Toxic Mother Daughter Relationships when Mom says You are the Problem



dysfunctional mother daughter relationship
Pure Truth

“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 daughter because of…. And I would list my faults. Just like I was trained to do; I was trained to look at me, always to look at me and my faults and to take the blame. Looking at my faults is not such a bad thing, but the lack of mutuality in our relationship is a ridiculous thing. This started when I was a kid and I had been convinced mostly through the actions and results of those actions at the hands of the adults in my life, that I was the failure and that if I could be different, THEN I would be loved. There was no accountability on the part of the adults!

Today I refer to that thought process as “the spin”. I would spin around and around in my mind about why my mother was justified in her criticisms and judgments of ME which I somehow believed nullified my judgments of her. I could never validate that something really was wrong with the way she treated me, because I was so convinced that I was at least as much of a problem for her as she was for me. I didn’t see how she was “the parent”, or how she expected me to be more responsible for the success of our relationship than she was. I didn’t look at HOW I learned to have a relationship in the first place. I didn’t realize that my self-esteem was never put in place because my parents didn’t put it in place. I didn’t consider for one minute that the truth was that it had been up to them to give me a healthy emotional foundation in the first place.  I had learned to LOOK at myself in a critical way and to never look at anyone else in a critical way. There is something really warped about that.

In the healing process, this is a huge stick point for many people.  In reading the quote I used above; “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 ~ My first reaction was that I had been the one who was hurting my mother with MY criticism.  I had effectively been taught and groomed to turn the spotlight on myself.

Statements like the examples I used above and statements like “Oh you think you are so perfect” or “sorry I’m not perfect” are actually deflections meant to make me believe that the problem was my “unreasonable expectations” of her; I picture my mother as wearing wonder woman type shiny wrist cuffs to deflect the statements I made to her, BACK on to me. She didn’t hear me, she had no intention of listening to me, she just found a way to put the responsibility of our relationship back on me.

When I was around 33 years old, just after my second baby was born, my mother told me all the things that I had ever done that had ‘disappointed her’ and all of my faults and failures and when I wanted to say a few things about how she made me feel, she threatened to have a breakdown and reminded me that she was too fragile to listen to me. That was the first time I had ever really tried to stand up to her and when she threatened to go home, I said go and she did.  

There was NO communication when I tried to sort any of this out. She had no intention of actually discussing any of it with me. She used statements to deflect whatever it was that I had to say causing me to look at me again, instead of at her. She was very efficient at getting me to see how I caused the problem for her and never the other way around.

Sorting this out was really hard. It was extremely valuable for me to learn to examine the motives on both sides; My motive was not to hurt her. My motive was not to be right, but to be heard, to have a say, to have some impact on the relationship. My motive for approaching her with anything that was bothering me was to improve our relationship. My motive was loved based both for her and for me. Her motive was more about being right. Her motive was about being in control. She didn’t want to communicate with me, she didn’t allow me to have impact on her life, she didn’t see any need to look at HER part in the relationships or why it was so difficult between us. Her motive was ultimately NOT love based. Her motive was not what was best for me and ultimately not what was best for her either.

When I wanted to talk to my mother about our dysfunctional toxic mother daughter relationship it wasn’t to fight back or to fight to have a voice. It wasn’t so that I could have control over her. My motive was the desire for a BETTER relationship for both of us. A mutually respectful relationship. I told her that I could no longer accept the way she treated me. That was love for both of us; I had learned that self-love does not accept abusive disrespectful treatment. I had also learned that putting up with the way she treated me communicated to her that it was okay for her to do it, and letting her treat me like I didn’t matter was not loving for her either.  We don’t put up with that treatment out of LOVE for the people doing it; we put up with it out of fear of the consequences if we draw a boundary against it.

All I did was decide that our toxic mother daughter relationship problems were not MY fault.

Then I decided that since I realized it wasn’t my fault, I wasn’t taking the blame for it anymore.

Then I drew a boundary which bluntly stated was; “either you stop treating me in this disrespectful way or I will not have this relationship with you”.

She picked “not having a relationship with me”. OUCH. But at least I knew the truth. It was easier to move forward when I knew the truth.  It wasn’t exactly the validation that I wanted but it was validating to know my suspicions were true.

At the end of the day I know that my mother is not a happy person. I also know now that it isn’t MY FAULT.

The hurt little girl part of me thinks that my mother must be happy now that “her problem’ which was me, is no longer in her life. But the healthy adult part of me thinks that my mother could have been much happier if she embraced the idea of having a ‘real relationship’ with me. A mutually respectful relationship based on equal value instead of rejecting me because I stood up to the existing toxic mother daughter relationship we had. But as she always said to me ~ she made her bed…..


Please share your thoughts about being taught that you were the one who failed and if you somehow believed it. Are you out of ‘the fog’ and ‘the spin’ or are you still coming out of them. It’s okay to be IN the process.  I had to be IN the process to get to the other side; Looking forward to your comments!

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken 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

For more posts about Toxic Mother Daughter Relationships scroll through the mother daughter category, (button at the top of the page)

Related Post~ “Emotionally Unavailable Father and The message of Passive Abuse”

904 response to "Toxic Mother Daughter Relationships when Mom says You are the Problem"

  1. By: Deborah Posted: 8th May

    Wow I don’t feel so alone in this anymore. I’m going to be 50. Today is mothers day and unfortunately today on mothers day I have finally made the decision to cut off all ties. I am not happy today but I know I made the right decision. It’s time. For too long I not only allowed this toxic relationship but also allowed other family members to disrespect me due to what they’ve all witnessed as well in terms of how my mother treats me. I can’t do it anymore. Its very sad and unfortunate but thankfully I have the support of my husband and his family as well. I am thankful I guess that my mother in law really feels like my real mother because she treats me with respect and shows me so much love. I know I am making the right decision. Either I continue to let everyone treat me with disrespect or I cut off the bad limb and move on. So today begins a new chapter in my life. Some mothers day this turned out to be but thankfully I have my son here with me today and he loves me and knows what a great mother I am. I always promised myself I would never continue the pattern and treat my son the way I was treated. Thank you so much for the article, it really put allot in perspective for me and further validated I made the right decision by cutting off all future ties with my mother.

  2. By: Deja Posted: 7th May

    Iam glad i found this group. I was very disturbed because of my mother’s behaviour. She is very loving at times, but her mood changes all of a sudden as she starts yelling at me for simple things. Everything must always happen according to her wishes. She will decide where i must place my study table. I must climb up to first to floor to get my books from my cupboard there. I must not take my study table up nor should i sit in first floor and study as i will dirty the floor. Iam 27 but still iam not allowed to drive car to job as she is afraid i will get into an accident. Iam a doctor. She says i became proud and iam looking down on her. I love her and respect her. Don’t know y she brings my profession into the discussions. She says its nothing. I haven’t acheived anything by being a doctor. I sometimes feel she feels inferiority complex as she didn’t complete her degree even if she had every oppurtunity to do so. She says i haven’t reached anywhere near her. Always criticises my dressing , my way of talking with others, my gestures, my facial expressions, tine of my voice. Everything is wrong in her sight. I feel so worthless. At times i feel i haven’ t acheived anything. She doesn’t show anger in front of others. Then she talks with me friendly even if v had been fighting a moment before. I still wouldn’t hqve recovered. So i won’t b able to put on ahappy face. Then she will comment on it making me more angry and hence i slip up and say something in an unhappy tone making me lok bad in front of others. Makes others feel like i don’ t knoww how to manage a house. I feel embarassed before them. Then she either talks to me harshly or start yelling and then stops talking. Then i have to go and appease her. Makes me feel incompetent. Don’t know what to do. I feel happier when staying in hostels. I kind of look forward to it. But i can’ t leave home to stay seperately unless for academic purposes as my society is against woman staying separately. I understand my problems are simple compared to many of yours. But this is emotionally draining me. At times my father support me atleast in words, but most of the time she is able to convince him otherwise reversing the blame on me.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 7th May

      Thank you for sharing and welcome to EFB. I hope you can continue reading here ~ there are so many insights and perhaps you will be able to find some solutions to the prison that you are living in. You are certainly NOT Alone!
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken,
      Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Sergio Ruiz Posted: 27th April

    I am from Colombia, South America and here i am, finding this article very helpful. My girlfriend works as a teacher and is currently paying her university studies to be an english teacher. She works really hard and doesn´t like drinking or partying, her family (apart from parents) all love her but sadly she has been receiving this kind of emotional abuse all her life. She has tried so many things to try to fix this toxic enviroment; trying to ignore the constant attacks, trying to speak with them, changing some of her habits to please them. But the situation just goes from bad to worse. Her mom was diagnosed cancer 7 months ago, luckily through quimio her cancer has been irradicated. unfortunately though My Girlfriend got blamed for her cancer! Yesterday both of her parents started to attack her once again, telling her: she didn’t know how to do anything, that she has changed and has become useless, that I will never value her cause she is worthless, that she does nothing towards helping the family. My Girlfriend had an emotional melt down and they just kept screaming and telling her to stay quiet while she cried. My girlfriend finally told them she was gonna leave the house and live somewhere else; Their answer was “your gonna cause your mother cancer again” Suddenly they started blaming her and reminding her of any mistake she has done, argumenting that she was the cause of her mother´s cancer and that my girlfriend was gonna cause her mother´s death. She was devastated and even though i have tried everything to support her, i feel her sadness and emptyness; this kills me. I´ve been searching on the internet how to help her. I found this article and this site and it has been an eye opener, it has made so many things clear to me. I think i understand the problem, her mother received the same or worse abuse from her mother, eventhough i really don’t know how to start to help my girlfriend be happy. She is a wonderful person and seeing her withstand so much, worries me. How should she begin? how can i help her ?

    Thank you Darlene,

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th April

      Hi Sergio,
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken,
      I would suggest getting a copy of my e-book for her as a starter. (see the graphic on the upper right side bar or use the live link at the end of the post you have commented on) In the e-book I have highlighted exactly how I got started and how I came out of the fog and false belief that I had to accept this treatment, and how I began to embrace the life I deserved to live.
      There is tons of info in this website as well if she is willing to read.
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: G.P Posted: 24th April

    I have a very toxic relationship with my mother and I’m only 18. I can never please her, I’m the one whose always at fault, I just make her life worse and worse. the times that I’ve snapped or exploded at her because I can’t take her sarcasm and yelling, it only makes things worse and she turns anything I say against me. After reading your story Darlene, I want to say thank you. Lately I’ve been experiencing some symptoms of depression and moody behavior. I think about my life, my insecurities and my overall relationship with my mother. Reading your story has reminded me that I shouldn’t feel that way. I shouldn’t belittle myself because someone else screwed up their life and is taking it out on me. I want to be happy Darlene and I am going to try my best to be happy because I don’t deserve this. Nobody deserves this type of psychological and emotional abuse. I am going to keep fighting, I am going to survive. My mother can say and believe whatever the hell she wants but I am no longer going to let that affect me. I am going to be happy.

    Thank You Darlene
    – G

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th April

      Hello GP
      Welcome to EFB! You are so very right! NOBODY deserves to be discounted, devalued etc. and made to feel as though they are responsible for the unhappiness or happiness of another. I am glad that you are here and thank you for sharing!
      hugs, Darlene

  5. By: judy t Posted: 21st April

    Thanks Darlene:
    Thank you for your response. From my perspective, her narcissism is keeping her from telling the truth. She chooses to stay in her denial state and it is more than apparent that she feels quite comfortable to remain there. She still has the other 3 sons and their families to successfully manipulate.
    Having said that, I know that there is no talking this out with her.
    Given that she has high blood pressure and is about to turn 80 next month, I don’t want to be accused of causing her health to worsen.
    For once, I have to think about my health and I can’t thank you enough for this site and the other victims’ and your help in making it so that I am not suffering from sleep apnea anymore. Apparently, PTSD is one of the causes of this sleeping disorder.
    You are a true angel.

  6. By: judy t Posted: 20th April

    Sorry, I forgot to mention that at the end of her email, she writes I was the “happiest event” that happened to her. An event? Does it sound like she’s losing it? Or, am I just being too sensitive or picky?
    judy t

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 20th April

      Hi Judy
      My mother talks this way. It is a weird brand of cluelessness, and it is the way she sweeps things under the carpet. All I wanted was to talk this out with my mother. I don’t know your situation exactly (and due to the amount of comments on this website (almost 47,000 most over 500 words, I can’t keep up with them all or keep everyone straight) but only you can figure out how to proceed or what she is up to. Having said that, There is no accountability in your mothers letter. She says you have been loved, but what does that mean? She says she doesn’t understand, but is that her choice or is that the truth?
      Just a few thoughts,

  7. By: judy t Posted: 20th April

    Hello Everyone:
    I sure would appreciate your suggestions. My toxic mother just sent me another email. The “Steve” is the oldest of her sons. The “both” she is referring to is my husband and myself.
    Here it is:
    “The rain in Houston has been all over the news. I hope that you both are okay. Steve and his family will be here for a week next month. I have been trying to plan for a family reunion. I will NOT plan it with out (sic) you.
    I am heartbroken because of your distancing yourself from me. I don’t understand it, I just feel awful about it. After the many years of my caring for you, do you not feel You (sic) owe an explanation of you (sic) feelings??
    You have been loved all your life. You were the happiest event that happened to me. I love you still.
    Next month, encompasses her 80th birthday as well as Mother’s Day.
    I do not feel I “OWE” her a damned thing, much less an explanation. Do you think I should respond to her or just keep things the way they are?
    Again, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is not experiencing sleep apnea or any feelings of anxiousness since I have not had any communication with her for over a month now. Also, I have not felt the compulsion to overeat. I really feel free.
    Please let me know what you think.
    Thanks Again,
    judy t

  8. By: judy t Posted: 19th April

    Dear Fionulla:
    If you want to read my truth, scroll up to posting 802. From there, you can read the responses that I feel blessed to have received from other victims. They are all so helpful.
    I thank God for Darlene to have created this site for us.
    judy t

  9. By: judy t Posted: 19th April

    age of 35, he told me that when my mother ran off with me, they were heartbroken and died within a few years of major heart problems.
    Why did it take so long for me to finally meet my bio-dad? Because, my mother lied to me, telling me that he didn’t want to have anything to do with me. And in turn, she lied to his sister that I didn’t want to meet him.
    Thinking about this has made me cry just typing this truth. I can honestly say that I will not be missing her when her time comes.

  10. By: judy t Posted: 19th April

    Welcome Fionulla:
    WOW! I would suggest that for your own self-preservation and peace of mind, do what I did to take back my power and start to learn to like myself. I stopped all communication with mine with NO confrontation. I totally ignore her calls and emails. She tried to manipulate my youngest half-brother to call me. In the phone conversation I had with him, I told him that I know “mother has a heart problem, and I don’t want to upset her, but I am done listening to her constant lying”
    I wished that my mother had left me with my grandparents on my father’s side. When I got to finally meet him, at the

  11. By: Fionulla Posted: 19th April

    I am so glad I came across this page because from the word go, my Mother send me to my grandparents because she could not handle me, I was crying and rather than put up with me, my Mother gave me to my grandparents, My Father must have felt so hurt when she did that, he never told me or said over the years. He is dead now and I so much wish that he was not gone, I never got on with my Mother, she criticized me over the years, told me I had a hump in back, cause I used to sink down so low, from low self esteem, she criticized clothes I wore, friends I have and had. She even managed to get to my husband when I got married. Not only would she deny this today, she would deny everything she said, she criticized both my brothers wives and I am riddled with anxiety because of all the criticizing over the the years. She treats me like a servant, and tell me in front of people at gatherings to get up and my husband sit down. She had no confidence in me, treated me like a child and I in my 30’s now. she bullies me into things and thinks that I should be down home doing her hair every week and taking her out. But when I do this, nothing is done to her standard! I am at my wits end now with her, but yet if I don’t go and see her I will get blamed for not been a good daughter, she says things about me to family members that I treated her badly, because the once or twice I was assertive she used it against me later on. She tells all my business to everyone, so I no longer confide in her on anything.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 19th April

      Hi Fionulla
      Welcome to EFB!
      I am so sorry that you went through all that. When they deny, it makes them liars… It doesn’t mean we are making stuff up!
      Being told you are not a “good daughter” does not make you a bad daughter ~ it is something SHE says but the proof about love is in how she is treating you! (and it isn’t love for her or for you, to allow that treatment. Ask yourself what is a “good mother” and how does she fit into that??)
      There is a ton of reading in this website and my e-book (upper right side bar on computer or on the home page button on mobile) is also a great place to start to look for insight!
      Hugs, Darlene

    • By: K Posted: 7th February

      I am 22 years old and I feel my mom is toxic. She has used my mild mental illness (depression) to make people believe my version of events are not true and that she is so perfect. She calls me names,belittles me and will not allow me to have a driver’s license. I feel helpless. I have no one else..I am currently working with a therapist who is also at a loss of what to do. I can’t work. I am getting ssi. I can afford to get my own apartment but it is among one of the many things my mom won’t allow me to have. I am in a situation where I need her approval for absolutely everything. I cannot cut off contact and I cannot leave. I have tried. I would go out with a friend and she would have to drive us somewhere and my friend would express discomfort at the way I’m treated and they don’t even see the half of it. My therapist thinks if I make her aware of how she makes me feel that she will stop but I know better. She treats my sister and always has like she can do no wrong. She knows how to be nice to people who share the same views and opinions but when some one tells her different that’s it for that. We don’t have contact with all of my family because of this. She has only one friend and her friend doesn’t ever want to be around her. I have quit arguing and begin to tune out when she goes on one of her rants telling me I’m such a horrible person. Telling me I’m lazy and ungrateful and disrespectful. When I tell her that hurt my feelings that’s when she tells me I am disrespectful. I want it to stop but I fear it never will.

  12. By: Judy T Posted: 15th April

    Dear Kris: (Responding to posting 820)
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I can relate to your “crappy-end-of-the-stick” analogy. Whenever any of us feel weakened or disempowered by these narcissistic mothers’ behaviors or words, we should imagine them trying to stick us with those crappy sticks, either in our eyes or up our asses, whichever doesn’t make us want to vomit first.
    I still am in amazement how I haven’t had any episodes of sleep apnea or feelings of anxiousness anymore. Also, I am not overeating like I have been, for most of my life.
    I am NOT going to respond to any of her attempts at trying to communicate that I am the one who should feel guilty and selfish.
    I am done with her, and that’s it.
    Thank you Kris and all others on this site, and foremost to Darlene, who made this healing possible.
    Godspeed to all of you, my “spiritual sisters”

  13. By: Kris Posted: 15th April

    Judy T,

    Notice how it is all about her. She wants to work things out before she is in the grave so you better hurry up!!! I got the same thing from my mother except she told me how I was the one who was holding a grudge and I need to “stop it” just as if she were talking to a five year old. They say how they are clueless but there are truth leaks all over the place if you look for them. My mother told me I am holding a grudge when she is the one who returned my Christmas gift this year not the other way around. I told her if she wants to know how I am no longer holding a grudge I would gladly tell her how I did it. 3 ½ years of hard work and facing the pain that she caused me is how I did it. No she doesn’t have a clue just like your mother doesn’t and it’s all because they CHOOSE not to have one not because they don’t know what they did to us was wrong. They are liars. Liars to us, liars to themselves, and liars to anyone else who will listen to them because that’s all they ever know how to do is lie lie lie and deny deny deny leaving us having to hold the crappy end of the stick each and every single solitary last time until WE finally say enough is enough. That’s how this whole bullcrap stops because they will never stop doing what they are doing because they love having power and control over us. They choose to use denial as an excuse for everything.

  14. By: Judy T Posted: 15th April

    Please read posting 802 to get the basis of why I have not communicated with my mother. This last posting, 820, the Dear Judy letter, is the result of me not communicating with my narcissistic mother since last month. As you can see, she is in total denial about everything. Plus, she has selective amnesia. She does not have alzheimers.
    Meanwhile, I have not had ONE episode of sleep apnea or any anxiousness at all.
    I am not going to respond to her at all, until she looks inside herself to make the realizations that she caused me to suffer so much pain and agony growing up.
    Thanks again Darlene and everyone else here on this site.
    Godspeed to everyone.

  15. By: Judy T Posted: 15th April

    Hey Everybody,
    I need your help. My toxic mother just emailed me this.
    “Dear Judy
    I want to thank you for the beautiful things you sent me. The last time we spoke you seemed totally irritated with me. I truly did not understand why. It was totally devastating to me. I feel like my whole life has been wasted. My only daughter seems to hate me. I am sorry for what ever (sic)you blame me for. If there is anyway (sic) that you can forgive me and rekindle a friendship please let me know. I will turn 80 on my birthday and I hope that we can resolve this before I am in the grave.
    I love you,
    I sure would appreciate your feedback. What would you do?

  16. By: Amber Posted: 14th April

    Thanks JudyT! Will do. ?

  17. By: Judy T Posted: 13th April

    Dear Amber:
    Type in child psychology developmental benchmarks in your search bar. Please share what you learn, your challenges, your triumphs. I will try to do the same.
    Godspeed to you my spiritual “sister”

  18. By: Amber Posted: 13th April

    Judy T. You’re welcome! I would be interested in reading about the benchmarks in child development that you wrote about. Any resources that you can suggest. I’m curious to see how it relates to my own development. Keep going, Judy! It’s a lot of work but worth it! I made a lot of progress in three years, but still have a ways to go.

  19. By: Kris Posted: 13th April

    Judy T,

    I am so glad you had a break through regarding your health. It is amazing how much better we feel mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, once we get rid of the toxic people in our lives. Thank you for helping me too. I have a hard time telling people what I really think and you helped me be able to do that. Take care.

  20. By: Judy T Posted: 13th April

    Dear Amber:
    Thank you so much for writing what you did here. I had to look in the mirror to see that emotionally, I was still 6 years old. I learned by researching child psychology, I remained that broken 6 year-old until just recently. There are “benchmarks” in child development that have to be met to be able to emotionally handle becoming a teenager and an adult. I am working on this as best I can and you pointing out that it is important to think of how I feel around my toxic mother (gag) verses how I feel away from her, NERVANA. The ultimate guide to growing as a person, you are so right.
    Thanks Again

  21. By: Amber Posted: 13th April

    JudyT, I’m a strong believer in NO feelings are wrong. People act like negative feelings such as sadness, anger, jealousy etc. are wrong, but the fact is, we all feel negative things, and they don’t just come out of nowhere. There is a reason for how we feel. If I felt sadness or anger as a child it was because I wasn’t treated well. If I feel upset about these things now it is because those things were wrong, and maybe I haven’t resolved them in my mind yet to the point where they no longer upset me. It’s okay to feel my full range of feelings, even if society puts a negative tag on some of them. Please just do what is right for you; what you feel in your heart is best for you. Think of how you feel around your mother verses how you feel away from her. That should guide you.

  22. By: Judy T Posted: 13th April

    Amber, I can’t thank you enough for sharing this. Fortunately, you can revisit the “good times” you experienced with your mother. I never had the luxury of any good-time memories with mine. Therefore, at this point in my life, I feel strong in my resolve not to communicate with her ever again and as cruel as this may sound, even if she were on her deathbed asking for me, I will not prostitute myself for her peace of mind. I never had peace of mind growing up, my adult years and now in my latter years, until now.
    Now, I can heal and grow from that emotionally distressed six year-old girl being sexually and physically abused by the male model role, a stepfather. Then, just to have my mother call me a liar and not to tell this lie to anyone else, threatening me that if I told anyone else the lie, she would get rid of me. I remember when I was 8 years old and wondered if I could hang myself in the closet so I could end the madness. Obviously, I didn’t go thru with it, but it was a very close call.
    Folks, do you think I am wrong to feel this way? Do you think that this woman deserves my respect when she most certainly never respected her only daughter? I can’t bring myself to suffer even more for her benefit and her validation. Everyday of my life with her brought me disappointment, an aggravating disappointment. And now, I can breathe, really breathe and not feel like I am walking on eggshells all the time.
    I feel free and will remain free for the rest of my life, knowing that I have responsibility to help others who walk in the same shoes.
    I am so thankful for this site and for everyone here. Thanks again, Darlene, for opening my clouded mind with clarity and hope for the future. No one is or should ever feel alone.
    Godspeed to all.

  23. By: Amber Posted: 12th April

    Judy T ( message 810) I lost my toxic mother to death 3 years ago. All I can say is that I was not able to predict in advance how I would react and it was different than I thought. I was emotionally very stressed and cried a lot for about three weeks. One thing that made it hard was that during this time period my husband and I could not be together due to illness of another family member and I think missing his presence slowed my healing. But back to the topic of her toxicity, I think one thing I was grieving was the fact that now there was no chance that we could resolve the problems in our relationship. The hope was there to the very end, but the finality of death crushed it for me. I had three weeks of hard grieving and then I started to heal. I somehow suspect I would have needed more grieving time if the relationship had been good, because I would have been grieving for someone who was a good presence in my life rather than grieving for what could have been but wasn’t. There had been some good times with her, and I grieved those but there was much more toxicity than good.
    One other thing I would like to add is that her passing did not make her toxic presence suddenly disappear. The belief system was deeply ingrained in me so her toxic teachings (you’re ugly, inferior, supposed to be a servant, something is wrong with you etc.) lived beyond the grave. I found EFB shortly after her death, and then for the first time I started unraveling all this stuff and realizing all the lies she taught me yo believe. There are times that I wish she was here so I can tell her that I am ” on to her” and see her reaction. But that isn’t to be so my goals now are to do what I need to heal and live my best life.

  24. By: Judy T Posted: 12th April

    I forgot to ask if anyone on this site has actually experienced the loss of their toxic mothers to death and how they dealt or are still dealing with it. It just so happens that I met another abuse-victim and she told me that she didn’t shed a tear when her mother passed away. As a matter of fact, she stated that she felt relieved that she didn’t have to endure any more negative contact with her.
    Thanks for your help.

  25. By: Judy T Posted: 12th April

    To You Kris:
    Thank you so much for your insight and advice. I believe this site and your help have saved my life.
    Thank You Again and Godspeed

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