Signs that you were raised by a toxic mother - a blog post by Mommyshravmusings

You’re Not Alone: 8 Signs You Were Raised by a Toxic Mother

Do you want to know more about the telltale signs of whether you were raised by a toxic mother?

Behind every smile, every achievement, and every struggle, lies the profound impact of our upbringing. Our relationship with our mother, the first significant figure in our lives, plays a pivotal role in shaping our emotional well-being and overall development. This maternal bond is a source of comfort, love, and support for many. However, for others, it can be a complex and tumultuous journey.

If you have ever felt like your childhood was overshadowed by negativity, emotional turmoil, or a constant battle for approval, you may have been raised by a toxic mother. And that might be the reason for you to search for the signs of a toxic mother.

It’s a painful realization, but you’re not alone. Countless individuals have walked a similar path, silently bearing the scars of an unhealthy mother-child relationship.

In this blog post, we will delve into the eight telltale signs that indicate that you were raised by a toxic mother. Recognizing and understanding these signs is essential, as they can help you gain clarity about your past and pave the way for healing and growth. Remember, acknowledging the truth is the first step towards breaking free from the chains of the past and building a brighter future.

Who is a Toxic Mother?

A toxic mother is a parent who exhibits harmful and unhealthy behaviors towards their child, leading to emotional, psychological, and sometimes even physical harm. Toxic mothers often create a hostile and distressing environment for their children, making it challenging for them to develop a strong sense of self-worth, emotional well-being, and healthy relationships.

The toxic mothers, by nature, would be more concentrated on their own needs (be it physical or emotional) that she forgets to tend to their children’s needs. She may even use her children as her anchoring point to vent her frustrations on them.

She might suffer from relationship problems, substance abuse, anxiety, or depression. And her toxic behavior is the resultant outcome of her psychological issues. That’s why she wouldn’t even understand the impact of her toxic behavior on her children.

Signs that you were raised by a toxic mother - a blog post by Mommyshravmusings

Signs you were raised by a toxic mother

Constant Criticism and Belittling:

A toxic mother may habitually criticize and belittle her child, pointing out their flaws and shortcomings while ignoring their positive qualities. This constant negative feedback can significantly impact the child’s self-esteem and self-worth, leading to feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness. The child may grow up with a persistent belief that they are never good enough, struggling with self-doubt and insecurity.

She doesn’t need excuses to find faults or to criticize her children. Whatever her children do, it’s not up to the mark, nor could it satisfy her. The children always feel that they are walking on eggshells around their mother.

1. Emotional Manipulation:

Emotional manipulation is a hallmark of a toxic mother-child relationship. Manipulative behaviors may include guilt-tripping the child, making them feel responsible for the mother’s emotions or actions, using emotional blackmail to get what she wants, or employing gaslighting techniques to distort the child’s perception of reality. These tactics can leave the child feeling confused, emotionally drained, and trapped in a cycle of emotional coercion.

She will ensure you choose her over all the other things in life. It can be your career, love life, family, or anything. She will start small and finally engulf your entire life without any care for your private space or emotions.

2. Lack of Emotional Support:

A toxic mother may dismiss or invalidate her child’s feelings and emotions, showing little empathy or support. When the child seeks comfort or understanding, the mother may respond with indifference, criticism, or even anger, leaving the child feeling emotionally abandoned and isolated. The child may learn to suppress their emotions, as they fear being judged or rejected by their mother.

Having an emotionally unavailable mother will affect you in multiple ways. To start with, talking about emotions is a taboo topic for you. You never learned how to express your feelings. You are scared of ridicule and embarrassment to open up and chat casually with others.

4. Enmeshment or Emotional Incest:

Sometimes, a toxic mother may inappropriately rely on her child for emotional support and validation. This phenomenon, known as enmeshment or emotional incest, blurs the boundaries between parent and child. The mother may treat the child more like a romantic partner or confidante, creating an unhealthy dynamic that can lead to confusion, emotional dependency, and difficulties forming healthy relationships outside the family.

Your mother would invade all your private space and thoughts by force or with emotional manipulation. She will come into your bathroom or even try to read all your personal chats on the mobile and stalk you on social media. She has totally forgotten the boundaries between a parent and child.

You might want to read more about Enmeshed Parenting and how it affects you.

5. Control and Overbearing Behavior:

Toxic mothers may exhibit controlling behavior, seeking to dominate their child’s life and decisions. They may micromanage the child’s choices, friendships, activities, and career or relationship decisions. This overbearing control can stifle the child’s independence and autonomy, hindering their ability to develop a strong sense of self and make decisions based on their own desires and aspirations.

She is afraid that she will lose you if you start developing friendships outside her circle. She will become the deciding authority in your life, and without her, you cannot do anything.

6. Inconsistent or Conditional Love:

Love and affection in a toxic mother-child relationship may be inconsistent or conditional. The mother may withdraw love or affection as a form of punishment when the child doesn’t meet her expectations or demands. This conditional love can create a constant fear of rejection and abandonment in the child, leading them to seek approval and validation from their mother constantly.

She uses passive-aggressive behavior to get her way. This may include giving silent treatment, sulking, or making snide remarks. This can be confusing and hurtful for children, as they may not understand why their mother behaves this way.

7. Favoritism or Scapegoating:

Toxic mothers may treat their children unequally, favoring one child while scapegoating another. The favored child may receive special treatment and attention, while the scapegoated child is unfairly blamed for family problems and may bear the brunt of the mother’s emotional abuse. This differential treatment can lead to intense sibling rivalry, low self-esteem in the scapegoated child, and a sense of injustice and emotional pain.

8. A lack of reciprocation. 

A toxic mother is often very demanding of her children, but she doesn’t offer much in return. She may expect her children to be there for her whenever she needs them, but she may not be there for them when they need her. This can make children feel like they are unimportant to their mother and can’t rely on her.

These are the telltale signs you were raised by a toxic mother. No wonder the mother has such an influence over our emotional and psychological well-being. But remember that growing up with a toxic mother can leave deep emotional scars, but it doesn’t have to define your future.

How to Cope with this Trauma of Toxic Mother?

Coping with the stress and trauma caused by a toxic mother is challenging, but healing and moving forward is possible. Here are some top tips to help individuals cope with the impact of a toxic mother:

a. Seek Professional Support: Consider seeking help from a therapist or counselor specializing in trauma and family dynamics. A trained professional can provide valuable guidance, validation, and coping strategies to navigate the emotional challenges and work toward healing.

b. Set Boundaries: Establish clear and healthy boundaries with your toxic mother. Limit contact if necessary to protect your emotional well-being. Understand that it’s okay to prioritize your mental health and distance yourself from harmful influences.

c. Practice Self-Care: Engage in self-care activities that promote emotional healing and well-being. This may include regular exercise, meditation, journaling, spending time in nature, or pursuing hobbies that bring joy and relaxation.

d. Surround Yourself with Supportive People: Build a support network of understanding and empathetic friends or family members. Connecting with others who validate your experiences and offer encouragement can be incredibly empowering.

e. Forgive Yourself & Celebrate Progress: Recognize that healing is a process, and it’s okay to have ups and downs. Forgive yourself for any perceived shortcomings, and Celebrate even the most minor steps you take toward healing and self-improvement.

Signs that you were raised by a toxic mother - a blog post by Mommyshravmusings

Remember, coping with the effects of a toxic mother may take time, patience, and persistence. Be kind to yourself throughout the process, and know that healing is a courageous and transformative journey.

Parting Thoughts:

Reflecting on the signs and characteristics of a toxic mother-child relationship can be a challenging and emotional journey. If you resonate with these experiences, know that these are the signs that a toxic mother raised you, and you are not alone. Countless individuals have faced similar challenges in their upbringing and have emerged stronger, wiser, and more resilient.

Remember, you are not defined by your upbringing but rather by the person you choose to become. You can create a life filled with love, joy, and healthy relationships. Permitting yourself to grieve the loss of the nurturing, loving mother you may have never had is essential. Embrace your journey toward healing with patience and self-acceptance. Every step you take towards self-awareness and personal growth is a step towards breaking free from the chains of the past.

QOTD: Ask your child – what it means to them about a Toxic Person and why we should stay away from them.

Suhasini, IP, is the Author of the book “Practical Tips for Kids Mental Health.” As a certified kids and parents life coach, she helps/guides you toward a happy family life for your kids. She firmly believes that “Emotionally Happy Kids of today are the Mentally Strong and Happy Citizens of tomorrow.” Let’s make the world a happy and beautiful place for our kids to thrive.

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  1. […] you know your relationship with your mother can affect your daughter’s behavior? Check this post […]

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