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“How long are you going to take with the drinks!?” she yelled from the living room snidely as she heard my mobile ringing from the kitchen. Yes, I have a toxic mother.

The only reason she was being so rude and demanding was that she heard it ring. She wanted to subtly remind me that I was not permitted to use my device to communicate with the outside world whilst in her presence.

Even though I am no longer under her roof and realistically she was at my house, the years of mental torture surrounding the restrictions I faced when it came to being in touch with anyone, are still very much felt when in the presence of my toxic mother – most probably because even though it is unsaid, the rules are still very much in force.

I actually didn’t want to be getting drinks for anyone anyway. I wanted to be sitting down. My heavily pregnant belly was starting to ache and I had an uncomfortable pulling feeling between my legs. My vagina was calling it a day and my entire body just kept telling me to put my feet up and relax. But I couldn’t. What kind of host could possibly entertain their guests from the comfort of their lounge.

I Couldn’t Answer My Mobile!

My mobile rang a second time, again from a private caller making me even more concerned that I couldn’t pick it up. People don’t usually call twice in a short space of time unless it’s urgent. Then again people don’t usually call from blocked numbers unless it’s some sort of marketing nonsense. My hope was that it was the latter! Either way, thankfully they had left two voicemail messages so I’d be able to get back to them as soon as my mum had left.

Why?

Why are some mothers so unbearably controlling? What is it that they fear? God, I hope I don’t put my children through that sort of toxic behaviour!

Strangely she doesn’t treat my brother the way she does me. He was able to sit with her texting non-stop on his mobile as I attended to everything and everyone without a single offer of help from anyone, except for my dad who was being a champion with the kids.

Boys are better than Girls!

Growing up I learned that having a penis granted you special privileges in my household. Boys can do whatever they want, whenever they want to and without any restrictions. The complete opposite of girls! And there was no way of escaping the rules or bringing a sense of equality to the family. I was beneath everyone and if I’m honest I still feel I am treated this way by my mother.

It was her birthday, so I can understand that pampering her on her special day is important. However, no matter whose birthday she attends she’s always the one whose needs are catered to the most. Her happiness is of utmost importance. And there isn’t ever any assistance from her.

No Empathy for me!

It was up to me to meet the needs of seven children as well as the adults and cook, all whilst heavily pregnant because for some reason my mother didn’t want to come over at a time that was best suited to me, like when my hubby got home from work. No, she didn’t want it to be that easy for me, a birthday dinner like the ones she usually attends was completely out of the question. There was no empathy for me whatsoever. But that’s alright, I’m used to it.

Why do I do it?

What I’m not used to is discovering that the calls I felt obligated to let go to voicemail were actually important to my health! It was the hospital in regards to my test results and I really did need to take those calls! I felt so stupid having let it go on purpose and somewhat annoyed at myself that I still allow myself to be placed in these sorts of positions just for the purpose of keeping the peace!

What exactly do I get out of abiding by a toxic relationship with my toxic mother?

Nothing! A big fat nothing!

A Toxic Mother

When we hear the term ‘toxic relationship’ we often think of romantic ones where one partner is simply a horrible human being. Thankfully it’s not often that we identify parent and child relationships that meet the same criteria but they sadly do exist.

Seeing them for what they are and breaking the cycle isn’t just important for your own wellbeing, but I believe it’s vital – especially if you want to have a family of your own, to be able to recognise the difference between when a person loves you opposed to when they just want to control you, so that you don’t unintentionally make your children suffer the same fate as you.

It is your life after all, and no matter what, you deserve to be happy!

Do you have or know anyone who has a toxic mother? What advice would you give this mum? Tell us in the comments below.

  • My mother I no longer speak to, so much easier and less draining on my energy not having her around. I feel so sorry for this mum going through this as it’s horrible and the only right thing to do is what your head and heart tell you to do for yourself. For me easier to not have my mother in my life but that doesn’t always work for others.

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  • Just so much sounds like my relationship with my mother – and my brother couldn’t do anything wrong in her eyes. I was fortunate growing up that my dad and I were best friends, so mum didn’t matter much to me but after dad died, she suddenly wanted to be best friends and I couldn’t accommodate her – left me feeling gutted for a very long time.
    You cannot avoid the problems and trying to do something about it only seems to make it worse – I feel for you and wish you all the best in your future relationships with her.

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  • Yup now I learned it is called a narcissitic mother (it could be a dad, a husband or even the own mother) no empathy no awareness of others needs not abel to love you it is all about them. She is almost 90 but it only revolves about her, her hapiness, her needs, her favorite kids, grand kids (mainly boys). you are only of interest as long as you are there to be used by her to fulfil her demands or needs. You are always to blame when things do not go her way or when things go wrong of course it is never her fault always others are to blame. i have talked with many friends many have such a mother. Very sad I feel even my existance alone is not welcomed because as her first child I did not turn out to be a boy she has “unconciously?” rejected me all her life letting me feel I am not welcome. She mistrusts me blames me to have stolen whatever….. irrational but that is this narcissistic personality disorder which is incurable. I have learned to put up with her ignore her attacks and assaults with false acusations… it is sad I never can make her thanksful or appreciative of me really it is only an act or a mask she puts on. She also gives me the silent treatment when she thinks I have done something which is not true it is all in her mind. She alone of course is always right always the perfect mother/wife/person although it is not so..this is self deception to make herself feel better all the other women (daughters, daughter is law of course a so bad).


    • Bless you, that is very sad ! Amazing that you have learned to put up with her and that you can ignore her attacks and assaults. A narcistic personality disorder is not a pretty disorder indeed. You’re right it is not curable, but sometimes therapy may help; that is of course when the person themselves suffer from the disorder and are motivated to look into their behaviour patterns.

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  • I never thought of it as a toxic relationship but this does sound a bit like my Mother was with me. My brother could never do anything wrong though. I still loved her though and we did make peace before she passed away

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  • I’ve never heard it said that way before – toxic mother. My mum and I argue a lot, but we still love each other lots. As I grow up and with my kids around I’m trying to make an effort to not get angry at the littlest things that bug me. Point is, I want her in my life even though she can be over bearing and controlling. I just have to learn to control my actions, because I can’t control those of others.

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  • This could have been me. I’ve just learnt recently that my Mother is toxic. It’s taken me such a long time. And it came from first removing a toxic sister from my life, to realise that my Mother was toxi too — and they were so similar. It has been hard, such a struggle, exhausting physically and mentally, brutal at times, but through therapy (for nearly 3 years), I am in a good place. I’ve set boundaries, moved house, and made the break. Our interactions now are short and sweet and I no longer let her get to me. I now have the power, not my Mum.

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  • Know your limit when talking and be mindful when using words.

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  • I haven’t spoken to my mum in more than 7 years! She wasn’t controlling but there were other issues. It was easier for me as my parents were divorced, whereas some wouldn’t be able to without not seeing the other parent. I feel for people who are trapped.

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  • Oh boy! My MIL and SIL…I just don’t understand it! Why anybody enjoys causing such issues, trouble and disrespect instead of just living a peaceful life is so beyond me!!! Disgusting!!!

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  • This makes me appreciate my mum so much!

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  • I don’t have a toxic relationship with my parents but they were certainly controlling, especially my mum. I left home when I was 17 and battled for a long time to spread my wings because they would still try to control from a distance for a long time. A lot had to do with my parents own upbringing which was far worse. After we all left home my parents have changed and grown a lot and I respect and love them dearly.

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  • She needs to stand up to her mother, I did explained its my house and we all treat each other with respect. If she cant do that she isnt welcome. She came around but it is a strained relationship at times. My boys arent really close to her because of the way she treated me.

    Reply

  • I had/have a toxic mother, apparently she is still alive living no more than 20 minutes away but yet have not see her for 20 years. She was demanding of my father, brother and myself…nothing I did was ever good enough, the way I dressed, cooked, cared for my son. She threw my father out, us children had left many years prior. My father was my world and my sons. After they separated I did the right thing and went to visit with my son then he was 11, she just wanted him to mow the lawn, clean the pool …..no love there. She ridiculed my father to me and my son so I decided I did not want my son in that environment so cut contact. The end. My sone now 32 lives happily in Vancouver and is Director of IT in a great company. Living the dream! I miss him dearly, but am blessed as we are close. ❤️

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  • This is the second post of yours that I have read where you talk about the relationship that you have with your mother. It would be really great if you could get some counselling to help you take some control in this relationship. She isn’t good for your well being.

    Reply

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