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When we are growing up, it is our parent’s job to make us feel loved, accepted, and nurtured. Unfortunately, when your mother is toxic, that simply isn’t the case.

For whatever reason, toxic mothers are a different breed. They are emotionally inept, selfish, and even cruel at times. The scars they leave on their children don’t stop when their child leaves. On the contrary, when you finally leave the nest of your toxic mother, that is when the true work begins.

Growing up with a toxic mother is a challenging experience that can leave deep emotional wounds. For those seeking guidance or resources to help navigate the scars and healing process, Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Karyl McBride offers a detailed roadmap for understanding and overcoming the debilitating impact of maternal narcissism.

If you were raised by a toxic mother, a mother who manipulated you, a mother that was cold and callous, and a mother who was everything but supportive and loving, then you likely know exactly what I mean. Here are 9 scars carried by daughters who grew up with a toxic mother.

1. They have a hard time believing they are worthy of love.

From the moment we are born, we try to seek out love and admiration from our parents. We want nothing more than for them to love us. When they don’t, we don’t understand that the flaw is in our parents, not ourselves. And in turn, most children who deal with toxic parents end up feeling like they are the problem. “I must have done something wrong that caused them not to love me.” This is often a thought that crosses their mind. And this thought follows them throughout life.

2. They feel worthless.

Daughters of toxic mothers often feel worthless. They struggle with themselves because their mothers don’t give them the support and encouragement they need. Additionally, toxic mothers are often extremely critical of their children. Nothing is ever good enough for them, and they end up making their daughters feel worthless.

3. They feel like they can’t do anything right.

Because their mothers are extremely overcritical, making them feel as if nothing they do is ever enough, daughters of toxic mothers often believe they cannot do anything right. Since the toxic mother’s standards are unreachable, pleasing her becomes a war the daughter can never win.

Moreover, for individuals who want to delve into the intricacies of breaking free from negative patterns stemming from parental relationships, Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Dr. Susan Forward provides valuable insights and actionable steps.

4. They wish that they had a normal mother.

Perhaps one of the most difficult scars is having to mourn the mother they never got to have. While their friends had loving mothers, who encouraged them and made them feel valued, the daughter of a toxic mother was always left wanting more. And because her mother will never change, she is stuck wishing for that type of bond.

5. They feel the need to numb their pain.

Oftentimes, daughters of toxic mothers end up with deep wounds that they are constantly trying to make peace with. Because of this, a variety of studies have linked being raised by a toxic parent to add!ction. Add!ction comes in many forms, so be aware. It doesn’t have to be direct substances, it can be love add!ction and all that comes with it.

6. They don’t understand how to create boundaries.

Parents who are not toxic create boundaries between themselves and their children, which in turn teaches the child about healthy boundaries. Daughters who are raised by a toxic mother constantly have their boundaries run over. This often makes it difficult for them to know how and when it’s important to set boundaries with others.

7. They often repeat toxic relationship cycles.

Being raised by a toxic mother sets their daughter up to become accustomed to toxicity. They may try to recreate the same relationship, over and over again, in an attempt to find closure. Unfortunately, this leads to many toxic relationships throughout their lives.

8. They wish they were better.

Due to the deep-seated notion that they are not good enough, the daughters of toxic mothers may wish they were better. They want nothing more than to be loved and accepted by their mother, and in their mind, they may believe if only they had been better, their mother would have loved them more.

9. They feel like they don’t belong.

It is the job of our family and our mother especially to set the stage for us to feel comfortable, loved, and secure in life. Without this support and love from our mothers, the daughters of toxic mothers end up spending much of their lives feeling as though they do not belong anywhere.

Lastly, engaging with therapeutic support or self-help workbooks can be immensely beneficial. The Emotionally Absent Mother: A Guide to Self-Healing and Getting the Love You Missed by Jasmin Lee Cori is an excellent resource that offers exercises and strategies tailored to help daughters heal from the trauma of having an emotionally absent or toxic mother.

If you are the daughter of a toxic mother, please know that you are worthy, loveable, and amazing. No matter what your mother taught you in the way that she behaved to you, you can overcome the scars she left on you, and you can find peace. You don’t deserve anything less than healing, peace, and love.