It is easy to forget that, just because we were made to feel unloved, we are not unlovable.

The internet is full – and I mean FULL – of quotes on a Mother’s Love. I am sure there are many people who can relate those quotes to their own mothers, but for those of us who grew up with toxic mothers… those quotes are grim reminders of a great big gaping hole in the center of our soul.

A mother’s love is supposed to be the strongest and most unconditional love imaginable. It should create the basis of the love we have for ourselves, that sense that underlies making good decisions about life, health, romance and friendships.

My mother’s love was not only lacking, it was replaced with cruelty.
Not only did I feel unloved, I felt like I was unlovable.

That feeling of being unlovable, puts a great big black hole where the love of yourself should be. And let’s be honest, without that love for ourselves we are like a ship without a rudder. The guidance of self-love (not self-obsession) and self-esteem allow us to make good decisions about our life. About the people we allow in it, the way we care for our bodies and minds, the careers we establish and the dreams we chase after.

An Easy Life

Earlier this week I was speaking to a very dear friend – and fellow survivor – about a stupid remark someone made about me.

  • “They think I am just after an easy life” I said, “I am not!”

  • “Of course you are, so am I. You deserve an easy life. What they think you are after is a hand-out, an entitlement. You’re not”

See, that remark stayed with me ‘of course you are after an easy life’. I wonder if it is true. I would love to be after an easy life, but I reckon that somewhere at my core I don’t believe I deserve it. I still believe I need to work myself into oblivion to deserve even a scrap of life and love. Just like my family made me work for their “love and affection”.

Just Because She Could Not Love You…

It is easy to forget that, just because we were made to feel unloved, we are not unlovable. So when Leonie Dawson shared this image to her Facebook page, my heart wept a little for that gaping black hole in my soul.

feeling unlovable

I sometimes forget how much that lack of a mother’s love still haunts me. Even though I have built a great life. I am not complaining, honestly. I have a magical family of choice, a loving and hilarious partner, an awesome job that I am excited to get to every morning… I am happy, at some level deep inside though, I am still waiting for the bill to get in.

A childhood spend feeling unloved, unworthy and inherently flawed, dealing with the transactional nature of abuse…

I guess there is still quite a bit of healing to do.

With every day I try to close the black hole a little further, with each  smile I get from a stranger, with each ‘I love you’ from my soulmate sisters, with each time my partner hugs me for no reason…

“You is kind.
You is smart.
You is important.”
– Kathryn Stockett, The Help

And  today I will tell myself once more: “She wasn’t able to love you, but all that means is she is missing out! On the wonderfully lovable, loving and kind person you are.”

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Having gained experience while working for a variety of European non-profits, I am proud to now work with SwanWaters. My connection with the website is not only professional. I am glad to tap into my personal experiences to help those who are living in toxic relationships whether with parents, partners or in their professional life. We need to make the world more aware of the devastating effects of emotional abuse and help more people on their way to heal and thrive.

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  1. Profile photo of Breezie

    April 5, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    As I would scroll through Facebook and see the ‘like and share if you have the best mother in the world’, the sarcastic side of me just wants to comment ‘Still looking’. Or the ones that say ‘If you miss your mother who is in Heaven, like and share’, I want to reply ‘I wish!’.
    I want Facebook to add a ‘Dislike’ button so very badly.
    I have chosen to use humor to get past the hurt. I cannot change my mother, but I can at least acknowledge to myself the irony of life as a survivor.
    Hang in there!

    • Profile photo of Monkey

      April 6, 2016 at 9:12 am

      Especially around Mother’s Day it gets bad. I know this is also true about toxic fathers, but mothers, and especially mother-daughter bonds are given so very much weight and importance…
      So, I talk to my little inner-monkey and tell her it is okay, She is loved and worthy of everything good in the world ♥

  2. Profile photo of scapechi

    April 7, 2016 at 12:58 am

    Breezie, I also feel that way too…. I do make sure though that when I see the “daughters” ones that go round, that I show my daughter and I tell her that I do love her, and proud of her.


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