Yes, toxic parents, in general, are a big issue, but toxic mothers are something that it seems a lot more people deal with than they want to admit. While toxicity comes in a lot of different forms, when it’s coming from someone who literally carried you inside of them, it can take a very serious toll on you in ways you might not even be able to understand right off the bat.
For those looking for guidance on this topic, “Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life“ might offer some clarity and coping strategies.
As we grow up toxic mothers either try to live their lives through us, overly shelter us, or perhaps even push us to take care of them rather than for them to care for us and regardless of the kind of toxicity they push growing up with them can be quite damaging. While it’s not your fault that she was toxic or is toxic depending on how things have followed through as you’ve aged, it’s important to know that changing her isn’t possible that has to be something she actively chooses to do herself.
Growing up with a toxic mother and seeking validation? “Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse“ is a recommended read that can provide a deeper understanding of how these traumas shape you.
She might be controlling, critical, passive-aggressive, or even disrespectful of personal boundaries, but that doesn’t mean you should just put up with it because she is your mother. Once you reach adulthood, her hold on you should not be something you allow to rule over your life. Learning to love yourself and choose to either cut ties or limit contact can in situations like this be the best thing for you, even if it hurts to do.
If you think your mother is toxic, but you’re not sure, looking for the signs might help you pinpoint exactly that. Below, I am going to go over some of those signs and explain how growing up with a toxic mother can have lasting effects on all of us. If you see these signs present in your life now, you may need to come to terms with things before moving forth and doing-so might really help you in the long-run.
8 Things You Do Because You Were Raised By A Toxic Mother That You Might Not Even Notice:
1. You struggle to show affection and might not know how to accept it even now when it is before you.
Because you were not shown much affection by your mother growing up, you might struggle to show it yourself even now. When someone is willing to care for you and show you that you matter to them, you tend to cast them to the side. This is because growing up, you were not taught how to process these kinds of things as you should have been.
For those struggling with attachment and affection due to childhood experiences, “Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love“ is an insightful read.
2. When you think of your mother, you have a lot of negative emotions come to the surface.
If you have negative emotions about your mother, there has to be a reason for that. Oftentimes, we realize on a deeper level the wrongs we’ve faced, even if we won’t admit them to ourselves. You felt controlled for a long time and now, the emotions that brought forth are coming to the surface.
3. You are always seeking validation wherever you can find it.
When you are not given validation growing up, you may end up seeking it in other places. You want to be given attention and validated, even if it means you have to really go down a bad path to do it. This can be a terrible thing depending on where you end up and what you’re doing.
4. You do not know how to handle conflict and often end up giving in to others as a result.
When conflict comes forth, you are quickly intimidated. This if you had a toxic mother could be because intimidation was something she used on you a lot. She always made sure that you bent to her will and now, you struggle to hold your own as a result.
For understanding and managing conflicts better, consider “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High“. It offers techniques to handle high-stakes conversations effectively.
5. You’re quick to take the blame or apologize for things that you had no control over.
No matter what, when you were a child she blamed things on you or had you apologize for things you didn’t even do or have control over, and so you still do that even now. A lot of people say you apologize too much or that you’re too nice because you let others walk all over you. You tend to struggle with really speaking up for yourself and tend to take responsibility for others when you shouldn’t.
6. You spend a lot of time in co-dependent relationships.
Because of the relationship, you had with your mother, being in a co-dependent relationship is something you consider normal. You need to be needed and want someone who will seemingly take control of your life. This really holds you back but, you struggle with the cycle itself.
Those stuck in the cycle of co-dependency might find “Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself“ helpful in breaking the pattern.
7. Making your own decisions is hard because you’re not used to doing it at all.
If you had a toxic mother, chances are you never made many decisions of your own growing up and now that you can do what you want, you struggle to make decisions. You do not know who you are or what you want in life. You’re very much stuck in a lot of confusion.
8. You’re always beating yourself down.
You were never good enough for your toxic mother, and so you always downplay your achievements and beat yourself up over small things. You want to be the best and refuse to accept your mistakes. Instead of learning that we all need to fall before we can fly, you were expected to fly no matter what at all costs.