How to Open Yourself to Love When You Didn’t Grow Up with It


“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha

I was always someone that craved love and attention. This is not to say that I accepted love willingly—quite the opposite, in fact.

If someone decided to like or even love me they would have to pass through a path of obstacles, being pushed pulled and tested at every corner. Only then, upon arrival at the finish line, would they gain my acceptance.

As you can imagine, this eliminated a number of potential friends and partners, and I often found myself lonely and disappointed.

The root of my inability to accept love easily stems back to my childhood.

My mother was unable to connect with me. She got pregnant during the height of her modeling career. After she gave birth, her career dried up. She resented the attention that a baby attracted, and, in addition to this, she was highly addicted to narcotics.

Growing up with my mother telling me that she felt no love and was ashamed of me made me desperate to be the perfect daughter. I would go to any length to prove myself worthy, even taking drugs with her as a way of connecting.

When I was 15 years old, she upped and left with no goodbye—leaving me with my stepdad and an overwhelming sense of failure.

If my own mother could not love me, how and why would anyone else?

After my mother left, I disguised my pain through drugs and control. Drugs provided an instant, closely-bonded social network. I tried to take control through self-harm. My life continued like this for 10 years. I hated myself, and I was terrified of letting anyone in.

Throughout these years, I did several stints in rehabilitation centers, where nurses and psychiatrists worked hard on me.

I would almost give in and build connections with these people; however, when the time came to leave these institutions, I would find myself alone all over again.

I was desperate for a loving relationship and a career. My battles were hindering me from achieving either.

Luckily, I had a fantastic education under my belt, through a childhood spent at top boarding schools. It was just a matter of escaping this vicious cycle that I had spent the majority of my life spinning around in.

I had stopped the drugs but was addicted to self-pity. Therapy had taught me that I needed to let go and learn to trust. This sounds quite easy now, but back then the very idea was not only terrifying but also impossible.

A  Time for Change

I always dreaded birthdays and holidays. On my 25th birthday I woke up with an annual feeling of dread.

I went to the store to buy some cigarettes and the lady at the counter asked me for some identification. I handed it over and she said to me “It’s your birthday today. You look so young. Your mother should be very proud of you.”

It was such a flippant statement, but for some reason it struck a chord. After all my years of therapy, these words from a stranger hit home. I can’t really explain it, but I felt a whole hoard of emotions: anger, regret, understanding, and, finally, relief.

I felt that, yes, my mother should be proud of me—and I felt sorry for her that she was unable to feel that way.

I wanted to have a chance at life, to meet someone and have my own children that I could love and be proud of. I realized then that this would only happen if I stopped treating myself the same way my mother did.

Considering how long and hard it was to reach this point, turning my life around was surprisingly easy. The hardest point was the realization.

If you’d like to treat yourself better than your parents did and open up to love, I recommend:

Write Through your Feelings and Fears

I didn’t want to cause myself any more harm; I wanted to connect and understand how I worked instead. Writing things down served as a great release.

Go out and get a journal with the exclusive intention of putting your emotions into words. Try and pinpoint when and what makes you feel good or sad.

By putting everything on paper, you can then reference your emotions, look into your behavioral patterns, and recognize what made you feel a certain way and how you dealt with it.

Keeping a journal keeps you connected to yourself so you can make real changes that last.

Risk Trusting Other People

Instead of testing people in my life, I let go and granted people access. I decided that even if someone let me down, I could handle it.

Moving circles helped. I got back in touch with people I liked growing up, and I was surprised to find that a number of them were happy to reconnect with me.

This was a difficult step, as rejection is way out of my comfort zone. However, I put myself on the line and trusted my instincts to contact these people. As I started to feel more connected and less alone, I realized this paid off.

I also decided to be open with new people that came into my life. I didn’t scare them off at the first encounter, but as relationships began to develop, I would explain how my past affected me, and how I’d chosen to move on and be happy.

Almost everyone I opened up to was completely supportive. Openness became a two-way street. I learned that most people had experienced their own struggles. Our confessions strengthened these new relationships.

I also learned that not everyone is someone I can open up to—but the more I do it, the better instincts I have about who to let into my life.

Taking risks with people is essential for happiness. After all, it is better to have experienced at least some loving friendships than to sit alone, fearing heartache.

Let Go of the Old Stories

I have let go of my mother. I realized that I was heading up a similar path to her, and this taught me to feel compassion for her. I have released all the negativity that I held towards her, and now I just hope that one day she can learn to love herself.

In order to let go, I needed to understand my mother. Because we were barely in contact, I had little information to go on. I collected everything I knew about her, from her childhood, her time with my dad, and the time she spent with me.

With all this information I recognized that she was a troubled woman who was unable to make real human connections. I sensed that she must have been suffering with some kind of depression or illness.

By looking at her in this way, I could see that her leaving had nothing to do with me. If she hadn’t had me and had given birth to another daughter, it would have been the same outcome.

Once I realized that our unhealthy non-relationship wasn’t my fault, I was able to stop blaming her and hanging onto the victim story.

Once you stop telling the story, it has less power over you.

Love Yourself

In the past, I tried to hurt and hide from myself, and all this did was make me lose myself further. By braving up and removing all the escape methods, I have found my raw being.

Vulnerability is not a negative state. It is how we start our path. I have just started mine slightly later than most.

By loving myself, I allow others to love me. I love myself because I am still here, and I can see my life changing around me. When I have moments of insecurity, I read through my journals, speak to friends, or throw myself into tasks I enjoy, like baking.

Since changing my outlook, I have started working and have formed a number of great friendships. I have even got in touch with my mother and told her that I have forgiven her. I don’t think we will ever have a relationship, but I am alright with that.

The important thing is that I have finally opened myself up to other loving relationships.

Have you?

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About Marie

Marie has a passion for writing, covering a range of topics from personal confessions, bridal sets, relationships, and travel.

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  • Excellent Article “Marie” & TINY Buddha! I especially identify with this important lesson: “I also learned that not everyone is someone I can open up to—but the more I do it, the better instincts I have about who to let into my life.”~Marie (i’ve only recently learned this too, and i’m in my 40s).i’ve been writing about forgiveness too (with the help of Dr. Fred Luskin’s Book “Forgive For Good”) ~ especially learning the skill of letting go of “old stories” to one self and to others. 
    I would love to read more of your writings Marie; hope you will write more for TINY Buddha. 
    ~ sarah nean bruce
    ps~here are two of my most heartfelt and revelatory articles on forgiveness & letting go…

  • This came to me on a day when I most needed to read it. <3

  • Paloma B

    I feel it took a lot of courage to write this, to bear your soul and your piece resonated deeply within me with my ‘artistic’ narcissistic abusive mother and painful childhood.  Many years and painful friendships & relationships later, and after much therapy and reflection, I have developed compassion for her and the courage to be me.  However, now in mid life, making friends is still a long process and I am mustering up the courage to try open myself up to love again after a failed marriage.  The early wounds are deep and facets of the scars show up in new ways as time goes on but each day is a new beginning and I have faith… God Bless you on your journey…

  • Mich

    It could have been my own story, I didn’t take drugs but most of the other things were a mirror to my life and it caused me problem upon problem to be rejected.  I have my own kids and have a problem being “loving” it is a work in progress.  I find it easier with my grandbabies and I don’t know why. Thank you for sharing. 

  • Thank you so much for sharing this.  You are a brave wonderful soul and have put words to what so many of us suffer from.  We are all looking for love and connection, but we must learn to trust ourselves and love, in spite of our childhoods.

    We must unlearn all our past and learn our way back to love.

    Love and Light,


  • JBird

    Wow.  THANK YOU for this.  My mother never left me, but had (and still has) problems connecting with me.  I had problems with drinking/pills and still am working on loving myself – it’s a constant work in progress.  Always trying to numb the pain – when in fact I should be feeling it and understanding it. 

    Glad I cam across this, I needed to see I’m not the only one.  Bless you!

  • Thank you … such a gift for me – “If she hadn’t had me and had given birth to another daughter, it would have been the same outcome.”  These words have helped me more than I can say today … thank you.  <3

  • Farah Hany

    I really related to this, specially “Turning my life around was surprisingly easy. The hardest point was the realization.”
     Before any major change the idea always seems terrifying, and self-pity feels like a warm comfort spot to stay in, but then come the realization and suddenly you’re free from all the thoughts that had once restricted the way you feel. Loving yourself only seems natural but it takes a lot of bravery to reach this point, & you’re absolutely right, vulnerability is not a negative state, why emotions are such weakness to some is something beyond me. I feel like we should respect what are emotions are trying  to tell us.Much love,Farah x

  • Thank you so much for sharing your story, Mary. 
    Writing is indeed very therapeutic but it takes even more courage and love to share it with strangers on a website. Though i have a feeling that many readers can relate one way or another, i know i can.
    Thank you! 

  • K. Sommers

    who is this woman? does she have contact details? would love to pick her brain and give her a thankyou. completely inspiring. made my morning. so many thanks x

  • Beautifully honest and open piece.  Bravo to you for putting it out there. 
    There’s so much to pick up on here.  Two things come to mind initially for me:  we never know how our words or expressions can affect someone, ie. the lady at the counter.  
    And we must choose to be different, to open ourselves up to improvement.  You’ve clearly made the Choice and you are on the hard-working path towards healing and creating a much more satisfying life.  
    You will reap the benefits of goodness.  

  • Thank you for sharing your story, anonymous. It is inspiring and encouraging and holds a lot of truth I have found in my own journeys to date. Keep sharing! I’d love to hear more from you. 

  • I really enjoyed reading this post. It’s so healing for me and you can write it in such nice words.
    I love to share with others so I’ll definitly tweet this post.
    Thank you.
    Love, Liesbeth

  • Irene

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. This sentence ‘I realized then that this would only happen if I stopped treating myself the same way my mother did.’ really made me realize that I have some ‘work’ to do. God bless you and please keep writing. 

  • Wow Marie,
    That was an incredible story.
    You are a great writer, the story really moved me and I am so happy for you that you have turned your life around.

    That kind words from a stranger saved your life is incredible.
    It is a reminder to us all that we should remember to do the little things when we can.

  • PeaceLoveYoga

    BEAUTIFUL ARTICLE…I relate to this so much. Thank you for sharing your struggles and insight. Love is the only thing that matters in life. When we are open to find it, it makes the life’s journey even more beautiful. We are here to learn from the past not to continue to make the same mistakes. Your strength and courage is inspiring. Thank you.  p.s. The store clerk was a messenger from God 🙂  Namaste

  • Thank you for sharing your story and your methods. Relating to this and in the middle of healing myself you reassure me that the steps I am taking are worth all the heartache that got me here. 

  • Sylvia

    Wonderful! 🙂

  • I really relate to this post.  Thank you for sharing your story.  Journaling also helped me look honestly at my life, which made me realize that I needed to get out of a bad marriage.  Like you said, there are patterns there that you have to take a step back to see.  Journaling helps you do that.

  • Robin

    thank you for writing  such a wonderful post. This is almost my story, but for me it took until I was 57 to hear some one say “That was then, This is now” and understand that living in the past was not only non productive, it never changed anything.
    My mother is gone, and she said that she never hurt anyone in her life, and yet speaking to others who knew her and were impacted by her she caused nothing but pain. But “that was then, and this is now” and I live in the now, so I can and do love myself, and yes I am worthy of all the love I receive. 

  • Potter

    Thank you, Marie. You gave us all a gift by sharing your story.

    For me, I appreciated this: “Vulnerability is not a negative state.” I needed the reminder today.

  • Dawn23456

    Thank you for sharing your experience! I can relate to your point about your story having less power over you once you stop telling it. I have found that when i have been hurt, I need to tell my story over and over again until I have made sense of it, and then I can stop. And once I stop, it certainly does have less power over me. This has been a process treat works for me…tell it until I’m done telling it and then it sort of let’s go of me on it’s own. Again, thanks for having the courage to tell your story so honestly so others can learn from it.

  • Dawn23456

    Thank you for sharing your experience! I can relate to your point about your story having less power over you once you stop telling it. I have found that when i have been hurt, I need to tell my story over and over again until I have made sense of it, and then I can stop. And once I stop, it certainly does have less power over me. This has been a process treat works for me…tell it until I’m done telling it and then it sort of let’s go of me on it’s own. Again, thanks for having the courage to tell your story so honestly so others can learn from it.

  • Beth

    Moved me to tears. My Mom had me at 17, and was beautiful, but so vain. She blamed me for “ruining her life” and as a 36 yr old women, I have issues with attaching to people still. After 10 years of therapy, I am ok with me and know I deserve love, but it’s a concept hard to grasp never hearing the words “I love You…and I am loved, I no longer base my life on my Mom’s shortcomings. Thank you for addressing such a sensitive topic. I think Many people have been thru similiar experiences. The damage both my parents did to me as a child, took most of my adult life to mend. We cannot allow anyone to ruin us. We are strong and we can rise above, Love & Light.

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  • This is very good article. May this will inspire many in this world!!! God bless you all peoples.

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  • John

    Thank you so much for posting this. Other than the specifics of a faulty parent I am now exactly how you were in the past. In reading your post it felt like I was learning a great deal about my self and how to fix my problems I have with connecting with people. Again, thank you thank you than you.

  • Colette 2203

    What moving and honest story this is. It tells all about Marie and all she has gone through to love herself. It inspires me to read this, and learn from it… If she can change her ways of thinking and start to validate her own worth and love, them so can I. Thank you for this story, peace, love and bliss from my heart to you!

  • anonymous2

    I saved this post as I was a bit fearful to read it.  Sure enough, you know what it feels like to hold no value to your mother.  You have helped so many by speaking out…I wish I had that courage, but still worry about causing hurt to my mother who inflicted her pain all her life.
    I have learned to love from afar, so those thorns don’t stick so deep.  Every sadness, every tear she weeps, she blames on her daughter, me.   Thankfully, by loving myself now, others see that I was always the child left to take the burden of her many troubles…it took many years.  Mothers are always thought of as knowing whats best, many do not know what goes on behind closed doors- I learned long ago to soak up any sunshine that came my way.  I learned to trust my self, but never to love my self for a very long time.  It takes a very strong person to deny their mother, it is in our deepest sense of who we are, to connect with her.  If she finds us unworthy, then that is what we become.
    I do feel now compassion for her, I never forget her birthday or holiday- sending love her way.  But I do not visit for she has a way still, to inflict deep hurt and I no longer accept it.  Thank you so much friend, for speaking your heart, for telling your story.

  • Featheredladybug


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  • I live with an only mother whom I love the most (I got no other relatives), but she’s still drown in her grieve for losing her last son, my brother — and all these time she thinks I’m her failure because I’m not holding the idea of religion as hers. She’s just human, I’ve tried to explain that I’m also human, but I guess we’re still not there, in the same understanding, yet. I grew up with her blaming and demotivating me. It kills sometimes, to know someone you love the most never think that you are right, or at least, normal. I’m reading this and I feel like it’s my story too. Only, I haven’t reach the points you have reached, the points of loving your truly selves… but you help me reaching there.
    Thank you.

  • terry

    Just because your mom doesn’t YET see you in your true and loving light…don’t stop being beautiful as I can tell you are through this comment.  She’ll get there, but until she does- this mama here hears you, don’t let anyone tell you who you are or what you’ll be…be a loving soul and live your life accordingly.  My heart goes out to your mom, losing a child makes the whole world pretty dark for a long, long time. It can really make a person lose sight of all that’s beautiful, even a loving daughter.  Love to you sweetheart.  Take care.

  • Paloma

    OMG – Noran, I’ve been there and it is a very painful and sad place but please believe that many other than your mother can see your inner worth, sensitivity and beauty!  My therapist once said to me “we are born alone and die alone.”  Once I could swallow that I realized that the most important person in the world to love me was the one looking at me in the mirror.  Your mother is in pain, to lose a child, what a nightmare.  No matter the compassion one feels for her, you must be strong and place a healthy boundary around yourself and focus on your needs first.  You are loveable, we all are children of God and deserving of love no matter anything!  Please reach out to those who can help you. Therapy worked for me, prayer does too, reading good books, places like this site…  I pray that you will find happiness, peace and love and heal your wounds.  Life is a treasure and you will feel happier, know this to be true.  God Bless. 

  • Naturepix

    You Rock, thank you so much for your Honesty. Finally someone in this world who I can go… yup she gets it. Thank you. Blessings to you.

  • Miho

    Just a question I hope someone answers me: How to love someone when there are so many beautiful and attractive people in this world?

  • This is great and very helpful…Lord knows I have been living in self pity for a long time. My mother could never show love to any of her 5 children and instead worshipped her drinking along with my step father. My father who I briefly met, wanted nothing to do with me for reasons I will never understand. Oh but I had lots of relationships…just with unemotional, unavailable men until I just got tired of being hurt. Now I have met a good, kind, stable man and can’t seem to trust him or let him in. I thought I loved myself, but unconciously I apparently don’t. I’m going to try some of your suggestions…we all deserve happiness…thanks again for sharing.

  • Tinarose29

    This article has helped me soooooooooooooo much x

  • Dena

    Irene, yes the same sentence hit me to.  I read it as I have to stop treating myself the way I have been treated all my life.  

  • Dena

    I was in foster homes until the age of six then adopted by a family where the mother needed to fill a void in her life since all of her children were grown.  My birth father was 16 when I was born he was born in 1951 and I was born in 1966 and my birth mother was 17. I then went into foster homes and the only benefit I brought to them was a paycheck. Then I was adopted into a family where only one person wanted me if you call it that to fill a void.  So by the time I was 18 yrs old the behavior was already imprinted.   I have been struggling a long time with the scares.  The day my son was born was the first day of the life I was meant to live I finally had a chance to show someone I was not that bad after all.  Well when you have a baby it is not until they are at least 16 or 17 that they see you as someone they cannot live without.  So, here I am 45 years old and the first I have ever heard the words ” I love you and and will take care of you no matter what.”  It took a while for that to register and I was like oh my I hope my son did not think I was not grateful for those words. Since my son is now 17 years old he is on a mission to live his own life and I don’t want to hold him back worrying about me.  So I now have come to the realization that I have to find my own security, happiness, and Love.  

    Thank you for those words that gave me inspiration today: I decided that even if someone lets me down, I could handle it.   I let my mother go I realized that I was heading up a similar path to her.  Once I realized that our (my birth mother) unhealthy non-relationship wasn’t my fault, I was able to stop blaming her and hanging on to the victim story.   I have to start treating myself better than I have been treated as a child or have allowed myself to e treated in past. 


  • Jessicafreeman88

    im having alot of turbal just letting my past go every thing how can i help myself figive and forget is what im thanking any advice

  • Jessicafreeman88

    im having alot of turbal just letting my past go every thing how can i help myself figive and forget is what im thanking any advice

  • Dena

    When I started letting go is when I started seeing a therapist.   After all the therapy the one thing that allowed me to let go was when she said “they were adults and you were a child so it is no way your fault” so that was the beginning of the end for me.  I am still struggling but I have come a long way.  It is a process but the key is to start and don’t give up.

  • Bramas

    This is almost my own story.  Writing everything I had heard her say, helped me to understand my mother’s life situation, and so to forgive her inability to connect with me.  I am now working on recovering the deep love I felt for her before I understood the abuse which was meted out to me through no fault of my own,

  • spider

    Same exact situation for my anonymous2.  I honestly still have not forgiven my mother for all of her hurtfulness but I am really trying to.  She was extremely abusive and unbelievably selfish.  Like you said, we have inate compelling feeling inside of us to connect with our mothers, and the fact that I am disconnected from her right now just kills me inside.  But I know if her and I were speaking, that it would just be a one way street, because in her eyes only how SHE feels matters.  I have cut the toxicity out of my life and now just need to learn to let it all go.

  • spider

    JBird, loving ourselves is a continual work in progress.  I also was a drug addict and an alcoholic, also numbing the pain.  Now I have gone sober and I face the pain head on.  It makes it harder.  But once you go head first into it through the eye of the needle, you will come out of it on the other side and feel relieved.  You have to feel it to get past it.  Namaste.

  • spider

    Me too.  Time to start loving ourselves!

  • Dbitz

    Wow you are so right ,I admire you for trying to think positive my mother also won’t talk to me for the last 5 years, It hurts so bad inside That I do think of suicide. if I didn’t have my 4 kids I think I would not be around right now but the pain is getting worse instead of better every day I am getting more and more depressed anD thoughtsnof suicide are increasing. I just dont know why my mom can’t love me or even acknowledge me

  • shannon obryan

    this really helped!! thank you for posting 🙂 

  • Bluebutterfly100

    I am very inspired by your courage and strength. Your philosophical approach is, in my opinion, very healthy but is also the harder approach to abandonment. You show that even in the most difficult of circumstances, finding faith in one another, and in our ability to empathise and care about one another, is an over riding facet of human nature. Although I have not suffered the way that you have, like many I have been abandoned in different ways by a couple of people that I loved deeply and my over-riding lesson through it all has been that there are more people that want to be there for you when life is hard, than people who will let you fall – but you need to be open to receiving help and that being able to receive help is all about accepting our own vulnerability. I agree that being able to accept our own vulnerability is actually a  character strength. Best wishes to you and Namaste!

  • nickeaston007

    i agree with Paloma, its takes some courage to write down these feelings, and in some respects i am the same as your as i can`t have any relationships with my parents either. too much damage has already been done time and time again, for me and know that  toxic relationships with parents is never a good thing, have strength and move along. Gob Bless

  • June

    I can’t find another words to describe how much this artikel means to me THANK YOU!

  • Zani

    Thank you so much. I really needed to read this. I am 20 and I am afraid of love. I’ve sabotaged possible relationships and I test everyone who crosses my path. It is a must for me to open up to love; to give and receive love. The time is now. Peace.

  • mary loves mason

    I love this web sight is great……thank you

  • Thanks so much Mary! I run this site. I’m so glad you enjoy it. =)

  • AJ

    May God that is the energy of all bless you!

  • Marie

    “By looking at her in this way, I could see that her leaving had nothing
    to do with me. If she hadn’t had me and had given birth to another
    daughter, it would have been the same outcome.”

    That part really resonated with me. Life changing. Thank you. Turning our burdens into blessings by helping others heal is the silver lining of trauma.

  • Mike Irwin

    It took me a long time and talking to a therapist that I don’t honestly know if I love my mother, she denies calling me a liar since I was a small child. I am willing to forgive her but I’m not there yet. I want her to admit that she said what she did but so far she refuses.

  • Pink

    Your story sounds so similar to my own. I was also raised by a former model who screamed at me that if she hadn’t had me her figure would have remained perfect. I later found out that I was not her first child or her last. She had given them up for adoption and masses of family including my father who left when I was a baby were keeping her secret when they should have been MY family and NOT HERS and told me. They knew how lonely I was and how hard it was to be raised by her.
    I haven’t spoken to my mother in seven years. What I realised it that nothing I could do, could be, could buy for her would never make her love me. Every single day is a struggle and have thought about suicide since I was a very tiny girl. If I thought that counseling would help I would be going. Its difficult for those people who had families and support to ever understand those of us who have never had it. Being labeled with some mental illness because of my mother would put me over the edge.

  • simone

    thank you for this… i feel like im floating about in life. Trying so hard to please those i love , but i cant seem to love myself and i wonder if i even really love anyone. i love them with what i feel love is at this point but maybe i am clueless and going about this false idea which i have managed to convince myself is true. i am constantly letting my partner down, i feel like a child and he feels like a father. granted i didnt get much of a loving guidance, instead it was more of a threat through my childhood, well at least it felt that way. im extremely emotional, i cry for many things. i wish i had the answers, i want all of this self pity and pain to stop. but i dont know how to begin. i dont know what i want nor what i need.. i feel completely lost

  • Jane Doe

    ever since i can remember my mother and father would be fighting with eachother… for years and years and they never got a divorce even thouhg i begged my mother to since she had such a problem with my father. they were so focused on their relationship and my mother just focused on how she was being wronged by my father because he wasnt putting her on a pedestal so she complained and yelled screeches put dents in the wall all my life. she still puts up the victim front and my parents are strict, im 23 now and i cannot find happiness anywhere. i feel let down by everyone, i for some reasonat times hate my self i want to commit suicide at times too. my parents taught me to care for your self mean that u are selfish, so i was never taught this and to this day im struggling, i have 3 other siblings and i dont know how they are managing. they tell me to ignore our parents and have an open heart but i dont know how, all they do is demand from me to act a certain way dress a certain way, and they know nothing about how a i feel. i even mentioned it to my mom one time i was crying and she said i was messed up. i told her i learned it from her and she tole me that i didnt hav an unloving husband like her so i have no reason to feel hurt. my older sister tells me my parents love me they care for me, but i dont beleive hher at all, i think THEY are selfish.. they only want me to be an extension of them selves, i swear my father could care less about us all he does is tell us what to do, i feel so disconnected with him, and every time i talk to my mom shes talking shit about my dad or his family and that is the only people we talk to, at the same time im not allowed to stay out late or have friends and im supposed to be successfull and get married? what the hell? from what example..? i was never taught to stand up for my self hence i was bullied all of highschool and i have the desire for other peoples approval or friendship. i wish i could just live alone, but leaving my family even makes me feel guilty even though all they have done for me is raise me like a chicken. ive had jobs since i was 15 in attempt to take control of my life.. so now i have a wardrobe and a cellphone …with no one to call and no where to wear what i own. ive tried many drugs and i was in abusive relationship where the guy pushed me into a river from up high and laughed. yet i still talk to him? i dont know whats right or wrong i feel insane at times… everyone else seems fine. so i know its all me, im missing something…and after all this time i know its because my parents taught me jack shit acutally they taught me to hate my self and be ashamed of my self. and if they didnt teach me this stuff i dont know who i am supposed to learn from, i dont have $ fora a psychiatrist and no other human being wants to deal with another persons baggage because its not their problem (which i understand completely) and their life is fine. im a mess.

  • Jane Doe

    i have all these dreams about doing great things good things making a difference in the world yet at the same time i cant get over my own mommy and daddy issues i feel like such a failure and i always have. some people see my drive and my passion and they admire it, but i cant hold long relationships with friends even, if they flop on me or forget about me i become so hurt that i no longer even want to associate with them. i know this is going effect all aspects of my life, i dont want to be like my parents, i wanted babies but even now im starting to wonder if i actually want a child or if thats something embedded in my head my them cause thats the only thing they think means success in life. it doesnt help tht me parents are 2 completely differnt people teaching me different things (by acting different ways). i constantly activate and deactivate my social network accounts, i have the lowest self esteem of all time. and im way too old for this i turn 24 in september. my mothers also very social so everyone knows who i am and i behave recklessly by drinking ect and apparently i have a bad rep now which i could care less about but wow…give me a break


  • Jane Doe

    thankgod for the internet or i would have no closure!

  • Kismet2605

    I just read this and hope you are still around. I know you must be suffering terribly and I also lived through the same for many years. All I can say is have strength…and please think about your 4 kids and how much they would suffer if you were no longer in this world. If you take your life because your mother did not love you, you would be inflicting a terrible conscious pain to your children and would leave them scared forever….you will be (and I am sorry to say this) even worse than your mother if you do this. I do not mean to be harsh…I just want you to see how you have to first step up as a mother and then remember the child still within you. Please look for help and even though it is hard try and see how your mother’s acceptance is nothing compared to the love your children give you. You say in your last sentence ‘my mom cant love me or even acknowledge me’…I would say you are doing the same to your children by not even thinking about them but thinking still about how to please your mother and how you want to commit suicide. I send you my best wishes and hope you find help before its too late

  • Krystal Honey

    i know how you feel, except my mother wasn’t a model she was a hooker. My father’s grandma raised me and everyone in my family severely disliked me and wished numerous bad things upon me as a child ( including telling all the kids when i was in middle school what my moms job was). At moments even my father disliked me as much because he believed I was the reason my mother left him. I have come to accept that I AM NOT my mother and the rest of my family has their own issues for disliking a child for no reason (even my dad’s sisters admit it’s not a good reason, but they can’t help how they feel). But at this moment I am in a wonderful relationship with a wonderful loving and caring man and even though I love him with all my heart and soul I have no idea how to show him and I feel like he is getting overly frustrated with me (his childhood was much different, but he was adopted by a very nice family who did show him love). I need help.

  • loulou23

    I know this was posted some time ago but i just read it and wanted to say thank you. Your realisation that you were treating yourself the way your mother had treated you really spoke to me. I have been in therapy for years. My father was a very rageful person and my mother had schizo-affective disorder. Growing up I was not allowed to have any negative feelings such as anger or sadness and would either be ignored or punished if I showed my feelings. My parents are both dead now and I am only starting to admit that my depression is linked to the pain of loving them both so much even though they were unable accept me. Its a pattern I’ve repeated with boyfriends and friends all my life. I am hoping that one day I will be able to receive love and trust the world.

  • Sharon Z

    Thank you so much for writing this, my parents had me in when they were
    20 and my mom has always resented me and my late brother. She’d often
    refer to us as her ‘mistakes’ and that we should have never been born.
    My late brother was born with polio and was mentally challenged and one
    day my mother told me that he was born that way because she had tried
    her best to self-medicate in order to ‘abort’ her pregnancy after having
    me. The revelation itself wasn’t shocking, it was more the way she said
    it, like very matter-of-factually. And every time since then, I’d feel a
    deep hollow pain whenever I looked at him. He had a terrible painful
    existence. Born without an anus, and had to go through operations to
    create one, it messed up his intestines, so he would go though a lot of
    pain and bouts of constipation all the time. Doctors said he would not
    live pass the age of 5, and he was with us for 20 more years before he
    passed away in his sleep one day. She however, only stayed on till I was
    5 and he was four. She decided she couldn’t live in a shared apartment
    in one small room, and was always resentful for the life she had with
    us. She left to go to the US when I was 6, after the divorce and never
    looked back. She only came back when I was 12 and had no intentions to
    be part of our lives, just mine. She didn’t want to see my brother
    anymore because to her, it would mean having to see my dad. Mind you, my
    father wasn’t perfect, but he did his best, and for all the things I
    never got to share with him (my aunt took me in after my mother left the
    family, she was worried i wouldn’t get the education and care I needed
    and my father already had his hands full with my brother), he still did
    right by my late-brother. He loved him to pieces and would go to hell
    and back for him. For that, I was grateful. My mom on the other hand,
    came home with a vengeance. She tormented me whenever I went over to
    stay with her and my grandmother. She had already remarried and was
    pregnant with her new son. She kept telling me how her new family was
    going to be perfect, and that I was ugly and useless just like my father
    and I would never amount to anything in life, so my only choices were
    to magically become ‘pretty’ or to be extremely smart so that I’ll be
    rich. So she was always on my case when it comes to studies, and I so
    wanted to be her ‘perfect’ daughter that I studied hard to become the
    best. I excelled at school and I was proud of myself but she never was.
    She would always put me down, reminding me of how ugly I was, fat and
    useless and no man would want me. And for so many,many years after that,
    i still deep down believed every word. Long story short, after all the
    physical and mental abuse, one day when I was 17 I got into an argument
    with her husband after he had shoved my grandmother and she fell down a
    flight of stairs, my mother STILL defended her husband saying that it
    was an accident. I stood on their lawn, daring him to come down and push
    me around instead, screaming with hate. She finally told me to leave
    and said to my face “I never want to see you again, my husband told me
    to never allow you in our lives again,So I disown you and your brother,
    so from now on, I don’t have any ties with you or your family..” With
    that, she shut the door, and I left. I never contacted her again, and
    for years later when my brother passed, I was forced to call her and
    tell her to which she replied, ” Hmmm well, it was his time to go…who
    knows, your father might have been the one who poisoned him..” I just
    hung up and I never spoke to her again. They shifted homes a couple of
    times, and although I know where she lives today, I don’t think I would
    do either of us any good to meet. I’m 37 now, married but i have no kids
    (just my fur babies) And it took me a long time to love myself, let
    alone love someone else. I still have problems with trust issues and
    human connections (especially with my in-laws) because I never grew up
    in a family environment so, close knit family gatherings feels weird to
    me, but I’m trying. And although it was a long and painful road since
    those days to get to where I am today, I am so thankful that I can find a
    place that is filled with love with my closest friends and my family,
    especially my husband. So once again, thank you for sharing this with

  • Juian

    Ive been dealing with this my entire life, I always was depresed but i never knew why.
    After a lot meds and pshychiatric stuff that didnt work i felt other person when i read this. Now that i know my problem ” Lack of love,and fear to love”, I have an idea how i can change my life, this is the first time since i was 10 that i feel happy.
    Thank you Marie ! I own you. ^^

  • Same shoes

    hey jane i feel like we have a lot of similarities I also came from a broken home and was bullied at school as well. Also can’t stay in a long relationship with friends or BF. Time after time god has always been there though!! Also when you become independent of your parents things might start getting better

  • wounded soul

    Me too. I am in my 40’s and still trying to overcome and not give into the dark thoughts.

  • Angelinaballerina

    Loulou I can empathise deeply with you. I found after many years it is more productive to acknowledge the good rather than the bad difficult as this may be. Unfortunately ongoing issues are inate and it is traumatically difficult to form normal healthy relationships. Count the garden by the flowers never by the leaves that fall. I sincerely wish you find inner peace and love that you crave

  • Jen

    Thanks Marie for writing this. It really helped me on a day I needed it the most. I knew something had to be wrong with me, something that stemmed from my childhood, and finding these words today felt like pieces of a puzzle falling closer to where they need to be. I am 47. I definitely have struggles with friendships. I am able to make friends easily, but I never keep them. I either distance myself from them or like I am dealing with now, they end up disliking me. They say I’m fake. I actually sat down and started googling “how is a person a fake friend”. One thing lead to another thought process which lead me to question my childhood. “Growing up in a loveless home, unable to bond with friends”. I found this website. Boom. Here I am. Writing to no one, writing for myself.

    My mother was emotionally neglectful because she was too wrapped up in her own mother. My grandmother was a very demanding woman and suffered from depression as well. She sucked the life out of my mother who spent hours each day on the phone going over the same problems. I suppose my mother had nothing left to give her children. My father was abusive, so basically I lived a very loveless childhood. The first person to tell me they loved me was my boyfriend when I was 18 years. The words “I love you” were never heard in my home. When my grandmother died two years ago, my mother started having panic attacks. She didn’t know what to do with her life. That is when it hit me that the reason I felt so unloved as a child was because my mother was too busy making my grandmother happy.

    I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful and wonderful kids. I have a great life, but I really feel that I am a terrible friend. Female relationships are my weakness, maybe because of the relationship with my mother and not having any sisters to bond with. I do have one friend, thank God for her, who has never given up on me. I will ignore her calls or back out of engagements but she is always there for me. I am sort of friends with my kids friends’ moms and I probably should do a better job getting to know them. I hope through this epiphany I’ve had that I will have a better understanding of what I am about, and maybe like you, expressing this will help too.

  • Dikeledi Ragane

    Thank you it really helped alot and it made me realise that she is not the problem but i’m the problem and really if she had given birth to somebody else it would have been the same,may god bless her.

  • Shweta Mimi

    ur very strong im proud i know you

  • PeaceLove

    I thank you so much for writing this. -_- I don’t have a relationship with my mom… I do all those obstacles thing as well . I’m suffering. Thank you. Now I know what to do.. Bless you.

  • cvhn

    Hello every one at there i want to say very big thanks to Dr.oba for helping me,since 2011 i have been sick of HIV,i lost everything to get healthy again, one day i sew a post on the internet about i contacted him to help me of my sickness,he said he will help me,and that my sickness is done that three days i will not fill it again.after three day i want to hospital to text of HIV the doctor saidd is negative now am the most happy woman in the world thank you very much Dr.oba, if you need any help contact

  • Naomie

    I love and needed this. I felt as if I were alone with my sad childhood past but now I’m able to see that other people share similar stories as me.
    All I want to do is share my love and happiness with others (friendly / romantic) but I always held back, in fear that the emotions of my childhood would come rushing back. Everyday is a new chance for me to reach out and connect to people.
    I am now almost 20 years old but I am ready and willing to be open to love.

  • Elijah

    You are very brave. I have been and currently in that type of situation and all you have done and suggested are the exact strategies that I am putting into place. All that you have said you experienced, I am experiencing them right now. For example, if my own mother cannot treat me and love me with such depth and adoration, who can? That used to be my own thought. My grandma is very helpful and supportive including my aunties because they know how she really is. Another way I have been affected is not knowing if the love people have for me and the love they show me is actually real and I have recently literally come to a decision that unless someone passes my test and obstacles, that I will not allow them into my life; just like you have experienced. I have made up my mind that I will physically avoid her because she will always be negative and I have told myself that when the opportunity comes for me to part with her, not speak to her and just ignore and leave her presence AND I don’t take it, THEN I am the cause of my problem. That makes me feel in control of who affects me and who doesn’t. That therefore encourages me to take action to effortlessly avoid her like the plague and move on with my life. Also, it empowers me as being able to decide whether I will let her destroy my mood or whether I will just ignore her. So she will have to eventually do things my way and fix up if she wants to be in my life; if I want her in my life; which I certainly do not.

  • Elijah

    I support your inaction of not visiting your mother simply because she will find a way to hurt you. I also have that dilemma & it is also very weird in the eyes of so called ‘perfect ‘ families that a child cannot stand a parent due to that parent’s devilish ways. Even those ‘perfect’ families have the biggest issues, but they are smart about it. Let me tell you something. Stop feeling guilty, I am trying to do the same as I type. The thing is that if you do not feel connection or love for your parent and you are not a screw up by your own standard THEN it is your parent’s fault. Think about it; your parents are supposed to love you first because they knew you before you knew yourself, so if you feel no love for them or there is lack of connection, then they did not love you enough, properly or love you right. After all, we give what we get, therefore, if you feel connection with them it is because they connected to you first because they knew you first. My parent is always trying to make me feel bad for the lack of connection between the both of us when she should be the adult to attempt to fix it. Abusive parents of any kind only act as parents when they choose to be one, they forget it is their responsibility 24/7 until a child moves out or in some cases after a child has moved out. Although we are not perfect ourselves, some people such as parents who should be confidants in everything arrogantly take the piss and emotionally manipulate. AND if you ask people who really knew them about their childhood, you will dicover that they did the worst of the worst and now that they are older, they think they are the shit. So stop feeling guilty.God bless

  • O P

    Thank you for a wonderful post! It is wonderful because I can respect the effort it took for you to share your story. I am still lost with myself, but I now know that I must sort myself out before I can truly have a relationship with other people and hopefully find my way in other areas of my life. I am still seeking the strength to accept my reality and move on in the pursuit of happiness but I think I can at least take one step forward.

  • sanwalker

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  • Jo W

    I felt every word written here and also know firsthand how it feels to grow up without a mother.

  • Howard Paul

    Your story is very moving & I admire your courage. I wish I had that.

  • k

    Thanks for sharing this. Maybe if I keep trying my life can change too.

  • Anonymous

    Wonderfully put! So true…

  • Leesh

    Wow, she didn’t love herself… a lot of women are in some labrinth about self worth through others..particularly men and when children come along they’re looked upon as obstacles instead of miracles to their self destruction. God bless you and I hope/ pray you have the love you always desired.

  • meribast .

    your post reminds me of the picture of the cat lying on a table and a lamp is lying broken on the floor – the caption reads something like “the lamp jumped, I swear! It couldn’t live with its dark thoughts!

  • meribast .

    Thanks for writing that. It certainly speaks to me and my own life experiences, which share many themes even if some of the fine details are different. It makes me more hopeful than before I read it.

  • Brian Salzano

    Since I was a kid, I struggled with my parents lack of empathy. My mom was a cold bitch. I ended up being borderline. I didn’t want to talk to shrinks, but I knew I had issues. I ended up meeting one that helped me but it took along time to trust him. He was the one person I ever met in my life I couldn’t read (a skill you pick one when your environment is uncertain). I distrusted him cause I couldn’t read him, but over time I started to mentally implode. I started to question myself in a way that I never had. It got to the point that I started questioning all of my motives and presumptions about people that I used to take for granted. Then one day while I was talking to him, it clicked. I could feel my unconscious mind reacting to stuff he was saying, and at that moment I realized what my problem was. It was as if my personality was froze in time, and I was completely unaware of it. The reason I’m typing this up is because I know alot of people who have bad experiences with their parents tend to be sensitive and struggle with their emotions or getting over their past; you know I’m talking to you if you’re ever had “flashbacks” out of the blue.

    Anyway, nothing I ever do will replace not having a mother and father who cared about me; but I accept it. I don’t want them to change a thing for me, I am who I am now and it does no good to ask “what if”. A lot of times, bad parents had bad experiences too, but I don’t care about any of that. I think if somebody shows you who they are, believe them.

    Alot of people waste alot of time asking why their parents were assholes. Does it matter ? If they gave a damned, they would have cared and you wouldn’t be asking the question in the first place; the result is the same.

    I’ve met alot of good people in the world; and I appreciate them for giving me the love my family never did. My childhood turned me into a Spartan. I plan on being a good one 🙂

  • Kyle

    Thanks for writing this. I feel as if you had it worse with your mother, but I relate. My mother grew up with an absent mother and an abusive father and developed her own issues. When she had her own children (my brother and I), she was unable to nurture us, show normal affection, and specifically, tell us she loves us. I have never heard my mom say “I love you.” She has written it in cards, but she has never said it. My dad was the nurturing one, saying I love you every phone call, however, my parents divorced and custody was given to my mom. My mom showed me minuscule amounts of affection when I was younger (and currently) and it unfortunately destroyed my self-esteem and my ability to express my own emotions. Even though I’m mad at her, I can’t blame her, considering her circumstances. She was bound to repeat the pattern. If I have children, I will make sure I show them the affection and attention they require, reassuring them that they are special to me. I know the consequences of that absence of love.

  • mona

    what if your mother never really left you? We had a fight. She said she didn’t love me (anymore). I can honestly say I doubt she ever loved me to begin with. She did her best. She fed me, clothed me. Drank a lot and resented everything I did. I was just like my father, not good enough. My father left when I was five. How do you get past the idea that you are to blame? My brother is greatly loved by my mother, he is mentally disabled and “just like her”. I’m not. How is it possible than, that she could love him, but not me? It has to be my fault. I’m not the easiest person to get along with. Neurotic. I now have a sh*tload of psychological disorders, still getting treated for it. Probably for life. Got any advice? I do love myself btw. But I cannot seem to forgive her.

  • grinninfool

    thank you so much for sharing this, and so well! I am on day 2 of starting my journey to wellness. I’m 44 and didn’t get what I needed as a kid to learn self worth, or how to love and be loved. I’ve become a bitter, judgemental, ass. I have smoked a lot of pot to hide from pain and feel connected to a group of “happy” people. I’ve now quit pot and made an appointment to re-start therapy. I pushed away, and was awful to, the love of a lifetime- she was the first and only person brave enough, and who loved me enough, to push me to this step. I will always love her for this, and I hope I can learn to know this kind of love for myself and others, although I doubt I will ever feel as strongly connected to another person.

  • Marie_D

    This drew me to tears as I can relate to all the pain you talk about..I was taken away from my birth mother at the age of 4 after years of abuse and neglect and am still working through alot of the emotional baggage but it gives me encouragement and hope to know there are others who have battled with similar burdens and have pulled through it so thankyou so much for your uplifting words of courage and strength

  • M.

    Thank you so much for writing this…
    I’m still trying to do what you already did: open up to people, letting go of the stories of my past, reconnect with myself. I thought I did a good job, but all of a sudden I fell again. Self harm and anorexia are still so close to me. I want to break free, I see that’s ME who needs to cut the ties. Yet somehow I seem to hold on to them. I still feel like there’s danger outside, and that no one truly wants to connect with me. (And I know: this shouldn’t matter, since I need to connect with me and then be true to myself no matter what.) I want to say: I moved on. Point is, I didn’t. And I wonder what to do…

  • JackVelarde

    Thank you for sharing your journey. After reading, it has opened me up to the realization that I am in control of how I want to feel, going for what I want to be in life, and that other people share the same issues and struggles everyday. That it’s ok to put yourself out there, vulnerable as it may seem, but coming out empowered. It’s mother’s day tomorrow and this is so timely for me to have read the one article that would open a new beginning for me as a mother, a wife and my own unique and loving self.

  • Maagda Thorenson

    When I was 4 years old, I left the yard to visit a friend. When I was done playing, my mother saw me walking home. She grabbed me by the arm, hauled off and punched me in the face. I had a black eye. I cried so hard thinking if I hadn’t been such a bad person, I wouldn’t have gotten her so angry and she wouldn’t have hit me. I spent the majority of my childhood and teen years being periodically the brunt of her frustration and anger. I too became an addict. My father also treated me pretty awful at times. You say, stop telling the story ? I am 54 years old and I am only just beginning to tell the story. My life has been very difficult as a result of all the low self-esteem and self blame I held on too, on and off over my lifetime. My parents are still alive and getting old. I haven’t been to visit them in years. They still don’t like me very much and still have lots of negative critical things to say about me. I’m only just beginning to realize, that it was never me and always them. They never said they were sorry for putting me through some really awful stuff. I enjoyed reading your story. It was very encouraging.

  • Maagda Thorenson

    Just remember, you are worthy of love. You just got stuck with an abusive mother.

  • OneLove

    Written so beautifully! Thank you for sharing your experience, this resonated with me and the path I have taken with my life and the steps I have taken and still take every day to completely let go of the past and be free!

  • Passion904

    This is so true. I’m 31 now and my mom still is very much about herself and has never truly cared about me or my feelings. I am a great mom to my girls and give them every part of me. My mom is jealous of it and tries to spread hate and lies of me to make herself feel better. I’m in a hard spot because even though she hasn’t done drugs in a few years she acts the very same. I can’t be in the room with her for more then five minutes without her yelling at me and putting me down. My nine year old wonderful daughter asks me time and time again”why does grandma treat you so bad, you would never do that to me. ” I tell her grandma is unhappy and wants to try to bring us down with her, but it won’t work. We love too much❤️

  • Sara

    Hi Marie,
    I have similar experience from my childhood and now trying to recover from the ill effects of that. I always wanted the love of my mother, but never got it from her, recently I found out that she is a narcissist and was playing with my life. Although it was extremely shocking and devastating now I am accepting and trying to let go of all my bad feelings and negative emotions of her, for my well being. Thanks for sharing your experience. You are not alone. God bless and loves all of us…..

  • Anon

    Thank you

  • Lara

    Thank you for sharing this. Its very courageous and inspiring. I really related to a lot of what your saying and Im’ still in a victim mode but I’m trying to get out and you really have given me hope that its possible!! Thank you

  • Fgjhghjfgj Jhgfgjfgjh

    My mother doesn’t like me to say I like
    her or to show any affection towards her. Her dream always is for me to leave
    the home. Once, I went missing for one month! My father called me and appealed
    to come back but never my mother! She tried to encourage my father to let me go
    but my father couldn’t! When I finally decided to go back even though I really didn’t
    liked to do so, my father cried! And that was the first time seeing my father
    crying but not my mother! She told me now that you are back you must change or better
    to leave the home! Later she was nagging that I have to leave the home again! Well,
    based on my instincts I merely think my mother loves me but I read on internet
    women have different emotions and maybe I don’t understand her love as a male! Anyway,
    most of my life I have been forced to live away from her, maybe more psychologically!
    I am now living in another country. I have not seen any of my family members for
    months but you know I am very happy too! I am in contact with my father via
    telephone sometimes. He really loves my mother and certainly prefer her to
    anyone else in this world! But, I really missed one of my sisters because I really
    liked her but my mother doesn’t like her to talk to me! In order for me to talk
    to my sister I first have to talk to my mother and I don’t want to see her again
    so I accepted I can’t see my sister as well! I don’t have a family! Really I don’t
    have any one in this world! I really hope my mother dies! And also my bullying
    brother who is very supportive of her which she really enjoys his supports! I have
    another sister which she also is an enemy of mine. In fact my mother and my
    brother and that sister and certainly sometime my father are part of a group
    that knows one enemy, Me! And you know why? Because I was different from them
    from an early age! When I don’t see them for years and I
    am fucking happy about it and I KNOW I would be far happier in the future, then
    they definitely are not my family! Even though I say lies to friends that I have
    a great family! But NO, I don’t have anyone in this world. That family doesn’t like
    me and nothing can be done about that! As I have tried everything in this world…and
    I do what makes me very happy! I never get in touch with them again! Good for
    me and good for them! I am pretty sure my family is very happy when they don’t see
    me as well! I understand you when you say you called your mother after she left
    you but she still doesn’t like to be in contact with you! Yes, no matter what
    you do, they never ever like you, but some people may suggest you better to
    change! to those people I say: Hey buddies, as a nerd I know I have changed to anything
    I could but my mother didn’t liked me at all! Also, I can’t be someone else for
    a long time! So I decided to leave them forever and live happy!

  • Bonnie

    Thank you for sharing! I also let go of my mother but i am in communication with her, after a couple of years and finding what level of distance works. she was emotionally abusive and yet at times nurturing and said all the right things. My father was emotionally absent and paid little or no time and attention on me. I am glad you have worked through so much of this and found ways to heal. I am sharing this with you as i understand how difficult it can be to deny your mother and wish to attest to our bravery! x

  • bonnie

    Yes the pain and turmoil is tremendous isn’t it? I realized my mother could not love me and only really give hate because that is what she is filled with, in her world that is what is going on! She cant bear it so she tries to release it by giving it to those she thinks she can get away with. Now she is very lonely! Only she can save herself, i have compassion for her now, but i don’t put myself in the place where she can disrupt me. Very hard. Accepting the facts is hard but when i kept looking i kept getting hurt. Sometimes our parents are wounded and have not figured out how to be loving, imagine how lonely that must feel…..They can only give what they can give, but we need more. So to give ourselves permission to grieve the loss, while giving ourselves much patience and understanding and of course kindness, is how i have decided to deal. Finding compassion and forgiveness for my mother helped me, otherwise i would still be confused lost and looking for something she cant give, sure how can that work? Now I’m dealing with my father, hard to find compassion as he seems fine all the time, strong and unable to open up i guess. So going off point here, i was writing this to help you. I hope you will be ok. I do believe there is a way to find peace, there always is. It is not about you, study her life study her and see…it is about her. You are beautiful!

  • bonnie

    Thank you! I am in the vulnerability phase for sure, which will most likely keep me on my toes and to protect myself!

  • bonnie

    wow, i am moved by your story! We are not alone and although it hurts so much there is hope! Thank you!

  • Sharon Z

    I’m sorry Maagda, for all you went through. I know how you feel. I was never told how good, pretty, smart etc. I was, and i guess some people don’t understand how; in my ‘matured’ age, could I possible be still affected by that. It does. People don’t realize that as children, when there are no positive reinforcements, often times they grow up with little or no confidence or self esteem. I know I’m one of those people. Even as an adult, when people pay me a compliment, i feel oddly uncomfortable and react by just looking down and be silent. People think its rude, but I do not know HOW to accept compliments because duh, I never knew what it was. I’m 38 now, and I still an very weary of people who tells me positive things about myself/my work/attitude etc. I’m learning, but it’s still a battle sometimes. And I agree, its NOT you, THEY are the ones with issues. Hope you are well. 🙂

  • Sharon Z

    Thank you bonnie. We all have our journeys don’t we? 🙂 yes, there is hurt. Especially when you know your mother is so proud of her ‘new family’, it hurts, I’m not going to lie. But I just think, well, that’s the cards i was dealt with.

    Sometimes life is just that way because everyone has their own purpose in life. Mine is to knock sense into some people’s head that their family is not all bad. Using my story to illustrate how bad things can actually be, some of my friends think twice before writing their parents off. So i suppose, that’s my silver lining. Some people tend to exaggerate the amount of suffering they go through with their parents, when it’s easily solved by just keeping communications open.

    Others on the other hand, are too damaged to see past the pain they cause others in their lives. So I believe, it’s better not to dwell, and look forward, there are positive things all around and love is where you’ll allow it to be. I hope you’re well and happy, and all the best to you bonnie! 🙂

    Like someone once said “People always say it’s harder to hold on to something, I think it’s even harder to let go.”

  • anonymous california

    thank you for sharing this, a very similar story to mine. my mother abandoned our family when i was 15. my father and brother are not the “talk about it” types, so to this day, almost 25 years later, we avoid the topic. i’ve been to several different therapists over the years, battled eating disorders, terrible self esteem, drug/booze binges. only just recently did i begin to recognize the triggers in everyday life that can cause me feel intense sadness. i wish this was discussed more, everyone talks about growing up without a father. i want to see more discussion about the effect maternal abandonment has. it helps to feel less alone, less rejected.

  • Gra Piken

    My gut feeling is that most of us are damaged in some way or other because of our childhoods. The ones who had ‘successful’, loving, nurturing formative years, with minimum negativity are the exception.

    Regarding myself, my father left when I was a toddler, my stepfather did his best. An absence of physical affection. An emotionally distant mother. Sent to boarding school etc.. All these things have damaged me. I see my parents as never having been parents, but friendly guardians.

    I’m now looking for a loving romantic relationship and I’m middle aged. However, when something starts to form I produce hurdles and push people away. I’m protecting myself from future abandonment and testing their commitment. It’s destructive.

    I feel anger towards my parents’ indifference and blame them for damaging me. Human beings are so sensitive and complex. Reading articles like this make me realise how common this type of ‘unloved’ damage is. Unconditional love is a important as the food you need a a baby. It’s essential.

    When you look around you in life, you can see people trying to deal with this damaging legacy of ‘absence of love’ by loving their pets, or drinking alcohol etc. It manifests itself in so many ways.

    Articles lime this have the potential to heal people heal and the Internet is truly wonderful. I wish everyone complete healing and a happy life.

  • Ella

    My gut feeling is that most of us are damaged in some way or other because of our childhoods. The ones who had ‘successful’, loving, nurturing formative years, with minimum negativity are the exception.

    Regarding myself, my father left when I was a toddler, my stepfather did his best. An absence of physical affection. An emotionally distant mother. Sent to boarding school etc.. All these things have damaged me. I see my parents as never having been parents, but friendly guardians.

    I’m now looking for a loving romantic relationship and I’m middle aged. However, when something starts to form I produce hurdles and push people away. I’m protecting myself from future abandonment and testing their commitment. It’s destructive.

    I feel anger towards my parents’ indifference and blame them for damaging me. Human beings are so sensitive and complex. Reading articles like this make me realise how common this type of ‘unloved’ damage is. Unconditional love is a important as the food you need a a baby. It’s essential.

    When you look around you in life, you can see people trying to deal with this damaging legacy of ‘absence of love’ by loving their pets, or drinking alcohol etc. It manifests itself in so many ways.

    Articles lime this have the potential to heal people heal and the Internet is truly wonderful. I wish everyone complete healing and a happy life.

  • Reachbrenda

    This post popped up through a google search. I am so glad you wrote it. I find myself constantly confronted with the mother-child relationship, and finding it so unfair to have a mother with a personality disorder, who simply is incapable of not being selfish. I long for that connection, it has impacted my entire life. I am lonely and unsatisfied because I have never known any unconditional love.

  • Gabrooxy

    I’ve had a traumatizing childhood. When i was small, even as the youngest, i tried soothe the pain for my elder sisters and my brother, of course at that time they were suffering more than me, since I didn’t understand this injustice yet. When i got older it went to a point where they saw me suffer so much but they couldn’t help it, finally it was so bad that i couldn’t solace them anymore, I knew what they were going through of course but my father simply focused so much on bringing me down that I myself was suffering much more than anyone else. They tried to talk to me about it, my mother as well but that is when I started closing myself of from others and stopped crying. I did break down now and then but that stopped after a while. So… I didn’t open up to anyone, share any feelings, experiences, sadness. I just kept it all inside me. Even when my sisters cried I couldn’t help them, because there was nothing I could say. People outside started calling me cold and emotionless, I didn’t actually show anything of what happened at home, but it changed me. It was very clear that I was closed off and didn’t want to get involved with other people. I never defended myself when people blamed me for things I didn’t do because I didn’t care anymore. Till today, four years later, I can’t open up to people and I fear if I do, everything I held up till now will get out. I am very sure that will be painful, since I didn’t cry or do anything else to cool down or help myself. I don’t know how to open up to people.

  • alongcamebetty

    I so wish this was the case that I could just ‘keep communications open’ it sounds simple enough, right? But my mum is narcissistic and doesn’t respond to any form of communications..

  • alongcamebetty

    I get the response that I’m crazy or being ungrateful or anything, anytime I expect a little bit of communication, it’s just a common courtesy! 🙁

  • Aly

    Wow i love this! I was really sad that I’m losing my crush with someone else all because I didn’t felt good enough. My mom always looked down on me i was never good enough for her that i end up believing it. This has giving me an opened mind about things. It seems that I’ve been pretty unfair to people through out my life I’ve never really gave them a chance to love me and know me.

  • anonymous34

    this way very helpful i was going through the same thing felt like i was alone so today im going to open up to my spouse hopefully i have some sense of relief

  • Zesh

    Thank you for sharing this. I am a rather negative person myself. And in this posts are one of the most efficient points for me to love myself and get over the worse parts.

  • Melisa cole

    how i got my husband back and got pregnant after 5 years!!!my husband has been patient with me and has been encouraging me that it will be best if we had hopes that we will have a child one day.last year,we had a little fight and he demanded for a divorce and i was so down because without him,i am nothing.he left me acnd the next day i met him with another woman in a shopping mall.i even tried talking to him but he pretended he didnt know me.i told my sister about it and she introduced me to the Famous Dr Malaa,who helps in so many ways.i contacted him and he did his thing,before i knew it,the next day Moric called me and apologized that he was sorry for everything and that i should take him back and that he will cancel the divorce,i had no choice than to accept him,and we have been living happily until i felt sick and went for check up and the doctor confirmed me pregnant.i am so happy and all thanks to Dr Malaa for all his him now for any kind of problem and he will surely try his best to make you happy. His email is ( or also call his mobile +2348159645271.thanks once again Dr Malaa for everything 🙂

  • Tjo

    Thanks this resonated with me too. Hardest part for me is forgiving her, because I tried SO hard to please her and make her happy. For 40 years! Till I realised that I can’t ever please her bc it’s all about her all the time. She’s so narcissistic she eve complained to me once that she got so tired of thinking about herself! Omg. But what should I expect when her own mum, my grandmother, was once talking to me (drunk as usual) and FORGOT she had a daughter !

  • hope

    this has helped me ALOT! and encouraged me to start a new life. I’m in the same situation you were in and we actually have similar stories. thank you for sharing your story even though this was posted a while ago I’m still thankful 🙂

  • Abdullah Akbar

    i dont know if your a girl or a dude but ur an amazing person and inspiration , reading your article opened up my eyes on similar stuff i’m going through , just struggling to deal with people and and trust colleagues aspesialy women, i hope i can reach the state of happiness your in and share it with you and others 🙂 it would be a pleasure to get in contact you and be your friend , thank you for the article loved reading every word and i love you 🙂 xoxo

  • james

    Wow. I can hardly believe so many people went through similar mother issues. I can honesty say i will never forgive my mother for all the mental and very physical abuse she put me though as a young boy. looking back its like she was trying to break me down as early as i can remember being alive. Ive spent my entire childhood and adult life still trying to earn her love somehow. ( It never worked). I give up . Im bitter and want even be at her funeral. Jcc. In. N.C.

  • Rose

    This helped to save me

  • b

    Thank you. I’ve never actually looked up anything related to this before even though I should of like ten years ago. My birthday is coming up and I always feel the same way. You think holidays are brutal to spend alone until you wake up on your birthday wondering if your parents even remember it..or think of you at all. It’s so strange the people who gave you life could be the ones who make you want to end it. But I am growing and learning to love myself even if they don’t. Thank you for sharing and I hope you are still writing & sharing your strength with others. ♡

  • Marcos

    It has taken me half of my life to realize that I don’t know how to love others. Your story brought tears to my eyes but also hope. Hope that someday I can also say good bye to the past and be at peace with my mother’s abandonment.

  • kelleigh

    Our lives are the same besides I was 14 when she left me for another guy and because of alcohol and because she said she hated me. She referred to me as “it”, got me into fights, tried getting me jumped, and just simply hated me. Left my 2 sisters and brother with my step dad and made a new life with two of my sisters and a brother. I try to forgive her, and move on but it’s so hard. Mothers day is the worst. Everything you wrote in this post is just like my life. I’ve had a few more obstacles with my mom and my life but I’m still here, stronger than ever.

  • thanks

    thank you for writing this. its great to know others have the same issue and you have risen above. I am 54 and the damage done in my childhood years has hindered my life. I will keep your story in my mind as inspiration. Bless you

  • jessica

    I’m 19 years old and struggling to find my place in the world when I feel so utterly worthless. I’m starting to put the pieces together and understand how my parent’s issues have effected my own depression. I really needed to read this tonight, thank you.

  • paradoxal

    hi dear, similar case of mine , i felt i wish i had a new mom and a loving one, i know i had and need to love her , i am glad i came across ur sharing , i wish i had a husband ican love , he is someone who is a mommy boy but i like his heart, m i going into a new spiral ?

  • JoAnna Marie

    I can totally relate to this post. A few years after I was adopted, apparently I started showing signs of ADHD. Instead of Jill (adoptive “mom”) loving me the same and trying to help me, she put me on over 30 different medications by the age of 22. I gained over 200 pounds from them. I am convinced that my mother never loved me. When I was adopted, she couldn’t have anymore kids. I’m sure the only reason I was taken in was for her to show off the whole new baby thing. I can’t wait until I have a child of my own so I can show him or her what love really is. To this day, Jill and I do not get along. She is the kind that thinks just because she is older than me, she is owed respect. And I don’t feel that way. But nonetheless, I will continue my life with or without her! Best of luck to anyone else going through this BS.

  • Anonymous

    This is beautiful I’m happy for you 🙂

  • margaret jablonska

    Ur mother does not love U because she i a sociopath or narcissist …the r unable 2 love …no matter what U would not do ………pls try 2 read about that disorder 2 understand it further ….
    pls do not blame urself …… u cann not do anything …they never change ..their brain is different …..good luck !

  • Lisa

    This is literally the first of many blog entries on this blog that has spoken to me as self exposure in writing, particularly when using ones experience as an antidote for others, is (and rightfully) a very delicate ambition. Sadly, most self exposes miss the mark entirely and read like a one size fits all prescription, completely overlooking the obvious subjectivity that is each case for each person. Thank you for sharing your story, and letting it be just that – your story. By neither ascribing a single solution to the complex challenges of your life nor minimizing anyone elses, your story is free to be inspirational.

  • Julian New

    Thankyou so much

  • I GiveUp

    I am disgusted with myself. I feel so stupid for allowing my mother to have such a negative impact on me that I am unable to trust anyone and like you on the rare occasion that someone says something nice to me I look like an idiot staring at the floor without a clue how to respond.

    I’ve spent the last 20 years alone and without any friends. I go to work, come home, go to stores only when necessary and then only near closing time so less people are there and I never make eye contact. I avoid looking in mirrors, can’t stand to see my reflection, and have to have tinted car windows so that I cannot be seen. I don’t know what my problem is. She said nobody would ever want me and over time I believed it.

    I remember when I was little and we were in the stores, if I wanted to go to another department she would say it was ok. But then she would suddenly dart way across the store in some obscure area or go outside to the car to make me panic that I had lost her. She said she was training me to stay by her.

    I neve got any hugs, she never taught me how to do my hair or makeup, I mean nothing. Refused to do anything with me and told me to go find something to do in my room. I got beaten several days every week. When I cried from the beatings I was sent to my room and told not to come out until I could shut up because they didn’t want to listen to that. I got knocked out at school falling off a swing and my parents refused to come get me from school because I had woken up. So I sat at my desk whimpering in pain the rest of the day. I’m pretty sure I had a concussion but was not aware of that at that age. I was told not to talk to my classmates. They didn’t want me to have friends. So I was an outcast and made fun of. I hated going to school every day to be tortured there and then go home to be tortured. When I cried too loud I was threatened that if the neighbors hear and call the police then I would REALLY get it. I remember seriously wanting to die one day and begging for my life the next day as young as 2nd grade. I went to a catholic church school and we all went to church every week so nobody had a clue of the evil that went on at home.

    To this day I wonder what I did that was so terribly wrong to make my mom hate me so much. And why did my dad just watch that go on and even participated when she wanted him to? Why was I punished so harshly when I showed any emotion? Any time I said that I didn’t like something they would turn it on me, do it to me or use it against me.

    To this day they speak to me as if I’m a child and I’m 45 yrs old! I still am afraid and get chills down my neck and back when they raise their voices at me. Because I voiced my opinion on something.

    I said I would never have kids because I’m afraid that I could not be a good mom. I’m jealous and sad when I see happy normal loving families. It hurts so much that I can’t look very long or even be friends with anyone in that situation. So I have become a hermit.

    I no longer have any feelings towards them. I am waiting for them to die so that I can be free to live. Or maybe I’ll go before them because I can’t go on like this. My heart has been eaten alive and there is not much left.

  • Sharon Z

    Hi I Give Up, (I hope that you haven’t, I really do). It was hard reading your post, only because it seemed to mirror my childhood and teenage years. I am so sorry that you had to go through all that, and I wish that above anything, you will find some sense of happiness in your life. Maybe not the same type of happiness that other people believe to be, but your own personal sense of love, hope and peace. I truly do.

    I can relate when you say that being an adult, you still feel a sense of fear when facing them and you feel a sense of dread in your day-to-day when dealing with them. May I ask, if you are still living with them, or have you moved out and living on your own? I realized a ling time ago, some people are just beyond help. They choose to be negative and evil and hurtful because they have lost a sense of control in their own lives; sometimes from their own current situation or even from their past. So no, it’s not your fault and no matter how much you want to find reasons to rationalize the reasons they behave the way they do, often times, I believe they don’t realize that what they are doing is wrong. Not to say that THAT should be the reason you should forgive them or even ‘let it go’, but I think if that is the case, then you should really try to distance yourself from an emotionally draining and toxic environment if it is possible for you to do so.

    I don’t speak to my mother anymore. After refusing to come to my brother’s (her first son) funeral and blamed my father for his death. I made a decision to never let her into my life anymore. When you take back control of your life, they no longer have a hold on you emotionally. It is especially harder in my culture, where mothers are revered and no matter what, they should be put on a pedestal. But in my case, I don’t believe that being able to bring a human being into the world makes you infallible, it takes a whole lot more for someone to actually be a ‘mother’. Because I hold that position to a very high standard, seeing that most of my friends have really loving and supportive mothers myself. It was pretty hard, having to make that decision, cutting her out of my life. But I have coped well since then. I just think that for the sake of everyone in my family, it was the better call. I still struggle sometimes, taking compliments, being told I’m good at something, and even being in family gatherings with my in-laws who are a very tight knit family, is difficult sometimes, but I’ve adjusted. And I hope you can do so too.

    When I was struggling in school, a teacher told me something I would never forget. ” I understand that what you are going through now, is difficult. But you only need to know that your life in school and college, will pass. At the end of the journey, you only have to make yourself happy and never leave that job to anyone else. People will disappoint and leave you, and that’s life. But you have to know how to love yourself and make peace with that..” Wow. That was a life changing moment.

    You see, if you keep trying to please someone who will never be pleased no matter what you do (believe me I’ve tried) the only person you’ll disappoint is you. But if you keep on trying to make yourself feel good, do something that makes you smile, and that you can look forward to, you’ll always win, no matter what.

    I do hope you can find the strength to at the very least, consider my advice. Do take care of yourself and be well. *hugs*

  • Gratitude

    Thank you for your words. It has helped me to trust…we often hear abstract tidbits of wisdom, grandiose philosophical ideas, and the common “reductionist” sense of people; however, your testimony stands as a solid reflection on your hardship, determination, and method of change in specific moments in your life. I can listen this far longer and more often than theological tenets, metaphysical concepts, or other platitudes.

  • Glenn

    I was abandoned by my mother at 2 relinquish by my father at 9 to my grandmother and now I’m under his roof hate it

  • Martin Ruiz

    this really helped! just have to go about practicing them now!

  • Alyssa

    I have so much to say but so little words. I can relate, like everyone else. But I’m still so very angry. I believe it’s truly impossible for me to forgive like you did.

  • Alina Irimescu

    Thank you so much for this! It was exactly what I needed: “I stopped treating myself the way my mother did!”
    And I am starting a journal!
    Thank you!

  • KeepMovingForward11

    Im on the same the journey and reading this gave me comfort!

  • KeepMovingForward11

    You have renewed my hope. I am 22, and am just starting to piece my life together. I spent close to 8 years in the grip of anorexia. My anorexia was rooted in a painfully neglectful/abusive childhood but I was in such a self hatred psyche that I only realized that my childhood was abnormal 8 months ago, after loads of therapy. Tonight I was having one of those bad “episodes” that so many of you have talked about but is so deeply rooted in shame/pain. I was feeling hopeless and scared tonight and reading all your guys post but especially yours has made me feel hopeful and understood. See this whole issues of motherhood neglect & abuse is so taboo to society. So I often feel alone. Only my best friend who lost her mother at a young age and was abandoned by her father can understand my despair but thank you all for understanding

  • Sharon Z

    I can understand that alongcamebetty. I too sometimes have a twinge of guilt when I stay my distance, but I think its more important to let go, for our own sanity’s sake.Some people are just ‘made’ that way, either through their own life’s journey or possibly in their genetic makeup (who knows right?) I think when we’re faced with difficult personalities, it’s just a matter of saying what you need and move on. Lower your expectations, not everyone enjoys being in the light, some just like to dwell in the dark and swallow the people around them into their world too. I know a few people like that in my lifetime. Now that I cut ties with them, I feel free, I feel at peace, and have also allowed myself to feel happiness, true, untainted feeling of joy. I hope that for you and everyone else here too! 😀

  • Sharon Z

    Hi James, I just came across your reply. Sorry! Yeah..I understand. I don’t think I can FULLY forgive my mother for the damage she’s done, and even though my dad was not always around, he had his hands full with my disabled brother, so I learned over the years to accept his absence in my life and not being able to protect me from my mom because I know my brother needed him more.

    After my mother disowned me, she moved and took my grandmother with her. She refused to let me know where they lived and what’s worse refused to let me see my grandmother ever again. My grandmother was the only one solace i had as a child growing up with such an abusive childhood, and because she knew for a fact that cutting me off from my grandma would really hurt me, she felt like she had the last laugh. I tried looking for her to no avail then one day I came across my step brother’s facebook and private messaged him to ask if i could see my grandmother, he didn’t reply for a while and when he did he just said my mother would not allow it. I kept asking him how my grandmother was etc. and he kept quiet, one day he replied she passed away. I was devastated, and I begged to see her grave. When he eventually caved and passed me the information, I went to see her and cried for a long time. After that day, I told myself, this is it. This day, marks the last time I would ever be in contact with her or her family members. I cut my ties permanently that day. It was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, and I think I too, will not attend her funeral.

    So yeah, I can relate James, and I can understand your bitterness, its a process, i think if we choose to feel unhappy, we give them the power to control our feelings and our life. Take it a day at a time, look for little things that make you happy. It’s hard, and sometimes I too fall back into sadness when I think back of all the wasted years I lived in fear, anger, resentment, self-destructiveness I just wished someone would have told me, that all I needed to be happy is me instead of hoping for happiness in someone who isn’t willing to see me happy.

    I wish you well James, and I do hope you find happiness in your life. 😀

  • Sharon Z

    Hi KeepMovingForward11,

    I do pray and hope that you are feeling better now since your episode. Please reach out to a reliable and trusted friend if you really need too, yes? We are all here and even if my replies are late, do know that there are people on this planet that do go through the same if not similar issues as you did growing up, so no, you are not alone. hugs.

    Its good that you had therapy, in my culture (Asian) we are taught never to speak badly about our parents, never to discuss ‘feelings’ and just accept things the way they are out of ‘respect’. Yeah, right. That’s how you get serial killers, if you ask me.

    I went through abuse, mentally, physically and even sexually (later) when I bounced around living with relatives. I didn’t understand or could even grasp what was going on, I was too young (6-8 years old) and later after I learned what was happening, I felt like no one protected me, I was on my own, alone, afraid, deeply hurt and I felt worthless. It took me many years after that (plus the situation with my mother) of self-harming, attempted suicide, and self-destructive behaviours to actually ‘find myself’ and be happy.

    So don’t give up hope. Always think that you are living for yourself, YOU. And you matter most. You’re NOT living for those who abused you, or hurt you in the past, they don’t matter. Your life, your future, and your happiness should be your only focus.

    I hope and pray you feel better after this, and all the best with your therapy. Big hugs from me!!

  • Sharon Z

    Am deeply sorry to hear what you have gone through, I truly hope that you are in a much better place now than before. Please, don’t give up hope. You do not need their approval or acknowledgement to live your life the way you see fit. Like I said in a reply (somewhere on this page), when we deal with people who are not capable of love, the best way is to distance ourselves from them. Negative people will only want you to be as miserable like them, so that’s why they NEED to put others down, they need to control other people; its in their genetic makeup.

    But I was even more saddened to learn that because of this, you choose to be a hermit. I was there once, I felt like no one would understand, and you are right, people with normal lives and normal upbringing are often in disbelief when I tell them my story, but for most of the real people I know and treasure in my life, they know me and for that I am truly blessed. Sometimes you need to let your guard down and just approach people, just go out and meet people, although there may be people who will suck at being friends there will also be those who will surprise you and accept you just the way you are. But before any of that to happen, you need to make the first move. 🙂

    So although your name is IGiveUp, I’m praying that you don’t, at 39, I can honestly say that I have only in recent years learn to let go of the painful past that have allowed to weigh heavily on my life and my emotions, so yes, it is hard, but you have to at least make steps to let go of the things you cannot change in order to move forward.

    I wish you all the best in life and never give up hope. HUGS!

  • Frank

    I feel like I have to hate everybody.. It just easy. Never knew dear old dad and mom didn’t want be friends till I was 40. So why start now.

  • Redd_Melendez

    My Mother used to use her influence with my passive aggressive Father to cut me off on a venture my Father agreed to finance. Backing out crushed me financially in my mid 30’s and set me back years. She also interfered with several relationships. I went to a Counselor for 15 years and it appears my Fathers emotional abuse of her caused her to “cut my legs out”: in life so I would always need her. I had no idea this was happening and trusted them only to have them ruin my life. This affected my career, relationships, and made me very depressed.

    Getting away from toxic Parents accelerated my progress but walking away from my Mother was THE most difficult thing I ever did.

  • Ellie

    I am really happy I found this article. I did not realized that the lack of love in my childhood is the cause of my current emotional issues. I was brought up by a single mother. She just had a short love affair with my father who was that time married with his two own kids. Of course from the start she knew they will not be together. My father kind of hated me as having a child from a love affair meant trouble for him. He also hated the fact he had to pay me the maintenance money. I briefly remember meeting him few times while my mother was going to see him to influence him to pay the money. My mother herself was a cold person. She has never told me she loved me, she was constantly accusing me of doing bad things like taking drugs or going out with a wrong crowd where in fact I had never smoked even a cigarette in my life, not to mention any drugs. I was also a very good student and loved reading books, They were my escape. But she was also unhappy with it as she said I waste my time reading stupid things. She was constantly nagging me. I could never turn to her for advice. Whenever I had some misunderstanding with a teacher or a friend she was always saying it was my fault. She was praising other children how good they are but I was always the bad one.She kept repeating how hard it is for her to bring me up and how ungrateful I am and also she was maintaining I will never achieve anything in my life. She was also criticizing my look, the way I dressed. She forced me to wear the old fashioned clothes. Having a boyfriend was not an option for her as she always said that men are bad, they just want one thing. When I was around 16 I was seriously thinking of ending my life. Now I am 33 years old. I left my country 10 years ago to escape from her. I was never in a proper relationship. I had once a love affair with a married man. I knew I was doing a wrong thing but I was craving love and attention so much I did not think that I am damaging the life of his family. I hate myself for this till now. I have a fear of men. Lots of men like me and pay me compliments but I do not even know how to react. I tried to go for few dates but the moment it started to develop I was ending it. My mother painted a very bad picture of men and I am constantly seeking bad features in every man I meet. I struggle with showing emotions. It hurts so much to be lonely. I admire my friends who have loving families. I dream of having a family myself one day but I cannot imagine someone can love me. Reading the article and all the posts helped me a lot to understand what other people are going through and that i am not the only one who is struggling because of the bad childhood. I am more positive to realise there is a hope for me. Thank you so much to all and I wish each of you find the love and happiness.

  • Radharani

    I love you and I love that you shared this story. Thank you. I was on the verge of suic… and I neednt to read this. I love myself despite my shortcomings and if my mum cannot do so, its ok.

  • paloma B

    Have faith. Your pain gives you depth, compassion and empathy. To understand how important it is to love yourself first is vital to having great relationships in your life. God Bless you on your journey…

  • Tek

    what a wonderful post! My husband’s mother is cold and unloving. My husband has never verbally acknowledged how painful this is but I can see it on his face when she ignores special days of celebration for example. I suspect she has a severe personality disorder. We have our own family and we express love and joy. I can tell my husband wants our children to grow up feeling loved and safe. It is very painful for a child to be treated so harshly by their mother. Sometimes I want her to pay for her selfishness but I also know that she exhibits tremendous limitations to love and Be emotionally healthy. She was probably never given love herself as a child.

  • producer

    I have tried this. Only I keep falling from one betrayer to the next. Of course I had no relationships to start with so accepting anything no matter how horrible was the starting point.

  • Look up Ollie Mathews on youtube.

  • matimal

    This is just what I need to read. My mother didn’t abandon me, but never loved me or anyone else. Her mother was horrible. My father loved me as best he could through is alcoholic haze. Otherwise, I’ve never been loved, though I have loved others deeply. To make room for new people is hard, but it is the only way.

  • Retro

    an angel send me to this message; what you have with your mother, I have with my father; the difference is that I’m still confronted with him, he didn’t leave my mother nor me; but I really don’t want to be around him since he brings out negative feelings in me; I’ve always wanted to change his attitude towards me until someone told me he won’t change and that it’s not up to me to do that either.. I’ve got a close relationship with my mother tho so I can’t turn my back to them … have no clue what to do ..

  • Kassi Smith

    Printing this to read every day.

  • 777Concerned777

    Wow, while reading this, i felt hurt right at the core of my stomach. The pain you must have gone through as well as my own. I have experienced, that through the lack of love and affection from parents, i have learnt to give love and most of all, i loved my children and have taught them what love is. What i went through made me the loving and caring person i am today because that is how it should be. We need more and more love on this earth.

  • Rook Robinson

    Thank you for wiriting this. Im still in the struggle with my mum. Im trying to come to terms with the fact that we’re never going to be what i would like; we’re never going to have that connection/relationship. My self esteem is in tatters (for reasons not directly related to her) and im really struggling atm and her uncaring behaviour/rejection exacerbates everything to the point of crisis. When i lived away from her it didnt bother me, but we live together now and i dont really have anyone else. I desperately want us to have a close and caring relationship – to support one another – but incidents keep happening and i end up feeling like i hate her and hate myself. I would really like to not care about our relationship (or lack of it) and be able to be all i need to feel loved/loveable/worthy etc, but its so incredibly hard! im the source of my pain, yet at the same one causing it is supposed to make it all better? it all seems to difficult and overwhelming. It helps to see other people making a success of things though. Well done Marie =)

  • Sad LittleGirl

    To “I give up”…I am so so sorry that you have been so negatively impacted by your family, esp your mother. My mother also told me that “no one would ever want me”…and now in my 50s, I guess it is true. It has taken me a lifetime to figure out why my life is so ridiculousy hard emotionally, and it all stems (for me) from my mother…or basically “lack of one.”

    My story is a little different than most people here, and I may post later about it.

    But I am NOT GIVING UP ON MYSELF. There is not adequate or really competent HELP out there from the psychology/counselling community in my view, and only NOW are they starting to see the long term impact of childhood abuse, esp emotionally abuse, and “absence/abusive mothers.” Several books have come out about it, maybe only since 2010? So somewhat recent, and sure wasn’t around when I needed it, and when I had “time” to find a life for myself.

    So many issues are tied to “emotional wounds”, which are so underrated, and not enough “attachment practice” from professionals to help those with these types of wounds. Lack of attachment leaves us “empty, unable to connect” with others, and move on.

    I hear “shame” with you; hiding, not wanting to be seen, cause you have never felt “seen” for the wonderful person you are. I still suffer from this greatly….and have for years….it is so hard. Resources on the internet truly have helped…
    BUT I will say that the real cure is to find ONE TRULY CARING CONNECTION, who truly cares! I hope you find the courage to do that for you. You only need ONE to start…

    I hope we see an “emotional revolution” in life! Not enough emphasis in the world on emotions..

    My best to all
    Sad Girl

  • Earthbound613

    Thank you. Reading another story makes me realize it wasn’t just me…even though the stories are different, they are also the same..

  • sherry

    Hold me mom, please tell me everything will be ok
    Kiss me mom, and make me feel like I’m your world
    Show me mom, please make me know that I am loved
    Please don’t turn your back on me
    Please mom I need you
    You’re the only mom that I’ll ever have

  • Debaleena Dutta

    Thanks for sharing your story- your journey is inspirational!! Good luck with life. Best wishes Diya

  • Kayla L

    Thanks Marie…. I just have one question for you. How do you keep yourself free from feeling the pain of having no mom? I am 27 and I’ve gone through cycles of feeling anger/ resentment and then crying so hard because I feel so alone. My mom left my dad when I was 6 and took us away across the country. All I had was her. She has kept me from my dad and all my life made him out to be an evil person. She would say really nasty things about him and still does 20 years later. I realize now that my dad is not ‘evil’, rather the relationship just don’t work out because of personalities and I am a child of a failed marriage. However, I grew up ostracized. She made it so that I have no one but her. My dad tried to visit me several times but she would threaten to call the cops on him. Whenever I misbehaved, she would threaten to send me away across the country to my ‘evil’ father because I am just like him. At 18 we got in a fight about me being able to date and she told me I had 15 minutes to pack up and leave or else she would call the cops. I’ve tried so hard to desperately have a relationship with her and believe me I’ve drained every source possible. Every therapist, friend, boyfriend has told me to not speak to her anymore, maybe one day we will become close but not to get my hopes up. I’ve come to terms that my mom and I will never work out, but just how do you overcome the pain? I don’t think it’s self pity, I think it’s most comparable to the pain of a break up with a boyfriend. Except this feels 20 times more painful. I think it’s because I have no other family to confide in or comfort me. She made it that way. I’ve been through ALOT as a kid. I wish that I hadn’t felt so alone through it all, and had to go through it all alone, but I did come out a strong person that can handle anything. I just can’t shake the pain.