For many, the concept of an unloving mother is difficult to grasp. Motherhood seems to imply unconditional love and empathy, appreciation and unconditional help. However, not everyone has the mother they deserve.
Some mothers, and for that matter, fathers as well, seem to be self-absorbed, narcissistic, neglectful and don’t seem to fully grasp the notion of parenthood and its deep implications. They display a victimization complex and don’t seem to fully acknowledge the impact their behaviour has on children.
Children Growing Up with Unloving Mothers
While in childhood, many unloving mothers’ offspring will blame themselves and won’t understand their mothers’ actions and behaviour. As they grow, many might start understanding that they are far from receiving the normal treatment children should.
Adults of neglectful mothers may be more likely to develop a series of mental health issues and unhelpful coping strategies and habits. This could include drug and alcohol abuse, self-harm, depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies, risky sexual behaviour.
But still, one of the most damaging types of neglectful mothers seem to be the narcissistic ones. They generalize and rationalize their neglect in such a manner, it almost seems legitimate and rightful. The child will grow up to believe that their needs are not important, that the mother was actually loving and appropriate. For many, it might take years to realize that the sort of behaviour displayed by their mothers is not normal.
When the realization comes and the trauma is fully acknowledged, adult children will go through a grieving journey. A healing process that helps them overcome the years of neglect and the sensation that they are not worthy of love and attention, and appreciation.
Grieving for Unloving Mothers
Mourning for mother even if she is still alive is not an unusual concept for adult child that faced neglect and lack of love all their lives. In fact, this is part of the healing and overcoming trauma process. How to cope with neglect trauma is partly based on mourning for the mother you needed.
The process can be difficult because of a series of conflicting emotions. The adult child is torn apart between the core conflict the lack of love created over time and the feeling of worthlessness inflicted by their mother.
Grief is not a linear process which the stages of grief model suggests. Everyone is different and has a unique bereavement experience. It is possible that you will have a lot of anger, disappointment and sadness, to process. You may struggle with self-esteem and worthiness issues that may play out in friendships, intimate relationships with the relationship with yourself. It will be about changing how you feel about yourself as a result of your experience that counts. So that you aren’t weighted down by your past, so that you can feel at ease and love yourself unconditionally. It’s about not letting you’re past define you now and in your future.
Going through this type of process is necessary for a full recovery from years of trauma and neglect. But accepting the death of a mother, metaphorically speaking, can be both incredibly difficult and alleviating.
In some cases, the process involves cutting off all contact with the unloving mother. To create a healthy and loving environment for their own families, children of abusive and narcissistic mothers have to break the cycle and re-educate themselves on what a normal family dynamic looks like.