Personal Growth, Self Help

When the Mother-Daughter Bond Is Missing

143 Comments 04 February 2010

MotherandDaughter_400When Dr. Karyl McBride decided to write Will I Ever Be Good Enough? , a book on mothers who don’t mother their daughters, and the pain this causes girls and adult daughters, she felt as if she were breaking a taboo. 

Our relationship with Mother is birthed simultaneously with our entry into the world. We take our first breath of life, and display the initial dependent, human longing for protection and love in her presence. We are as one in the womb and on the birthing table. This woman, our mother. . . all that she is and is not. . . has given us life. Our connection with her in this instant and from this point forward carries with it tremendous psychological weight for our lifelong well-being. Oddly, I have never wanted to believe this.

First, being a feminist-era mom myself, I didn’t want mothers and women to bear so much responsibility or ultimate blame if things go wrong. Certainly many factors other than mothering shape a child’s life. Second, I didn’t want to face how feeling like an unmothered child had such a devastating effect on me and my life. To acknowledge this meant I had to face it.

While doing research over the years, I have read many books that discuss the mother-daughter bond. Each time I read a different volume, unexpected tears would stream down my cheeks. For I could not recall attachment, closeness, memories of the scent of Mother’s perfume, the feel of her skin, the sound of her voice singing in the kitchen, the solace of her rocking, holding and comforting, the intellectual stimulation and joy of being read to.

I knew this was not natural, but could not find a book that explained this lack. It made me feel somewhat crazy. Was I delusional, or just a chick with a poor memory? I could not find a book that explained that this phenomenon of feeling unmothered could be a real deal and that there could be mothers who are not maternal. Nor could I find a book that discussed the conflicted feelings that their daughters have about these mothers, the frustrated love, and even sometimes the hatred. Because good girls aren’t supposed to hate their mothers, they don’t talk about these bad feelings. Motherhood is a sacred institution in most cultures and therefore is generally not discussed in a negative light. When I decided to write a book on mothers who don’t mother their daughters, and the pain this causes girls and adult daughters, I felt as if I were breaking a taboo. Reading books about the mother-daughter bond always gave me the sensation of a deep loss and the fear that I was alone in this suffering. Experts wrote of the complexity of the mother-daughter connection, how it is rife with conflict and ambivalence, but I felt something different — a void, a lack of empathy and interest, and a lack of feeling loved. For many years, I did not understand and tried to rationalize it.

Other members of the family and well-intentioned therapists explained it away with various excuses. Like a good girl, I tried to make excuses and take all the blame. It was not until I began to understand that the emotional void was a characteristic result of maternal narcissism that the pieces began to fit together. The more I learned about maternal narcissism, the more my experience, my sadness, and my lack of memory made sense. This understanding was the key to my beginning to recover my own sense of identity, apart from my mother. I became more centered, taking up what I now call substantial space, no longer invisible (even to myself) and not having to make myself up as I go along. Without understanding, we flail around, we make mistakes, feel deep unworthiness, and sabotage ourselves and our lives.

Writing Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers has been a culmination of years of research and a soul journey that took me back to when I was a little girl who knew something was wrong, feeling that the absence of nurturing was not normal, but not knowing why. I wrote Will I Ever Be Good Enough? in the hopes that I can help other women understand that those feelings were and are not their fault.

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?

Karyl McBride


Dr. Karyl McBride, a licensed marriage and family therapist with more than twenty-eight years of experience in public and private practice, specializes in treatment of trauma and family-of-origin issues and has served as an expert witness in numerous civil and criminal cases involving children and sexual abuse. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

Powered by Zergnet

Your Comments

143 Comments so far

  1. Andreia Santos says:

    I had to double check i didn’t write this post, everything you say Lisa i can connect to. You will be fine, stay strong, you’ll find that you’ll knock your head a few times along the way and your eyes will open occasionally to truths and ways of being that you didn’t realise before… I have a son (and yes, i thanked god it was a boy) my aim is to provide my son with the childhood i never had, so far it’s working, and i hope to bring you all hope that you can too, it’s definitely worth it… also very upsetting as you often realise along the way what lacked from your own mother, but the best way to overcome this is to really force yourself to devote the love you never got in the loving way we all dreamt we got. When i left my mothers house at 18 i went through a crazy phase where i did what i wanted when i wanted and made a fool of myself so many times, the only way i got out of that was through believing that i was a good person, it didn’t always work, but eventually i found myself. The pain, emptiness, numbness and the questions never leave but i couldn’t continue destroying myself and questioning myself, as time was flying by… i still have the pain, emptiness, numbness and the questions, but now i concentrate on making a positive mark on other people, on keeping the positive thinking alight even when it seems gloom.

  2. Andreia Santos says:

    Maybe you can help me, i too feel the need to model nurturing and love towards my mother… She feels so guilty and so ashamed of the past that she constantly brings it up with comments such as “you never loved me” “it was your fault” and blaming the rest of the family etc and whenever i offer her a compliment the response i get is somewhat too rude and embarrassing to put here, the last time this happened i was mentioning a good memory i had of hers because she said i had none, i didn’t even get to say what the memory was before she told me to fuck off and start a big rant then!!! but i am always on edge and as i have a child, i refuse to allow negativity into my house and put my foot down that no bitchiness, arguments, name calling etc is allowed (not even by me) now my son hasn’t created a bond with my mum because she can’t put the arguments aside and focus on him being her grandchild, so she rarely sees him, and she is even more frustrated now because i wont allow her to take him out on her own (i just don’t trust her to not hit him or worst, and i’m too terrified to actually tell her this is why)… Since my son was born i have been on a mission to provide him with the love and lifestyle i never had, and i have in that time cut ties with my mother a few times… but regardless of the issues i love her and miss her and end up speaking to her again, she always calls a few weeks later and is very generous bringing us home grown fruit and veg. I really don’t know how to tackle this problem and most of the time i’m too busy focusing on being a good mum that i don’t find the patience and time for my own mum… any advice?

  3. Andreia Santos says:

    i wish i could take your pain away… don’t feel silly…. the pain never leaves. Keep fighting to be the better person and in the end it wont matter who knows it because you will x x x

  4. Andreia Santos says:

    i have one good memory too, it’s a slightly cloudy memory but it’s what i hang on to. You were much luckier that at least your mother took care of you… in our house, i did most the cooking (my mother would cook for other people, she always presented herself like a charm to other people) i also did the cleaning, my mother was too lazy to work most of the time and resented me especially because she had to work to provide, we never owned a washing machine so i had to wash our clothes by hand and there couldn’t be a single stain on them, i would do it until my hands were raw, i also took care of my brother… other than school, i was never allowed to be on my own in the house or let out the house alone, i wasn’t allowed friends, and wasn’t allowed to have a conversation to anyone else in the family or even the most intimate needs such as “time of the month” necessities, she would sit at my side when i bathed calling me names and commenting/degrading my body… All this because she gave me away to a man when i was very little who drugged and abused me and luckily took me back to my grandmas house instead of killing me… my mother hates that i know this and blatantly denies it saying that i went to that man by myself, even though i remember her telling me where to wait for him, i don’t remember anything else and i don’t talk about this with her for many years now, i have even somewhat forgiven her for it (putting it down to jealousy because my grandma raised me from 8 months until then aged 11 and having an auntie 5 years older than myself i naturally grew to call my gran mum), she hates anyone ever talking about her (i feel very guilty right now) and she developed terrible hoarding and the most idiotic compulsive lying, anyone in their right mind sees through the lies which are sometimes hard to understand why lie in the first place either answer has the same reaction… i was even told off once for saying she was fine when someone asked how she was. I fantasize that she gets help and becomes a loving grandmother to my son, im still hoping.

  5. Andreia Santos says:

    WOW… If my mother wasn’t so preoccupied in keeping her outside appearances so high and snubby i think she could be that cruel too… but i was lucky… im so sorry for all your heartache, and i hope you can console yourself that you are a better person x

  6. Andreia Santos says:

    i agree heather.

  7. Andreia Santos says:

    Send them a heartfelt letter, describing everything you ever regretted and everything that you may have done to hurt them, tell them you love them and tell them that you will always be there for them (but don’t be too pushy or too giving or they will take you for granted and will corrupt a possible re-instated relationship)… if they see that you understand where it went wrong for them (rather than for you) and they read this along with the lines of how much you love them and want them in your life, then they may begin to understand your feelings for them rather than for yourself and slowly they may come closer to you… Just don’t be pushy for results, sometimes it will take the wrong word to send things right back to where they started… it’s a long process and only your love for them and patience for their love back can win in this case. i hope it helps

  8. Andreia Santos says:

    sorry you’re describing a normal angry teen, not one that hates her mum? Where are you comparing yourself to the parents that emotionally damage their kids… the parent that calls her daughter a whore and an ugly cunt just from the way she has a bath? the parent that breaks her bones and tells everyone lies on how she did it, and the daughter agrees in fright her mother may kill her and place her under the floorboards as she was too many times told she would be, the parent that shaves her daughters hair just because she plaited it to look pretty but that meant she was a whore, the parent that gives her daughter a black eye because she didn’t peel the potatoes thin enough? If you are like that then still i wouldn’t hate you, i’d just wish you could get help and become the mother the rest of us that were mistreated always dreamt of (sorry for the bad language) i don’t hate my mother, many times i felt i did, but i don’t… i really wish she’d get help though and i wish she didn’t emotionally destroy me so much… it’s great to know it wasn’t just my mother though, it makes me feel a bit more normal than before.

  9. Andreia Santos says:

    sounds like it’s her dad making her feel like she needs to choose sides… if you start to talk in a respectful way about her dad then she may feel that at least with you she can be herself and not take sides… i could be wrong and only going on what you said here.

  10. Andreia Santos says:

    sorry you lost your mum, i think that people here may find it difficult to offer you the advice you need because we never received any good advice from our mums.

  11. Andreia Santos says:

    stay strong and remember that only you can break the cycle that your mother passed onto you, devote yourself to show your daughter the love and devotion you never received.

  12. Andreia Santos says:

    Do write them a letter and do stay around, with time they may understand… start putting the past behind you and working on the future … good luck.

  13. Dreia says:

    you’re still young and it will take a while for you to start having a little more confidence in yourself… it’s not you and it’s not your fault, i’m 34 and now i feel strong enough to even talk about it… stay strong and live your battles with the thought that you are a good person and just keeping aiming to be the good person you wished your mum was x

  14. Dreia says:

    you say that now, but even through your sarcasm i can sense the pain in what you said.

  15. Dreia says:

    my mum is bpd too, i do get how you feel, somewhat im jealous as you are handling it better than i can… well done and keep it up.

  16. Natty Kadifa says:

    Have you tried expressing your resentments about each other without fear of judgement? It doesn’t sound like y our story with her has finished. My mother knows why I feel the way I do about her, but she refuses to take responsibility for her part in a truly unsettled childhood. Until she takes responsibility, she will not be in my life.

  17. Natty Kadifa says:

    did you resolve your issues?

  18. Anna White says:

    I made the mistake of giving your post a up. I thought I was clicking on comments. Anyway, so don’t count it cause you sure didn’t earn it. It’s clear your jealous of your daughter. It’s clear you hate giving her credit. I’ve lived the life your poor daughter is probably having to live. You should be ashamed.

  19. Anna White says:

    Maybe she didn’t say the things you think she did. Don’t let other people intrude on what should be between you and your daughter. Unless you have heard her say these things yourself take it with a grain of salt. Some people may not want you and your daughter to have a good relationship. My brother stood in the way of me and my mom getting along for years. Others can just make it worse. All the while secretly loving seeing you and your daughter hurt each other.

    For all you know these informants of yours could be the problem. Things get twisted in the gossip ring and even your closest friend can get it wrong without meaning to. I hesitate to tell you what to do but I will make a suggestion. Talk to her. No matter what it takes. Talk to her about it and talk only to her. Then see if that makes any difference at all. If not then you must be willing to admit your faults as well as wanting her acknowledge hers. I would give my whole world up if my mom and I could just really talk about truth rather than me being accused of things I never said or did.

  20. Anna White says:

    You say “They were raised the same.” Sweetie. That’s the problem. They are not the same person so you can’t raise them all the same. I don’t say that to put the blame on you as it appears your daughter does need to make changes. But now that she is grown perhaps she just wants you to acknowledge that she is different from the other two and that that is o.k..

    I’m nothing like my brother and feel my mom hates me for it. They raised us the same to. And nothing they did was ever considerate of my needs but only his. How was I supposed to be like him when I wasn’t him. And quite frankly I thank God I am not as he is spoiled and abused me as a child. Which they accepted and never stopped. So maybe your youngest has been made to feel she is not good enough for not being a clone.

  21. Patricia Longo says:

    sure– I hear it every day– before school, after school, while I’m brushing her hair, helping her dry off after a shower…
    Poor her!!!
    — As a tantrum throwing aspie she faces bullies all say– I stand up to them, hold down a job, or 2 or 3– and take the abuse– punches, peeing on the floor & furniture=—- feces in my yogurt from HER– in place of where a daughter might be….
    Because it’s family. Because she’s not grown yet.
    I guess one day she can cry to you all about it–HOW UNFAIR!! her mom was to let her be at home- into her twenties…. before stealing your wallet and bolting from your third date. Because anti-social IS as anti-social does, You are fully welcome.
    I accept that no thank you’s– no “happy mother’s day”– no “merry Christmas, MOM!!” is included– just your 100% certain pre-judgement– your hate– your NORMALITY. And my private black hole of service to society. I hope one day YOU can be a mother and enjoy a similar status– never giving enough– always blamed– until you finally collapse– as I am doing this year– toothless, broke, not able to get the bills– and STILL SERVING a “child” of grown years who hates me. Who never once brushed or washed her own hair.

  22. Chelsea says:

    I am a 27 year old woman who grew up in a physically and mentally abusive relationship with my mother. Many of the memories from my past are hard to acknowledge. I do not speak to people about them I mostly keep it to myself. It is hard to explain to someone how a teenager could grow up dealing with the issues I have dealt with. My mother was never there for me. I do not have one memory of her that was warm and or caring. I have two brothers and a sister. When I was younger I felt as if they did not realize the situations that I was in. My mother made people believe that I was a disobedient out of control teenager… which I was not. Some of the things I did were reactions to the situations I was put in. My father was not in my life. I did not feel any bond to him and when I would reach out to him he would be unreachable. When my parents divorced we moved to my mothers childhood home. From a time frame of middle school until high school I spent my years moving from home to home. I could not stay with my mother. Me living in my mothers home would result in physical fights between us and fights with my siblings. Altercations that would involve the police. I have never lived with my mother longer than three months. I have been on the streets, I have stayed in abandoned homes, I have stayed with friends, I have stayed in a juvenile detention home also. When I was not with my mother or transitioning from place to place I stayed with my Grandmother. This would not last long due to family issues. By this time I was an unloved bitter teenager that did not know what real love was and did not know where to find it at. My first boyfriend became my child’s father. I took what love and attention I received from him in whichever way it was given and ran with it. I became pregnant… thanking the Lord this was the only thing that happened. I could have become so many other things. A drug addict or a prostitute. When I turned thirteen I became ill. From the time I could remember I was sick from September till February. I am sure it was further back than that its just the memory I have. My mother did not notice that I was sick because she was not there. I have told my mother that someone has made me feel uncomfortable in a sexual way and she did not believe me. Instead I was called names and mistreated by her and her family. In fear that I may speak the same about her boyfriend at the time (now husband) my mother pushed me further away. The relationship with my mother and I has continued on the same way. I moved away eight years ago to leave the situation and it didn’t make anything better. My mother still treats me as if I am nothing to her and that I am any woman on the street that she does not know. My mother takes her issues out on me. It can be something that I have nothing to do with and she makes sure she let’s me have it. My mother and my sisters relationship is different. I believe my mother wants to live up to her words of making people think that it was me when I was younger so she made sure she treated my sister different and did not repeat what she did with me. Giving my sister time, giving my sister freedom, letting my sister live her teenage years normally. Making sure she is there for my sister and building a relationship with her. I have stated several times that I hate my mother. This is not true and it does not feel good to speak. I do not hate my mother… I just wish that our lives would not have ended up like this. I wish my mother the best and I appreciate her for giving birth to me and at times doing her motherly duties. This is the end.

  23. patience says:

    Reading through some of the comments here.. i’m beginning to wonder if I’m just ungrateful> My mom was abused physically by her own mother while growing up.

    So she grew up with the rage and hatred for her own mothers. Then I was born. As far as i could remember, being beaten up frequently by my mum ever since i could crawl. I’ve never be comfortable with being in close contact with her because she while raising me up for the first few years and the next was in and out of my life (with work, often running away from home and abusing prescription drugs) In fact i had the most frightful memories of her threatening me with a knife, was just 8 then

    Till My dad had enough of her abuses on both of us (emotionally and psychologically) and finally left. But that wasn’t it. For ht next couple more years, she was manipulative, And i had to lie to my dad about the abuses that she had done to me even thought she didn’t have any custody of me.

    But sometimes i’d wonder.. i should be thankful to her for bringing me up to be the person that learnt never to use a fist or a threat to hurt someone. But instead, learnt to take the blame for everything else?

  24. Laurie says:

    I wish there were free literature and even some of these books on audio cd. I have lived my entire life without a mother daughter bond, something my mom did not want or know how to do. I feel she has never really loved me and nothing I have ever done or will ever do will be good enough. She knows all the wrong or how rotten I was or at least makes me out that way. It has totally destroyed my life and even though I have been a fairly decent mother to my kids/girls and boys I know I could be so much more of the mother they need if I only knew how. Now they have their own lives and if I don’t reach out to anyone, no one reaches out to me. I’ve loved my mom with all my heart my whole life but when you can’t talk with her or stand up for yourself what’s the point. I have stayed away for 3 weeks now and not called her and this too kills me but I can’t allow her to keep dragging me down.

  25. melody says:

    My mom never wanted a mother daughter bond either. And now she is trying to turn my son against me. He is 2 and doesn’t understand. My mother has told me she hates me my entire life. Never and I love you or a hug. Never really showed me how to do anything just got mad when I did it wrong. I think she hated me because she married young and didn’t love my dad. But stayed married for 33 years anyway. Now I’m forced to live In the same house with her. And I can’t afford to leave. I have to leave. It’s miserable. She’s always undermining what I say to my child. And trying to stir up problems with me and my brother and dad. I’m 29 btw. She’s 49.

  26. Merry says:

    I had the mother who I firmly believe disliked me. I was a daughter after 6 sons and she treated me like I was vermon as I got older yet adored her son’s ( who all became drug abusers and social failures). But with all those older brothers, I became a little fighting spitfire and I challenged her wrongness., her fakeness, her lying at every turn. And I vowed to NEVER be like her.

    Today, I’m a mother to two daughters who I doted on and encouraged and loved….but it was still not enough because as I learned——-sadly, way too late, that little girls who never know true mother love become grown girls who don’t often know how to truly attach to their children. And I came to realize that the curse of a narsisstic mother crosses through generations, unbeknownst to us, by leaving us unattachable and distant and standoffish which in turn, makes our daughters feel unloved at times. ….my girls show much healthier habits with their children so I hold on to the hope that the bond of narcissism will continue to unravel with the next generation even more.

    But I still cry for the little girl inside me….she tried so hard.

  27. lou says:

    Hi there, iv been feeling really astranged feom my mum for years now. First off i have been in care since i was five after loosing my father to lung cancer. After that everything is a little here there and every where i had brief contact with my birth mum until i was 12 then all contact stoped (got to love social services back in the 90s -2000,not) i then met my mother at 16 years old she had a new husband and a 4year old daughter. I have always felt as though im a stranger and from a different life. I feel like she doesnt care. She has always treated me different to my sister. But apparently she cant see it for herself i have tried telling her how i feel theres always tears but nothing seems to change. Im getting married in june and i have tried to get her involved but seems as though she has better things to do. Im not angry at my sister and my mum should stop getting her involved shes only 13. I am at my wits end im always the one to call her or message her but it will takes weeks or months for her to do the same for me. I feel like i should of been adopted but obviously i cant change that now. There is a lot more to this story but i dont want to waste your time. Im just so confused and feel abandoned. Im nearly 26 and feel like im not my mothers daughter at all. It has been getting me rather down and dont know where to turn. I have tried to let her go snd not have her in my life but its too hard. I want her to be my mum soo bad but it seems so difficult for her to be my mum. I feel like a stranger someone you just met.

  28. anne says:

    My mother has got to be the most cold-hearted person I have ever known. Incapable of showing love to me but can to her grandkids. Incapable of doing anything for you without throwing it up to you later. States “I’ve done a lot for you” but when I state that she says “what have you done for me?” When I list things she says “oh big deal.” She’s a horrid person and truly sick in the mind. My father was an alcoholic that wasn’t home much since he was gone for his job weeks at a time. When he did come home she treated me like crap and hid in closets all the time (days on end)and left me to fend for myself. When I tried to find her and opened up the closet door she’d say “shut that goddammed door!” I had nobody. My two older siblings were 8 & 10 years difference and didn’t hang around much after high school so I was all alone. My dad tried to molest my girlfriend and all I knew is I needed to protect her. I think my mom blamed me and my girlfriends father said “sometimes you just have to put up with that.” It was a sick town I grew up in. Many drinkers and not much love from families but mine was horrible. Oh, I had nice clothes, braces on my teeth, etc. but absolutely no love. My mother and I have had a on/off relationship all my life. Never once has she said I look pretty or was proud of me. I’d get flowers from a guy and she’d say “how sick.” She was jealous of her own children. I am getting married again to finally the right man and she will not be attending. I was going to visit her tonight and she asked me why I was coming. She said if it’s to talk about the wedding, she is not going, she doesn’t feel good, why should she have to travel and not my fiancé’s parents, and it’s my third wedding so we should have just went off somewhere the two of us. Forget the fact that my other two husbands were verbally and physically abusive. She just kept berating me when I told her she didn’t have to come if she didn’t want to. All my life she told me she should have only had my sister and never married my father. she was pregnant when she got married. I would tell her “well then you would have me and Barb.” She’d state “well you don’t miss what you don’t have.” I don’t ever want to see her again. I’ve had it. She only makes me feel horrible and I’m not going to let her anymore. She has gotten my daughters pity over the years because they say she’s old. It’s hard to see them so close to someone I hate so much.

  29. Nicola says:

    Several generations of my family have been affected by the narcissistic mother syndrome. It started with my great grandmother who tried to throw herself down the stairs whilst she was pregnant with my grandmother (to try get rid of her) because she only wanted the her first born. That was just the beginning of their relationship I’m sure you can imagine the rest. Then my grandmother systematically made it clear to my mother that her sons were her top most priorities throughout her childhood. She ended up in various children’s home before having me at 19 years old. My mother had three children including myself, I am the oldest and was made to feel totally unloved and that my brother (middle child) was and still is the most valued. For example he can call my mother the worst things imaginable and she won’t say a word, but if I was to ask her question that she doesn’t want to answer she would scream at me like a maniac. I myself have two children and refuse to continue this cycle, having a narcissistic mother has left a damaging effect on my life. My children don’t deserve that.

  30. karla says:

    I as a grownup now realize many things about my relationship with my mother. At times i felt she was mean or cold when I was a child. I also went through the unloved feeling and felt as if noone understood me or really cared. However, now I am grown looking back I realize all the things that were misleading to me as a child. Her anger for one. My mom put up with a husband that didn’t respect her, drank all the time, a son that stayed in allot of trouble so she had to send him to live with his dad which saddened her deeply. My father broke her down. Plus add on the termoils of two girls going through puberty and testing her patients every day. I’m a mother now and do not make excuses for my bad actions with my 5 year old daughter. I love her more then myself. I have stayed home with her since day one, gave up career, friends, alonetime, and a social life to be there. That’s not her fault I gave all that up it is mine. I find myself being cold at times. My husband works 6 days a week long days. We give her and our 9 month old everything they need to make sure they are taken care of. We love them so much and I would die inside without them. However the constant feeling of monotony and tiredness of the homeschooling, no breaks from the kids, house chores and a husband that doesn’t help that much is breaking me down. I don’t make excusses for the way I act sometimes but one thing that I do is have allot of conversation with my daughter about the matter. If I am wrong and I get to angry with her or find that she has drove me crazy that day then I will sit her down and I will tell her I am sorry. I tell her that even mom’s are moody and tired sometimes and that I love her. I do make a point to tell my daughter….don’t be like me always strive to be better then me because I’m not perfect…I’m not saying this works for all but it does seem to help the situation a bit. I hate that I feel so trapped in my own life that my daughters get the most of it sometimes. I try to love them and openly acknowledge my mistakes in hopes that they understand where it comes from and why and mostly that it’s never there fault. I carry this burden and they shouldn’t have to. When I had my oldest I had horrible ppd. I had to be put on meds. That compiled with cervical cancer and the number that has done on my hormones has made me not so plesant at times. I would never hurt my kids physically but verbally I get snappy and cold. Usually I cry about it and hug my kids once I have calmed down. I however still feel horrible about it though!

  31. Patsy says:

    My motherror was cold and did not offer any understanding of me from early days to teen years. As a result I took the attention and caring from a female teacher that became sexual. It was such a distorted time for me but I was able to break that tie on my own. My mother died at age 50. When I finally got the courage to tell my sister who considered this teacher a family friend she never responded with any empathy toward me at all. I have since broken the tie with my sister over this hurtful lack of response to me and the ramifications of those years of ages 16 to 20. I live my life but sometimes still have dreams of this dysfunctional time. Am married to a loving man aND had 3 children. Am now in my 60s. I still feel so hurt that my mother never saw what was happening to me and that there was a missing bond between us. It can still bring me to tears at times. But I just go on.

  32. Brenda says:

    My mother died when I was one year and eight months old. I am now 67 years old and I’ve been deeply wounded all my life from the void of not having any benefits or memories of a loving, nurturing mother; no memories or wonderful sensations of anything to cling to. Even at this age, I’m still so sad with such an unexplainable sense of loss and loneliness. Some things may never be fixed. And, I guess it’s a bit too late for me to hope.

  33. Aeris says:

    Hi I am aeris and am 12 My mom acts like she hates me and my 3 brothers fight well I am the oldest and I am the only girl and they try to get me in trouble and i can’t take it my dad not here and it is just me my mom and my brothers and I feel like no one loves me

  34. Aeris says:

    Hi I am aeris and im 12 and I fell like my mom hates me cause she never ask me how was my day and she just not like other parents but I love her but I don’t know if she loves me.I have 3 brother and I am the only girl and I am the oldest and I get treated different then the boys.i hope some one help me and my mom bond again.thxs

  35. Patsy says:

    Aeris, I’m so sorry that someone of your age has to deal with such a hardship in your life. I can tell you though that if you believe in yourself and find good goals for your life….little ones…one step at a time… you will be able to rise above these tough years. For sure your mother loves you. I believe she may be dealing with things she doesn’t know how to handle so it feels like she doesn’t care. My mother was that way and I did not understand why she never paid any attention to me. She died before I became an adult and we never got to know each other. Keep your heart open to loving and it will return to you someway sometime. Sometimes all we have to do is ask….why, Mom? But then you may not get the answers you want either. Life is not is just life and we have to cope with the hard things. It may not feel like it’s possible right now, but read inspiring books and do your best in school. Education is your way above and beyond what your life is now. I know how hurtful it feels and I wish I could give you a hug…so hug yourself and be true to yourself. Your brothers are just being boys and may be clueless to how you feel..boys don’t do well expressing their emotions at their age…so just ignore how they hurt you. They may be acting that way because they don’t know better so maybe being kinder and more loving to them may change their behavior to you.

  36. laura says:

    if thr’s d sligthest chance dat ur mum will realise all d wrongs she’s done to u nd change, den i tink u shld wrk at it. in my case i’ve tried nd nw i’m sure she will neva change nw dat i realise hw much i’ve lost bcos of her maltreatment towards me; i jst wnt to move on. nd if i cld- forget abt all of dis. till nw i’m afraid i will be a mother like her; nd its holding me bak. i get serious head nd heartaches weneva her tots come into my mind. yet i cnt talk to anyone bcos she is like d perfect mum outside, my friends even say they wish dey had a mother like mine, nd it makes me really sad cos evrybody sees u as d bad girl if anytingoes wrong nd since my dad has been late for years dey’r always on her side cos dey see her as a widow

  37. Alaina says:

    I don’t know what a bond between my own mother and I would feel like. I was the first born, and oftentimes left with my grandparents. My mother moved in with a child molester when I was 5 years old. I am now 45, and this relationship has by far been the most damaging one in my life. When my mother found at what was happening to me (I was 13), I was removed from the home. She had conceived a child w/ this person, and she felt that her son needed a father. I spent the next 1.5 years living w/ family in another state. When I returned to the home, no one was allowed to speak to me. The tension was deafening. I’ve tried with my mother over the years, but we just can’t seem to get past the history. She blames me for what happened, as do my two brothers; whom I no longer have a relationship with either. Sometimes we simply have to realize that some relationships will never be, no matter how hard we’ve tried. And, it’s not your fault. When relationships start to hurt more than they feel good, it’s time to go. You must take care of yourself, and remember that we have no control over others, or their actions/feelings. My heart truly hurts for those of you that have found the strength to share your stories. Always know that you are not alone and that there are people who care.

  38. Lucy says:


    I’m so sorry that you were treated this way- to be dismissed and uncared for by your mom. There’s no way it cold be your fault, & no one should try to act like it could be. Maybe your mom is really mad at herself for not protecting you better, but takes it out on you instead. (?) Still, I’m so sorry that you didn’t have someone there for you. I’m so glad that you’ve got the wisdom & strength to let go of those hurtful relationships. I hope that I’m able to soon do the same too. You may be right…maybe some people will never be able to give the love that they ought to. And if I keep looking for it, it won’t change them. It will only keep disappointing & hurting myself.

  39. Destiney says:

    This article relates to me so much. My mom is unloving, heartless, and pessimistic. My dad took the role of being mother and father to me and my brother. I love both of my parents dearly, but I clearly wish that I had a real mother that raised me, nurtured me, and loved me. I honestly don’t think that my mom loves me. She’s just a surrogate to me. It takes more than carrying a baby in the womb for 9 months to be a mother. It’s so much more than that. I’ve never had a strong female role model in my life and it has affected me greatly. It hurts me to see other girls have strong bonds with their mothers because I’ve never really had it.

  40. karen says:

    i gave my daughter everything..the master bedroom and what ever she wanted…she hates me…now we have nothing left because she hates me….

  41. Disgusted says:

    Some of the “mothers” in these comments are pathetic. Im sorry but your kid’s are cutting ties with you for a reason. YOU are responsible because YOU are the one who raised them. They didnt just fall out of the sky hating you. You were the parent and you did something wrong during their childhood weather you want to admit it or not. Stop constantly making yourselves into a victim and take some RESPONSIBILITY. You screwed up and you need help.

  42. Annie says:

    Hi, I’ve been in therapy for a few months now and this thing about my mother has come up, im 43 now.
    I Battle with it because my mom is not a bad mother, she always looked after us and made sure there was food on the table, Christmas presents under the tree, our wounds doctored, and loved us etc, but there is this part of me that just does not properly bond to people it’s almost like I’m not quite sure how to, mom could be firm but was not abusive, but in a way a bit minupulative at times, and can be somewhat controlling, ive noticed it more now that im an adult, I dont feel comfortable sharing deep things about my life with her, for some or other reason i don’t trust that type of thing with her or with too many other people, and i remember her reading me a book in bed when i was sick and playing with my ear when i must have been little, but i don’t remember been consoled by anyone, and even now it would feel odd to me if i cried and someone where to hold me when i cried it would feel quite awkward.we will give each other a hug and kiss and say we love each other even now, but although i love her somehow i don’t feel too close, bonded with her, and i wouldn’t for example just go and sit next to her and put my head on her shoulder, and there is some things that she does that just irritates me, and im ashamed to even talk about this as it feels like such a betrayal, Ive always felt closer to my dad growing up, and felt she was closer to my brother. We had children come live with us when i was 6 for quite a few years and I remember her telling me that i won’t be able to write her letters anymore because it would make the other girl sad because she didn’t have a mom anymore. I think there was something that changed that day. But i don’t remember too much about cuddling and stuff like that with either my mom or dad, but just because i don’t remember does that really mean it didnt happen. Why dont i connect properly with people, i always feel there is this gap, and that if people really got to know me they wouldn’t really want to waste their time hanging around me. Im very confused and hate talking bad about my mother when she has done so much for me, it makes me feel like I’m just making it up?

Share your view

Post a comment


© 2015 Simon & Schuster Inc., a CBS Company. All rights reserved.