Do daughters revel in their anger towards their difficult mothers?
Do they enjoy blaming mom? If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother, right? Although it might look this way on the surface, in my 30 years as a psychotherapist, I find quite the opposite is true.
I find most daughters want to feel love from and towards their mothers. They desperately want to believe their mothers are capable of giving them that love. Especially daughters of Narcissistic or difficult mothers long to feel the love and approval which often is just out of reach. Blaming mom, truly blaming mom is the last resort for daughters of limited/damaged mothers.
It is easier to blame themselves. Here’s why daughters are more likely to blame themselves rather than blame their mother- The logic goes as follows, if they blame themselves and work to be better ( whatever that means) then at least there is hope for getting the mothering they need. They operate under the illusion that if only they were good enough, then mom would be on good enough footing to give them the love and acceptance they long for.
If this is your story- you work so hard for mom to be happy with you. Then you spiral down into feelings of resentment and anger as you drown in doubt that you will ever be good enough for mom. You don’t want to feel angry and resentful. To feel this angry hurts your heart and wears you down. It is exhausting and erodes your self-confidence.
So many daughters trapped in the role of the “Good daughter” keep trying to be good for mom in hopes that she will approve of them.
Why do daughters cling to the idea of an all-loving mother even though this runs contrary to her experience?
There is a part of us that holds out mother love as a guarantee, a right, a law of the universe. Despite evidence to the contrary, this mythology persists. We cling to it. We insist it is true. It hurts too much to give up on the cultural ideal.
As a result, the good daughter feels unlovable if she doesn’t experience that love from mom. What is true… is that we are neurologically programmed to make it work, no matter who your mother is or what her problems are. Because you start off as dependent on mom as a young child, you will twist yourself into a pretzel to create some sort of attachment to get what you need or an approximation thereof. But the truth is….mothers are only people. People who have had disappointments and injuries of their own.
People, who, many times have lost touch with what is best about them. Some are cruel, deeply flawed and pass down unspeakable harm. Some are slightly difficult, never take ownership of their flaws or let you down in ways that are hard to get over.
You may ask yourself, am I doomed? I would argue no, you are not doomed. However, if you are like me and many I have counseled, I’d say there are two traps you are in danger of falling in to.
1) Force yourself to be grateful for what you got from mom.
2) Stand angry, accusatory, and feel forever broken.
Neither stance is helpful and here is why- One keeps you stuck in denial and the other keeps you stuck in anger.
Here’s how this works-
1. Deny that mom is hurting you and force yourself to focus on the positive. She is your mother after all. By making her right when she is hurting you and making you wrong – you protect mom at your expense.
The problems with this are two-fold.
A) The feelings are repressed and don’t go away. The dysfunction continues, you don’t get closer to mom only more enmeshed.
B) What you don’t pass back, you pass on… acting in ways towards your own daughter that hurt her while you can’t see it. And what you can’t see, you can’t change.
2. Stay stuck in anger. Gather up evidence of your mother’s wrongdoing so that you will feel right by making her wrong. Blame all of your life’s problems on her and never move past the feeling of being a victim. You need her to be wrong for you to feel that you are right.
You can’t work through the feelings if you deny them or remain a victim of them.
So what can you do?
There is a 3rd way.
This is the conscious way. Your grief and disappointment around what you didn’t get from mom can serve as a portal to an expanded consciousness. By accepting that mom is human and thus prone to being flawed herself – you can move into an adult conscious stance with her and more importantly with yourself. You can start taking care of yourself and living your life to the fullest. By facing the upsetting emotions they stop controlling you. Consciousness is power.
In fact, you can empower yourself by making conscious decisions about what to do with this grief you didn’t choose to feel.
Although this may at first seem counterintuitive, there is a way in which you can turn the feeling of being a victim of your difficult mother into conscious awareness that makes you a more compassionate and empowered person. You tap into the vulnerability that makes us all connected and the kindness that heals us.
But don’t stop there. After facing the feelings you have about your upsetting relationship with your mother, use that energy to propel yourself into adulthood. Taking an adult position with your mother is neither the blame position nor the doormat position. It is the mature position.
As you work to become aware of ways you have been harmed, set healthy boundaries and heal your heart, you elevate your consciousness, move through the stuck feelings and develop in yourself powers you never knew were there. When it comes to your mother, you are only a victim or a doormat if you choose to stay one.
Access all of the information here on this site- Arm yourself with the psychological knowledge available to you here, and create inner resolve to take your life back.
To find out if you are trapped in the Good Daughter role- go here.
Find your voice. Raise Awareness. Tweet It Out.In my experience, I find most daughters want to feel love from and towards their mothers. They desperately want to believe their mothers are capable of giving them that love. Click To Tweet But the truth is....mothers are only people. People who have had disappointments and injuries of their own. Click To Tweet By accepting that mom is human and thus prone to being flawed herself - you can move into an adult conscious stance with her and more importantly with yourself. Click To Tweet When it comes to your mother, you are only a victim or a doormat if you choose to stay one. Click To Tweet
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