.

    Darlene – so looking forward to your next post! :o)

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th July

      I don’t think that my mother can face any of it so she believes that she isn’t the problem. It is like ‘her’ survival mode. I think it is more about her then it is about me. That is what I came to realize ~ the fault is in her, not in me. The healing keys were in realizing that the ways that she convinced me that it WAS me, were not true. She said and did things to keep me off balance, to keep me trying harder because I believed that I had a problem, and it started when I was pretty young. Getting stronger was about owning the truth. One day I just realized that I didn’t need her approval. I didn’t need her to “love” me. Realizing that was freeing.. it was like WOW.. I am my own person. I approve of me. I like me! I am good enough for me! Hugs and thanks for sharing with the depth and honesty that you share with!
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Pat Hite Posted: 28th July

    I read a book a long time ago, that was talking about our place in the family. That from very early on, a child is labeled. Miss Priss, He’s going to be a football player, she’s going to be an actress,etc. And because children are labeled, that there are some parents who can’t handle that the child, they have labeled turns out to be different than what was ordained by them.

    Not saying Darlene, that your mom thought you were a sex object as a child, who knows, maybe she did, but saying that if you didn’t become what she dreamed you would be, then it gives the parent a reason or excuse to demean the child. Their expectations and fantasy was crushed, so they hurt the child because the child didn’t conform to what they wanted.

    Either way, it is abuse. I just always want to know why? What the heck is going thru her head to say the things she says? Make sense?

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th July

      Hi Pat!
      I think that my mother really believed that a womans only power was in her sexuality and that was how my mother lived her own life, but the way that she demeaned me was strange. Her own mother was like that too. It was as though she had to suck the joy out of me in order to feel good about herself… if I felt good she had to slap me down. I don’t know if she was ever happy for me. She was so much more concerned with how things impacted her. I have a lot of suspicions about the whys. I will be posting some of them in the future.
      Thanks so much for your contribution to this post!
      Hugs, Darlene

  11. By: Sheila Posted: 28th July

    I am new to your blog Darlene, but I can relate to nearly every post on here only too well, some of what I am reading and relating to it is very painful because because it brings back some of my own very fresh and painful memories, as well as my current relationship with my mother. Our last conversation was this past March and it was pleasant, but for the first time, I stood up for myself. I haven’t spoken to her since. I get angry whenever I think about the way I have been treated as a child up until now at age 51. I have accepted the fact that I will never have the kind of relationship that I wanted with my mother. These posts have helped me to validate those feelings, and to realize that I was worthy of love instead of feeling like I was nothing and certainly not deserving of love. I have discovered that I have been my own worst enemy.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th July

      Hi Sheila, and welcome!
      I have been thinking about what you said about being treated like a child. I am going to write a new post about it, so stay tuned. It was very hard for me to accept the fact that I was likely never going to have the relationship that I longed for with my own mother. Sometimes it is still pretty hard. I am so glad that these posts help to validate your feelings; it was so important to me, to be validated, to feel right, to know that I wasn’t crazy for feeling like it wasn’t me, it was her. When the healing was underway, I really started to have hope that I might know that I deserve love.. and now I do know that. You deserve it too!
      Hugs, Darlene

  12. By: Sheila Posted: 28th July

    I have experienced the same thing from my mother and we aren’t on speaking terms right now.

  13. By: sarah elise Posted: 28th July

    wow. what a terribly hard, and very familiar to me and many others, situation. thanks for sharing.

  14. By: Paulette Posted: 28th July

    My mom did the same thing – brag about how great her kids are indicating what a wonderful mother she was when she was downright nasty to me. She singled me out – the oldest of four kids. I endured emotional and verbal abuse. Amazing how they don’t recall how nasty they were, or are in my case. I did confront my mother years ago and told her I was worth not being abused in that manner – but standing up to her made the abuse worse and worse. Standing up to her I would guess was indication she was losing control, so she then turned up the heat. Some abusers just never see that damage done – to them its ‘normal.’

  15. By: Splintetedones Posted: 28th July

    I wish I had had the chance to confront my own mom. She died just at the time when my PTSD was just coming to the fore. I would tell her that I mattered. I would tell her that one should never leave an 8 year old alone for days with a pile of money and a stack of delivery restaurants. I would tell
    her about how shr wounded me by her decision to never let me play as a kid. I would tell her that it was her job to protect me, not to simply deny my sexual abuse and toss me away like yesterday’s lunch because she couldn’t handle it. I am unfortunately left with this huge pile of shit without benefit of justice. I was valuable not because of the awards etc.that I won womshe could brag about what a great parent she was. Bitch.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th July

      Isn’t that the tragedy; they think that they are good parents when they can show off our accomplishments, or that our accomplishments make prove them to be a good parent… It is no wonder that I thought that my mother would be excited for me when I was asked to help a successful therapist with his book! I thought it was something she would be proud of, but I think it made me too happy and she had to put me back in my place. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

      It is true that controllers turn up the heat when they feel their control is being threatened. They live in such a tight little world and really it is so sad.

      Sarah Elise and Sheila,
      You know as much as I really don’t like to hear that others relate to this, there is something about it that makes me feel alright. I am not the only one who had this kind of mother… I am not alone, I don’t live that way anymore and it is so much better now.

      Hugs, Darlene

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