There is no hallmark card for an abusive mother.
Your health may be at harm from emotional abuse at the hands of your mother.
Maybe you've distanced yourself, maybe you just tolerate it.
Regardless navigating Mother's day when your mother was emotionally abusive is extremely disheartening.
The days leading up to mothers day are sprinkled with flower ads, sentimental commercials and the exchange of family plans in conversations. But what happens when you have a toxic mother?
While Mother’s day is traditionally a day of honoring, tribute and celebration… there simply is no hallmark card for an abusive mother. This highly commercialized holiday can evoke lots of pain to those living without this very important person in their life.
When a mother passes away, Mothers day can be dark as memories of precious time spent with them comes to the forefront of your mind. When our Mom is alive and well, but the relationship is dead… there is an entirely different form of grieving that can occur, the loss of the mother you never really had.
We live in a society that has built a cultural lens surrounding the nuclear family. From these ideologies stem stereotypes of what a family should look like. The reality is that many people come from broken homes with absent parent(s) or they come from a history of trauma. These picture perfect days fall short for so many people and with each family oriented holiday that passes. There is no cultural validation for suffering emotional abuse at the hands of your mother. People judge.
“What do you mean you don’t have a relationship with your mother?”
“What could be so bad that you could now be so cold?”
The onus is placed on the daughter for setting boundaries and protecting her well-being. How can we explain the harm that comes when your mother weaponizes basic parenting duties. When you have a narcissistic or emotionally abusive mother that is highly manipulative and toxic behind closed doors, it is particularly hard. THIS is the hallmark of narcissistic parenting.
When your mother doesn’t allow you to have your own life without her control, the result is fatal. If she cannot control you, or benefit emotionally, you will be emotionally abused. So you must choose a life of abuse or void of an extremely important relationship to a daughter and a woman.
Making the decision to cut your mother out of your life is hard. There is a certain stigma that comes along with it. Children are expected to love unconditionally. This often comes with the misconception that in order to show this you must sacrifice your own well-being.
“She’s your mom, she’s done so much for you just tolerate it.”
“How can you turn your back on family?”
Our society has a hard time understanding that sometimes unconditional love can be held from a distance while protecting yourself. The decision to step away is hard but it can ultimately serve as the healthier choice.
I know a few women with these experiences who finally got to their breaking point when:
One client kindly asked her mother to stop trying to interfere with her finances. This simple request of an adult daughter seems like a simple boundary. But the response was “Fuck you, bitch. You should be grateful.” … The daughter simply stated “Please don’t call me derogatory names.” and yet this second boundary was also rejected.
The response doesn’t equate to the request. This simple boundary violation is just an example of thousands that the narcissistic toxic mother will cross throughout her daughters life. Each violation chips away at the daughters sense of confidence and autonomy. In this way the mother keeps the daughter in her web and the only way to satisfy her is to play her game at your own expense.
When a daughter finally decides enough is enough, she is then blamed for being a horrible daughter or the script is flipped and the mother tells her she is dead to her.
Many of our Empowered RX clients have stories of this kind. It is hard, sad and gut wrenching on days like Mother's day. Especially if we get texts and emails from the mothers guilting us and putting us down.
Consider the long term health implications of living with emotional abuse:
- Stomach Ulcers
- Eating Disorders
- Lack of appetite
- Heart palpitations
- High blood pressure
- chronic pain
And so many more...
Many children with emotionally abusive parents grow up to become more likely to experience chronic health issues and other compounding traumas. The sad reality is that most children will grow up into adulthood feeling like they have no choice but to put up with it.
If you are in a relationship where your health and well-being is impacted it may be time to have an honest talk with your mother about your needs and boundaries. If your mother isn’t receptive it may be time to prioritize your own well-being.
Wether or not you have made the choice to separate yourself from your toxic mother, here are:
5 Ways to help you Grieve on Mother’s Day and every Day after that you are coping with the loss of healthy mother-daughter relationship:
Know that it’s okay to protect yourself from your parents. The same way it’s okay to leave a relationship if its abusive.
Know that meeting a child's basic needs as youth is a duty that comes with parenting. Weaponizing this is not okay.
You may have to accept that your mother will never change. It will be necessary to create distance but you can still love them and hold compassion at a distance.
You get to choose what you need in order to feel safe and secure. You may have to come to accept that no matter what you hope will happen, your safety will not be guaranteed with your mother and so the best choice may be to cut off the relationship.
Take time on this day to grieve. It’s okay to think about happy memories and still have to take your space. It is possible you had some good times among the bad, especially with the love bombing/discard cycle that comes with Narcissistic abuse. This can make us feel guilty, but it’s just a part of the manipulation cycle.
Reaching out to your support system that understands is important.
Our friend Michaila Tyson is a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coach specializing in Mother-Daughter relationships. She is a survivor herself, an RN and has amazing material to help guide you through these tough times. You can find her on instagram at @mother_herselfandme
Join the Empowered RX community and lean on them for support. You can do that here..https://www.facebook.com/groups/1103262733454308
Take a deep breath. You are not alone! Be easy on yourself tomorrow and remember that there is nothing wrong with making a choice that protects your emotional and physical safety. It is okay to have mixed feelings. Take each moment as it comes and rest on your community and support.
If you have noticed your health is being impacted by emotional abuse in your life, reach out to us... we can help! BOOK YOUR FREE DISCOVERY CALL TODAY>