My Mother Doesn’t Love Me but I am not Alone

my mother doesn't love me
Burial Ground for Harmful Beliefs

“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 the part that my parents played in the breakdown of my self-esteem, I started noticing changes in the traffic numbers and statistics here in Emerging from Broken.

One of the most popular comments that I receive in this website from first time commenters is “I thought I was the only one who felt this way” or “wow, I thought I was alone in this”. I get emails through facebook and through the contact form in this site every day from people who say the same thing; “wow, I thought I was the only one, I have always felt so alone”. Many specify “I thought I was the only one with a mother who didn’t love me”. And even more will say “OH MY GOSH, my mother didn’t love me!” And of course there are many who write the same things about their fathers.

Thousands of people read blog posts on Emerging from Broken every single day. Statistics in the back end of the website tell me how I am found and 80% of my traffic comes from search engines such as Google. Out of that 80% about 70% of those people find me because they are searching for information about difficult or dysfunctional relationships with family or parents and especially information about difficult mother daughter relationships.

The most popular post of all time article on Emerging from Broken is the article titled “My Mother doesn’t Love Me and the Process of Grieving”.  This post has been found through search engines more than any other single post on the entire website and has been the gateway into the most viewed category; the “mother daughter relationship” category. People are looking for other people that share this same experience of being discounted by their own parents. People are looking for validation that this happens and has happened to others and that they are not the only ones. People are looking for reassurance that something was wrong with the way they were treated by toxic or narcissistic mothers and in many cases the ways they are STILL being treated in dysfunctional mother daughter relationships and by other family members.

I found out a long time ago that I was not alone in suspecting that judging by the ways I was treated by my parents, something wasn’t right even though I had gone many years without ever examining that tiny suspicion for fear of the consequences.  

I think that my greatest fear of all time was that my own mother didn’t love me. And when I look at her actions, it seems easy enough to come to that conclusion but the rejection was just too hard to face. As long as I didn’t look at her actions, I didn’t have to see the truth about them, so I did anything I could to avoid looking at the truth that those actions pointed to, including arguing with myself and others, defending my mothers (and fathers) choices and actions towards me and against me and trying harder to change in order to become what they wanted me to be. I also spent a lot of time trying to understand my parents in order to excuse the disrespectful ways that I had been mistreated and disregarded.

I am not alone in the fact that my own mother and father abused and neglected me, objectified me and were more interested in what I could do for them or how my accomplishments and behaviour reflected on them.  However, dysfunctional mother daughter relationships or dysfunctional mother son relationships or even toxic relationships of any kind with either parent are not the most popular subject when it comes to open discussion.  They are often considered “taboo” in fact.

When I write about difficult and dysfunctional relationships with my parents the articles are shared much LESS in social networks such as Facebook  or Twitter than the posts about recovery that don’t mention mother and father relationship difficulties. There is a ‘facebook like button’ on this site and the number of “likes” is never as high when I am talking about child abuse or neglect at the hands of the parents as it is when I talk about PTSD or coping methods or something less revealing about parental involvement or responsibility for the childhood difficulties that the adult child is having. However, my traffic from search engines goes WAY up and the time spent on site by the people finding ‘emerging from broken’ also goes way up.

These stats reveal that hundreds of thousands of people are searching for articles about dysfunctional parents and abusive parents but most of the people searching don’t want anyone to know about it. I believe this comes from the fact that most of us in any given society were brainwashed to believe that WE are the ones that failed the parents and that the ‘character defect’ is within us and therefore the failure in the relationship is on our shoulders instead of on the shoulders of the abusive parents. And the loyalty to our parents that was drilled into us as our only hope for survival and acceptance is not easily overcome.

I write about this subject not to encourage more public sharing but to let people know how many other people are looking for info on this stuff. I want people to realize that they are far from alone in this difficult problem. I would never advocate for people going public about problems with their parents before they are ready. Many people will never share anywhere publically about any of this even long after their parents are dead and that is a personal choice that I will always respect.  

But the truth is that you are not alone. We are not alone.

It wasn’t and still isn’t easy to accept that my own parents didn’t consider my emotional health a top priority and that my father and my mother didn’t love me however it has been a huge part of the truth that set me free. I had to face the truth about the damage and where it came from before I could heal from that damage; regardless of the dysfunctional childhoods my parents may have had, the damage they caused me is not remedied by trying to understand them.

It was in facing this truth, the truth about how I was discounted, unprotected, neglected, punished for the wrong reasons and mistreated by my own parents that I found emotional healing. I found freedom and wholeness by realizing how this mistreatment defined me as unworthy of love and by realizing that the mistreatment, including emotional neglect and carelessness on their part does not define me as much as it defines them, I found a way to re-parent myself and learned self-love and self-care which eventually filled all the emptiness within me.

Please share your thoughts about feeling alone, the fears of talking about abusive parents or anything else you want to share. Remember that you may use any name you wish in the comment form; only the name you use will be seen by others. Your email address is never shared and your privacy is very important to me. If you want to follow the conversation, remember to click the “subscribe to comments” button.

To read the related posts, click on the phrases in bold print.

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

Emerging from Broken the book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here in the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing


Darlene Ouimet is a Certified Life Transitions Coach specializing in emotional healing (CTACC)

246 response to "My Mother Doesn’t Love Me but I am not Alone"

  1. By: Melinda Posted: 12th October

    Hmm…I feel almost guilty for saying this because I have a relative whose mother definitely doesn’t love her at all, but…I often feel that my mom doesn’t like me.
    It might seem to people that we have a “perfect” relationship but the truth is that since childhood, my mother has never really loved me the way I need to be loved. I’ve never been good enough, and then she wonders why my self-esteem is so low.

    Just today she attacked me out of the blue, calling me “obsessive” for no reason and then saying that I am “defensive” because my feelings were hurt. It was so unexpected and I was just blindsided by this sudden attack on me, when all I wanted to do was have a nice day with her. But this is what she does…starts a fight by being critical of my looks or what she sees as a flaw in my character, then blows it out of proportion, then acts like SHE is the injured party after ripping me to shreds.

    That is her latest tactic…calling me “obsessive”. And then if I try to figure out what I’m doing wrong to make her so angry, her next move is to say I’m “defensive”. Well, you know what?
    I’m defensive because I don’t feel loved or appreciated or cared about. I’m defensive because I knock myself out trying to be a good daughter to parents who don’t like me. I’m defensive because I’m hurt at wanting to spend quality time with my mother, only to have her constantly tell me that I’m basically unkempt and not pretty enough in her eyes. I’m defensive because I’m tired of attacks on my self-esteem and my sanity.

    And this is why she called me “obsessive” today…just because I did something extremely minor that annoyed her. It was something so trivial that nobody else would be upset by it, but she started calling me “obsessive” and being a witch about it.
    I wanted to cry, I’m not kidding. My husband tried to comfort me later by saying “oh, she loves you, she’s just having problems”. But here’s the deal…she doesn’t LIKE me.
    My own mother can’t stand me and that hurts more than anything. I’m her only child and I may have my faults, but I realize that I’m really nothing more than a nuisance to her, even at 35 years old.

  2. By: Margarita Posted: 28th September

    Hi Darlene,
    I was reading some of the comments and sow what you said in one of your respond to somebody else, which really hit the spot. Here it is
    ” I have heard many times that it gets worse when a parent or both dies. It might have to do with the death of the dream that one day our parents will suddenly realize that we are really wonderful and that they have been wrong, but the root of that dream is in the false belief that their approval defines us as good enough”. I remember a few years ago when my dad past a way , how my pain was unbearable and I felt hopeless. It felt like all my hopes for better life were gone for me. I realized what was the reason and it is exactly what you pointed out, all my life I was hoping some day I will get the confirmation from my dad that he loves me for who I’m , that was all I fought for and did everything all years of my life!I was running and chasing this unreachable dream not understanding this wasn’t going to happened. In my believe, if I just could get this one moment of his approval without any conditions, I would become free and I was chasing it all my life. Now looking back, this was like a gold dreamers chasing their dream and almost never had a chance to get it!

  3. By: DXS Posted: 11th May

    S1998, EXACTLY! You’re not “allowed” to be hurt and angry at your mom. You bad, bad, person. (just kidding, I get that, too….)

  4. By: S1988 Posted: 10th May

    In my case, another sign of my mother’s hypocrisy was “I’m allowed to be angry and have hurt feelings, but you’re not.” She didn’t literally say this; it’s just the vibe I get from her. If I were to have those feelings, I either needed to “snap out of it” or I was a bad girl with an attitude who shouldn’t forget her place. Sigh. No wonder I have a lot to heal from.

  5. By: DXS Posted: 10th May

    NotAMom, I applaud you. I am also sorry for the horrors. I agree, child abuse.

    Wilzie, you did not get a chance to be a child. I am sorry for that on you.

    I had also believed for years the problem was me. I was, way, too, sensitive!

    And it’s all your fault, your feelings don’t count. Your feelings don’t count because your feelings are “too inconvenient” for your mom. You aren’t supposed to have those feelings, only the feelings your mom “allows” you to have. The “alternate person.”

    And I’m getting the “does it make you happy to say these things to your mom?” My mom is clutching at straws to flip it back to me because she doesn’t want to see her own issues.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th May

      Hi Everyone
      I can’t keep up with all the comments anymore therefore I am closing comments on all posts over 150 days. This will be done automatically and I am sorry if the comments shut down in the middle of an active conversation.
      Please feel free to share anything you wish on the more current posts.
      Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Linda Posted: 10th May

    Thank you, Darlene, for sharing your strength. Reading some of your posts, they do sound eerily similar to mine. I had also believed for years the problem was me. I was, way, too, sensitive! But once I went into counseling I started understanding the dysfunction of my family of origin. I too, doubted it was them, for the longest time. I kept trying to make things better between us. I didn’t want to see that my mother didn’t love me. I didn’t want to be without a family. I was terrified of being alone, without their love I felt I would be alone. So I continued to be the pleaser to her, until I just couldn’t take it anymore. Then after our seperation, I felt so horribly alone. None of my family members would have anything to do with me. My mother had made sure of that. I thought I was the only one experiencing this kind of family pain, until I found your site. Hearing your story and seeing the responses for so many other women is empowering. By writing some feedback on your Facebook page I am beginning to have courage to tell my story. I am so grateful to you for sharing your story with us, & for my friend who showed me your site. Thank you so much!!!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th May

      Hi Linda
      Welcome to EFB ~ I can relate to your post. I had those same deep fears and one day I realized that I WAS alone.. it was stunning to come through all of this and see it the way I do now. I am so glad you are here! We are not alone!
      hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Paula Posted: 10th May

    Darlene I would like to thank you so much for been so brave and taking the steps to be open in validating your self.
    I love this letter because this speaks to me so personally with the relationship that I had with my mother.
    After so many years of been living in a mental prison, after so many years been stock in all the lies and misbeliefs that were penetrated on my soul and in my heart. Am starting to believe in my self, learning how to put the pieces together is a great awakening and comfort. But am also going thru the hate or angriness, any one feels like that? For al the years that were rob from me for all the poorly decisions that I made while I was living in that darkness. I hated my self so bad, I didn’t believe in my self for nothing. Always sabotaging my self.
    And now my mother is going to start chemotherapy this week once every 6 months, and I offer her my help and that she could stay in my house for only one week after she gets the treatment because she lives about an 2hrs away from where she is going to receive the treatment.

    I just spoke to her yesterday I told her my rules, like please mom get your self a bed, so that I don’t have to sleep in the couch and you can only stay few days after treatment that’s all I can handle because other wise she will suck the life out of me. A part of me is telling me wtf am I helping her why, why. But I feel that if I don’t I’ll never be able to forgive my self..

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th May

      Hi Paula
      Welcome to EFB ~ I am so glad to have you here and thank you for sharing.
      You are certainly not alone!
      hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Wilzie Posted: 10th May

    Thank you for all of your writings, Darlene! I have been reading them for a while now. I grew up as the only nondisabled sibling to 3 siblings with autism. Because of my parents focus on my siblings, I experienced high levels of emotional neglect. I was also seen as a tool to meet the needs of our family situation and had very high levels of responsibility. Shame, guilt, and criticism were used to control me and keep me meeting my mothers needs. Our family lived in chronic stress and crisis. My mother believes that God placed me in my family situation to serve my siblings (that often meant serving my mother as she met my siblings needs). As an adult, I began finding myself in relationships with people who had addiction issues, unhealthy dependency, and/or were abusive and emotionally unavailable. After a few of these relationships I figured the common denominator was me and I sought information and help to find out why I was having these relationship issues. As I educated myself about healthy relationships and family dysfunction, I came to understand that I had been neglected, emotionally abused, objectified, parentified, traumatized, etc. I came to understand that my mother had issues related to abuse she had experienced in her childhood and that many of my experiences with her weren’t because our family had children with autism but because she had never healed and she was a covert narcissist. On the surface and in public she appeared to be the most selfless and loving person ever but at home she was not always loving or nice. It started to seem that she deliberately kept her life set up in ways that added to or allowed problems to continue so that she would always need help and could have others helping and serving her. I became more aware of how critical and blaming she was of everyone around her and was reminded of the critical and belittling ways she always treated my Dad. I started to understand that she had a narcissistic wound and felt highly criticized by anyone who didn’t express unconditional positive regard for her and everything she did. If this wound was triggered she verbally lashed out at those around her (only in our family). This kept me traumatized into watching her moods and trying to fix everything around her to keep her happy and protect everyone in our family from dealing with her upset. I have been in recovery for about 5 years now. It’s been a struggle to understand what parts of my childhood were unavoidable difficulties related to our family situation and which parts were created by my mother and her issues and beliefs about why I existed in the world. I read once in a book on healing from emotional abuse and neglect that, “unintentional or unavoidable though it may be, the results are the same.” I’ve come to know that it doesn’t matter why I had the painful childhood experiences that I had, they are valid and they created a sense for me of not being loveable, interesting, or deserving other than for what I could do and have to help others. I have spent several years finding and feeling layers of pain and fear stored from earlier experiences, focusing on self care, giving other people’s responsibilities back to them, removing myself from relationships with people who have agendas for me or treat me poorly, and identifying my own wants and needs. It’s funny how these basic ways of healthy living can be so unnatural to me and take such awareness and discipline to do. Two of my brothers have now passed away and although I miss them very much, it has helped me be able to identify the real needs that existed vs the issues that stem from my mother/parents. Their passing has also opened the door to much grieving about their disabilities and their pain and how we were all impacted by this situation …and it has given me the space and down time for my own recovery. Thank you again for all of your posts and for being a voice for recovery from childhood neglect, abuse, dysfunction, and trauma. You’re right, it helps so much to know we aren’t alone!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th May

      Hi Wilzie!
      Welcome to EFB ~ Thank you so much for sharing some of your story.
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: notAmom Posted: 10th May

    Even today, when I read this article and comments, my reaction is overpowered by what my brother would say if he read them which is “Get over it”, “Quit making excuses”, “Dad doted over you”, “That’s all in your head”, “You’re just pathetic and looking to blame someone fir your failure”. I could go on for hours, but I know NOT ONE Of those comments is accurate.

    I’ve witnessed the horrors others went through with emotionally immature, completely narcissistic mothers, and my heart breaks for those of you who had a mom like that.

    That was not the problem with my mom. She simply was pissed that I was born because her plan was to go back to work and start a career after my brother who was 5 years older than I started grade school. I ruined all that.

    Her resentment was prevalent in almost all my interactions with her. I didn’t realize that the way she felt about me was due to resentment until I was an adult. It’s not just in my head. She would say things like “even though abortion wasn’t legal yet when you were born (1970), I still could have had one because I almost died several times because of you”. There are many other things she did that, until I was an adult, I didn’t realize were due to resentment. As a child I had no idea why she was treating me like that. I just knew that she wasn’t like the other moms, and I figured it was my fault.

    If you watch Grey’s Anatomy, my relationship with my mom was very similar to Meredith’s relationship with her mom.

    I stopped the cycle of abuse the only way I knew how. I chose not to have children.

    I can’t imagine putting a child through what she put me through. I have a brother who she felt was almost perfect. He has a daughter. She couldn’t haved beared to see my brother emotionally torture his daughter the way she emotionally tortured me. She couldn’t have beared to see him beat her for even 5 minutes the way she allowed him to beat me throughout most of the years if my childhood.

    What I suffered was real. It was criminal. If it happened today and someone found out, the police and DCFS would be called.

    My prayers and thoughts are with all of you who suffered. If you, like me, made the decision not to have children in order to assure the cycle of abuse would end, you deserve an honor greater than Mother’s Day! THAT is TRUE SACRIFICE.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th May

      Hi NotAMom
      Welcome to EFB ~ Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry that you went through all that and I am really glad you are here now!
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Beth Posted: 10th May

    PS Happy Mother’s Day, Darlene!

  11. By: Beth Posted: 10th May

    I am so thankful for the reassurance that I get from your articles Darlene! I spent over 40 years caught up in the dysfunctional relationship with my Narcissistic mom, my 3 abusive stepfathers from her serial marriages, my Golden Child brother, my malignant Narcissistic aunt, and the extended family who were poisoned against me through the lies that my mom spread about me! My mother was a textbook case of a narcissistic mom. She was selfish, self-centered, emotionally immature, non-nurturing, emotionally and physically abusive, selectively abusive, and etc.
    Even though I left home at the age of 18, when I was forced out of my mom’s home, and I lived far from her for the next 21 years, the suffering that I endured continued. I suffered from her rejection and the sadness of feeling that I would never be good enough.
    I had been married several times and had children, and I was trying to establish a fulfilling life away from her. I wasn’t in therapy, I had never heard of PTSD, and I had never heard of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Needless to say, my life kept falling apart and ending up in failure; my marriages ended and I was not able to become successful in a career.
    The destruction that child abuse causes can last a life time. Many people will continue to live in their suffering and will continue to live in denial that there was anything wrong with their parents. They will continue to dwell in that horrendous hell of believing that they were ‘never good enough to deserve their parents’ love’!
    We are truly the fortunate ones who have found our way to the clues, the answers, and the healing.
    Thank you, Beth
    Intentional Healing

  12. By: lpopolos Posted: 31st December

    I am 43 years old. I was just searching for something to help me get past the pain of my father not wanting me when i was a child, abandoning me after my parents divorce…well, not right after. I was about 10 years old and both my mom and my dad didnt want me. They acted like they were playing hot potato…me being the potato.

    I just had a long hard cry with myself… i envisioned that that little girl (me) was standing before me. i could feel all of her pain, her little face so sad and confused…and i hugged my pillow and rocked and cryed envisioning that i was holding her (me) tightly, consoling her …letting her cry, telling her I loved her…

    and in the midst of this my own daughter…the one that i abandoned…my little girl. How Ive hurt her. How i miss her. How Ive been living in a living hell…and that i diserve it. we use to be so close…we couldnt wait to snuggle each other…my poor baby girl. How could i have screwed up so bad…something this important…she is an adult now. she wont talk to me. Her dad died when she was 16…she begged me to let her stay in her “home” with her step mom. At the time i thought itcwas my chance to get to know her…SEE HER HUG HER…SMELL HER SHELBY fabric softener SENT…but everyone told me not to be pushy. we made plans to see each other but she canceled it. She gave me her cell number and i sent her text messages every couple of days letting her know how much i loved her but i never got a responce…the last time i was able to make contact with her she said she didnt want to know me and to consider that conversation the last time we would speak. I still feel i should have been pushier to see her before she turned 18… i know once she sees me…oh my… i was almost confident enough to say that she would melt. i dont know…Everyone who knows me…who has had the experiance of being my company around the hollidays or espeshally her birthday…i am just a basket case. Ive always been told her and i would be together again … i dont know

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 1st January

      Hi Ipopolos
      Welcome to EFB ~ I am so glad you are here and thank you for sharing some of your story with us. Sounds like you have found the right website for talking about your past with your parents.
      As for your daughter ~ I find that when we work on ourselves many people do get the opportunity to mend relationships with our children.
      Hang in here with us!
      hugs, Darlene

  13. By: Paula Hayes Posted: 4th October

    I posted a long reply here in August. Maybe you didn’t like it or thought it was inappropriate because it has disappeared! At the time of writing, I wrote what was in my heart (although I’ve forgotten now what I actually said). It took me 62 years to figure out that all my relationships had been abusive: with my mother, with my husband, with my “best friend” and even with my children (I tried to apply my “learned” family values). At 66, following counselling and a kind of grieving process and (since last June) constant positive affirmations from Emerging from Broken, I no longer see the world as my enemy (although I have issues with the way the world is run and I’m a political and environmental activist). When all is said and done, I I still feel sorry for those unlucky people who are unable to love, unable to feel guilt, unable to live their lives any other way. Everybody posting here has survived and has finally seen the light; our abusers will never, ever see any light. I must be one of the few people who actually looks forward to a happier old age!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th October

      Hi Paula,
      When all is said and done, I too feel sorry for those people unable to love and unable to live their lives.
      If I “don’t like a comment” I place the commenter in “moderation” which means that their comments can’t get through without me reading them first. I have a comment from you in September ( on a different post but I didn’t delete any comments in August. The only time I don’t publish comments is when the comment is abusive.
      hugs, Darlene

  14. By: Jane Posted: 1st October

    How many are adoptees??Just curious.

  15. By: Babsy Sue Posted: 21st August

    Hello there. Do you think confronting my parents is worth it? I haven’t spoken to them in almost 10 years, with only a few words over the phone or email.
    My husband sees me suffering from their lack of love and care and he keeps telling me to go and speak to them. I dont really want to. What if she is not sorry for what she did and I feel worse? I don’t know.
    What do you think?

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st August

      Hi Babsy Sue
      Welcome to EFB ~ This is totally your decision. Only you know what is best for you. Confrontation is not the only way to healing the suffering caused by this. Something I often wonder about my mother is that IF she is sorry, why hasn’t she contacted me?? Realizing that my mother wasn’t really ‘sorry’ has actually helped me (it did hurt for a while at first) because I was able to see the truth the way it really is, not the way I had been raised to see it.
      Lots of info in this site ~ and you might enjoy my ebook which is available on the right side bar at the top. 🙂
      hugs, Darlene

  16. By: Bronwyn Tanner Posted: 5th July

    Diana (221) I can so identify with you. My son is 27 years old – he is my light and my energy – and has been from the moment he was born. I could never understand how my mother could not have felt the same way about me. She didn’t. She made my son the golden child and me the scapegoat and attempted, for years, to play one off the other. Fortunately she never succeeded. We are now both no contact with her. We are in recovery from a relationship that was toxic in every way. Recovery is long – but it happens. Thinking of you with love. xxx

  17. By: Diana Posted: 4th July

    As I read some of these post, I was in awe! Because I thought I was maybe the only one that was going through this. I have had such a hard time dealing with the fact that a mother ( my mother) has never really loved or cared for me no matter what I do or say it’s just not enough. When I ask her (why) her answer is well my mother didn’t love me, but I’m not willing to accept that answer because I my self am a mother of a 34 year old son and he means the world to me! My question is how hard is it to love a child that you give birth to? How can a mother turn her back on her child?

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th July

      Hi Diana
      Welcome to EFB ~ you are certainly not alone! It is heartbreaking, but there are in fact thousands and thousands that read this site and literally thousands who share their journey here.
      Glad you found us,
      hugs, Darlene

  18. By: kelly Posted: 27th June

    Hi Darlene, Thank you so much for what you are doing here on EFB. My mother did not love me at all, as far back as I can remember I felt in the way and a bother, no matter what I did. My mother was a narcissist in every sense of the word right to the bitter end. My mother died less than two months ago, I was there when she died. The moment she died I had a feeling of anger, huge anger and I was shocked at myself. I tried to have some closure with her but she would not have anything to do with that, she really did hate me and saw me as competition since I was about 14. The last visit I had with her was at her house, I went for a visit and when I was leaving I told her I loved her and went to give her a kiss, she turned away.
    Last mother’s day was the very first one without her and to be honest it was a relief. My mother never found happiness in this world, where ever she is now I hope she truly found her peace. As for me, I am not upset she is gone really, you cannot miss something you never had.

  19. By: Janie Posted: 23rd June

    Hi Everybody!

    Woke up later in the morning today. Ok, because I had worked well into the night (crazy hours!!)
    I heard my mother’s voice singing this song, she used to sing, when she thought we were sleeping too late. It went something like, “Lazy Susan, won’t you get up, won’t you get up….”
    The thing that spooked me, was that there was such hatred in her voice. I hear that now. As a child, I just felt a lump in my solar plexus, hearing the song and the sound of her voice.
    Now, I can see, she was jealous of us for just being children. For having carefree summer days. For not having to get up early like her.
    She resented that we could have been carefree kids, and she was having none of it!!!
    Now, I can see, its okay I slept late, as I worked late, and my body needed it. I had a moment of tension, before I was fully awake, “hearing” that song in my head. Awake, I am free to enjoy my day, without an angry, resentful child-hater running the show…..


  20. By: Stephanie Posted: 22nd June

    I just found your blog last night by searching google. It amazes me that people just don’t talk about this topic! I truly feel that most normal healthy people do their best to be good parents, but some of us are born into the arms of abusers? Why is it recognized when children are abused, but when we become adults our feelings are dismissed by society? Do people not realize that abused kids become adults at some point and we are still stuck with the same parent who wounds us? Thank you for having the courage to write this blog. It helps to know I am not the only one going through this.

  21. By: Davina Posted: 15th April

    Hi Darlene,

    Regarding comment 26 and funding,

    You should be paid for your work on this website as well as for its upkeep. “Nonprofit” doesn’t mean that you work for free or pay upkeep from your own money. It’s clear that you do this work to help people, and that it does. Anyone who accuses you of doing this for money doesn’t know what they are talking about or deserve a response from you.

    I hope you find a dependable and ongoing way to fund the site, either an annual fund drive, memberships or grants. As it is now, some people donate money, but most don’t give at all. Probably the people with the most money aren’t donating much, and those with the least money are donating the most. Statistics prove this phenomenon–see Google. (And it reminds me of MY foo, where I was overly responsible and did housework while no one else lifted a finger…)

    Memberships: If 2,000 people per year use this cite and each paid $10 per year, that’s $20,000 per year for you to maintain the site including paying yourself decently, not minimum wage, and any staffers for time worked. You are also probably legally entitled to recoup money you paid for startup and maintenance along the way. A small fee per year per user is really nothing for all but the homeless; just give up a few bags of junk food per year and there’s your membership. You could always offer the first month free or give free memberships to the needy.

    Funding drive: Each year, Wikipedia posts a message at the top of each page saying that they need money to keep running and that if each user donates just $3, their funding needs for the year will be met. A few weeks later, they have the year’s money, and the sign at the top of each page changes to “thanks, our funding goals were met.” Anybody who doesn’t like that Wikipedia needs money to stay up can go away, and any nasty comments about their need for funds isn’t even answered.

    Grants: There are specialized grant writers who will find and apply for grants for you, then take a portion of the proceeds as pay for their work so that you don’t have to pay anything up front.

    You are intelligent, articulate, and have unique expertise. If you become so drained that you break down or can’t care anymore, none of us will have a place to go. Thus I hope you find a dependable, less stressful way to fund the site, perhaps hire a helper, and pay yourself too.

    It warms my heart to know that your FOO can see what you’ve done!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th April

      Hi Davina
      Thank you for your ideas, they are great and I have looked into several of them. EFB is actually set up to become a membership site, however, technically it isn’t so easy for a non techie like me. And so it takes money to get it all going AND a lot of time to maintain. 🙁 (time and money again ~ the very things I am short on) so that idea remains on hold for now. When my youngest graduates highschool, I will make a new plan.
      I appreciate all the wonderful supportive things you say about me! Thanks so much!
      Hugs, Darlene

  22. By: marquis (female) Posted: 10th February

    Such a wonderful blog as always!

    “These stats reveal that hundreds of thousands of people are searching for articles about dysfunctional parents and abusive parents but most of the people searching don’t want anyone to know about it. I believe this comes from the fact that most of us in any given society were brainwashed to believe that WE are the ones that failed the parents and that the ‘character defect’ is within us and therefore the failure in the relationship is on our shoulders instead of on the shoulders of the abusive parents. And the loyalty to our parents that was drilled into us as our only hope for survival and acceptance is not easily overcome.”

    My mother never loved me…yet I am the crazy one according to people. My therapist told me months ago how my parents “did love us they just didn’t know how to show it,” I told her ‘actions will always speak louder than words yet where’s the real love?’ I never got the real answers from her!

    The quote above, I agree with because people out there expect us to “fix our parents/families.” They say ‘it’s your fault for believing the brainwashing/lies,’ I told someone long ago ‘I was a little kid, you are gonna blame an innocent child?’ They said yea, because kids need to know how to function like an adult. Wow, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!

    I knew at a young age, my parents never loved us. Nothing they ever did showed any kind of real love for their own children. How does a barrage of yelling/screaming, terrorizing/putting someone in fear 24/7, damaging your kids’ self-esteems, calling then names, etc is any kind of real love?! Too bad my therapist and other people couldn’t answer that!

    “It wasn’t and still isn’t easy to accept that my own parents didn’t consider my emotional health a top priority and that my father and my mother didn’t love me however it has been a huge part of the truth that set me free. I had to face the truth about the damage and where it came from before I could heal from that damage; regardless of the dysfunctional childhoods my parents may have had, the damage they caused me is not remedied by trying to understand them.”

    Agreed. My parents never called about our entire health period yet nobody couldn’t understand that! “the damage they caused me is not remedied by trying to understand them.” I totally agree with this yet therapist and other people told me “to heal the damage is to understand them,” which is full of baloney! There’s nothing else to figure out about them and why should I care? People keep making me to care about them and the truth is I never did growing up!

    I told my therapist ‘if you were counseling an abused wife because her hubby beats her everyday and calls her names, are you telling me she needs to “understand him?” IF she’s lucky enough, she probably got some info about his childhood and how he blames her or women for it, but why does she need to keep understanding him? When will the damage ever be healed for her? The women at the women’s center definitely would not appreciate that from you as a woman.’ My therapist agreed how you could sit here and ask the why questions about why the abuser did what he did and I looked at her like that’s basically what I am saying indirectly speaking and she contradicted herself!

    “However, dysfunctional mother daughter relationships or dysfunctional mother son relationships or even toxic relationships of any kind with either parent are not the most popular subject when it comes to open discussion. They are often considered “taboo” in fact.”

    Agreed. It is still taboo I don’t know why. This is why we can’t go anywhere as a country/society because we refuse to talk about issues that happened in the past and the issues that are still currently happening right now! How long are we gonna keep dusting crap under the rug? Doesn’t the floor have a giant hole by now?! It’s sad how these things are taboo and people can’t seem to come out and share their stories without the public trying to humiliate them or throw things at them. It’s like ‘shut up and don’t speak ill about abusive people. Let’s keep things the way they are while I bury my head in the sand and pretend these things don’t exist because when I was growing up in the 40s, these issues never existed nor were they discussed!’ See, that’s the attitude from that past generation that still lingers today!

    “I want people to realize that they are far from alone in this difficult problem. I would never advocate for people going public about problems with their parents before they are ready. Many people will never share anywhere publically about any of this even long after their parents are dead and that is a personal choice that I will always respect.”

    Agreed. I have met a few people who never speak about their parents/families which my therapist would say “they are such angry people.” Nobody shouldn’t be force to speak about it if they choose not to but I get angry people towards me when I don’t say anything about my parents. I used to have friends who got mad because I knew stuff about their families yet they didn’t know anything about mine; other than the fact that they knew I have a brother and sister, a 1st born half sister whom I don’t know because she is old enough to be my mom. I mean what is there you want me to talk about?

  23. By: Londiwe Posted: 20th January


    I am right in the throes of accepting that I have never been loved my entire life and this is so painful but there is something inside me telling me that this is the path to freedom,that from this ,I will stop blaming and criticizing myself for being an unlovable daughter.What stumped me is that out of 6 siblings I have been the ONLY one saying that this family is very ill and dysfunctional and that mother is at the centre of the dysfunction but oh no,she is an angel,so say all my siblings,right in the middle of their own dysfunction.I do feel that accepting and acknowledging this reality is my way out of the fog.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart Darlene for being the sister I never had,for being the one to acknowledge my pain and the truth.

  24. By: Anna Posted: 12th December

    I couldn’t agree more that people who suffer from neglect and emotional abuse feel like they’re all alone. The few times I brought up the topic of my relationship with my mother with friends from work, I could tell they were all judging me, thinking I had to be the one with the problem since all mothers have unconditional love for their children, right?! Only my husband and very close friends, i.e. those who actually know my mother, know that it’s not all in my head. They don’t tell me to let go of my anger and frustration, and they don’t ask me to forgive her for what she’s done. But still, even if some people understand, I didn’t know anyone else was in the same type of situation until I came across this blog.

    I’m still at the beginning of my journey towards recovery, but two things that I know will help me move forward are to know for sure that No, my mother didn’t love me, and Yes, I was a victim of emotional abuse. Sometimes acknowledging the truth, no matter how painful, helps a lot, so thank you!!

  25. By: sandra Posted: 27th August

    thanks for all your answers.

    My mom is 60 but she has been acting as if she was “a poor old retiree” since I can ever remember, even when I was a teen, and she was like 40 something 🙂

    As for the looks, my mom does not treat hersekf well, she claims it is my fault she got fat, because she put on weight during pregnancy 🙂 (she had 20+ years to lose that weight 🙂 ). I do not remember her doing any physical activity other than walking from the couch to the kitchen 🙂

    She makes fun of the fact that i have always been following a healthy diet as if it something good, she is trying to make me feel guilty, can you believe it? (“I do not spoil myself the way you do….the food you buy is so pricey”, “you treat yourself as if you were some kind of an atress” as if only celebrieties had a right to be fit or ma favorite: “no man will ever be able to stand you. you need some REAL food”). Well maybe if she cut the amount of food she consumes or started reading labels, the price of fruits and veggies would not be such a turn off for her, or how about you put the frozen pizza down and but something else instead?


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