Not every mother is an angel who loves us unconditionally. Some women ended up with the short end of the straw and were daughters to toxic mothers.
When it comes to a mother, it's supposed to be a given that they love you unconditionally and be there for you when you need them. They're supposed to comfort you when you're upset and lift you up when you need support. Of course, she has her own scars and hardships that she has had to deal with yet she tries to find the balance of putting your needs first and give hers importance too. But not everyone gets such good luck of the draw. You may be one of them and it made your childhood much harder.
Even worse, the self-confidence, self-esteem, and identity that you were meant to build as a child were shattered and that carried over into your adulthood. As an unloved daughter, you may have had one of these five types of toxic mothers, as defined by Susan Forward, Ph.D, in her book Mothers Who Can't Love.
This was the mother who always made everything about herself. Whether you were suffering or had just achieved one of the goals you had worked long and hard for, it somehow became about her. Her powerful sense of insecurity and self-absorption didn't allow her to see you thrive and do better than she could have done. All her criticism was meant to break you down so that without you in the picture, she would get all the spotlight. And it broke you when instead of loving you and helping you succeed, she did everything she could to make sure that you wouldn't be happy.
Even between a mother and daughter, there are some boundaries. Sure, you become friends after a while but there is still a line. This type of mother blurred that line into non-existence. With her constant demands for your time and attention, she smothered you. She relied on you to fulfill her emotional needs, no matter what the cost and this kept you from developing a healthy independence. Even though she called you her "best friend," it's often an exaggeration as both yours and her needs and personality don't line up. She wanted to be the center of your world the way you are hers.
It is this type of mother who feels helpless and powerless in all the other aspects of her life so she tried to control the one thing she could - you. As harsh as it may seem, she saw you as someone who was only meant to do her bidding. Her love was conditional - one that only made its appearance when you followed her agenda. If you strayed off her path even once, she meted out severe consequences - ones that would leave your heart broken. And she justified her behavior by saying it was the only way she knew how to raise you and at one point, you believed it.
These mothers are overwhelmed by the duties and responsibilities of being a mother. She was often caught in the wave of depression or addiction, leaving you no choice but to take on the role of her mother. You didn't have a childhood because you were forced to grow up too fast in order to take care of her. All you wanted was her guidance and protection while you were still young but she was never able to give it. All you remember of your childhood is watching after her, making sure she ate, keeping your siblings in line, ensuring the chores were taken care of - there was no fun. At the end, not only were you her mother, you ended up becoming your siblings' mother.
No matter how hard you try to please your mother, she never gave you her love. You bent yourself backward trying to gain her approval but all she did was stare you down, criticise you, hurt you both emotionally and sometimes physically and break your spirit. There was no warmth in her and still isn't. Now as an adult, she left you with scars that no one could see but still hurt you every. single. day.
It is because of the type of mother you grew up with that you try to do your best to raise your own daughter differently. You want her to feel the love and support the way you never had the chance to experience. You want her to be independent yet be able to rely on you. You want her to be happy.