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Relationships with mothers

What’s your relationship with your mother like? I feel conflicted as I work through feelings about my mom. She is intelligent, generous, compassionate and loving. She was a single mother with 3 kids and it was hard on her. I know no parent is perfect, and i think perhaps I’ve been holding her to a standard of perfection, and so lately, I feel resentment and anger at the fact that she wasn’t a better parent. And I don’t want to blame, so I feel guilty, but I just think, gosh, so many of my issues in all facets of my life come from how she parented and treated me. I know Asian families tend to use shame as a motivator for kids, and that she wasn’t malicious in her intent, but by 12—and this despite a lot of love and affection— I was convinced I had ruined my life and was a failure and was bound for failure because I was lazy and messy and thoughtless. I felt responsible for her unhappiness.

I’m unlearning those thought patterns, and I know she did the best she could. She has apologized for any damage her words did when growing up.

I don’t know...she was loving but had/has some toxic behaviors that are byproducts of her own self-criticism and shame. I can only focus on how I live now, but I just despair sometimes if ever unlearning some of those messages and her skewed perceptions of my identity that I’ve adopted.


We recently had a conversation, where after getting defensive, she apologized and said it was sad that my sisters and I didn’t feel we could go to her for help with things and were uncertain of being heard. Which was a HUGE admission from her and, while though she did not get histrionic and make it about her,( in fact she was very reserved) and wasn’t asking to be comforted or consoled, the regret and sadness emanating from her broke my heart and made me feel so guilty.

I I love her and am working on becoming someone I approve,but one word of disapproval and disgust from her and I can wilt, and my motivation and excitement for the future drain away.

I’m flipping through a book about unloved daughters and their mothers and it’s so confusing, because a lot of it is applicable, but my mother wasn’t as cold and cruel and without a doubt, I was loved powerfully by her.

I dunno. Rambling and trying to understand these feelings. Interested in hearing about your relationships with your own mothers. 

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