I was lying in bed the other morning and this phrase “when mothers blame others” kept running through my mind as though some unknown source was whispering at me to write about it. I agreed that it would make a catchy title but I questioned why it was running through my head in the first place.
And then I laughed!
This idea is so prevalent that it’s a wonder it isn’t in my head all the time. Survivors of dysfunctional mother daughter relationships can’t escape the constant reminder that some mothers will blame anyone and everyone as long as they don’t have to look at their own actions. It is still frustrating to me that no matter what proof I had, no matter how many times I tried to explain the situation, no matter how much I defended myself, my mother blamed me OR she blamed something or someone else for HER decisions and behavior.
And although this problem is more widely discussed when it is the adult daughter who is targeted and blamed, this happens very often with adults sons as well. This isn’t exclusive to mothers who blame daughters, but very often fathers blame daughters and or sons as well. Sometimes ALL the children in the family are blamed and defined as “the problem” and sometimes only one or two of them are singled out and blamed and defined as “the problem” in the family.
Many adult children of Narcissistic mothers know this all too well and although my mother is not a true narcissist (because she has total control over her actions), she fits the narcissistic mother pattern of not taking responsibility for her own actions that have ultimately led to the failure of our relationship. Most importantly for the purpose of this article is the fact that the results have been the same with my mother and I as they are with others who do have more typically narcissistic mothers.
When children (of any age) are blamed and labeled as the problem, a burden or “less important’ than the parents, the damage to the self-esteem and overall emotional wellbeing of the child is substantial!
And the treatment and tactics used by the parents are so typical that it is almost as though there is secret manual that these mothers (parents) subscribe to. A manual endorsing that parents have the right to do this stuff and act this way with their children without any consequences to themselves!
The children of these mothers, MEN and WOMAN who have been blamed as children for the ways in which we have been treated, are blamed as adults as well;
Our mother’s (and fathers) will defend themselves over and over again pointing fingers and spewing the venom that we have had to cope with for most of our lives that for some reason we are responsible for the way that they regard us. And if ever you succeed in presenting so much truth that they can’t wiggle out of it, (which happens rarely) then suddenly the focus will switch and everyone else is responsible for the way that they treat us. Mothers will blame someone else but we are never allowed to place blame on anyone but ourselves. We are told to be accountable for the results in our lives without ever having been heard, helped or validated for the emotional difficulties that we have had and very often these emotional difficulties have been at the hands of our own parents.
I have been told of countless mothers who openly blame their children for ruining their lives just by being born. These children have been blamed for failed marriages and relationships between mothers and fathers, mothers and boyfriends, mothers and their sisters and mothers and their other children! These children have been blamed for headaches, bad moods, not enough money (because of YOU) and children who have been blamed for the emotional state of their mothers. And these children have grown up feeling guilty, feeling ashamed of themselves, feeling that they are not good enough, and not worthy of happiness ~ all because they have been blamed so much for the results in their mothers lives. They have been blamed so much and learned to try so hard that they don’t know the truth anymore. They have been steeped in lies; brainwashed to believe that the root of the problem is in them.
It’s like an epidemic in this world. ‘Mothers who Blame Others’ could be the name of a 12 step group ~ but sadly, not many mothers are interested in getting support for themselves AS a mother who blames her children ~ they are far more interested in garnering support from people who AGREE with them that their children are ungrateful, selfish etc.
Looking at ourselves as the cause of the difficulties in our relationships with our mothers is the way we are groomed to stay in the ever dizzying constant spin designed to ensure that we NEVER look at them. Because after all, if we look at them, if we come out of that spin long enough to EVER see them and the way that THEY are, they know we might see the truth.
And the truth is that most of them know that they blame others and they know that they are mean and unfair, or they know that they are needy and that they are wrong but they can’t stand to see it, so they spend their time getting others to agree with them that someone else is the problem. They know, and the proof of that is in their actions; it is in the way we are raised not to tell, in the way that they act differently in front of different people and in the way that they lie when they are afraid to get caught.
If they didn’t KNOW, they wouldn’t act differently in front of certain people, they would not teach children to cover up for them and they certainly wouldn’t have to lie.
Deep down they know that they are pathetic. But as long as YOU don’t notice that, they feel safe. The more people that they can get to go against their target, (which in this case is you) the more they feel worth; it’s not REAL worth and it doesn’t actually make them feel better for long because it isn’t actually proof that they have worth. Deep down they KNOW that they are pathetic, but when mothers blame others, they can get their little fix with the drug of self-worth. If they can make you take the blame, then they believe that the blame belongs to you, or to the person they are blaming thus absolving them from having to carry it.
This is the cycle of abuse. Perhaps mothers who blame others have never been validated as having had worth. I more than suspect that their own mothers made them prove their worth and usually they were raised in the same dysfunctional family pecking order system BUT that doesn’t change or excuse the damage caused to the children born and raised by these mothers with low self-esteem and damaged self-worth, who blame their own children for the failure of the mother daughter or mother /son relationship. I had to do the work to restore my self-esteem so that I could break this cycle of abuse in my own family. I did not require my children to prove my worth using these sick methods and my mother had the same choices I did.
Although there might be a personality disorder or psychosis behind the reason that causes mothers to blame others and to act in such mean and unloving ways, knowing that is only information. It may help us understand the why, and it may be comforting but it doesn’t help with the healing process. And there is never any excuse to have to put up with abuse. If a violent person has a true mental disorder or chemical imbalance, that person is not permitted to run around in society. The laws still apply to genuinely sick people.
These mothers might be seriously emotionally damaged themselves; most of them come from the same cycle of abuse that they inflicted on us, but that knowledge doesn’t stop the cycle of abuse. The cycle of abuse will only stop when we stand up to it. I feel sad for my mother because I know she learned this dysfunctional behavior and I know that she lives in a system where parents are ‘entitled’ to dish out whatever they wish to their kids but I had to draw a line and say enough is enough. Feeling sad for her was killing me. Always trying to make her feel better taught my kids to put up with mistreatment because they saw the way I put up with her treatment. And it also sent a strong message to my children about how I was willing to be treated!
When I dared to voice an objection, my mother would blame the fact that she was a single mother. (my parents separated just before I turned 13.) She justified her choices when it came to me with the fact that she didn’t ‘want’ to be a single mother and that she never expected to be a single mother and by the way, about that, as with everything else there is a truth leak there too; she had an affair after I was born ~ what did she think was going to happen? Whose fault was it that she became a single mother? Why did she constantly SAY things like that as though the fact that she was a single mother justified her actions and treatment of her children.
So in order to take my life back, I embraced the truth; my mother blamed me instead of looking at HER own dysfunctional upbringing and working through it. My mother blamed me instead of looking at her own actions against me. My mother expected ME to save her, instead of making the decision to save herself.
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Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time
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