Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Hateful Mother

What words would you use to describe your mother?


If you are like me, these are exactly the types of words you will use to describe your mother.  Mother-daughter relationships can be complicated.  I think all of these relationships go through periods of ups and downs.  A mature and loving relationship gets through the tough times, mostly unscathed.  Mature people are able to talk through or work through their issues. A dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship is unsteady to its' core.  These relationships either have a wide range of highs and lows, or a flatline of negativity. 

What we should know about mothers who dislike their daughters is that they are usually emotionally immature.  These mothers may have been abused when they were younger, or often had a very unstable and maybe even violent relationship with the father of their child(ren).  They may have been children of alcoholics or drug users, or they may be children of dysfunctional mothers themselves.  Whatever the cause for their emotional immaturity, the result is the same: they are unable or unwilling to have a normal, loving relationship with their child. 

The mother in these types of relationships will constantly sabotage the relationship.  Sometimes, in these relationships there will be periods of normalcy followed by periods or an instance of drama and fighting.  In this respect, the dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship is similar to an abusive romantic relationship.  As in abusive romantic relationships, the abuser (mother) will use manipulative tactics to keep the victim (daughter) in their lives.  An abusive episode will often be followed by attempts to fix the relationship.  The abuser may be very kind and romantic during this period and offer many apologies.  In the mother-daughter relationship the mother may be very nice, and might even apologize.  Sometimes the calm period lasts just a few days, other times it can last for months or even years.  Regardless of how long the calm lasts, one thing is for certain-drama will come again!

The ups and downs are not characteristic of all dysfunctional relationships.  In some mother-daughter relationships the issues are always present, and the drama and negativity persists year round.  Whereas the mother in the up and down relationship may use tactics such as covert manipulation and emotional games, the mother in a flatline negative relationship is overt with her tactics, using intimidation, outright verbal and physical abuse, and domination to subdue her child.  The up and down relationship is more common.

So we have all the psychology-jargon, but what does this mean for you?  Understanding the reasons why a mother would dislike her child is a small comfort for the daughter who is suffering under the weight of feeling unloved.  How does this daughter come to accept the reality of her situation?  It takes a long, long time.  As daughters we try to rationalize the behavior of our mothers, we make excuses for her behavior, and at times we blame ourselves.  We suck up to her, minimize the way we feel, and bury our feelings.  We look for mothers in our romantic relationships, often replaying the dysfunctional dynamic.  We cry, we suffer, and yet we never truly understand why our relationships are the way they are, or what we can do about it.

Perhaps you are not fully convinced that you are in a dysfunctional relationship with your mother.  In future discussions I want to talk a little about my relationship with my mother, and perhaps share the stories of other daughters who are dealing with this.  Maybe in our stories you will see a reflection of your own relationship, and maybe, just maybe you can learn and grow from what others have been through.  As always, I look forward to hearing from those of you who are dealing with these same issues.  I may seem like an expert, but I assure you I am still learning and still trying to find my own way in this sad world of being a child who is not loved.


  1. I find comfort in your words. They were years ago, but strike true with me today.

  2. My mother hated me because I was supposed to be the son that she longs to have. I have 4 sisters, and I am the enemy of the house. I am 36, never married and one of my sisters said that she would rather have me unmarried than to marry anyone that doesn't fit our family... And her husband is not exactly a model husband.
    Now that my father passed away years ago, my mother is craving for all of our attentions and support her... Financially mostly.
    My sisters said that I hurt my mother all the time. By rejecting her. How can you accept people who hurts you all of your life? Her abuses are mostly psychological, and I am a manic depressive person, with suicidal tendencies. I know it was all her fault. She always said that I am weird. The naughties of all.
    Whenever I am home, all I wanted is to die. She made me feel worthless, even though I am the most successful of all. I was never forgiven to be born a female. I knew it, she knew it.

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  3. I know many of you have deep and scared stories and each of us has our own story to tell. I never thought I would share this with myself let alone stranges.

  4. TO ALL PEOPLE THAT HAVE OR HAVE NOT COMMENTED ABOUT THEIR MOMS!! Think very hard about what I'm about to say........I've noticed that a lot of you have asked how or should you wash your hands from your mother? Here's my question to you..what if God were to wash his hands from you???
    As a lot of you know and some don't that God is by and on your side no matter what!! It's up to you to except (in your heart) he is..that's why he gives you free's your choice?