A Thank You to My Toxic Mother


I have been putting this post off for weeks. As a Knoxville Moms contributor, we always know well in advance when our next post is due. Around Mother’s Day, I looked at my calendar and realized my upcoming post was a bit too far out to write about my mom, or lack thereof. It was kind of relieving to know I dodged that bullet. “OK, good,” I thought, “I don’t have to write about my mom.” But it’s still been lingering, this feeling of wanting to write about how mad I am at my mom for the toxic relationship we have had most of my life.

Type, delete, repeat. Type, delete repeat. Change the subject altogether.

A Thank You to My Toxic MotherThis is how I’ve felt trying to write this post because it is so hard to type out a lifetime of what my relationship has been with my mom without it being a long jumbled mess of sadness and resentment.

My mom has never been physically abusive, but looking back, she has been emotionally abusive most of my life. She has never taken responsibility for her mistakes and has expected me to take care of her for as long as I can remember. If I mention being overwhelmed by trying to take care of her and my own family, I am immediately guilt tripped into feeling like an awful daughter.

I’ve spent a lot of time being angry. I have spent a lot of time being sad. I have spent a lot of time admiring other mother-daughter relationships my friends have. I have spent more time than I would like to admit trying to avoid the problem altogether, and even more time giving second chances and trying to fix it.

Tonight I was talking to a friend about my mom and I told her I am scared that I don’t know how to be a good mom. How can I be a good mom when I have never had a good one? What if I am doing it all wrong? She was quick to tell me the opposite.

So I want to say thank you to my mom…for teaching me how to turn how I’ve been treated into a lesson on how to treat my own kids.

My kids will never have to wonder where their safe place is. I will always be it. They will be able to look at me and see the love I have for them in my eyes. Some days, ok actually most days, I literally can’t stop kissing them. I wake them up with kisses and send them to bed with kisses and kiss them as a buckle them into their car seats. They will never ever have to question if I love them or if they are safe with me.

My children will never question their worth. I will always be there telling them how important they are. They will know I am their biggest supporter and cheerleader. There will never be anything more important than being there for them when they need me.

As they grow up and have to make important decisions, I will be there. Helping them, guiding them, listening to their goals and fears and supporting their dreams. I will be celebrating them when they win and grieving with them when life doesn’t go their way.

Through my experience with a toxic mother, I have learned how to be the best mother myself. I want to fill my home with love, happiness and kindness. I want to enjoy my family and embrace all the hard and happy times. I want my kids to be able to communicate with me in the healthiest way we know as we learn and grow together. I want to give my children everything I didn’t get.

So here is it, a thank you to my toxic mother. Because of you, I won’t let my past define my future and I will be better because of it.

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  1. I too have had a very similar experience as you. Thank you for sharing. I am not in the place of thanks yet, but working on it.

  2. This could’ve been written by me. With my newborn in the room next door, I was googling whether I’d be capable of being a good mom. I found “ Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents” on Amazon and it helped tremendously.
    Thanks for sharing!


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