Last update: 11 September, 2015
Today we will talk about the so-called "toxic mothers"; nevertheless, it should be noted that toxic fathers and toxic grandparents also exist. These people do everything but foster personal maturity and safety in the child; they do not allow him to open up to the world in adulthood, but rather grab him with heavy chains, completely preventing him from achieving physical and emotional independence.
The role of the mother has always exerted a more intense weight than the others in the child's upbringing. It is she who develops the strongest bond of affection and protection with the newborn. In a balanced situation, this baby will move away from the mother's arms day after day, to confidently advance into the world, ready to mature intelligently and certain to be loved by the one who has offered him unconditional love, but at the same time. same healthy time.
Toxic mothers offer their children a nagging and immature love. They project their insecurities onto them to assert themselves personally and, in this way, have greater control over their own lives and that of their children.
What lies behind the personality of toxic mothers?
Maybe it will seem strange to you, but behind the behavior of a toxic mother is love. We all know that, when it comes to love, we must consider both sides of the coin: there is a dimension capable of promoting the personal growth of the individual (both at the couple and family level), and then there is the a more manic side, in which a selfish and interested love is exercised, often suffocating, which can prove to be totally destructive.
The worrying thing is that family members who lure the traps of mania do so towards children in the full process of personal maturation, that is, precisely at the moment when personality and self-esteem should develop. This attitude will produce in the little boy great gaps and strong insecurities, often incurable.
We will now analyze the psychological dimensions that characterize toxic mothers:
Often and willingly, in the depths of these mothers, there is a lack of self-esteem and self-sufficiency that forces them to consider their children as the only possible "lifesaver"; for this reason, they want to decide for them and control them, in order to have them next to them at all times, so that they meet their needs.
Realizing that their children are becoming autonomous, that they don't need them that much, that they are able to manage their own lives, creates a strong anxiety in these mothers, because they are afraid of being alone. They then set up very subtle traps to keep them close and convince them that this is right. For this purpose, they instill in their children the idea of a lack of self-esteem and confidence when they are still children.
Obsession with control
The need to control every aspect of their life leads them to do the same with the lives of their children. They are unable to conceive of limits: for them, control is synonymous with safety, of absence of change, which makes her feel good.
These mothers believe they are doing good when they are in control, they think they are showing their love for others. "I make your life easier by checking your stuff, and I do it so that you are happy "," I only want the best for you, by controlling you I ensure that you do not make mistakes ", ...
Control as a justification for affection is the worst act of over-protection that exists. By doing so, children are prevented from becoming autonomous, skilled and courageous, but, above all, they are prevented from learning from mistakes.
Projection of one's unfulfilled desires
"I want you to get what I didn't get”,“ I don't want you to make my own mistakes ”,“ I want you to become the person I couldn't become ”.
Often, toxic mothers project unfulfilled desires from their past onto their children, without even asking their children what they would like, without giving them a choice. Thus, they believe they are demonstrating unconditional love; in reality it is a false, interested love.
How to deal with a mother or a "toxic" family member?
- Be aware that you have to break the cycle of toxicity. You have lived inside this circle for a long time, you know the wounds it has caused you; now you have to understand that you need to spread your wings to be yourself, to be happy. It will not be easy, but you have to start saying "no", to speak out your needs aloud, to raise your personal walls, which no one should allow themselves to cross.
- It is your mother, or another family member, so you know that breaking this cycle of toxicity can make someone sick. Sometimes, telling the truth about your feelings can hurt others, but it is a vital step. It is legitimate to mark the limits and clarify what you allow and what you don't. Insist that your purpose is not to make someone suffer, but to stop making yourself suffer.
- Watch out for manipulation. There are times when the manipulation is so subtle that it doesn't show: pay attention to every word and every behavior. Don't fall into the victimization net: it is a resource that mothers and toxic people easily use. They show themselves as the most suffering; in reality, the people who are most affected by the situation are you, and this pain is caused by them. Always remember this.
Main image courtesy of Anna Radchenko