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Why Do Mothers Hurt Their Daughters?

Why Do Mothers Hurt Their Daughters?
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“Sometimes I feel like I don’t like my daughter. She is one of those kids who will tell a lie for no reason and will have you believing her lies. When I had her there was no bond at all. When she would try to touch me it would gross me out. I don’t hate her, I just feel that I don’t like her,” revealed 35 year old Mary Ann.**

Mary Ann is one of many Moms who hold feelings of resentment toward their daughters;  a broken relationship born of frustration and ambivalence whose tainted roots can not be easily cured. Mary Ann gave birth to her first born child, Quinn, at the age of 18 as result of an unplanned pregnancy. Quinn had a twin who died during childbirth, a trauma that remains with Mary Ann today.

Mary Ann went on to have another daughter two years later and a son, five years after that. She describes her relationship with her other children as “loving” because she feels that they are better behaved and loveable.

Quinn is now 16 years old and Mary Ann says she looks forward to the day when she moves out of the house.  Quinn is barely passing school and is two grade levels below her age group. Mary Ann shared that Quinn is focused solely on her appearance and boys. She admits to lashing out at her older daughter Quinn more than her other children and interacting with her as infrequently as possible.

“When Quinn was younger, she told me that she knew I didn’t like her,” Mary Ann recalled. “And I remember her saying that it was okay because she didn’t like me either.”

Mary Ann, whose relationship with her own mother is nearly identical to the one she has with Quinn, sought help from a professional counselor when her daughter was younger. She admitted to feeling a certain amount of guilt over the fact that she did not like her daughter, but even more guilt over the realization that she couldn’t change the way she felt. The counseling sessions did not change anything because Mary Ann feared that revealing too much about her disdain for her daughter would result in Quinn being taken away.

Despite her feelings of ambivalence toward her first born child she claims that she has always taken care of her, providing the basic necessities ; food, clothing, shelter and funding for social activities. “I could do more but I don’t because I do not feel appreciated,” Mary Ann shared.

What would cause a Mother to shun her first born daughter and experience very little guilt about it?  How can a daughter heal when her Mom reveals a firm distaste for her as a child, followed by a life-time of critical remarks and unsupportive behavior? Four therapists weigh in on this relationship and its downward spiral.

“A mother might not love her daughter if her daughter makes her uncomfortable,” contributed Janet Zinn, a psychotherapist recently featured on XOX Betsey Johnson. “Either her daughter brings up feelings that are hard to deal with, or being with her daughter is a reminder of negative experiences.  Mothers tend to hurt their daughters because they haven’t healed the hurt that they’ve been through.  We do not hurt others when we feel good, truly good, about ourselves.”

“Some mothers feel helpless and exert what power they do feel they have to hurt their daughters, thus feeling less powerless,” Zinn added. “Some mothers have no outlet for negative feelings they have and take it out on their daughters.  Often mothers will blame daughters for feeling deprived, as if not having the daughter would allow them to have a happier life. To heal from this type of relationship, it is important that the mother admit to a therapist or in a support group, that she hates her daughter.  Then the relationship can be broken down to see if it is deep sadness, anger, frustration or other feelings that elicit that hate. It is also important for the mother to learn to be kind and patient with herself.  Actually, that is key.  If the mother treats herself well, then she models for her daughter how she would like to be treated.  As the mother gets more of what she needs from herself, she is not dependent on her daughter to give her satisfaction.”

Tina B. Tessina, PhD, a psychotherapist and author of  It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction revealed a different root cause for this damaging behavior, “Usually, when a mother abuses a girl particularly, rather than all of her children, it is because she regards herself and all females as worthless.”

According to Dr. Carol Langlous, who operates a self-esteem coaching program for teens, Mary Ann’s scenario aligns with traumatic situations like rape. “You see this a lot with rape victims who keep the child,” Dr. Langlous said. “The child becomes a constant reminder of the act and unknowingly, the Mom treats the child differently– sometimes with anger.”

“Along that same line, there may have been something traumatic that occurred in the Mom’s life at the time she got pregnant with this particular child. Now that situation and the child are forever linked for the Mom specifically; she cannot desperate the two,” added Dr. Langlous. “My guess is that she has transferred that unhappy experience onto the child. The child will suffer from this for the rest of her life.  Thinking that she is ‘less than’ the other kids.  The only thing that may help is if that traumatic experience can be identified and explained to her. Intellectually the child may understand, but emotionally the scars are already there. Therapy may help.”

Esther Boykin, a Marriage/Family therapist based in DC has confronted patients battling with this scenario on many occasions. “In my clinical experience, while there are many variables that can contribute to a mother not feeling emotionally connected to her daughter, depression and other mood disorders can make it difficult to feel warm and affectionate toward anyone, especially someone who needs a lot from you like a child,” Boykin shared. “For mothers of teens and young adults, the impact of a rebellious period can lead to a strained relationship with the Mom feeling unappreciated and angry.  However, more often than not, when a mother reports to me that she does not love her child, there is some history of trauma or abuse in the mother’s life.”

“Children, particularly daughters, are often experienced as a reflection of the mother’s sense of self.  You can think of it as almost a physical manifestation of who the mother believes she is,” Boykin continued.  “This can be an amazing experience for many women who are able to learn how to love themselves more fully as they learn to love their daughter- for both her strengths and her faults.  But for mothers who have traumatic and abusive pasts, the experience of motherhood and trying to relate to their daughters can be scary and overwhelming. Rather than feeling free to be vulnerable and allow themselves to connect emotionally, these women may have coping responses that prompt them to shut down and disconnect emotionally from their children; particularly their daughters. There are intense emotions in parenthood and those may trigger a mom with a difficult personal history to feel unsafe emotionally and over time resent her daughter for constantly bringing up unwanted feelings.  I think it is important to be clear that this is rarely, if ever, a conscious response.  Rather it is a safety mechanism that helped them survive some other incident but it now cuts her off from feeling close to her child.”

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31 Responses to “Why Do Mothers Hurt Their Daughters?”

  1. Adnama says:

    Im 28yrs of age, I remember from the age of 10 being beaten up n being told that im evil it was something that was ongoing, she would remind me that my father didnt love me n how she loved my siblings , my mom provided for me made sure that i was fed and clothed but she didnt love me, ive grown up with a void in my heart and a need of love but chase everybody close to me away by being harsh and having rage wich is how I was rased im bitter tryng to change but i feel ive becomed like her and dont knw how to fix myself my life is drowning in misery and the feeling of not being good enough and I just want to be freed

    • No one says:

      You have to mentally accept the padt and free yourself and let go . Here is an example. I have always known in my heart that my mother does not like me- it became clearer when my brother was born 8 years later. I was a good and intelligent child and realised her feelings were due to her dislike of my father. However in my 30’s I realised I had to let go of the anger and upset, trying o please her was never going to work, I I was not going to spend anymore of my life in the ridiculous cycle of – trying to please her and constantly beging disappointed when she NEVER is. I am now happy and mentally free and though our relationship is good, I no longer give a s*** what she thinks. I now realise that her issues are just that and I will not allow them to sully my life for one min longer.

      Conversley My cousin had a similar situation, however she did not let go and let her anger fester to dangerous proportions. She has grown into an angry, violent, aggressive totally abominable person ( I have nothing o do with her) who now severely physically abuses her own child. She isolates her, wont allow family contact, insults and belittles her and the child lives in constant fear. Her daughter is five y/o. She also exhibits this behaviour to her mother, friends, co- workers and men.

      So let go now before you hurt yourself further or any child you may have .

    • Neha says:

      I know how you feel.

    • Mare says:

      I feel exactly the same way. I have a daughter who is everything to my heart. Yet, i put her through this same evil cycle and want help so bad as i am destroying her by what destroyed me.

      • Q says:

        Why did you have a baby if you knew it would be 50/50 chance it would be a girl when you are an evil bitch that would probably abuse her!!

      • Angel says:

        Mare,

        A child can’t destroy you. You however are destroying your own child. The same way my mother doing to me. What is wrong with you, seriously??? I am no way like my mom as a parent. I don’t cuss at my daughter, I instead give her hugs and praise her and let her know I am proud of her. You seriously need mental help just like my mother.

  2. Karen says:

    Do yourself a favor and cut her out she’s toxic and it doesn’t get better. And it’s SO not your fault. It’s such a bummer though isn’t it? I’m way older than you and it still bothers me a lot. And then I get depressed. We can’t let her get us depressed she’s not worth it.

  3. Marie says:

    Hello, I read your accounts and experience with great care and interest, thank you.
    I am a lot older than you both, I have grown children and am about to become a grand mom, but I am still suffering and struggling with being my mother’s daughter. I am gradually realising that the relationship with my mother is poisonous and without hope of change – from her. It’s taken me a very long time to see that I have spent my entire life trying too hard. I’ve blamed myself and compromised my life in the hope to gain her approval and earn her love. Foolish! And what a waste of precious time and energy! But there are causes, which it seems, have been family secrets for a very long time. Subtle hints of information trickle out like little puffs of smoke…It
    transpired that my parents married very suddenly. I was an unwanted child, given up for adoption, then taken back. They soon divorced for which I was made to feel the cause. Years later a step-father who wanted to love me was threatened with having to choose between her and me. Later, I married to get away, but unaware, I married the exact type of my mother – an utter narcissist. They got on like-a house-on-fire, overtly excluding me. All along, I never really understood what was going on. I never dared speak out. I had three children whom I love and am devoted to, and am happy and grateful to see them out in the world thriving in their life. Their father and I divorced. It was a vicious legal and psychological battle. My mother was completely absent and unavailable for any kind of support. A few years later my youngest son died in a mountain-trekking fall. All she could say about this was that she, as a grandmother, was suffering more than me (although she hardly knew them.) A few years have passed, and I am grateful to say that I have been blessed to recently marry a good and emotionally healthy and stable man. I have also become aware that I am growing out of that fearful child I once was. Things take quite some time to mature. And I have to let go and forgive these very difficult people. It does take some doing though! But with the death of my beautiful son, my
    heart has somehow, both softened and grown. I am more able to have compassion for others. Unfortunately, I have still to tame my own pride which battles with my heart, but I’m aware now of what’s going on. Less afraid, more able, more peace. Just a little bit every day, every day. Regardless of your life’s circumstances, what matters, is what you do with them. We do have a choice. We choose good, peace and Life. You can go down into your heart and nurture it. Love it and take great care
    of your own heart. Take your own heart into your arms and cradle the baby you
    once were. Talk to it in a warm, gentle voice and speak the words of love that you should have heard back then. It’s not too late.
    Thank you,
    M

    • R says:

      I am the oldest of six children and my mother never loved me. Her mother disliked her and all our life we had to hear how she hated her mother but I could never understand why the emotional abuse continued to the next generation. My mother seemed to be more tolerant of my siblings but so unkind and unloving to me. Self worth was non existent for me as it is difficult to thrive without love.
      My husband is a good man and I was fortunate to only have sons so the cycle of mother to daughter emotional abuse cannot continue.
      I visited a hypnotherapist who encouraged me to take my heart and hug the small child I once was and speak words of love like you say in your letter. It does help but it is difficult to move on from a very unhappy childhood.
      Wishing you happiness and contentment.

  4. Angela Thomas says:

    I married a narcissist …too exactly like my mother.. I’m free now..I will not go back…Thank you for your poignant letter …God bless you.

  5. E says:

    I too have an abusive mother. She abused me and my precious son. I developed schizophrenia because of this. I am learning to love myself and have always loved my son. He lives with his paternal grandparents so thank goodness the cycle is broken.

    • Mare says:

      How did you go about getting diagnosed? My mother is schizophrenic and i would like to know if i am also. I feel my thinking is off the charts and patience and i cannot continue to display this thinking this out of control lifestyle to my children anymore! I hate it so much i cant control.they do not deserve this type of behavior.

  6. Clarissa says:

    I suspect many women who can relate to the above article will have unwittingly partnered with a man not dissimilar to their mothers. Often saying goodbye in your heart to one allows the beginning of the end to both relationships. Unfortunately it can take many years to see the connection. We end up struggling with feelings of failure and shame – how did we not see it, but on the surface they’re not in any way alike.

    My mother is toxic. She had 6 daughters and 1 son. I was the last daughter to cut her off after recent shocking behaviour displayed towards myself and my 2 daughters. I have been the most forgiving of all my sisters and to be very honest, its not a quality i am proud of – its meant I’ve made more mistakes with my own life, given more chances than i ever should have and in turn, my behaviour has been interpreted within my family as weak and desperate. Desperate yes but now i accept I would rather feel alone from family than have people in my life who fluctuate between celebrating my every breath punctuated by periods of true sadism.

    I am raising my children to learn about behavioural patterns and boundaries, and that kindness and forgiveness does not mean putting up with continuously damaging people.

    Interestingly my mother has never tried to manipulate my son, but she has been determined to destroy my relationship with my little girls by telling them my husband has to put up with a money draining, smelly, fat wife like me. She’s also told one of my daughters she is fat herself, and that she feels sorry for her and for my husband for having me in their lives.

    Not surprisingly, I no longer chose to see her but unfortunately it means i can no longer see my father often because he will be loyal to his wife until he dies. He doesn’t want to know what she has done or is still trying to do with any daughter she has any contact with over a long period, but its desperately sad to see him trying so hard to maintain relationships with his daughters. The only daughter my mother consistently adored (because she was popular and sporty) ended up sadistic and self-centered – i guess its a side-effect of being put above the other sisters during her childhood. My father tried to stop this occurring but it wasn’t worth his sanity or life to do so. We all felt betrayed by him too because he always chose our mother’s lies and loyalty over our emotional well being.

    She came from abuse herself and will certainly die with no comprehension as to why she has no daughters left, yet she is still trying to destroy the lives of any daughter who gets sucked back into her life because of our father. There’s no kind way out of this one – I must protect my children even if I couldn’t protect myself during my earlier adult years. I’d rather be without parents.

  7. JR says:

    My mother has always disliked me ever since I can remember. Every time I accused her of hating me she kept silent and ignored it. My father was severely abusive to her and us in every possible way. Now I’m actually quite sure that I was born from him raping her. I’ve always been exceptionally smart and won academic awards in school. I don’t remember her ever complimenting me or saying anything nice. Once she was proudly told me that she’s never been proud of my achievements. When I was sleeping I would hear her talking angrily about me to anyone that would listen. She accused me of things that couldn’t possibly be my fault (like when my brothers did badly in school, if anything broke, literally anything and everything). She would find every reason to beat me and accuse me of liking boys (this was a horrific sin). Due to my abusive childhood I only realized later on that I was quite attractive and she probably thought I deserved to be punished for it. She also allowed my brother to come into the room where her daughters slept and molest us for years. She said it’s our fault for wearing tight clothes (we didn’t; we were in a religion that forbid us from even wearing pants or anything that made women attractive). I begged her to put a lock on our door but that never happened. Once when I was around 14 she got so afraid when I got a little fat. She thought he made me pregnant; in her words: “what would people say!” I tried to stay awake and protect me and my sisters but it didn’t always work that way. She forbid me from doing anything I liked including reading books. Eventually I got into university and won a bursary to study after finishing school first place. My parents forced me to use my bursary money allocated for books to pay for my abusive older brother to go to a technical school for a diploma. When I got angry with her for her being abusive to me she said that education was the worst thing that ever happened to me and that I shouldn’t reason with “God’s rules” and that I will never be happy because I don’t know how to submit to a man. After I stood up to them, they kicked me out. I took my sisters and by working part time and studying I got my degree. After I got successful, they heard that I bought a car and a house; she and my father tried to reconnect with me. I found out she was telling people I broke her heart by leaving and that I’m an ungrateful, hurtful child. She only stopped trying to reach me when i threatened to get a restraining order against them. I was diagnosed with PTSD this year and my concentration and ability to retain information has been declining rapidly. I went through all the stages: denial, hatred, shock, burning bridges… now I’m actually really heartbroken about why she hated me so much. I think I might be severely depressed.

    • K says:

      Despised of all you went through, can’t you see how remarkably well you have done? Can you see, how so different you are from who raised you? Can’t you see how well you did trying to protect your younger sisters, when your parents didn’t? Can’t you see how you have succeeded academically and financially?

      You continued your studying while working and looking after your sisters! What an accomplishment in its self. No way your “mother” could have done that!

      Everything is energy. So even though your “mother” is spreading rumours about you, who really knows the truth? You do, your sisters do and even your “mother” knows the truth.

      You should be so proud of yourself x

      Now its time to focus on the healing part. And when you do, maybe you can see, that none of this has nothing to do with you and everything to do with your biological “mother” and her issues that she passed onto you. We inherent our parents trauma through DNA. It never started with you.

      You are perfect and you are loved x

    • Gc says:

      Let me guess was she Pentecostal?? :-/ Sounds like my story.

  8. Debbie says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your situation. I thought my ordeal with my mother was bad. Yours and others’ stories are much worse. I was physically and mentally abused every day. I finally ran away when I was 16. God was really looking out for me because he provided me with a wonderful Christian family to live with. I am sixty years old now. I have led a lifetime with depression. I have not been able to hold a job or keep friends. It still troubles me and hurts me to this day what my mother did to me. She never spoke to me again after I left, and she lied about why I left. Thus, I have severe problems with any kind of rejection. You need to see a doctor about your depression. I am taking Celexa for anxiety and anger in addition to Welbutrin. It is really helpful. I cannot function without it. For perfect healing, get into the Bible, too. Luckily, I have a great husband. Otherwise I think I would be on the street or dead. Try not to burn bridges as I have. You may need to find a job. I don’t think you ever get over it. My mother was very “religious” also. It helped a lot after she died. I went to the hospital terrified because I hadn’t seen her in 26 years. We made our peace. However, I think it was good that she abandoned me. I am sure she would have made my life even more miserable if we had some kind of relationship. The nicest way I can put it is you just have to say, “The heck with them.” Our lives are just moments in time anyway, and if we believe in Jesus, we will have eternity in paradise. Something I am looking forward to. I remember a psychologist telling me that it is wise to stay away from people who make you feel bad about yourself. I think he was right. Take care.

    • K says:

      Just becasue something works for you doesnt mean it works for everyone. “get into the bible”, her parents were religous freaks and look what she went through! Take drugs to get through life is not the answer, be is street drugs or pharmaceuticals. But you say it works for you so stick to it!

  9. Nimmy P. says:

    My mother hates me.I am her first daughter and I have got 2 young sibilings. My mother is a widow. I always feel alone and unwanted . I know she hates me and I can accept that. But sometimes She reminds me that she love her young daughters and hate me. She also repeatedly say that she wants a second marriage. But I feel my father is an ultimate hero and I can’t imagine anyone in his place.
    Could you tell me whether she is Right about a second marriage? Can you also help me to resolve these conflicts with my mother.

    • K says:

      You cannot resolve conflicts with a mother like her. You can only resolve the issues you have within you regarding her.

  10. Chrisanne says:

    My mother wouldn’t admit it but she did not like me. I am in my 40’s, have no friends and tend to be extra sensitive which I am working on. I have been in therapy for almost 10 years. I have been no contact with my mother for 10 years except a short time 2 years ago. I realized fast that she wasn’t gong to change. She tried to turn my daughters against me. She wasn’t loving when I was a child and blamed me. She said I wasn’t cuddly with her. If I wasn’t, I have a picture of me at 2-3 trying to cuddle her and her facing the opposite way not touching me, it was because of her physical rejection and emotional rejection. I was a smart child and very aware to a fault of others feelings. I ran away at 16 and she claimed it was because I was a terrible child. She even told my best friend at the time lies and I didn’t have any friends after that. * months prior to this we had moved across the state so I had no friends there except that one. How sad a mother would want her child to not have support. My mother has frequently tried to turn friends against me or my own children! She is evil and full of hatred and probably envy of some sort.

    All of this lead to years of abuse from two ex husbands and friends who were not great friends. My own mother asked me if my husband at the time really abused me. This was after she took pictures of the extensive bruises and broken finger, his felony assault charge, my hospital stay and seeing him in rages. She gaslighted often and after I left my 2nd abusive husband during my hospital stay, she refused to visit me there btw, it got much worse. But my hospital stay woke me up to my situation and the people around me. I started getting more aware of her abuse and how it lead me to where I was at. I started working on me and oh boy did she HATE that.

    Now I am married to a kind and loving man for 10 years, his family is so kind and loves me. Through their support and love I realized I am lovable and worthy. An that is only in the last few years. I have days where I want a mom and dad (no contact with him due to his narcissistic wife and his addiction issues and verbal abuse) but I hop onto sites like this to remind myself that I do not deserve to be treated poorly. I deserve unconditional love and gentleness. Don’t get me wrong I have days I cry but I am able to move on faster now days. I do have two daughters and two sons. I think I have broken the cycle of unlovable daughters. My adult daughters (early 20’s) still live at home and one has two children. Therapy helped me break that cycle. My grandmother was awful to my own mother. And at times to me too. Glad I lived faraway from her! Now I just try to get on with life. In college and am a teacher now. Which my mother had her own critical comments about being a teacher when I started school over 20 years ago. I listened and looked for another subject to study but I ended up quitting school. I am finally realizing my dream . Don’t let your own mother tell you anything negative. Just don’t listen to it. Walk away and keep on doing what you are doing.

  11. Mary P says:

    I was the only girl out of five and in the middle. My mother hated me since I can remember. My first memories were of having a safety pin stuck in my abdomen and crying relentlessly for help. My mother was lying in bed and ignored my cries. I think that my mother hated me because I was the only child who didn’t allow her to molest me. She did it to all of my brothers and I ran away from her. My oldest brother committed suicide when he was 32. My older brother is schizophrenic. My younger brother is a dysfunctional alcoholic and my youngest brother is married to a woman that he doesn’t love and won’t separate because she doesn’t have a job and he frequents “massage parlors” for paid sex. Me, I’m a functional alcoholic with a history of self-abusive behavior and multiple suicide attempts, but have worked hard all of my life and at the same company for 26 1/2 years. I don’t talk about this with anyone, but I was browsing websites looking for support for daughters who were unloved as children and ran into this one. I just wanted to let others know that if they are experiencing some issues coping with being unloved as children, they are not alone. It’s always around Christmas and wintertime that I seem to get more depressed. The reason that I am now seeking help again is because I am married to a great man and find myself unable to connect with him physically and feel so guilty for avoiding that part of our relationship. It’s not that I don’t find him attractive, he’s absolutely adorable; I just have problems with that. I am almost 50 and wondering when, if ever, I will be able to be the wife that he needs. I just started therapy a month ago and I sure hope that helps. Thanks for reading.

    • Angel says:

      I always felt unloved as well by both parents. My father walk away when I was a child. Even as adult he does not acknowledge me. My mother always been emotionally abusive and manipulating even til this day.

      She tried to tell me what I can and can’t do in my own home. I think this is the last draw for me since she said she washed her hands and I am a f*cking b*tch. I have two children myself. Then she had the nerve to say I am not a good mother.
      Mmmm, funny. I did everything correct in my life. I went to school, got a degree, have a nice home and care, and my kids aren’t ever fill with a putty mouth like mother did to me. I am getting married in two months. I feel my mother is trying to destroy my life.
      SHe is very harsh and attempts to control my life. I am 38 years old. I hang the phone up on her last night. I am done. I don’t want her at my wedding.

      I hope you find the help you need. Don’t let your husband go. Let him know what’s going on and how you feel. He sounds loving and I am sure he will help you.
      Us lost daughters feel useless but my fiancé showed me I am wanted and deserve love and to be shown love and most of all I love back. We’re a soon to be blended family and we are trying to have our own child.

  12. Bernice Apats says:

    hi I’m Bernice,i feel my Mon hates me,he says it most times,she blames me for any misfortune she goes through, calls me a witch, tells me I’m useless.hits me always if she tries to be in a good mood with me it changes after few minutes..accuses me of stealing from her… I feel really hurt inside..it hurts badly

  13. A sad girl says:

    I’m the middle child of 3 brothers. I’m the only girl so I feel like I get punished more than my brothers. My mother hates me and I know that for certain. She yells at me, she pushes me, she hits me. I don’t understand what she’s trying to do to me but I really feel like I don’t want to live anymore. I’ve attempted suicide once and I thought about it more than a million times. She treats me like a slave. My father isn’t like my mother luckily. He gets frustrated and angry at times, but I understand why. It’s just my mother who I really hate. I appreciate that she provides me food and clothing, but it’s really hard for me when she abuses me. My friends at school are starting to think that I have family problems at home and I don’t want them to know. School is like my number one home. I’m pretty smart and all the teachers like me. My family and I are Catholic. We go to church regularly. Everytime we go, I pray that my family becomes more positive and caring to one another. This is still going on to my brothers and I. All I hope is that everything gets better soon.
    Thanks for reading my very long writing.

    • Rose says:

      Dear Sad Girl,

      Talk to a counselor at your school. Make sure you can trust them first, they may all be in Christian denial and call you a spoil brat who is ungrateful that would be worst. If you cannot trust the counselor talk to a teacher you really trust. Unfortunately, you are stuck right now but make a plan. Make sure you work very hard and get to college, get a degree and get out as fast as you can. It’s really important you keep close friends who ground you and truly care for you because you need a support structure. I was treated awfully as a young girl/teen. I prayed every day that I would wake up dead but could never do the suicide thing because I was a very devoted catholic girl. Unfortunately, God or Jesus never came down to save me- hard work and education did. Now it’s 30 year later (I’m 46) I have an awesome life. A husband who is so loving my cup runs over, 2 awesome kids. I worked really hard my whole life, first with studying my ass off so I would get to college and succeed then get a good paying job to give me my freedom. Then I read countless self-help books to understand and a good counselor to undo the severe damage of physical and emotional abuse. Do NOT commit suicide, this challenge will pass, start saying positive affirmations in your mind like “I am strong, worthy, lovable” “I deserve to be treated with love”. In addition, I was so worried that I would mess up my kids that I worked extra hard to educate myself regarding childhood development and relearned how a loving mother is suppose to treat a child. (Since I never had it.) You will succeed and in 30 years I hope you are just like me waking up every morning being so grateful I am alive. Do not let your home life defeat you, it is only temporary, become the strong woman and plan a healthy life and don’t let anyone stop you!

      Good Luck Sweet Girl

  14. Augusta says:

    Wow, every story shared has a part of my story in it. My mum beat me up as an adult while I was 7 months pregnant and told me she cursed the day I was born. I left the house barefoot that day and she proceeded to throw my things out. Afterwards I had a baby thru Cs and his leg got broken during birth and she never even called to sympathized but instead was angry with me. My father in law had to take some elders to beg her still she refused. Only when I ignored her and made her irrelevant that she called to tell me she had forgiven me (I had to laugh). When I had my second son we didn’t speak for a whole year. I am really tired of her and when I try to cut her out but she goes and gets every family member involved. She will talk to my husband, brothers, father and in-laws that I offended her but she won’t ever talk to me. I am seeking therapy because it makes me so depressed I have anxiety attacks.

  15. Priscilla Wahengbam says:

    My mother started disliking me four years ago .

  16. April says:

    My mother has never loved (barely likes me) me and it feels good to be able to write this down and connect with other women in a similar situation.

    I am 49 years old and my mother still picks fights with me. In fact, she is determined not to get along with me because she simply does not like me. She’s 78 years old. Throughout my 20s and 30s, I suffered from depression, anxiety and anger (anger is still somewhat of an issue), and it was not until about age 40 when I finally realized that I was not the problem in this mother-daughter relationship. My mother is the problem, and I feel sorry for her. She hates me because I am a daily reminder of my father who physically and verbally abused her throughout their 50-year marriage. I think that he raped her and she became pregnant with me. And, for 50 years, she has made my life a living Hell. Although, my father is dead now, he also made my life unbearable and uncomfortable. My father was a sick and disturbed individual. During my adolescent years, my father would constantly rub on my back in order to feel my bra strap and I could not have a conversation with him without his eyes staring at my breasts. My mother knew it. My father even exposed himself to me on his death bed. I essentially had parents who never loved me and my mother wonders why I have so many problems as an adult woman and constantly ridicules my choices. I have never been able to hold down a job, very few friends (one to think of), and have had minor brushes with the law. I have never married or been able to have children. Every “relationship” was abusive and all but one of these men were married. In fact, I have only had one relationship with a man who was not married and he physically, emotionally and verbally abused me for the 12 months that it lasted. I have been arrested twice due to a married man and my reputation is that of a home wrecker. I realize that there are underlying psychological reasons for my behavioral patterns and do not know how to fix them other than leaving men alone, altogether. I am always desperately seeking love and affection where I can get it because my parents, especially mother could never love me. I find comfort in running and working out, and have been doing so since the age of 30.

    When I turned 40, I made the decision to let my relationship with my mother go. I also let go of the depression and this was done by moving to another state. Out of sight, out of mind and it worked. My mother and I actually got a little closed, although far apart. We had not had an argument during the entire 5 years that I lived away. I tried to start over, but the country was in a financial recession and having a very spotty work record worked against me in the worst way. I could not find a job which paid enough to support myself and decided to go back to college for a second bachelor’s degree. I lived off student loans for about 2 1/2 years which paid for rent, utilities and food. Then, when the money ran out, I found myself homeless and calling my mother for money on a regular basis. Although, she helped me, I know that she ridiculed me behind my back and told my other siblings that I had been sleeping in my car. This was something that I wanted no one to know and my mother betrayed my trust. This also was not the first time that she had done so. After struggling with homelessness and relying on the kindness of strangers for shelter, I eventually went back home to live with my mother. I was 45 years old. I had no car, no job, and no money. I lived under her roof, ate her food, and drove her car while serving out a probation sentence for assaulting a former married boyfriend in the state from which I moved.

    Today, I am still living in my mother’s house and I am now 49 years old. Our relationship is as worse as it was twenty years ago. My mother is extremely argumentative, judgmental and also a bit jealous of me. By most accounts, I am very intelligent and knowledgeable about many things but have never actually applied myself. I have a master’s degree and did very well in graduate school. My mother has always been envious of my education because it was the one thing that she never achieved. I feel trapped in my mother’s house. In fact, I feel like a mouse trying to find its way out. Just yesterday, we had a big blow up. After I handed her a Victoria’s Secret gift bag, she picked a fight with me. She yelled at me and told me that I was evil and hateful for cursing at my sister, her “good” daughter. She was enraged and looked like a fool jumping on me after I just spend over $100 on underwear for her. I bought this gift for her because I was unable to present it to her on Mother’s Day. She was still mad over that.

    I feel trapped by my own existence and cannot seem to get out of my way. Part of me wants to pick up and move again to get away from my mother, again. But, then there is that little voice inside of me telling me not to allow my mother to control my behavior and decisions; do not run away again like a scared, wounded little girl. I grew up in the city where I currently live, and it is comfortable to me. A little over a year ago, I entered a relationship with a man who I knew would never leave his wife. I loved the affection, the fancy dinners, the expensive gifts and consideration. I am not in love with this man. I have never been treated so well by anyone, ever. He is very kind and takes care of me financially. Because of his support, I do not bother to look for work but volunteer in the nonprofit industry. He even bought me a 2015 BMW last year and contemplating purchasing a house for me. My “boyfriend” is my emotional support system as well. He understands me, and only wants peace for me. If buying me a house means getting me out of a toxic environment, he is all for it. But, this man is married and has made it clear that he has no plans to change his life. My family has never met my boyfriend and I have been lying to them about his status. I even told them that he lives in another country and which is why they have never met him. However, my family knows he is married because they know me. They know that I am living a lie because married men are a pattern of behavior for me. My family, and especially mother believes that no one could ever enter a normal relationship with me. To my mother, I am unlovable and not worthy of anything or anyone good and wholesome. Maybe deep in my conscious, I believe this too.

    Although, an unhealthy relationship, the current married man has given me an outlet, as strange as it may sound. More than likely, I will get the house which will allow me to get away from my mother, even if only a few miles away. Although, I help my mother pay her bills, take care of her home including cleaning like a maid, gardening like a landscaper, buy her nice, pretty things for the house, buy her expensive gifts at Christmas and on her birthday, she blames me for every issue occurring within the walls of her home, and I am tired of it. If my brother or nephew is the cause of some trouble, and I bring it to my mother’s attention, she somehow manages to blame me for their transgressions. I treat my mother very well and there is nothing that I do not do for her. When she got sick and had to go into the hospital I was there, not her good daughter. (She’s been sick on more than one occasion and I was always there to take care of her). I stayed with her at the hospital overnight until she was released, not her good daughter. I took care of her at home until she got better, not her good daughter. When the water was almost cut off, I paid it; not her good daughter. There are countless small things that I have done for my mother and had it not been for me, she would have gone without. Since my father died, I have tried making life a little easier, a little nicer during her golden years, and for what? Nothing is ever good enough and I only get criticized. Meanwhile, she is boiling with jealousy and green with envy whenever I come into the house with shopping bags and cannot stand to see me with anything nice. My mother knows that my boyfriend allows me to use his credit cards to shop, and this makes her jealous. I also pay her bills with them. Six years ago, my father died and left my mother nothing but debt. No life insurance. She has struggled financially ever since and I am the only one of her children who helps her out. Neither of my siblings does anything for my mother, yet I am the one who is disparaged.

    I turn 50 in a couple of months and I could not care less what my mother thinks, feels or believes about me. I let go of the emotional pain nearly 10 years ago, however the scars remain. I am no longer that woman who used to cry herself to sleep over the hateful, insensitive words spoken by her mother. I just do not care about the mother-daughter thing anymore, and only want peace at any cost. My mother believes that she still holds the power to break me emotionally and secretly wishes that I was still that 20 or 30 year old girl walking around crying and depressed all the time. Not going to happen. I still want to love and respect my mother. But, part of me dislikes her as much as she dislikes me. If her church friends could only see how she treats her first-born daughter, they would look at her differently. Her church family worships the ground she walks on because she has portrayed herself as the perfect woman. They do not know that she allowed her husband to molest her daughters, laid down next to him for almost 50 years and pretended that her family was perfect. They do not know about her son in prison due to fraud; they do not know about the grandson who was caught selling drugs out of her house and the police raid on her home; they do not know about the closeted alcoholic son who lives in her house and is on meth or heroin; they do not know about my brushes with the law; they do not know about my married sister’s affair with another man. By the way, I have never had any drug or alcohol problems. However, promiscuity has been an issue for most of my adult life and I acted out sexually with a neighbor boy when we were both about 6 years old. His mother caught us and told my mother about it. My mother is afraid that if her church family knew all about her family, they would not like her anymore. This is unlikely, though. However, my mother is so insecure and hates herself so much, being found out and unliked is what she fears the most. My mother only stayed with my father for financial reasons. She had all the material things she wanted though it was all a facade. I am the only one of five children that my mother has mistreated and parted her lips to say the most hurtful and vile things to. My sister was also molested by our father, however she managed to marry a wonderful man and adopted a child 12 years ago. Ironically, neither my sister nor I was ever able to conceive. My sister does have emotional and mental issues that my mother refuses to recognize and this is due to my sister living 3 hours away in another state. She has the ability to hide herself. However, my sister’s problems are beginning to manifest and she is a very difficult person. But, she has always been my mother’s favorite daughter for unknown reasons.

    I loved this article and enjoyed the comments by other readers. I also appreciate the author as well as other women explaining the root causes of their mothers’ hateful behaviors towards them. It makes perfect sense that a mother would dislike or hate her daughter due to sexual abuse by her husband. My mother has been living with a tremendous amount of guilty, anger, resentment, hatred, and anxiety over my father’s evil, disgusting acts to his daughters. I believe that I have bared the brunt of my mother’s rage, not my sister, because she was raped when I was conceived. During church, my mother cries constantly and takes her problems to the alter for prayer. However, I do not believe that she prays for or has forgiven herself. My mother has probably asked for God’s forgiveness in allowing her children to be abused by their father. But, the emotional and mental disconnect between she and I will remain until her death.

    Ironically, my mother was the person who recommended that I see a psychologist and eventually a psychiatrist during my 20s and 30s to cope with whatever had been haunting me. She has accused me of being mentally ill all my life and from time to time likes to pull it out of her bag and rub it in my face. She has even told other family members that I sought counseling and these individuals have also ridiculed me over it. My mother has no idea how sick she truly is and will take the family secret to her grave. I, on the other hand, have no intention of doing so. Once my mother goes on to her final resting place, the family secret will no longer be secret. I plan to write a book and expose it all.

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