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How to deal with my toxic mother

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

I am now a mother so I know how to deal with my toxic mother, after years of challenges. I see the relationship I have with mother much more clearly. My mother has many mental health issues that made my childhood very challenging. She is also suffering from a mental illness, she is bi-polar, which means she has very extreme mood swings. She can be incredibly cruel and say things that are very hurtful, they have gone deep inside me. They have shaped me. I think I would be a robot if they hadn't.


What she has said to me


She has called me fat, boring, ironically mentally ill, revolting, digusting, a monster to name but a few things. I am now 50 and she is 84 so and our relationship is toxic and very much broken. Having said all of that I have learnt how to deal with my toxic mother. There are in my experience many ups and downs in the journey, but it is one that I have consciously decided to navigate to a destination that I wanted to reach and in the process keep my sanity.


Mel the co host of Sharing My Truth

How to deal with my toxic mother


I know that people with difficult, challenging and toxic realtionships are all unique, everyone experiences things differently. I personally tried for a long to be a dutiful daughter, to excuse the cruelty to find a way of dealing with it, until I couldn't anymore. We all have to deal with trauma in a different way. In my case it was the realiziation that this relationship could not be fixed and I am ok with that. I tried until I couldn't anymore, my mother just went too far.


I am in no way judging, advising or telling anyone how to be or to behave. You have to do what is best for you, but that is the key to understanding that you cannot control what someone else does, says or how they react.


You can only control or steer what you do, say and how you react. In my case, my mother crossed a line, several in fact that I had warned her about and there was no going back. We have not spoken for more than 10 years. I have a wonderful and strong husband, beautiful children and I live across an ocean from my mother, but she still harasses me on the phone all the time leaving me messages, that I now choose not to listen to.


Mother and daughter


It is hard if you are a daughter growing and evolving without a nurturing realtionship with your mother. She is the woman who should help you to be a woman, be there to pick you up, support you. If you don't have that you have to learn on your own. I am not saying that is easy or what you would want, but you can do it. I have learnt that I don't need the cruelty, toxicity or negativty in my life anymore. It is extreeme to cut ties with a family member but sometimes you have to do it. You don't do it lightly and it will probably be after many years of struggle maybe battle, but try not to judge those like me that to cut those ties as a last resort. You never know what it has taken for someone to get to that point.



Toxic mother

Final thoughts


In writting this article, I wanted to impart some thoughts, some of my experiences and how I have got through the challenges of my relationship with my mother and survived to be a loving mother myself. My mother is a narcissit and very volatile, I had to choose to not let every cruel and mean comment pierce every part of me. I made the decision when I was very young that I would be different with my chidlren. It was choice I made to thrive inspite of her behaviour. I wanted to share my truth and that I did survive this trauma and I found my own way to thrive.


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