That day that those of us with abusive, narcissistic, absent or sick mothers want to avoid.
We’re already seeing ads for gifts, heartwarming stories, loving posts, memes praising mothers…and we are already being shamed, invalidated, and lectured if we point out that not all mothers are loving.
Mothers are the one group that most of society expects to be loving, nurturing, caring, considerate, and giving. More than any other role, mothers are spoken of as angelic people, and with great respect. They are treated like they can do no wrong, and like they are the basis for homes and all of society. For many people, this was true during their childhood, but for some of us, we lived the exact opposite. It’s almost blasphemous to say that a mother might be a horrible person! So those of us who know our mothers were toxic are either left biting our tongues, or defending ourselves from people who think we are the horrible ones for acknowledging that our mothers are cruel and malicious.
This is the time of year that we hear how great all mothers are and we roll our eyes. Or worse, we are haunted by terrifying memories, we have nightmares, we cry. We want to ignore all this media information about how great mothers are. Or, some of us want to educate–to step in and tell the world the truth–that not all mothers are loving. This is a blessing when we connect with another person who “gets” it, but it also opens us to the harsh comments from people who will never understand.
I like to say, if my mother was Casey Anthony or some other woman infamous for murdering her children, would you still expect me to honor her? I point out examples of murderous and violent mothers and ask if those mothers were so great? Most people can admit that they weren’t…so why do they expect me to honor my mother who has the same personality traits? Should I be grateful that the woman who threatened to kill me, refused me medical care, tried to kill me more than once…didn’t actually succeed in killing me? Gee, thanks!
This is the time of year that those of us with narcissistic mothers are pretty much on our own…but with each other. We are the minority, but sometimes you will be surprised to learn that there are others out there who are silent about their abusive mothers. Maybe someone will find validation and acceptance if we are honest about what we’ve been through. Those of us with hurtful mothers can take heart in knowing that we are not alone. We know truth that some people with good mothers will never have to learn. Hopefully, we can use that to be more empathetic to those of us who know just how bad mothers can be. And we can use our experience to avoid being like our own mothers.