The Mother-Daughter Relationship, Part II
Oftentimes WE Hurt the ONES We "Love"
How Evil, Soul Destroying, and Other Negative Types of Mothers Play Games With Their Daughters
Mothers have been revered and worshipped throughout history because they give life. Motherhood has been so adored and deified that there is the American symbol of motherhood and apple pie. Motherhood is equivalent to sainthood and godhood in society in that if a person dares utter a pejorative word about another person's mother, fights would start. Motherhood further is highly idealized in organized religions, particularly Roman Catholicism. Roman Catholicism, above all organized religions, asserts that motherhood is the most sacred and cherished role of women next to being celibate nuns. The Roman Catholic symbol of motherhood is the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Hollywood, until recently, has presented the image of motherhood in an idealized light with mothers being depicted as self-abnegating and self-sacrificing women with hearts of gold who always put their children first and foremost. Hollywood and other media gives the messages to mothers that NOTHING comes before your children.
There is an underlying societal message that mothers should be selfless and to have only love for their children. Hollywood presented motherhood in a positive light. Mothers were depicted as self-abnegating and self-sacrificing with hearts of gold. The message is that nothing is to come before your children. The societal message is that mothers are to be selfless and to have only love for their children.
There are further messages regarding the mother-daughter relationship in that mothers and daughters should be close because they are both female. Movies, books, and other media have glorified the mother-daughter bond, indicating that in this type of relationship, mothers and daughters, because there are both female, have the best of worlds. It is purported that in such a relationship, mothers are the examples and gatekeepers for their daughters and the daughters are the receivers and the beneficiaries of the mother's knowledge and love.
Another dictum is that mothers and daughters, being females, are supposed to be close and loving. This dictum further purports that mothers should not have negative feelings about their daughters and ought to rejoice in their daughter's milestone achievements. The ultimate message is that mothers are saintly, wholesome life giving and nurturing souls.
Conventional wisdom dictates that mothers are not evil and are not supposed to have evil, hateful, and negative feelings toward their daughters. Leave that to the stepmother-the anti-mother. . Leave that to the stepmother- the anti-mother. Stepmothers are equated to evil while mothers are equated to goodness. Mothers are supposed to be beautiful, saintly wholesome souls. Furthermore, the societal mandate asserts that mothers are not supposed to be negative and selfish-leave that to the stepmother. While mothers are equated to goodness, stepmothers are "the evil mothers.'
Here is a news flash, people! There are mothers who can be classified as demonic. These mothers are negative to the multillionth power. They are evil, manipulative, soul-destroying, ego-destroying, envious, verbally abusive, and emotionally abusive. Their main intent to make their daughters be less confident in their own skins in order for the mother to have the power and to be comfortable.
Mothers are supposed to guide their daughters on the road to independence. Mothers are usually the main example setters for their daughters. Mothers are to love and support their daughters regarding the choices they make as long as it is not deleterious. Mothers are to be their daughter's coaches and to boost their self-esteem. Mothers are to want their daughter to have more lifestyle and educational choices than they have in addition to hoping that their daughters are better economically and educationally than they are.
There are mothers who can be classified as verbally and/or emotional abusive. Oftentimes, these mothers believe that they are helping their daughters survive life's twists and turns. However, they are not supporting their daughters and are irrevocably damaging their self-esteem. These are the types of mothers who consistently harp on their daughter's "mistakes". These mothers believe that they are and/or should be perfect and expect their daughters to be the same way. If the daughter decides to undertake anything that is different from the mother or she makes a mistake, this mother becomes incensed and alarmed, believing that these actions are reflections of her. This mother is very uncomfortable and unforgiving regarding mistakes, often reminding her daughter of this. If a daughter is very sensitive, this mother usually crushes her daughter's self-esteem and initiative.
When I first started work, I had a supervisor whose mother was verbally abusive to the extreme. This supervisor related that her mother would harshly criticize her for making mistakes. She would shake uncontrollably when taking about her mother. This supervisor maintained that her mother would often call her incompetent and stupid in addition to informing that she was not capable of doing anything of significance. She had little or no self-esteem and would often let her subordinates tell her what to do at work. Although this supervisor graduated magna cum laude from an exclusive private high school, her mother informed her that she was incapable of pursuing any type of tertiary education. She did not attend college and was relegated to positions that did not effectively utilize her potential.
There are mothers who do not support their daughters for whatever reason. They believe what others say about their daughters. Isn't a mother supposed to support her daughter through thick and thin unless the daughter does something very egregious? This is the type of mother who believes that her daughter can do nothing right and nothing the daughter does can convince her mother of this. Like the verbally abusive mother, this mother can destroy her daughter's self-esteem.
An instance of this was a woman in my former neighborhood who blamed her daughter because she was constantly bullied at school. Her daughter was a creative introvert and a straight-A student in addition to being the teacher's pet. The other students derided and oftentimes picked on her. Teachers became alarmed at this and notified her mother. Instead of this mother supporting her daughter, she, too, derided her daughter for being ladylike and too soft. This mother, in fact, praised the bullies which left the teachers nonplussed. This mother believed by deriding her more sensitive daughter, the daughter would toughen up. However, teachers at the school intercepted for the daughter. Today, this daughter is a highly successful lawyer who had long cut off contact with her mother.
There are mothers who use guilt and emotional blackmail to keep their daughters in subordinate status and to make the daughters do their bidding. These mothers are self-centered users who do not care about their daughter's feelings and/or other life plans. This is the type of mother who do not view her daughter as an individual worthy of respect but as a slave and subordinate. This mother reasons that since she gave birth to her daughter and made the prerequisite sacrifices for her, this daughter should be grateful and be glad to do whatever the mother wants.
Some mothers lead such narrow, insular, and miserable lives that they use psychological sabotage to keep their daughters close to them. These mothers are miserable and do not want their daughters leading independent and fulfilled lives. If a daughter dares to venture out to carve her own niche, this mother usually play mind games and send out negative messages e.g. that the daughter would be uncomfortable and miserable away from her. If the daughter is weak-willed, she would become fearful, not taking the risk and remain with her mother.
There are mothers who cannot conceive of anything different from what they are accustomed to. If a daughter elects to embark on a very unusual lifestyle and/or career, this mother asserts that this choice is outlandish and impossible with little chance of success. One of the most cherished of relationships is that between mothers and daughters. This mother reasons why would her daughter make career and lifestyle choices which is so diametrically different from hers.
A few mothers actually hate their daughters. This could happen for many reasons. The daughter can remind the mothers of relationship she has with a member of her family of origin or a spouse. The daughter can represent the youth the mother wishes that she had. The daughter can possess characteristics which the mother wishes that she had such as beauty and intellectual acumen. The daughter could also be seen by the mother as ruining her happiness and life chances especially if the mother had the daughter very early in life. This type of mother can also be backstabbing and vitriolic towards her daughter. This mother could be very dangerous to her daughter, even destroying her.
Some mothers view their daughters as competitors. These mothers view their daughters as a symbol of youth and opportunities. They are not about to let their daughters outshine them either in the appearance, intellectual, and/or career arenas. These mothers believe that they are good or better than their daughters and they reason why should their daughters have all the glory.
There are mothers who would be classified as very narcissistic. They want to be the stars, not the daughters. These mothers view their daughters as an enemy to be destroyed. These mothers want to be first and will use any means to be first. If their daughters happen to be beautiful and intelligent, this mother usually make backhanded comments in order to diminish her daughter's self-worth. These mothers need to be adored and worshipped and they view their daughters as deterrent to reaching their goals.
Some mothers in better socioeconomic circumstances were born impoverished and are subconsciously envious that their daughters were born into affluent conditions. These mothers hate that their daughters have an easier childhood and adolescence than they did. These mothers would often make backhanded and damning comments to the daughter that she has it too easy and that she should have been born into the same impoverished environment.
I have a concrete example of this. A friend of mine, who was born into an upper middle class socioeconomic environment, had a mother who was born impoverished. This mother constantly made backhanded remarks to her daughter indicating that she led the good life and should have had a harsher life. This mother had no parents to help her financially and educationally-she had to do everything by herself. This mother wishes that she was her daughter.
There are mother envious of their daughters because they earned more education and have greater career and socioeconomic success than they have. These mothers, instead of being proud, would be extremely verbally abusive to their daughters. For example, I knew a coworker who was a straight A student throughout her academic career and her mother always called her retarded because the mother never finished elementary school but she subsequently earned a Ph.D. in Human Resources. Another coworker I knew had a mother who only had a fourth grade education. Her mother would sarcastically remark to her that although she was educated she was the same as she was, adding that she was nothing special. Her mother and relatives were on welfare for four generations and her daughter decided to escape this pattern by attending college and later, graduate school.
In conclusion, the majority of mothers are good-hearted and want what is best for their daughters. However, there are mothers who are negative towards their daughters. These mothers often have insecurities of their own which they displace upon their daughters for whatever reason. These mothers view their daughters not as individual human beings to be nurtured but as appendages of them.
These mothers are not supportive and can irrevocably destroy their daughters' self-esteem. To reiterate, these mothers usually have issues of their own. Many of these mothers believe that their daughters' purpose is to serve them and to their bidding. There are some mothers who hate their daughters because they remain the mothers of characteristics of family members that were disliked. In addition to that, these mothers often had their daughters at a very young age and viewed them as destroying their life chances.
Many mothers view their daughters as competitors. A few mothers are narcissistic and want to be the stars of their lives, not their daughters. Mothers who are envious of their daughters because their daughters have more academically and socioeconomically advantaged than the mother and she is uncomfortable with this. Mothers are supposed to be happy that their daughters have the opportunities that they did not have and to outsucceed them. There should be no room for negativity in the mother-daughter relationship.