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Daughter Detox ~ Recovering from an Unloving Mother

(542 Posts)
VioletSky Sat 27-Nov-21 15:22:08

Has anyone read this?

I was thinking about buying this book and perhaps other unloved daughters could too and we could use this thread to discuss it?

Or are there any other resources you found particularly helpful that you could share here?

Or do you just need somewhere to talk and be heard about your experiences growing up with your family of origin?

I have cake smile

Kandinsky Sun 28-Nov-21 12:10:21

I don’t know your back story but my mum died 10 years ago & believe it or not, ( despite everything ) I miss her.
She wasn’t a great mum as I said earlier, but she tried her best I’m sure. I have no idea why she was so cold but I’m pretty certain now that something must have happened in her own childhood? Or maybe that was just ‘her way’. - motherhood certainly didn’t come easy to her that’s for sure, & had she been born at another time when contraception was freely available she may well have never had children. I definitely got a sense that she was jealous of my freedom & the choices I had.
But no one is all bad.
We never went hungry, we had good Christmases & she always made sure we had a summer holiday, plus she looked after her grandchildren very well.
She was my mum & I’ve forgiven her.
Although she never thought I had anything to forgive as she was quite good at rewriting history.

I suppose I can forgive & forget because my abuse was emotional & physical by my mother, never sexual, which I can only imagine you’d never get over.

VioletSky Sun 28-Nov-21 12:21:44

Kandinsky I did a lot of forgiving and forgetting while still in the relationship, that's why it went on for so long.

I can still forgive but no longer forget.

No, no one is all bad but I didn't get any of the good and her behaviour was upsetting my older children too so I made the choice to walk away

MatildasAunt Sun 28-Nov-21 12:56:56

I haven't read the book, but I have found lot of resources on Internet. Besides reading this forum - this shows how this estrangement is so sadly common - I have read many articles written by pro. I found them useful to have a better picture and to raise awareness.

Smileless2012 Sun 28-Nov-21 15:01:48

Thought provoking posts Luckygirl, MerylStreep and Kandinsky.

I lost my mum last year and miss her but we were never particularly close. I know she loved me, she just loved my brother more and never really tried to disguise the fact.

VioletSky Sun 28-Nov-21 15:20:34

Maybe my mother needed this book more than I do

I think that's the saddest part for me, that my mother knows her childhood was painful and still continued those behaviours with me.

With my brother she was enmeshed, too close, wanted to be present at all his life events that don't usually involve mums. Insisted on being involved in every loan, every purchase, every little milestone, she had to be part of it. He couldn't buy a sofa without her chipping in and then "helping" him choose the style.

I think I would have hated that more sometimes

freedomfromthepast Sun 28-Nov-21 16:29:21


This is just an observation ladies as very fortunately I know nothing about this topic. However, as you are now all adults, would it perhaps not be better to let the past just lie? I imagine it must be like picking at a scab on your knee as a child. Either let it heal over or worry it to death, picking until you make the area sore and bleed.

Well, I have been forced to interact with my mother the last 2 months due to my care of another family member. She again made the choice to actively cause problems. My children are still in therapy for the damage she has done to them.

It is front and center all the time. Every day in my house. I wish the scab would just heal. I would not pick at it. But that is not an option for me right now. I do so look forward to the day that it can be though.

Smileless2012 Sun 28-Nov-21 17:27:39

So difficult for you freedomfromthepast trying to do your best for a family member and being at times thwarted by your mother's behaviour.

Your present circumstances simply don't make it possible for you to have no communication with her but hang on in there, the day will comeflowers.

Granniesunite Sun 28-Nov-21 17:32:38

freedomfromthepast flowers
I have no experience of this type of hurt. Human nature at its t worst.

Summerlove Sun 28-Nov-21 17:48:21


Sometimes people need still need to talk about and process information.

One size doesn't fit all. What works for one, won't work for another.
Would you go over to the other estrangement thread and say the same?

No, they wouldn’t.

There are some serious double standards

VioletSky Sun 28-Nov-21 17:58:32

freedom you all deserve so much better

Some people on these threads have been talking about estrangement for 10 years, I don't think it ever goes away, like a bereavement it just becomes a part of us

Allsorts Sun 28-Nov-21 19:26:32

Find it very sad hearing people rehashing their childhood, unless you have a really cruel mother, no one is all bad and they probably did their best, you don’t know what problems they might have had such as depression or anxiety. If you are lucky enough to have a loving partner and your own children, you make sure your energy and love goes into them.

VioletSky Sun 28-Nov-21 19:28:05

Allsorts I'm sorry to hear that, maybe you will find something more to your liking elsewhere

freedomfromthepast Sun 28-Nov-21 19:46:57

It really does become a part of us. Does not mean we aren't healthy or well adjusted, nor does it mean that we never need support again.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard/read, you have gotten what you wanted (to be estranged), why cant you move on/get over it/etc.

In thinking of my experience, no I didn't get what I wanted. I never wanted to be estranged. What I wanted was to have a loving relationship with my mother and her with my kids. I wanted my kids to have a close bond with her.

Estranging was actually her choice, though she would not see it that way. Many years I tried to work through her behavior. She chose not to follow simple boundaries like "do not talk badly about me to my children". Even after hearing what the consequences would be, she lied to my face and did what she wanted to do, which was damage my relationship with my children in order to feed her deranged need to compete with me for my children's affection, among other things.

She, essentially, chose this estrangement Though I am the one who instituted it.

This certainly did not come about all at once. It happened over a series of several years, coupled with a lifetime of toxic behavior towards me.

Smileless2012 Sun 28-Nov-21 20:01:02

Estrangement is a part of who we are, it will have shaped us to a certain extent into the people we are today.

We're certainly not the same people we were 9 years ago. I don't think our ES would know us now, anymore than we would know him.

It's inconceivable to me, that a parent would risk losing their child when they were given every opportunity not too. How strange life is.

VioletSky Sun 28-Nov-21 20:04:10

I find that odd too freedom

For me I didn't plan it, I didn't threaten it, I don't think my mum ever had any consequence for her behaviour until the day I just couldn't any more. I had asked for a break, she wouldn't give it to me, I asked for a conversation, she gave me nothing, proud and laughing.

The moment for me was when she said "we aren't going to resolve this are we?" with this big smirk on her face and I thought, no, no we aren't because you won't ever change.

So really estrangement was my mother's choice too.

Smileless2012 Sun 28-Nov-21 20:20:05

"If you are lucky enough to have a loving partner and your own children, you make sure your love and energy goes into them". Good advice for us all Allsortssmile.

MatildasAunt Sun 28-Nov-21 20:23:02

Well, it is clear that estrangement was just a way not to get hurt further... I feel for you, VioletSky

Shelbel Sun 28-Nov-21 21:03:17

I've not read that particular book but I have read a lot of that type in trying to understand and move on from abuse, scapegoating etc from my dysfunctional family with my suspected narcissistic mother at the helm.

I read a couple of books about the connection between chronic illness and familial abuse. It's been proved that fibromyalgia is far more common in those who experienced childhood abuse. I'm sorry I no longer have the links but I will put the books at the bottom. I have a lot of health issues myself, auto immune conditions and fibromyalgia. The books were certainly helpful to recognise the damage but I felt that I was left with being unable to change the outcome.

I've also read a lot about narcissism and dysfunctional family roles. My mother was very unloving and very abusive physically and emotionally. She still was when contact ended. My father supported her and also became abusive. Siblings too.

I don't think I'll ever be free of the affects but not being around them has helped a lot.

The body never lies - Alice Miller
When the body says no - Gabor Mate
The body keeps the score - Bessel Van de Kolk

VioletSky Sun 28-Nov-21 21:12:15

MatildasAunt thank you for saying that

Shelbel I also have fibro

I started reading The body keeps the score a long time ago and didn't finish it, I will look into reading it again thank you.

I'm so sorry you were scapegoated so badly too and glad to hear you have broken free.

Recently I have discovered how easy it is to become a scapegoat for someone else's pain and anger. I will get to a place where no one ever sees me as an easy target again.

Allsorts Sun 28-Nov-21 21:23:27

Message deleted by Gransnet. Here's a link to our Talk guidelines.

VioletSky Sun 28-Nov-21 21:35:48


VS Your reply to my post 19.28 pm today, shows the real you.

Yes of course it is the real me

I know reading my comments makes you sad and you think I am neglecting my family in my healing journey as you have told me several times.

It's not exactly a sparkling new thought from you

However I am fine and my family are fine and talking about it helps me process and ay help others.

So here I am

AmberSpyglass Sun 28-Nov-21 21:36:53

AllSorts You are so bizarrely rude. You knew what the thread was going to be about coming in, but still found the need to be petty and rude when you could have just…not done that. VS wasn’t even rude! This is clearly not a thread you’re going to get anything from so why bother except to be hurtful?

Very nasty and uncalled for behaviour.

freedomfromthepast Sun 28-Nov-21 21:37:38

Shelbel: I too have Fibromyalgia. I knew that they believe that Fibro could have a connection to extreme emotional periods in our lives. I never really researched the connection to my fibro and my childhood. I may have to look at the book.

Interestingly enough, the last few years have been the best for me health wise. I have also had a fairly bad flare the last 2 months.

AmberSpyglass Sun 28-Nov-21 21:41:23

I highly recommend ‘The Body Keeps the Score’ to explore the link between trauma and physical health!

freedomfromthepast Sun 28-Nov-21 21:45:15

Thank you for that Amberspyglass, Shelbel and VS for the book suggestion! I am going to add that to my Kindle this evening.