One of the lasting legacies bequeathed many unloved daughters is the carry-over from that early and devastating blow: Being rejected by the very person, your mother, who’s supposed to love and support you.
It’s a sad truth reflected by the title of Dorothy Nolte’s popular inspirational poem that “Children Learn What They Live.” Daughters (and sons, for that matter) who grow up in households in which harsh criticism is meted out on the daily, ridicule and shaming are part of the routine, or belittling and blame-shifting are constants in the family dynamic adapt as they need to in order to get along and survive.
I kept thinking if I just gave him more time, he’d learn to control his temper. I made excuses for his outbursts and I always made a point to emphasize his good qualities when I was hurt and upset. It took me six long...
Horror stories abound, cautionary tales which everyone should be aware of, about the Vindictive Narcissist.
Telling someone she’s “too sensitive” is a freighted statement, often used by emotionally abusive people, manipulators, and controlling types. It’s often a way of shifting blame from the person who’s said or done something hurtful to his or her target. Unloved daughters often report being told this in childhood—I certainly heard it regularly—as a way of excusing or denying a mother’s or father’s toxic and damaging behaviors.
How did I manage to marry my mother? He seemed so different from her but, in truth, he wasn’t. How did I manage not to see that he was treating me the same way as my mother always has? It’s so discouraging.
Is there someone in your life who’s always eager to denigrate your efforts, remind you of your flaws, or quick to point out how he or she would have done a better job?
Growing up in a family that never encountered a cliché it didn’t embrace, I was surrounded by positive thinking. There was a tea cozy that announced that “Every cloud has a silver lining” and, at some point, a chintzy plaque that read “When Life...
Negative childhood experiences shape us in many ways, some more subtle than others.