Growing up with a toxic mother can crush your confidence and you struggle to repair the damage as you grow up.
When you hear people ask others if they love their mother, you feel a surge of pain when they answer "of course, I do," as if there was no other possible answer. But your experience has shown that there are many other responses possible. You know firsthand what it's like to grow up in a house with an unloving, unkind, and toxic mother. It has left you emotionally wounded, and you still carry most of those scars as you grow up.
Growing up with a mother who constantly criticized you made you believe that you weren't good enough. Even as an adult, you are constantly doubting yourself and second-guessing every move you make. An unloving mother can crush your confidence; you see as an adult that no matter what you do or the heights you achieve, the damage her cruel words did to your self-esteem is hard to heal.
Your mother might have compared you to a sibling, a friend, or somebody else, constantly asking you, "why can't you be more like them?" Your mother would have exaggerated even the tiniest shortcomings, which makes you feel just not good enough. You are afraid to assume you could be good at something because if your own mom thinks you are worthless, how can you feel good? This makes you blind to all the beautiful, admirable strengths that you have inside you.
The more critical your mother was of you, the more critical you became to yourself. Even as you grew up and got into relationships, you could hear your mother's voice inside your head saying, "you're too skinny" or "you're too ugly" or "you're not smart enough." And all of this translates into: you don't deserve love. You started becoming more anxious about how you are and try hard even as an adult to change yourself to fit others' expectations of you. You could also become a people pleaser uncomfortable with even the idea of strangers not liking you.
Having to grow up with an overbearing mother can weaken your emotional strength. You lose the will to stand up for yourself and often feel guilty even when you don't need to. This is why you find yourself saying "yes" to the things you don't really want to do. You might have worked extra hard to get your mother's approval and as an adult, you put the same extra effort into the relationships and work circles in your life even it's not worth it. People can often take advantage of this and make you feel miserable whether you go ahead and accept to do things for them or not.
The way your mother looked at you started becoming the way you look at yourself. Even as you grew older, you could never shut off your mother's voice inside your head. You wished you were prettier, smarter, or funnier. But you were never able to give credit to the woman staring back at you and realize how much she is worth. But you need to realize that anyone who thinks you are not good enough is like a mirror that is glazed with dirt. Only when you wipe the dirt of past words and judgment, can you see the pure reflection of your true self—glorious and radiant.
Home is meant to be the first place where a child feels like they belong. But never getting that comforting feeling can make you grow up feeling like you're always out of place. It is hard for you to feel like you are a part of a group or circle. You feel like something is missing, but nothing you do can fill that void inside. When it comes to relationships, this makes you settle for even abusive partners or toxic friends who take undue advantage of you. This void is caused by what is called the mother wound.
First, it was the approval of your mother that you craved for. Then, it was the approval of your friends and then, your partner's. You told yourself that you need to work harder or do more to seem perfect for the people around you. But when you finally learn to accept yourself and leave the trauma of your childhood behind, you finally see how perfect you already are. You are enough just as you are. You are lovable just as you are. You are worth all the respect and affection just as you are. Just because
Nothing would have changed; you would still be the same person, but your eyes will finally open to the beauty inside you that your mother shut away.