Daughters of abusive mothers

missesmotherJanuary 29, 2014

I found this forum while searching for information on abusive mothers. I thought I was alone. I thought it couldn't be possible that any other mothers could hate their daughters. I was stunned at the search results! There are thousands of web sites and articles about mothers who hate their daughters. Some people can't bring themselves to use the word hate so there are results that call them daughters of "mean" mothers.

My mother has hated me all my life. I tried so hard to get her to love me. I would have done anything just to hear her tell me she loved me. It took me fifty years to give up but I finally have. The last straw was when she said I couldn't bring my stepfather a birthday gift because she didn't get one. Her birthday came and went during a two month period when she wouldn't answer my phone calls. She was angry at me because I had gone to my nieces wedding which she hadn't been invited to. My daughter was the maid of honor and I love my niece very much so there was no way I'd miss the wedding just because my mother wasn't speaking to her. I called her several times during the two months and left messages and on her birthday I left a message. I had a card and gift for her but how was I to give it to her if she wouldn't see me or answer my calls. By Thanksgiving she was speaking to me again because I had gotten my brother to come from out of state with his son and none of us had seen them for several years. But just before Christmas she picked this fight with me over a birthday gift. ?? I've had enough and at this point I'm considering her deceased. I'm grieving the loss just as if she had actually died.

It's strange to be so emotionally heartbroken over her because she beat me and psychologically abused me from childhood. She called me ugly and stupid. She beat me bloody on several occasions and when I was fifteen I was taken from her and made a ward of the state after she watched my stepfather throw me through a wall and did nothing about it except to have the wall fixed very quickly. Once, when I was about seven she brought me and my four year old brother into the basement, made us strip and she beat him in front of me while I begged her to stop. She sent him upstairs and she beat me with a belt(holding it like a whip) until she was so exhausted she couldn't swing her arm anymore. Why would I still want this person to tell me she loved me? Clearly she didn't, doesn't and never will. She never hugged me or kissed me but did hug and kiss my brothers. My oldest brother could do no wrong as far as she was concerned. The second oldest brother traded places with me as the scapegoat from time to time but even he was told "I love you" from time to time. All I ever wanted was for her to love me...

I saw some posts from mothers who are estranged from their children and I read a bunch of them. A familiar theme showed through- almost none of them mention loving their children. Could these "estranged" mothers be the narcissistic, abusive type just like my mother? It strikes me as a distinct possibility. Otherwise why would their children, seemingly with no reason, just turn their backs on their moms?

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I think your conclusion is flawed, one could as easily deduce that the mothers are all wonderful women who were unfortunate enough to have sociopath children. I mean, why would a mother, seemingly with no reason, just beat the living carp out of her children? Don't read more into something than there is, especially when you're starting from a skewed perspective.
Have you read Dave Pelzer's "A Child called "It" "? It's sadly not unlike your story. It would seem your mother has mental issues and you are well shed of her. Sad to say, the likelihood that she will have a sudden epiphany and realise the damage and hurt she has caused as she was hateful to those around her in life, and try to change and make amends, is pretty low.
For your own sake, move on, give up the idea of a normal relationship with your mother, and leave her out of your relationships with other family members.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 9:13AM
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Colleen, those books are a very good example of what people can do for themselves even after years of abuse. I have all of them unless there is a new one out. It was said he was the most abuse child in the state of California, not sure about the state. The Boy called It is a very sad book but the example it sets for other abused children and adults shows that they to can over come the abuse and have a good life. I met a young man here in my city who had an abusive step father, one example of his abuse......he took the little boys arm and broke it over his knee like you would break a stick. He has a successful business and he said the abuse made him a better man.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 10:16AM
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Yes Colleen, I read Dave Pelzer's book. It was heartbreaking. Clearly you don't understand abusive parents (that's a good thing) because they don't need a reason to just bring a child in the house and beat the hell out of them. That was just one particularly gruesome event I happened to recall when I wrote the post. I was bruised and bloodied for weeks. What I found more disturbing however, was being made to watch her beat my younger brother. I was begging her to stop! Fortunately for him she was using her hands not the belt that she used on me and he had a crew cut so she couldn't hold on to him like she did me. You sound like one of those people who believe a mother couldn't possibly be abusive. You're wrong! If you read my whole post you would have seen that I already broke ties with her and so have most of my other family members. I don't want to make amends. I just want to know why. Why was it always me? Why didn't she love me? Why didn't she just give me away to another family member? Her sister asked if she could take me when I was about ten but she wouldn't let me go. Why not? She clearly didn't want me. I know I've already answered my own question though, she didn't need a reason, she just did it.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 1:44PM
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Emma, you sound like a lovely and caring person. When I read "A child called It." I cried most of the way through it.

My mother made sure I wouldn't have any chance to be successful by sabotaging my education. We moved so many times and I was transferred to multiple schools. I went to two different schools for kindergarten and also second grade. By the time I was done I had gone to thirteen different schools. When I tried to go to college, she refused to fill out any of the financial applications. I don't know if you're familiar with them but you need your parents information unless you're over 25 years old. I ended up making pretty decent money despite her but it hasn't been easy. My husband passed away when our daughter was only twenty so I've been struggling trying to send her through school. She goes part time and works full time so between both of us she will get there eventually.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 1:56PM
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As the child of an alcoholic father who made himself feel less inadequate by beating up me and my brother, while my experience was not as gruesome as yours I do have some inkling of abusive parents. I have personally always wondered why my mother, who knew about the beatings, did nothing to intervene, despite the fact that he never hit her- she was bigger than he.
I have no problems believing that mothers can be abusive. You have totally misinterpreted my post. I was turning around your statement- "why would their children, seemingly with no reason, just turn their backs on their moms?" to the opposite to show that either question is equally valid. Why _would_ mothers, who are supposed to be caring and nurturing, beat seven bells out of any child? I sure as hell don't know.
I think you are possibly similarly misinterpreting the posts of the estranged mothers. Yes, in some cases it may be that the fault lies in them, but it may also be that they _have_ been abandoned by ungrateful sociopath children. I find myself wondering if your own mother did the same to hers. Sociopaths don't just spring full blown into the world, they were once children themselves. No doubt many honed their skills on their parents before moving on to their children.
My main point is, don't judge others' experience through the dark glasses of your own experience, you may be off the mark.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 3:16PM
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Colleen, thank you for clarifying. You're right, I didn't understand what you were trying to say. Coincidentally, my father was (he passed last year) also an alcoholic. I don't remember him ever hitting us but mother made many references indicating that he did. my three brothers don't recall any specific incidents with him either but he left when we were all very young and we didnt see him for years at a time. I reconciled with him as an adult for a year or two before he died and he was sober for many years. He was never anything but kind and frequently called me honey, baby, sweetheart etc. and told me he loved me which is something I never got from my mother in fifty years. You sound like a strong, decisive and confident woman. That's something my mother took from me with beatings and insults. At my age, I doubt I will ever become any of those things. I think the best i can hope for is some relief from the continued emotional abuse now that ive finally put an end to it. I'm sorry to hear your father was abusive to you. I think that its important for girls to have a relationship with a good father figure because it helps them to choose a good man to start a family with instead of searching for the father figure they've missed in their childhood. If I triggered some bad memories for you, I'm sorry. No child deserves to be beaten, no matter the reason. There are so many other ways to discipline a child, fear should never be an option.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 2:15AM
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No worries, misses, while I will always be in the process of dealing with my demons in many ways I think taking them out and giving them a good airing from time to time helps keep them from festering. As I get older I gain new insights as well, which puts me in a better place.
I think you _can_ become strong and decisive, and confident. I wasn't always. I was always the girl who couldn't say "no", I'd do anything for others "so they would like me" and "so they would keep me".
(I should expand: I was an adopted baby. One of the non-physical ways my father would abuse us was to drive us at night by what he told us was an orphanage, paint a Dickensian picture of life for the unwanted orphans there, then tell us, "And if you don't behave you're going back there where you belong." Even emigrating to the other side of the world didn't stop the threat. So I always tried to be the good one, the one who did everything for everyone else, so they wouldn't send her to the orphanage.)
_Once I recognised this_ it became easier to change my motivation. I still tend to want to make everything perfect for those around me, but I know my motivation and have finally internalised that it's OK not to. I will always be a work in progress and I think that's the most anyone can hope for really.
When thinking about your mother's insults, always tell yourself, "Consider the source". Clearly she was a sociopath who would say anything to hurt you. Remind yourself constantly that she was _wrong_ and just saying wrong things to hurt you. Remind yourself constantly that you are a worthwhile person with intelligence and skills, my word, but you've done well to bring up a daughter and help to support her through school. Isn't that a great achievement? And when she's through school, why don't _you_ take some classes in whatever interests you? This will also help to build your confidence as not only will you be learning things but you will be interacting with others who will appreciate you for you.
I knew I did not want a man like "dear ol dad". Fortunately after dating a number of lemons, I met a good man who has been a good example for our daughter. She's now engaged to a similarly good man, they've been together for 10 years and we're thrilled they're finally making it official.
Always remember, the past is the past and you can't change it, but from today the future is what you choose it to be. Choose happiness.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 3:24AM
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Thank you MM, I was a good mother, sorry to say my sons were not good sons. They were to much like the men in our family, they inherited the lousy genes, none of the good ones. I have completely lost contact with one of my sons and the other lived his life in a way so different from the way he was raised I can't stand him. If I had it to do over I would been a nun. I could have helped people who needed and wanted help. Wouldn't that be funny a Baptist Nun. LOL

This post was edited by EmmaR on Thu, Jan 30, 14 at 23:04

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 2:02PM
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If you are still searching for info on abusive mothers there are several good sites out there. One site deals with the fallout of such relationships and family estrangement. I'm not affiliated with the site, however I feel that it has a lot of good, helpful information. I'll provide a link in case you are interested:

Here is a link that might be useful: E-Stranged

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 11:26AM
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You may also find this article interesting:

What Is Your ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) Score

Here is a link that might be useful: What is Your ACE Score

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 11:32AM
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The ACE website is full of information about the research, the origins of the study, the implications of the study for participants health and well-being and also about resilience, which may be seen to mediate some of the negative outcomes associated with high ACE scores. I’d really encourage you and anyone who cares about their family and these issues to have a good look around.

There is also some ongoing discussion on the site link that I provided about these issues and what it means--the potential connection between adversive childhood experiences and family estrangement.

Again, I'm not affiliated with any of these sites--just offering more sites and information that discusses abusive mothers.

Here is a link that might be useful: ACEwebsite

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 11:42AM
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Colleen, it's unbelievable, the similarities of abusive behaviors. Our mother did the same thing with the orphanages. We weren't adopted. She had three sons and I was born an identical twin but my sister died soon after birth. We are all her natural children yet she would threaten to leave, not all of us but me and my second oldest brother. We were the middle children. She once brought us to an old reform school and was disappointed to find that it had been closed down. However, she did thoroughly explain what a reform school was and made us believe there were certainly some that we're still operational.

Thank you for your encouragement and the good advice. I will try to use your wise advice from now on. I am also what I cal a "people pleaser" and will do things, even if it costs me more than I can afford, to make people "like me". I know that's not how it works but, as you know, it's a difficult behavior to stop. I think I can though. Really, thank you.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 5:38PM
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Flower, thanks for the links. I will read anything I can find that might help me through this. I have found some books as well. I had no idea how common it was for a mother to dislike her daughter. I really did think I was alone until just recently when I, on a whim, typed in mothers who dislike their children, on a google search. Thousands of web pages came up and most of them are about mothers and daughters!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 5:48PM
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You are far from alone. The sites that I posted are really great. As far as the people-pleasing goes there are some really good books as well. Check out Amazon for some great books. Melody Beattie wrote Codependent No More and other titles and also check out one called, The Disease To Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome.

Most of what you are experiencing and feeling is pretty normal considering. Good luck with this.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 7:25PM
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"Once, when I was about seven she brought me and my four year old brother into the basement, made us strip and she beat him in front of me while I begged her to stop. She sent him upstairs and she beat me with a belt(holding it like a whip) until she was so exhausted she couldn't swing her arm anymore."

You mother was a sick, sadistic MONSTER. It is so sad to read about anyone who has suffered/endured this kind of abuse. The best thing you can do is avoid her entirely, and get counseling.

You may or may not have heard about the 8 children whose mother so badly abused them that they posted a stinging obituary that went online before it could be removed. Sometimes reading that you aren't the only one who went through this can be helpful. Bless you and I hope you are in a safe place where nobody can ever do this to you again.

Links that might be useful:



    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:39AM
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Some parents are just pieces of crap. I am grown now, moved out at 14 because I was abused by my step-mother. Turned her into CPS and to this day, she still denies abuse. Claims i had ADHD. wouldnt listen, resented her, caused problems. blah blah blah. I now raise 2 little boys, one of which is ADHD affected, and I dont beat him, throw things at him, slam him around or do any of the things to him that were done to me. Stay strong, cut ties where they must be cut, and break the cycle.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 7:03PM
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No doubt we all will experience pain in our lifetime but we can choose who we allow to hurt us.

My childhood was brutal, cold, and violent.
I read "when Nietzsche wept" a decade ago.
At first I thought this book was a terrible read but by chapter four I was immersed by the questions presented. I could spend thousands on therapy but learned the simplicity of what the book revealed. Life is a series of choices. There is always a choice even after making a bad choice.
No matter how many times I have tried to understand why my mom is x y and z nothing in the story changes.

I can not change the history but I can change my reactions to her behavior.
I no longer speak with my mom.

For those who have narcissistic moms must be careful who and how they reveal their history. I have read personal blog stories that are now part of the narcissistic therapy library. A few authors have used blog sites to gather narcissistic stories.
In the middle of a horrible telephone fight 8 years ago I exclaimed I can no longer talk to my mom. My mom loves the static, adores the friction and gets a huge charge gossiping.
Yes I had a sad moment on Mother's Day thinking about her but my mom is cruel.
Some daughters need to speak of the abuse but over time one realizes you can not close the wounds.
Laughter does.
Seriously finding the humor is the best medicine.
Lastly recognize your mom is incapable of loving you. So what there are others who do . Embrace life, find the laughter, make yourself happy.
You deserve to be happy.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 11:24PM
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haven't read everything, just can't bear to read it all at once, but wanted to chime in.

My mother was a sociopath, a narcissist, & an abuser.

Narcissistic mothers sometimes, I'd guess almost always, hate their daughters because the daughters are rivals.

I was the oldest, & I had 2 younger brothers.

My mother did the same thing yours did:

She'd work herself into a rage, storm down the hall to get the razor strap, storm back, by which time we were all crying & I was hysterical, grab her favorite son & hit him about 4 times, toss him aside, grab the next one & hit him about 8 to 10 times, toss him aside..
& grab me & beat me, as you said, arm fully extended, until she collapsed, exhausted, panting, & sometimes sobbing.

It's no accident that it happened that way.
1) I was made to watch her beat my brothers, building up her rage, knowing that I would be beaten much longer & much harder...so the terror was magnified & prolonged.
2) To this day, I feel guilt & shame that my brothers were beaten; it was always my fault-for not stopping them from doing something, for not making sure that they did do something. anything was a good enough excuse, *& all 3 of us believed it*.

My brothers believe it was all my fault.

To this day, I have no concept that I was ever cute or smart...
because those traits belonged to my mother, & she punished any encroachment onto her domain.

I've also learned that it doesn't stop with the adult abuser;
my brothers both take it for granted that they're superior to me & that whatever happened to me (us) was my fault.

& girls who 'tell someone' are often not believed;
narcissists/sociopaths are intuitive chameleons.

Even my father never knew, & I marvel at the threats/intimidation my mother must have used on us to keep her secret.

When I finally, in my late forties or early fifties, realized that this was horrific abuse, & I talked to my aunts & cousins about it, they were thunderstruck.

My aunt even told me that she sometimes thought what a lucky girl I was, to have a mother who loved me so much & was so proud of me.

This is the first time in a while that I've thought about this or communicated about it, & my shoulders are already tight & my head is beginning to throb.

I wish you the very best.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 12:10PM
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