A couple of years ago, I was tagged in a thread on Facebook in which someone shared an article about why unloved daughters struggle to escape shame. Several women commented that this had been (and in some cases still is) their experience.
“This is my personal story. I wish I had a mother that loved me. I’ve always been to blame. It’s a sad reality.”
Several others sort of tut-tutted about how sad it must be. A pall fell over the conversation.
Given my work, it’s not surprising that I hear things like this:
“My mother doesn’t love me.”
“My daughter hates me.”
“My mother has told me she wishes she didn’t have kids and wonders what her life would have been like if she didn’t have me.”
“I don’t understand what I did wrong.”
“My mother told me she thinks her life would have been so much better if she hadn’t had children. It feels like she’s saying she wishes I was dead.”
The pain and suffering are palpable. And understandable.
But there’s something else that bothers me…the idea that it’s a “sad reality” if a mother can’t or won’t love her daughter. As if it’s etched in stone and, as a result, the daughter’s capacity for joy and potential will remain stunted for the rest of her life.
She becomes someone who is pitied.
To be clear: I know the pain of wondering if my mother loves me. I know what it’s like to grow up in an environment saturated in shame. I know the pain of being rejected by my mother. I know that trauma from growing up with Adverse Childhood Experiences is real.
I also know the oddly satisfying feeling of being pitied.
And? I also know – like really know deep in my bones and in my cells – that I have an infinite capacity for joy and that my potential is equally as infinite.
And so do you.
Having a troubled relationship with your mother or daughter doesn’t have to keep you in a less-than position.
While there is certainly room in my life for sadness and I welcome grief when it’s needed, my life is far from a sad reality. That wasn’t always the case. For many years I thought, “There will forever be something wrong, or not quite right, with me and my life.”
Getting back to that thread on Facebook…
I responded, but not fully. Not with the fire of what I know to be true. What I wanted to do is jump up and down and say, exuberantly:
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Having a mother who can’t or won’t love you doesn’t have to be a sad reality. You are not doomed. It’s not a given, even though we’re programmed by society to judge both mothers and daughters when they have a relationship that is considered “less than.” And then, because we don’t know what else to say, we reply, “how sad.”
Nope. Not gonna do it.
Rather than being a “sad reality” you can use your story to tap into your greatest, innate stores of wisdom, self-love, and power.
I am taking this stand for you and for me.
Because I am not willing to be a lesser version of myself. Are you?
Much, much love,
Reveal patterns. Heal shame. Transform legacies.
Want to make this real in your life? Join me for a FREE Transformational Book Club when you pre-order The Difficult Mother-Daughter Relationship Journal: A Guide For Revealing & Healing Toxic Generational Patterns.