We believe that our siblings are treated differently because they are good, worthy of love and admiration, and we are not.
Most people see the concept of a mother as a woman who sacrifices herself and cultivates unconditional love for her children. A woman who will do anything to get her offspring on the right path, renouncing everything.
But not all mothers are like that. Do you know what a toxic mother is?
Powerful mother-daughter relationship
As long as we believe in universal motherly love – a myth that our culture actively supports – we cannot see the true power that parents have over us, even the power of covert violence. We like to think that mothers are women who keep this world from disappearing, but is that always the case?
The parent not only creates a world around his child but also dictates how the child will view that world. As children, we “understand” what is going on in our family, what is being said and why, but not always because that is natural for us, but because our mothers have served us an explanation that they think is appropriate for us.
So it’s no wonder many kids grow up believing that every behavior and relationship we see in the family, even toxic, destructive or violent – is normal. As children, we believe that all families are like ours. The realization that other families are actually very different comes much, much later.
We justify our mothers shouting, beating us – we were not good, we did not listen to them. And we believe that our brothers and sisters are treated differently because they are good, worthy of love and admiration, and we are not. “We are bad, lazy, naughty, stupid” – as our mother called us. And with that conviction, we grow up.
Growing up and a major problem
Most women who do not feel loved think that growing up will give them freedom. They believe they will eventually be rid of negative criticism. But, when they grow up, an unpleasant surprise awaits them. Getting out of your childhood room will not protect you from the pain and need for your mother’s love and support. This is a major problem – the central conflict between daughter’s awareness of what her mother did to her and her hunger for mother’s approval and love. That conflict lives on in the girl even now when she is grown up, and she constantly finds explanations and justifications for her mother’s toxic behavior; does her best to actually close her eyes to the truth.
8 typical patterns of toxic maternal behavior:
- Shaming and guilting
This behavior begins with the words “You always …” or “You never …” and it is strongly embedded in the child’s consciousness. In a child’s head, it also becomes a personal critique. A voice that keeps repeating, blaming and pointing out mistakes, while avoiding praise.
- The role of the victim
Many mothers actually play the role of victims, and children are not even aware of it. The toxic mother constantly reminds the children how ungrateful they are, and she usually ends her sentence with, “After everything I’ve done for you.” This behavior lives on in the child even when he or she grows up, and the mother continues her toxic role, especially if the child has understood what it is really about and tries to limit seeing and contacting with the mother.
- A game of sympathy
Favoring one child in a family happens a lot. But when a mother is loving to one child and toxic to another – she humiliates him, constantly comparing them to a “good” child, pointing out how bad the child is – psychological problems are almost guaranteed. Psychologists say toxic mothers behave this way to control their children, to form the sibling relationship the way she wants it to be and to manipulate her children to constantly need her support and praise.
If it is an only child, that child is not spared either – it will be constantly compared to the neighbor’s daughter, her uncle’s brother …
- Passive aggression
The mother may express passive aggression towards the child indirectly. For example, through ugly comments about the father when the child is present. The development of a child is directly related to the way parents behave towards one another and to other members of the immediate or extended family, which is why parents play a huge role in what kind of people we will become when we grow up.
If a child witnesses cruelty, verbal anger, chances are that the child will develop similar behavioral disorders on average from 8 to 10 years.
As they grow up, most children slowly turn into a bully parent, become passively aggressive … Everything that he witnessed and what actually shaped his worldview is transmitted to him. Here are the reasons why the sons of abusers grow up into abusers, children of alcoholics into alcoholics …
- Psychological manipulation
This term is usually related to adults, but unfortunately, such preferences are actually instilled in most children by parents. Manipulating a child is incredibly easy because parents are an undeniable authority and someone that their children look up to and believe in everything they say.
What these parents are also unaware of is how traumatic the manipulation is for children. Because childhood is a time when it is important for us to learn to trust our own thoughts and feelings and build our ability to understand other people.
- Humiliation and ridicule
Mothers with a pronounced need for control or narcissistic traits are often prone to mocking a child’s feelings or thoughts. They ridicule and humiliate children and so in childhood, they kill their confidence and self-esteem.
Toxic mothers, usually blame one child for everything wrong. This child is punished, and it doesn’t matter if it is really guilty or not. Such children begin to believe that they are not wanted, making it easier for them to turn to psychoactive substances, alcohol, and other destructive behaviors during adolescence.
- Silence as the worst punishment
When a person does not talk to you and does not answer your questions, it is an expression of utter contempt. Even adults experience this as very painful and humiliating. When it comes to children, this kind of behavior completely destroys them, especially if it comes from their parents.