So many of us have collected numerous wounds from our parents, who have been loving us the best way they could, on their level of development. It is interesting to see the number of dysfunctional families, and how differently previous generations were raised, including what was available for them as opposed to us. And how much our way of thinking and focus has changed in the last decades, understanding more and more that emotional health is crucial.
Most of us experienced pain while growing up. As much as our family members tried to love us, nobody taught them how to raise us well, and how to overcome the psychological and emotional hardships. Therefore, a crucial point of having children was more or less neglected. If you have parents in their fifties or sixties, chances are, their love language was to provide you with good food and shelter. But they didn’t know much about handling your emotions.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Tough Parenting
We could have emotional scars, hopefully, no physical ones from both our fathers or mothers. The reason why I am writing about the mother wound is my personal experience. And as a woman raised by a tough woman, I believe it is the hardest and strongest life experience one can encounter. And it has both advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, you become quite strong with great perception. On the other, I am going to elaborate a bit longer:
There is a common characteristic of mothers’ daughters who have been harmed. After the ignoring, rejection, and separation from our mothers, we can feel lost, not belonging, with limited sources to the world to some extent. You could feel quite alone and isolated. It is said if you don’t love children for who they are, they don’t learn how to love themselves. Being the daughter of a wounding mother you could be prone to the following difficulties:
- Missing Truly Feminine Power
Your life might look like you have it all together, you learned to cope well and do what has been expected of you. You perhaps know how to survive. Yet, something is missing, being in the present, being connected with the world through a deep sense of feminine power. If you are not connected to your feminine energy, it could easily drain you, and feel like you aren’t in touch with your true inner self. You could be seeking it, but it feels different.
- Self-sabotage, Self-criticism, Doubt
Perhaps there is an ongoing negative chatterbox or inner voice within your head telling you off and beating yourself up. This stems from the feeling of guilt that was deeply planted in your mind by your mother. Chances are, most things you did even with tremendous effort to please her were never good enough for her. In my case, I learned after a psychology session, she took out all her pain on me that she couldn’t throw back at her father, who hurt her. Jaw-dropping…
- The Dangerous Type of Mother
I don’t know about your situation, but my mom is not a bad person. Even more dangerous, I think. Because she doesn’t intentionally hurt others, me being her favorite, but purely because she is so hurt and damaged. In her childhood, she was expected to be perfect, and I think she did great. Never good enough for her dad. In her best moments, she can be nice, so you keep your hopes high… yet nothing changes, her hurt shows up every time…
If you are someone whose self-confidence is destroyed or you are self-harming, please stop! You deserve better. You should cut the bonds to this vicious cycle by determining you can be positive and your life can be easy, and joyful. Just don’t be around so much negativity! If need be, you should minimize your contact, and you needn’t share each detail of what’s going on in your life not to give a hook. You don’t need all that frustration and anger that only leads to resentment.
- Difficult Relationships
It can be quite hard to form meaningful, trusting, healthy relationships, and you may have been attracting toxic relationships. And it might be hard to not be in a victim or dominant role in these because of your damaged boundaries. You could find it especially hard to connect deeply with other women, meanwhile, you could seek your absent mother in your partners, setting unrealistic expectations for them.
You might form codependent relationships, with no or very few breaks between your relationships. My sister does this, and she was officially diagnosed as codependent. I make sure I learn about a potential partner thoroughly before connecting deeply. Because not only are relationships hard but there are those insecure attachments. Many of us could fear abandonment.
Many times the wounding already starts in our mother’s womb. In our healing journey, it is very important to be tender, patient, allow us to be vulnerable, and truly loving to ourselves, and give our scars enough time to heal. The safer we feel to put our past where it belongs, into the past, the sooner we can reclaim and express our lost parts covered in numbness, our unexpressed pain, and sorrow, and the love, affection, and joy we could not feel anymore.
If you were born into a family where most women suffered, you could be stuck in the ancestral aspect of the feminine energy scars. Then, you don’t understand why you behave many times the way you do like another person. You could feel that something is inherently wrong with you, and by doing so your soul could hurt. You could sense the unresolved traumas, abuses, fears, and emotional pain of your ancestors. But you could break this cycle and feel privileged for doing it!!
Healing from Shame
Shame causes all the pain for a wounded daughter. Chances are, you learned very early, even before you could speak that you are alone or deficient in some way. What causes this is that your mom did not attune to you, your soul and needs, and didn’t offer to mirror your ideal development. In a way, you probably raised yourself emotionally and psychologically. Shame can eat your soul away…
So to heal, we have to let go of shame, even if it’s hard. Shame is trying to make you believe false beliefs, such as you will never be enough, you are not deserving, you are bad or broken, you are stuck or trapped, you are not worthy of love, and that you always need to improve or work hard to get good things in life, including love. Trouble is, such deep shame can be so ingrained in our souls that it might seem impossible to reach it, believing its lies.
You might be afraid to reach deep down and bring up your shame for healing, but this is the only way… And when you reach it you will see that taking off the layers of defenses that once served you, shame has no power on its own. So you can pull it up together with your innocent child self to shine as an understanding adult woman who could overcome her shame!