Remember when we were young, our mothers were the ones we always turned to for comfort and security. The mother-daughter relationship is a delicate one that goes through a series of ebbs and flow. But unfortunately, not all dues are able to work their way out of the difficult times and find themselves in a toxic mother-daughter relationship.
What is scary is toxic relationships is that the signs aren’t always clearly visible. In fact, some girls don’t even realize they have an unhealthy bond with their mothers until they are older, or in some cases, when it’s too late. Has there always been a subtle tension between you and your mother, but you’re not sure why? Or do you often feel afraid of your mother?
Here are some of the unhealthy mother-daughter relationships put into categories to help you understand the types.
This type of relationship is seen quite often in a mother. It is also considered a normal way of parenting for mothers who have endured the same behavior from their own mothers. Controlling mothers usually pay little attention to their daughters’ feelings and needs. Instead, they often project a set of needs onto their daughter. “I am doing/ telling this for your own sake,” is probably what they often say.
At the same time, the mother will keep the daughter pressed down so that it’s easier to control the entirety of her life. The daughter complies because she believes she is never good enough to do things on her own.
Of course, it is normal that our parents would have expectations for us while growing up. But if a mother sets them too high, it could spell failure. Not only that, but unrealistic expectations can cause unsurmountable pressure, stress that can send into motion anxiety and other disorders.
Moms who have unrealistic expectations for their daughters can make them feel dumb or uncooperative when they don’t live up to the mothers’ standards. “As adults, [children of immature mothers] have low self-esteem and say they don’t know what they feel, like or what they really want to do in life,” psychologist Stephanie M. Kriesberg said. “They don’t have senses of who they are.”
This is when the mother is more concerned about being her daughter’s best friend more than playing the role of a parent. The mother knows every little detail about her daughter’s life. Although she offers great emotional support, as her daughter gets older and wants to branch out to do independent activities, the mother will continue to smother her.
In this type of relationship, the daughter rarely gets disciplined by her mother and finds it hard to gather practical life skills because she wasn’t given the proper guidance.
In this type of relationship, the mother can be emotionally and/ or physically unavailable to her daughter. If the mother is emotionally unavailable, she may choose to withdraw or withhold love from her daughter and give it to her other child.
If the mother decided to ghost, she leaves and gives her daughter up to either her other biological parent or another guardian who can take care of her. The daughter usually never receive an explanation or closure of why her mother left. And usually grows up with an empty void.
Another sign of a toxic mom is one who takes on the role of child, according to Psychology Today. In this scenario, the daughter, even at a young age, has become the caretaker, the helper, or even the “mother” to her own mom.
This relationship is one-sided and the daughter might feel abandoned, used, or neglected. The mother is only concerned about her own needs and makes sure she is the one being nurtured by her daughter.
In this relationship, the mother sees the daughter as a rival or even threats. Although the mother might seem as though she’s supportive of her daughter, on the inside, she feels insecure about herself when she’s with her.
The mother constantly compares herself to her daughter to see who’s prettier, thinner, smarter, and more successful rather developing a relationship based on understanding and acceptance.
This is an erratic relationship between the mother and daughter. The daughter never knows whether the negative or positive side of her mom will show up. She often faces hot or cold treatment from the mother and fears her. The mother usually acts good when they are in public and with others around them. But when it’s just the two of them, the mother will show her true colors and acts dismissive, neglectful and cold.
In this relationship, the mother only puts up good images when she has to and fails to connect with her daughter.