The mother-child relationship is one of the powerful force in shaping one’s life. Sadly, some individuals were raised by toxic mothers and experienced patterns of unhealthy behaviors which left lasting scars on their self-esteem, relationships and understanding the world.
While growing up with a toxic mother can be an incredibly difficult experience, many individuals do not recognize this until adulthood. As such, it is important to recognize the signs of toxic mothering to understand the impact it may have had on your life and take steps toward healing.
Here are 10 Signs Your Mother was Toxic
1. You Struggle with your Self Esteem and Self Worth
One sign that you were raised by a toxic mother that you feel less confident about yourself. This is because most toxic mothers criticize, deride and mock their children relentlessly. They always focus on their flaws rather than their strengths and this leaves them with a constant reminder that they are not good enough.
As such, you find yourself constantly seeking approval and validation from others.
2. You Feel Emotionally Manipulated
Another hallmark that you were raised by a toxic mother is always feeling emotionally manipulated and suppressed. This is so because toxic mothers are masters of emotional manipulation. They may guilt-trip you, use emotional blackmail, or play mind games to control your behavior and emotions.
In adulthood, a child who grew up being emotionally manipulated will often feel guilty whenever they try to stand up for themselves. They will also struggle struggle with asserting their own needs.
3. You Neglect Boundaries
If you were raised by a toxic mother, then there are high chances that you’ll neglect boundaries and this may be because you likely don’t understand boundaries.
A toxic mother will invade your personal space, disregard your privacy, or fail to establish healthy boundaries. This can lead to a sense of suffocation and difficulty in developing your own identity.
In adulthood, you will experience difficulty setting boundaries without facing conflict and guilt. You may also have little or no respect for your privacy or independence.
4. You Practice Conditional Love
A mother is suppose to love a child unconditionally but toxic mothers don’t practice this. Rather, they express love and affection only when their child meets certain expectations or behaves in a specific way.
This conditional love can make you feel unworthy and always strive for approval. In addition to this, you may also attach conditions to the way you love and treat people.
5. You Have Trust Issues
There are high chances that your trust issues are linked to your childhood. If you were raised by a toxic mother, then you may find it difficult to trust the people in your life because you tend to judge their intentions.
Children raised by toxic mothers always feel they’ll get hurt by others. As such they have difficulty opening up to others.
6. Emotional Instability
Do you sometimes experience emotional instability? then you may have to check your roots. Toxic mothers often have unpredictable mood swings, making it challenging to gauge their reactions or know how to please them. This instability can lead to anxiety and a constant fear of setting off their anger.
7. You Practice Favoritism
Another sign that your mother was toxic is favoritism. Such mothers treat their children unequally. They favor and support one child while scapegoating the other. In most cases, the latter is unfairly blamed and left to bear the brunt of the other’s mistakes.
8. Unhealthy Competition with Others
If you were raised by a toxic mother, then you likely grew up in an environment of jealousy and resentment. Toxic mothers often compare their children to others, setting unrealistic expectations and fostering unhealthy competition among siblings.
As such, you may constantly compare your achievements to others and always want what others have.
9. Lack of Empathy
Many toxic mothers struggle to empathize with their children’s feelings or experiences. They may dismiss or belittle your emotions, making you feel invalidated and unheard. As such, you may lack the ability to show empathy towards others.
10. You Have an Avoidant Attachment Style
If your mother-child relationship wasn’t so healthy, then you may find yourself practicing the avoidant-attachment style during adulthood. Since you were not cared for and loved by your mother, you may always feel that no one can care for you or even loves you.
Consequently, you may avoid investing in others to protect yourself emotionally.