We usually take a mother's love for granted. But there are some women who face the struggle of feeling worthless and smothered by their own mothers.
Unconditional love. It's what you'd expect from your mother. She's the one you to look to when you fall down and scrape your knees or to hold you when your day isn't going great. She's supposed to be the one who can tell when you're sick from miles away and calls you to share home remedies or embarrassed in front of your friends. But despite her being your superwoman, you know that she's human too and she tries hard to keep her hardships from affecting you. She just wants to find a good balance and show you that your relationship with her is important.
Unfortunately, not everyone gets that kind of luck when it comes to their mothers and you might be one of them... the unloved daughter. You pulled the short end of the straw and not only did it make your childhood harder but as an adult too, you find yourself struggling to breathe through the pain of your past. All the self-esteem, confidence, and identity you were supposed to develop as a child broke under pressure from your mother and it affected your adult life. And according to Susan Forward, Ph.D. in her book Mothers Who Can't Love, you may have had one of these types of toxic mothers.
This type of mother is the one who feels helpless and a lack of control in other parts of her life, so she did the only thing she thought she could do - she exerted her power over you. The truth is a bitter pill and this one showed you that your mother only saw you as a peon. She only loved you as long as you did her bidding. Follow your own path just once and the punishment she dealt you left you with a broken heart. And when she explained that it was the only way to raise you, you couldn't help but believe it.
Everything was always about her. It didn't matter whether you were hurting or were proud of an achievement that was a long time in the making because she somehow always made it about herself. Her insecurity and self-absorption engulfed your own identity and though she may never have admitted it, she couldn't bear to see you doing better than her. She threw out harsh criticism meant to break you and once you were out of the spotlight, she was happy to take over again. Every time she did this, your heart cracked a little bit more and for a long time, you didn't know how much more you could take.
These mothers were suffering under the immense pressure of being a mother. She couldn't handle the responsibilities and duties that came with being a parent and instead of facing them head-on, she would give in to depression or addiction. Suddenly, you were picking up her slack and ended up throwing away your childhood in trying to take care of her. And if you had siblings, you took care of them too. Your memories of being a child weren't filled with playtime or having fun... it was filled with the exhaustion of making sure the chores were done, she had eaten, your siblings didn't strangle each other and so many other burdens. You were everyone's mother when you were just supposed to be a child.
There's no harm in being friends with your mother but even you have some boundaries. But this type of mother pole-vaulted over these boundaries and, with her constant demand for your time and attention, she started to smother you. She leaned on you for her emotional needs, even if it cost you healthy relationships and independence. She might have called you her best friend, but your personalities kept clashing and not always in a good way. She wanted to be the center of your world, the way you are hers, but without understanding that you need your own space, time, and friends too.
It was a constant uphill battle to get your mother's approval and love. No matter how you bent yourself to her expectations, all she did was find new ways to break you emotionally, mentally, and sometimes even physically. At times, you even felt like she resented you though you believed it was just the pain speaking. But as you grew older, she never changed. And the scars she gave you bleed even today, even though no one else can see it. Every day, you can feel your heart tear under the weight of her coldness.
Because of how you grew up with your mother, you vowed to raise your own daughter differently. You want her to feel loved, supported, and innocent the way you never got to feel. You want her to be independent but know that when she really needs someone to lean on, she can count on you. You just want her to be happy, the way you should've felt as a child.