The relationship between a mother and a daughter – a critical mother

You are not good enough – a critical mother

The authors Linda Jarosch and Andrea Larson in their book, I See Myself in You:  Relationship between a mother and a daughter – the key to self-power (original title: Ich sehe dich und finde mich: Mutter-Tochter-Beziehung – der Schlüssel zur eigenen Kraft), write that mothers are not even slightly aware of how deeply their criticism roots into their daughters and how long-term is its influence. Mother’s judgement that her daughter is not good enough is very painful for the child because every daughter yearns for mother’s support and encouraging words that help with self-esteem development. When she receives messages that are the opposite of that, she feels abandoned. The daughter is hurt the most by mother’s criticism of her body and making her feel that her body is inappropriate as it is. This criticism can be very shocking for the daughter and she usually does not even find an answer to that because of her inner pain. Her body is an important reflection of her personality and mother’s criticism can make her desperate. Her body is the most sensitive part and she needs mother’s approval otherwise she will not feel good in it. Mother’s critical view of her body can affect her self-esteem very negatively for a long time.

How does the mother look like on the outside? She appears as strong, self-confident, ambitious, loud, is always right, interfere in daughter’s relationships with friends and her partner, wants to have everything under control etc. She never lacks energy to intrude into daughter’s life. If the critical mother is successful, it is much harder for her daughter because she has a feeling that she will never achieve such success which gives additional power to the mother. She is aware that her daughter is in the beginning of her carrier path and that she needs a lot of experience beside her talent before she becomes a self-confident business woman. The mother takes energy early in the beginning of daughter’s career by controlling her. The fact is this is the biggest pressure for the daughter. Even if her new career path takes a lot of effort, the most difficult task is the confrontation with her mother.

Setting boundaries is the key to the personal development of the daughter who has a critical mother. At first she needs to learn how to set boundaries to her mother and after that to all other people. Once she is ‘done’ with her mother, the others are not a problem. Unfortunately a scenario like this happens a lot of times instead of a scenario where a mother is a positive critic. In this case the mother is loving and understands her daughter on every major step of her life. She says a criticism but in a way that it does not create additional pain and wounds. She teaches her daughter how to deal with criticism in every part of her life. She passes her wisdom which bases on a feeling of her self-esteem.  And she does not criticise out of her personal interest. This criticism is based on the essence of her daughter’s soul. What does that mean? That means that mother knows what the daughter truly wants to achieve and that she accepts her as she is. She respects her on every aspect and on her soul path as well. She is aware of daughter’s soul and heart guidance. This way she encourages her to always follow her inner self and to do whatever is needed for living a life in a harmony with herself – with her essence.

This kind of mother is aware that it is hard always following her daughter and she admits that. She admits it to herself and to her daughter… she admits it anytime, anywhere, to anyone. She is aware of herself and her values. She is also aware of her mistakes. She is aware of her past, pain, and frustration. She is aware of her greatness and importance of her role as a mother. She is aware of her role as a teacher and as a saint.

Mother that does not appreciate and respect herself can with intention to look better than others point out bad things in others. She can even become aggressive if she fails to achieve her purpose.  Whenever she reaches it she is very satisfied but only for a short amount of time. That leads to repeated (endless) searching of satisfaction. She is not aware that instant achieving of that good feeling does not bring her happiness for a longer period of time – happiness that would last and create an eternal inner peace. Such behaviour takes a lot of energy. Actions that are oriented exclusively in egoistical taking are returned with the same actions. And that leads to constant disappointment and offence because she is sure that she does well but gets only bad in return. Frustration, aggression, hate, and revenge increase. Many mothers are not even aware of these emotions and even less of their consequences. Every negative emotion is destructive for the one who nourishes it and no less damaging for his closest. These emotions can reach so far they can negatively affect further descendants. Daughter of such mother often feels as she cannot breathe. She has breathing problems (irregular breathing), she can feel pinch in her chest and she often has shortness of breath. The continuous destructive condition is toxic for the whole body – physically and mentally and can lead to a disease.

The fact is that mother who does not value herself projects rejection of herself on other people. She could choose differently but she does not know how to do that or does not want to accept responsibility and make a change. Daughter is not guilty for mother’s behaviour but is responsible for herself, her life and lives of her children. When she decides that she will step out of her usual frame in which she was set already as a child she becomes aware of her new truth about the relationship with her mother. She realizes her as a teacher even if she is not the one she wanted her to be. She accepts that mother did not know how to do differently or that she did not want to confront with herself and her darkness and illuminate it. That was mother’s will. The daughter forgives her. And she can freely decide to act in her highest good and does not harm anybody. She goes with the flow of life because she believes in it. She believes in magic of life and she wants to fully experience it. Such daughter’s response usually gives mother a shock and she again feels frustration, anger, sadness and offence. With time she starts to change but she is not aware of that.

The authors say critical mother usually has a passive partner who passes his disappointment in the partnership to their daughter.  This is easier for him than confronting with his partner. The daughter can react with introversion and additionally creates bad self-image. But she can also become easily upset and this way she gets a label of a problematic child. This reconnects the partners because they have a common topic to discuss and criticism is not orientated towards themselves but towards the third person – their daughter. The problematic daughter is definitely a brave person who dares to express unsaid disappointments of her mother and father.

When critical mother has more children, she usually interferes in their lives, too. She often favours one child over another. That increases a feeling in a child that he is not ‘good’ or not ‘suitable’ enough. She is constantly comparing them without considering they are completely different individuals or maybe even a different gender. She is not aware that every child is unique; regardless of living in the same environment, the same family, and that they have the same parents.

The woman who gives a feeling of low self-esteem to her child and does not accept him as he is takes his rights to respect and love himself. She takes all of that from herself, too. She feels the same way as her child. She cannot accept or give unconditional love but she yearns for it. She wants to be accepted the way she is. She distances from herself and her reality with her behaviour. The mother denies her essence and her soul. She denies everything around her and she sends that to the Universe and the Universe gives her back the same energies every time in a bigger manner. It gets harder for her with time. Then it comes to a moment when she stays all alone in her pain. The feeling of bad conscience and shame are killing her and her face looks older than it actually is. She wants she had done things differently. But it is too late. Because she still does not know if she is ready for entering into her darkness right now and admitting her feelings to herself, bringing them to consciousness and liberating herself. It usually happens that she takes all of her luggage with her and transfers it into her new life. New actors appear there; however, the lesson stays the same.

Translated by: Karin Krivec & Jure Kacafura,

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