It amazes me what people think I will publish on this website. Emerging from Broken is about healing from abuse and neglect. It is about overcoming and healing from the damage after having been discounted, devalued and defined by the statements and actions of carless and for the most part unloving people. It is about having to submit to the thoughts and value system of our elders, parents, grandparents, grandparents, teachers or any others who placed their importance above ours.
I got this comment this week from Nancy on one of articles I wrote about my mother and our dysfunctional mother daughter relationship. I am highlighting it today because it is such a good example of toxic mother behaviour and attitudes. Children should “know their place” and “what goes around comes around”. This comment is so typical of what we were/are told and how we were/are treated.
Nancy is the very angry mother of a daughter who drew a boundary. At first her comment communicates that the boundary her daughter is drawing is unfair. That she as a mother has done nothing but support her daughter and now she is being called selfish and accused of doing things with a wrong motive. She justifies her behaviour, all the while denying that she ever did anything wrong. But then her comments which I have highlighted in bold print reveal a different story. I read this comment several times and each time I saw with more clarity the depth of the manipulation and the disgusting (and false) belief system of the writer.
Nancy writes: (Note: I did not edit this comment)
To all of you young ladies who claim abuse, I am the 64 yr old mother of a 28 year old who claims she needs to stay away from me because i have so abused her. Now mind you, she’s not talking about hitting her or yelling at her, or telling her she is a worthless so and so that I don’t love her. No. She says I am selfish because I did all i could to help her pursue her interests and was right there in the front row clapping and encouraging her. Apparently according to her, I was doing all this in order to live through her and so I would look good in others peoples eyes that my daughter was such a success. What a bunch of BS!!!!! So let me get this straight, we parents are accused of being abusive no matter what we do!!! Is that right Get over yourslves. Your parents did the best they could and you just want to whine about your unhappiness and blame and it on the easiest target you can find. Your mother. What goes around comes around. Come back after your kids are grown and reject you for these rediculous “charges” because what goes around comes around. The Bible says “honor your mother and father that YOU will live long.” There’s nothing in there about honoring you children. In fact it says “spare the rod, spoil the child”. You are all spoiled and ungrateful and are cruel if you keep your children and parents estranged.
I put the most important part of her comments in BOLD print. This is where the ‘truth leaks” are about the belief system of this angry mother. Let’s take a closer look;
~”What goes around comes around” ~to warn the daughter that whatever ever she is doing to her mother now, will happen to her; that the daughters children are going to do this to her BECAUSE of what she is ‘doing’ to her mother.
~ “Come back after your kids are grown and reject you for these ridiculous “charges” because what goes around comes around”. ~ This is used as a threat to inspire FEAR. But fear of what? If I treated my children with the same disregard and disrespect that my mother treated me with, then I guess I could expect this same rejection from my kids. But it is not because I stood up to my mother that I need to have fear in my relationships with my kids.
The truth about this is that if a mother loves her daughter in the true definition of love in the first place, what went around would come back around. But what would ‘come back around’ would be LOVE, mutual respect and a desire to BE in a relationship. Children learn relationship from their parents. Why is it that people who say “what goes around, comes back around” never see it from that perspective? This is happening to HER, to Nancy and she is saying that it will come back around to the commenters who are having difficulties with their mothers when they have grown children. She says “come back and complain when this happens to you.” Her stance is that WE are going to be sorry, but at the same time she sees no fault on her part for anything she did that may have contributed to the boundary that HER daughter is drawing, as though this is NOT a two way street. This is so typical of an abusive, controlling person and once I saw this truth in a few places, many others became clear to me.
“The Bible says “honor your mother and father that YOU will live long.” This is a directive taken out of the bible and it is used in a manipulative way. Using the words in the bible this way is a way of saying “God is on my side here~ and no one can argue with GOD”. People say things like this in order to gain some ground; to prove they are right because “the bible even says so” but her saying that ISN’T proof and just saying it doesn’t make them right about the directive because they are taking it out of context and misusing it to manipulate people. I could answer with so much more from the bible that teaches to RUN from anyone who leads you away from Christ/God. Why would parents be exempt from those biblical teachings? What kind of God would turn a blind eye to parents, the very ones intrusted to teach children about Him? What kind of “God” would condone abuse, neglect, discounting and devaluing children? If parents were not modeling the love that God/Christ wanted to be modeled, then who would do it? How would children ever learn to love, respect, or treat others the way they would like to be treated if they were treated like objects without feelings? Someone has to be the role model here! If not the parents, then WHO?
The biggest ‘truth leak’ in Nancy’s little guilt trip about her own beliefs was this: “There’s nothing in there (in the Bible) about honoring you children. In fact it says “spare the rod, spoil the child”. She makes this statement to PROVE that the parents have all the rights and children have none. By stating the bible says nothing about honoring children, she says that the (biblical) teachings actually communicate that children don’t have ANY right to being honored! And then she backs that belief up with saying; IN FACT the bible advocates abuse.
Finally Nancy offers her personal judgement on all of us who have concluded that we have been damaged by our own mothers; that we are all spoiled and ‘ungrateful’ and that we are also cruel if we keep children and parents estranged. Typical guilt and shame stuff. She takes NO responsibility for the estrangement with her own daughter although she earlier states that what goes around comes around. She defends herself and her actions using any means she can think of including the Bible, but yet this comment leaks the truth all over the place about her one sided belief system, dysfunctional mother daughter relationship methods and her beliefs that children have no rights.
I don’t have to wonder long about what her childhood was like or where / how she learned the things that she posted. If she goes against her own beliefs and listens to her own daughter, she may have to face her own past which is something that the majority of these toxic parents are unwilling to do.
Nancy could be anyone’s mother. She could be my mother who often said “just wait till YOU have kids Darlene, then you will see how hard it is. Then you won’t be so ungrateful. Then you will see what I have gone through.” My mother threw bible quotes at me too. My kids are now 21, 19 and 15 and although I understand my mother’s motives (using fear to control me and get me to comply to her wishes and accept her judgements and to shame me for daring to defy her) for what she said to me, I don’t have any of these dysfunctional relationship problems with my kids. I believe this is because I didn’t treat them the way I was treated in the first place. I did not place un-reasonable expectations upon them. I did not discount their needs and squish their emotions. I did not disrespect them, neglect them or define them as having lesser value than myself. I am their mother and it is my job to fill them with self-esteem and teach them self-love. I have not taught them that love is compliance and obedience to me or to other adults. I have taught them love by loving them. I do not expect them to respect what was disrespectful. I taught them respect by respecting them, their needs and their feelings. And what goes around comes around.
Please share your thoughts about this typical tirade from Nancy. Her words are so commonly used against (adult) children. They are so condemning and laced with guilt and shame. But they are not the truth. When words like that have been used and heard since childhood, they are accepted much more easily as truth, but the truth is very far from her grasp. It is so important for adult children to see this.
Exposing truth; One snapshot at a time.
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