5 HARMFUL MOTHERS (Part 2)

stay or leave ONE PARENT I CAN TAKE IN SMALL DOSES
and the other one not at all!

PREVIOUS: Harmful Mothers (#1)

BOOK: “The Emotionally Absent Mother” ~ Jasmin Lee Cori

 

REMINDER: All 5 maternal styles effect both sons & daughters, but each of these mothers will treat their male & female children with differing degrees of ‘favoritism’ & abuse. ALSO – your mother may be some combo of these 5.

5 types FROM: Characteristics of Narcissistic Mothers.  Read rest of article for suggestions of how to deal with each type.

Harmful MOTHERS (cont)
4. ENVIOUS
Normally, parents want to see their children prosper & be happy. Instead,
a child’s success & pleasure arouses hostility in the envious mother. Glowing with good news, a son or daughter expects a parent’s face to reflect admiration. What they see instead is a frozen jaw, the corners of her mouth pulled down in contempt. ‘Who do you think you are? Someday you’ll realize you’re not as good as you think you are,’ she warns. jealous mom

OR she may at first act pleasant, but later the child notices that she’s irritated by ordinary things they do : ‘Stop making such a racket / Do you have to go on and on about it? / When are you going to do the dishes?’….

• Instead of bolstering the child’s confidence & inspiring a sense of potential, an envious parent begrudges her child’s independence & appropriate self-pride. She thinks: “How dare she get all the attention! / No one is allowed to outshine me! / My — is better than his” OR: Why does he have a chance to succeed when I’m always disappointed? / Look at what I’ve had to give up! / How can she be happy when I’m not…..”

Parental envy will show up even stronger when a child hits adolescence & starts to make their own way in the world. She (unconsciously) believes she’ll only feel secure & connected to her child if it’s self-worth is as low as hers. So, instead of feeling pride & delight in their child blossoming, the envious mother feels something is being taken away from her.

These children learn that the good things in their lives somehow offend, even harm, the person who matters most to them, and who they long to please. As adults they will spend years of trying to please her & other like her – in vain, making it hard to enjoy their achievements – OR give up altogether!
Sites: Mothers Who Are Jealous of Their Daughters” 
“On being the daughter of a Jealous Mother

5. NARCISSISTIC
This mother is almost totally focus on the external – how things look – to others. Internally, she isn’t capable of the empathy so necessary & important to a healthy parent-child relationship. She craves attention & adoration because of her own low self-worth, which is usually well hidden – even from family members.

In her self-focused mind, children are only a reflection of her, so have to be outstanding / perfect in absolutely every way – to make her look good. Any time thenarcissist child needs attention, just for themselves & for any reason, this mother experiences it as competition, which is unacceptable to her.

If a child says they’re tired, mom will snap back: ‘Don’t talk to me about feeling tired. I’ve been hard at work all day. You don’t know what being really tired is’. If the child says “Look what I did / learned in school today!” She might say “That’s not so great. You could have done that better. I already know that” ….

These children are in a double bind:
• constantly pressure to be totally subservient to the mother’s ego
• AND expected to shine for their accomplishments.
So no matter how hard they try to please her, they live under a black cloud of disdain & disapproval. The constant anxiety is that their relationship could break apart at any minute, whenever she’s inadvertently offended – which is inevitable. It’s a bewildering & volatile situation.

Narcissists have fragile relationships with others as well, since their overblown ‘ego’ causes them to take offense at the smallest imagined slight, so they will suddenly cut people out of their lives or punish them in some way for being ‘insulting’.
Sites: The Narcissistic Mother /6 Faces of Maternal Narcissism

NEXT: Part 3 – Dealing with……

5 HARMFUL MOTHERS (Part 1)

MOM WHY DID I HAVE TO
end up with a mother like that???

PREVIOUS:

 4 Parenting Styles (Part 5)

SITE: 4 kinds of Angry Moms

BOOKs:Difficult Mothers: Understanding & Overcoming Their Power” ~ Terri Apter (Comments)
The Emotionally Absent Mother” ~ Jasmin Lee Cori

 

These classic Abandoning / Abusive parenting styles leave big scars. If you were raised by a mother who was mainly one of these types OR some combination, it’s important to recognize where we got our dysfunctional reactions from – as a way to minimize or eliminate our Self-Hate.  (from Daily Mail Reporter, U.K. 6/2012)

NOTE: Each of these types are variations of Narcissism – when it’s a severe & life-long pattern (Characteristics of Narcissistic Mothers).  Read rest of article for suggestions of how to deal with each type.

1 . ANGRY
Although no child likes it when a parent is angry, an occasional outburst angry momdoes not create problems between them. What does cause harm is when a parent repeatedly uses anger to attack, shut up & control family members. When anger is always in the air, children live in a constant state of high alert, waiting for emotional explosions.

• As well as being psychologically damaging, this type of long-term stress is also toxic to the young brain. Flooding it with endless anxiety limits the formation of the mental circuitry needed to regulate emotional states.
Sad irony: these are the kids who most need to learn self-soothing & control their reaction – but are the least well equipped to do so

Continuing into adulthood, many such people say they still panic when around their angry mother, having grown up always feeling ‘wrong’. They’re most likely to become appeasers, programmed to please & placate others.
Sites: “My Mom Is Always Angry” / “My history of anger, 1-3″

2. CONTROLLING
This mother will try to run of every part of their child’s life, even to the extent of telling the child what to see, feel, think & want.controlling mom

Healthy parents use control to shape general values & set specific rules – but always temper it with careful listening, & respect of the growing child’s ability to have their own personality & their ability to make age-appropriate decisions for themselves.

Instead, day-by-day, a controlling mother says, acts & implies: “I know who you are & you don’t / I need you to be X, which is more important than what you want / I know you don’t like it my way but I don’t care…..”’  She sees herself as custodian & shaper of her child’s mind.
Having been told repeatedly that mother knows best, these children learn to completely distrust their own wants, needs and opinions. Even simple independent decisions can fill them with anxiety. They also learn to lie – to say whatever the controlling mother wants to hear, just to keep her off their back
SITEs: Signs you may have controlling parents’ +
The Psychological Effect of a Controlling Parent

3. EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE
Sometimes the result of depression or chemical addiction, but most often because of narcissism, a mother’s emotional unavailability can be incredibly painful for a child, & leads to all kinds of upset & confusion.
This long-term emotional withholding effects the physical & chemical make-up of a child’s brain. neglectful momGrowing up, such children see their role as comforter & protector, instead of being comforted & protected.

They’ll feel guilty for feeling happy, cling to the parent, avoid emotions or throw tantrums, & often take on heavy responsibility to make up for mother’s ‘absence’.

As adults, ordinary emotions such as joy & sadness may seem extreme, self-indulgent, even dangerous to these people. They may also have deep-seated beliefs about their role in close relationships – that other people’s needs are more important than their own, always have to be mature and ‘grown up’, & can’t trust anyone to be there for them.

Healthy parents provide ‘Affective sharing’ (emotional exchanges between mother & baby), which increases brain growth & cortisol receptors that absorb and buffer stress hormones, as well as generating those crucial systems that help us manage our own emotions, organize our thoughts & plan our lives. Nurturing physical contact builds the brain’s ability bounce back from disappointment & failure.

NEXT: Harmful mothers #2