Confessions of a toxic mother's daughter

- by Tangled ribbon -

She is the only person that holds a soft spot even in the heart of the toughest person you can imagine. Good news or bad, you want her to be the first to know. You share tears and laughter with her as you grow up. And the bond is even stronger and more personal when you are the eldest, because you are her first and I once heard a saying, ‘mothers literally grow together with their first child’.

The paragraph above is probably tear jerking to some of you reading. But there will be some of you that read the whole paragraph and wished you had all that but you don’t.

Our mothers, just like us, humans, are shaped by their pasts, experiences and values. Some comes from educated and wealthy family. Some may come from abusive parents. These backgrounds directly and indirectly shape how they treat their children. And if you happen to come from a family with a not very pleasant background, you have to be prepared to face plenty of issues that probably kids from normal family do not even have to think of.

Which brings us to the topic. Toxic mothers.

Family gatherings are one of the best opportunities for toxic mothers to act on their children. Your weaknesses are made fun of, compared and painfully criticised and you can do nothing but be there and take it all in. Your achievements are sometimes belittled thus making it seem insignificant especially when your cousins are doing better than you.

Toxic mothers play very good mind games. They are good in controlling you by playing the emotion card especially when you are trying to do something that benefits you. Say you are applying for a course that requires you to stay far away for a short period of time. She would probably freak out and play the whole Bollywood sobbing to keep you with here. Now don’t get me wrong. Normal mothers will freak out and send a SWAT team to your campus to keep you safe. But toxic mothers on the other hand will express her irrational disagreement on the course, play the silent treatment game and eventually make you stay because you don’t want to hurt her feelings and take care of her.

Another prominent sign of toxic mothers is their ability to be the nicest when your friends or family come over. They will be unbelievably nice to them, to the extent that they will doubt you for falsely accusing that innocent ‘loving’ mother of yours. Toxic mothers have this amazing ability to switch personality from one another that you yourself will start doubting if it is your fault to upset her. She will be the nicest one instant and the meanest and moodiest the next. Your life with your toxic mother will be spent as if you are a freakin’ weather expert, predicting when tsunami will hit and fearing 24/7 in case she blows up on you for sneezing!

Living with toxic mothers can be exhausting and weakens your will to live.

At one point, you will think that ending your life for good is the only solution. But what’s the point of ending your life when there is so much waiting ahead for you in life? There is no point worrying over something you can’t change! Oh I forget to mention, if you think being kind and fulfilling happiness of your toxic mum is going to do any good, don’t hold your breath. It will do more damage than good to your life. Been there, done that, didn’t work. You can try every possible way to find out what she wants, sacrifice your wants and needs just not to disappoint her. And if you come from an Asian family like I do you will notice that some families treat their parents like Gods. Don’t get me wrong, disrespecting them is not the solution. But to gain respect, you need learn to respect. So if my parents respected me for who I am, my wants, dreams and hopes, I wouldn’t have faced all the things I was forced to.

I am scarred for life.

I admit, at times it hits you in the guts for all the traumatic abusive past you had to gulp. But bruh, this is life. Flick your hair, know what you want, strive for your dream and show ‘em you are the bomb!

Photo credits (from the top): Joana Coccarelli, Rachel Sian


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