It’s never a simple task to decipher how to deal with toxic parents. The pain that comes from a toxic mother is not something we talk about enough. None of us are perfect, that includes our mothers also, but there’s a point at which imperfection becomes destructive, taking away from daughters the love, warmth that they deserve and replacing it with something horrible.
When daughters receive loathing, criticism, harsh taunts, judgment, and abuse, it is a matter of time before they take over from their mother who is delivering the toxic lashings with full force to them.
Toxic mothers come in various shapes. Some are so clear that they may be spotted from space through the eye of a needle. Some are a bit subtler. All are destructive. A horrible mother has a long list of weapons, but all those come under the banner of emotional, verbal, neglect, and physical abuse.
Who are toxic mothers?
Toxic mothers lie, criticize, manipulate, humiliate, ignore, shame, judge, and abuse. The kids and daughters can experience tremendous pain, rejecting, and painful things from these types of mothers. Nothing is ever best enough.
You get an A; they will need an A+. You get an A+, they will wonder why you’re not school captain. You make school captain; your sister will have been a good one. And you will never be pretty like her. They will push you down to criticize you for the way you fall. That, or they will shove you off a cliff to show the globe how well they catch you. They oversee childhoods with no warmth, security, and connection.
Any negative behavior that causes emotional damage as well as contaminates the way a person sees himself and herself, is toxic. A toxic mother will treat her kids in a way that the kids will doubt their importance, their worth, or that they deserve love, approval, or validation.
If you’re reading this and thinking that my parent also did this to me, then chances are that your mother was a toxic one. The fact is, you deserved love, warmth, or to know how important you were like all other people. You have received the messages that were delivered by a mother to you in a harsh way but it doesn’t mean that you are useless in life.
Does any message you repeat to yourself remind you of something horrible your mom has told you?
In situations where verbal abuse was extreme and where parents were not supportive, you can take steps to modify those voices as well as become your own positive, unconditional parent. When you will recognize and connect the voices to messages you have accumulated, take the following steps to show you how to deal with toxic parents.
How to Deal with Toxic Parents
Be honest about the possibilities
If you are going to stay, know that it is okay to put a boundary between yourself as well as your parent. You can act from love or kindness if you need to but do not stay in the relationship until you can accept that the love you deserve will never come back to you. Ever. If it was going to, it will have reached you by now.
See their behavior for what it’s evidence of their breaks, not evidence of yours. Put a force field around yourself and allow their abuse to bounce off. Love yourself as well as respect yourself enough to fill the well that they bleed dry. They cannot give you the love and respect you deserve, but you can.
Write down what you say to yourself
It is helpful to get the voices out on paper and review what you are telling yourself. You can be shocked that you say things to yourself that you dream of saying to anybody else, even your worst enemy.
The practice of getting the messages on the paper makes it real and can be a wake-up call to see how harsh you are to yourself.
It is ok to let go of a toxic parent
This’s such a tough decision, but it can be one of the most important. We, humans, are wired to connect, even with people who do not deserve to be connected to us. Sometimes though, the way to stop the disease spreading is to amputate.
It does not matter how much you love most people; they’re broken to the point that they’ll keep damaging you from the inside out. You aren’t responsible for them or for the state of your relationships with them, and you’re under no obligation to keep lining yourself up to be humiliated, abused, belittled, and shamed. Healing will begin when you start expecting more for yourself.
Review the messages objectively
Are you unlovable and complete failure and unable to do anything right?
When you ruminate, you may tend to be absolute all, never, nothing, etc. Remind yourself that no one is all anything: people vary in who they are and what they do.
Revise the messages so that you can acknowledge the current beliefs
It goes something like this: Somehow, I developed a mistaken belief, I will never succeed. I can succeed by taking different steps. I will take the first step this week.
Or, I somehow agreed with things said to me as a kid that I was unworthy. No one is completely unworthy. I have worth or I will take time now to write out the things I have done in my life that are worthwhile. You can then write down a step, or make a list of even the small things that are more positive.
Keep on hand a song, poem, prayer, or other statements that help you stay positive
When you recognize the voices in your own self-talk, shift to something further positive by replacing those voices with your made mantra, poem, song, etc., and then stay positive and away from those negative voices.
Have a statement you may repeat to yourself that keeps you concentrated on the positive. Negative voices that you heard in childhood have had a lifetime to take hold and turn into the form of self-talk that will bring you down. It would not be simple to shift these messages to something extra positive, so you have to commit to changing them, as well as to practicing positive self-talk as frequently as possible.
The payoff is that you can release yourself from messages that likely never fit you and do not today. Try shifting those internal recordings to find good peace and contentment.
Prepare for your inevitable regression
It isn’t a question of if the regression is going to happen, it is when you do some mental work before visiting your family so that you may avoid triggering your worst behaviors.
Ask yourself that Are there some definite topics of conversation or physical places that can send your family into a tizzy? And then try to avoid those topics as well as places. If you can change scenery then it can help you to get out of old patterns, so if the family dinner table devolves into chaos, try to eat one night and then see if it will improve relations or not.