Everyone's heard about loving and selfless moms. But not everyone's lucky to have a mom like that. Some of us had to deal with mothers who were either too harsh or were simply absent emotionally.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 12, 2019. It has since been updated.
Some women can talk to their mother about anything and are constantly showered with love. They're the lucky ones. But some women have a very different story to tell about their mothers. Their mothers were the toxic, narcissistic, unkind ones. And it hit them hard.
With Psychologists from all around the world stating that childhood issues often turn into relationship and self-esteem issues in adulthood, it doesn't properly express how unloving mothers can scar their daughters.
Author Peg Streep, after writing her book, Mean Mothers, talks about how as young girls, we look up to our mothers and form our image based on her. A daughter who is loved knows her worth. The daughter who is being crushed under the weight of a mother who is emotionally distant, withholding, inconsistent, or even hypercritical or cruel, sees herself differently. If you were one of them, then you know the endless ocean that is the pain of being unloved.
Those scars never really faded and here's what they say:
If you had to deal with a mom who was authoritative, it's no surprise that you feel that you can't do anything right. With her need for perfection, she suppressed the person you were meant to be. Instead, she became the voice in your head that critiqued everything you did. It was an attack... one no one could see and one you had to deal with on your own. And the battle carried right on through adulthood and you're doing your best to win.
You've never been loved by your mom and that void stayed with you as a grownup. It always felt like something was missing. But when your mother treated you with anything but love, as a kid, you believed that you didn't deserve it. After all, you probably felt that if she couldn't love you, then who would? So when you became an adult, you looked for anyone who would love you... and that meant one too many toxic relationships.
Smarter? Better? Thinner? More like the friend that your mom loves? It just goes on. All you wanted to be was like your mother but when she broke your confidence or made you feel less than others, you probably started to wish that you could be someone else... someone your mom could love. You thought you had to be perfect in order for anyone to love you.
All you wanted was your mom's approval. When she didn't give that to you, you felt like, if you did everything she asked, then maybe she'd finally show some affection. But she didn't. It's why now, even as an adult, you find it hard to say no to people - because you think that doing what someone wants will make them like you. But you're worth more than that. You just need time to heal.
Your mother was supposed to be the one you could call home. Knowing that you could step into her arms and feel loved and peaceful was something you needed as a child. But when she was controlling, abusive or emotionally manipulative, you didn't know where you stood. You probably felt lost... adrift. You could be surrounded by people and still not feel like you belonged.
Mom. The one person you should have been able to turn to for love. But her cold, aloof self made you do everything to get her attention. To an outsider, it looked like a tantrum. But, you grew up strong. You soon learned to depend on yourself. You might find trouble in relationships but you have so much love to give because you never want anyone to feel the way you felt. Sometimes, it meant that you were always the giver and yet never really let anyone close enough to pamper you.
Being an unloved daughter may feel like you're alone but you're not. There are others who've been unlucky as well with their mothers. Talking about your pain to someone who would understand can help you heal faster and better than you can imagine. It can bring out the real you... the one you would have been. You deserve that.