15 Signs You Were Raised by a Toxic Mother [2024]

15 Signs You Were Raised by a Toxic Mother [2024]

The tie between a mother and her kid is regarded to be one of the most beautiful and deep interactions we experience in our lives from the minute we are born. 

It should ideally be a source of infinite love, unshakable support, and compassionate care that creates the groundwork for a healthy and happy adulthood. 

However, life isn’t always perfect and not all mothers provide the loving care that their children require. 

Individuals may find themselves navigating the tumultuous waters of childhood in houses where their moms show toxic behaviors that can have substantial and long-term repercussions on their emotional well-being. 

In this post, we begin on a voyage of self-discovery to investigate 15 signs you were raised by a toxic mother

Recognizing these indications is the first bold step toward healing and breaking free from the constraints of a difficult upbringing.

What are the signs of toxic parents? watch this video before reading the post:

The Complex Journey of Parenting

The Complex Journey of Parenting

Parenting is a difficult path that entails heavy obligations and necessitates unselfish dedication.

To nurture, mentor, and love one’s children as they navigate the frequently unpredictable terrain of life is a lifetime commitment. 

In particular, the mother-child bond is frequently seen as a haven, a place where a kid can find comfort, acceptance, and the steadfast conviction that they are loved unconditionally.

This maternal connection provides the foundation for many people’s self-worth and personal development.

A kind and nurturing mother gives her child the emotional skills necessary to face obstacles head-on and with confidence. 

However, not all mothers conform to this idealized picture.

Some moms display behaviors that can smother, hurt, and leave emotional scars that last well into adulthood rather than being nurturing.


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Navigating the Shadows of Toxic Motherhood

Navigating the Shadows of Toxic Motherhood

In 2024, debates about mental health, self-care, and emotional well-being have taken center stage.

Understanding the indicators of toxic parenting isn’t about assigning blame or seeking payback; it’s an important part of the continuing discourse about healing and self-discovery. 

It’s about recognizing the patterns of conduct that may have impacted your formative years and acquiring the clarity needed to plan a better course for your future.

You’ve already shown guts if you’re reading this.

You’ve started a journey of self-discovery and healing by admitting that toxic dynamics may have affected your upbringing. 

The 15 symptoms that we’ll examine each serve as a piece of a puzzle that, when put together, offers a more complete picture of your history and directs your route to a happier, healthier future.


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15 Signs You Were Raised by a Toxic Mother [2024]

An Infographic about the signs you were raised by a toxic mother

Although it’s vital to keep in mind that neither a person nor a parent is perfect, the signs we’ll discuss in this piece go beyond the typical ups and downs of parenting. 

They include actions and interactions that frequently fall into toxic territory, harming the involved youngsters and causing them mental anguish. 

These indications offer a chance for understanding and development rather than being a reason to condemn. 

They are the threads that, when they are untangled, show a way to healing, self-love and the ability to be liberated from the shackles of a destructive childhood.

Keep in mind that you are not traveling alone as we examine each indicator.

Similar struggles have been overcome by many people who have since achieved healing, happiness, and the supportive relationships they deserve. 

Your first step toward taking control of the life you want—one free from the toxicity of the past—is to recognize these indications.


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1. Constant Criticism

Constant Criticism

The constant bombardment of criticism that comes with having a toxic mother is common.

Since you can remember, it seems like nothing you do ever measures up to her expectations. 

Your every action is analyzed and found wanting, whether it be in regard to your grades, appearance, friends you choose, or even the way you speak. 

Your self-esteem may suffer as a result of this constant criticism, which may leave you feeling inadequate all the time.

Her judgment may cause your self-confidence to decline as you negotiate the challenging waters of childhood and adolescence. 

These unfavorable signals may become part of you, leading you to think that you lack success or are faulty in some other way. 

You may carry this self-doubt into adulthood, which may have an impact on your social life, professional decisions, and general well-being.

The toxic mother’s unrelenting criticism isn’t directed at you; rather, it’s a mirror of her own problems and fears. The first step in mending is accepting this reality. 

Rebuild your self-esteem and refute the false narrative that you are unworthy by seeking help from friends, therapists, or support groups.

2. Emotional Manipulation

Emotional Manipulation

A toxic mother’s actions are characterized by emotional manipulation. She uses emotional outbursts, guilt, and passive-aggressiveness as tools to keep control over you. 

She reacts with guilt trips or histrionic displays of hurt feelings whenever you set your own goals or boundaries, making you feel responsible for her emotional well.

Growing up in this environment can be emotionally draining.

You learn to prioritize her needs and feelings over your own, often sacrificing your happiness to keep the fragile peace. 

This can lead to a mistaken sense of duty, where you feel guilty for asserting yourself or making choices that emphasize your well-being.

Breaking free from emotional manipulation involves setting clear boundaries and learning to prioritize your own emotional health. 

Therapy can be instrumental in helping you recognize manipulation tactics and develop strategies to resist them.

By prioritizing your emotional well-being, you can regain control over your life.


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3. Lack of Boundaries

Lack of Boundaries

Invading your physical and emotional space without restriction, toxic mothers usually disrespect your personal boundaries. 

Your personal area, your private journal, or your possessions may have routinely been entered without your consent, resulting in privacy violations. 

Because of this disdain for your boundaries, you could feel like you have no control over your life.

You might have grown accustomed to this interference as a youngster and accepted it as normal.

However, as you’ve grown older, you’ve probably realized how crucial personal limits are to preserving positive relationships. 

Lack of these limits can result in suffocating and resentful feelings.

Although setting and upholding limits as an adult can be difficult, it’s an essential step toward recovering your sovereignty.

Start by stating your boundaries in a direct and firm manner. 

Keep your distance from individuals who don’t respect your boundaries and surround yourself with those who do. 

It’s crucial to keep in mind that setting boundaries is a key act of self-care and self-respect rather than being selfish.

4. Unpredictable Mood Swings

Unpredictable Mood Swings

Walking on eggshells might be compared to living with a mother who has erratic moods.

She might be adoring and loving one second then explode in rage or become emotionally cold the next. 

You may have constant anxiety as a result of her mood swings because you never know what to expect and worry that you might unintentionally set off her erratic emotions.

This emotional volatility might have long-term consequences for your mental health.

You may acquire hypervigilance, continuously monitoring her moods and altering your conduct to prevent clashes. 

This can lead to prolonged stress, anxiety, and a sense of insecurity.

It is essential to healing to realize that you are not to blame for your mother’s emotional changes.

It’s important to understand that her emotional instability most likely results from her own unsolved problems and difficulties. 

The anxiety and stress brought on by experiencing erratic mood swings can be managed by seeking counseling, which will help you achieve emotional stability in your own life.


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5. Narcissistic Tendencies

Narcissistic Tendencies

Narcissistic characteristics are present in certain toxic moms and have a significant negative effect on the emotional health of their offspring. 

Mothers who have narcissistic tendencies frequently put everything else—including their children’s welfare—below their own needs, wants, and ego. 

It is difficult for their kids to meet their own needs as a result of their incessant desire for affirmation, adoration, and attention.

A narcissistic mother can make growing up emotionally taxing and perplexing.

Instead of feeling like a unique person with your own thoughts, feelings, and objectives, you might have felt like a supporting player in her life. 

This emotional neglect may make you feel invisible and unimportant.

Setting up distinct boundaries and placing your own wants and well-being first are only a couple of methods to escape the grip of a narcissistic mother. 

Realize that you are deserving of love and attention on your own, without having to continuously stroke her ego. 

To cope with the difficulties of having a narcissistic parent, get help from therapists or support groups if necessary.

6. Conditional Love

Conditional Love

Unconditional love is the cornerstone of healthy parent-child interactions, yet toxic moms frequently give love with conditions attached. 

Your capacity to fulfill their requests or meet their unique expectations will determine if they will like you or approve of you. 

This conditional love might result in a persistent craving for acceptance and affirmation.

One’s sense of value and self-esteem might be negatively impacted by growing up in an environment where affection is not freely given. 

It’s possible that you had high expectations of yourself since you felt pressured to strive for perfection to win your mother’s love.

Understanding that love should never be used as a weapon of oppression or control is one of the most crucial steps in healing. 

You must discover how to love and accept yourself unconditionally if you want to break the pattern of wanting acceptance from other people. 

Therapy is a good place to explore these feelings and learn more healthy ways to relate to others and to yourself.


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7. Overbearing Control

Overbearing Control

Mothers who are toxic frequently micromanage every area of their children’s lives with an oppressive level of control. 

Your education, employment decisions, interpersonal interactions, and even your personal style may be under your control. 

Your originality may be stifled and your personal development may be hampered by frequent intervention.

You could have felt that you had little control over the course of your life growing up in such a rigid atmosphere. 

It’s possible that your mother’s choices and demands took precedence over your own goals and aspirations. 

Feelings of bitterness and dissatisfaction may be brought on by this loss of autonomy.

Reclaiming your autonomy as an adult is a vital step toward healing from an overbearing mother.

It involves making your own choices, even if they differ from her expectations. 

While it may be challenging to assert your independence, surrounding yourself with supportive individuals who respect your choices can make the transition smoother.

8. Gaslighting


Toxic mothers frequently employ the manipulative technique of gaslighting to shift the focus or escape accountability for their behavior. 

They can challenge your perceptions, contest your reality, or cause you to doubt your own judgment. 

You may experience uncertainty and confusion over your own ideas and feelings as a result.

Living with a gaslighting mother might make it difficult to believe in your own judgment and feelings. 

It’s possible that people made you feel like you were always at fault or that you reacted too strongly to things.

This might cause self-doubt and make it hard to trust your own judgment.

You can reclaim your sense of self by recognizing gaslighting for what it is and getting confirmation from reliable others. 

Rebuilding your self-confidence and self-esteem can be aided by therapy.

The first step toward recovery is realizing that your mother’s gaslighting isn’t about you; it’s about her need for control.


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9. Lack of Emotional Support

Lack of Emotional Support

A toxic mother might not give her kids the emotional reassurance and validation they require to survive.

You can feel alone and emotionally uncared for since your feelings and emotions have been minimized or rejected. 

This lack of assistance may negatively impact your ability to develop wholesome connections as an adult.

Lack of emotional support as a child might make it harder to articulate your wants and feelings.

You may have developed coping techniques that entail holding back your feelings or looking for approval from others, such as love partners or friends.

Relearning how to identify, express, and process your emotions is an important aspect of recovering from emotional neglect. 

Therapy can provide a safe environment to examine these feelings and build healthy methods of reacting to your own and others’ emotions. 

You can develop more rewarding and emotionally gratifying relationships by recognizing your emotional needs and getting help to meet them.

10. Competitive Nature

Competitive Nature

Some toxic mothers see their children as competitors rather than as people to love and care for. They might rival you for accolades, success, or even your own pals. 

There may be resentment and strained relationships as a result of this competitive dynamic.

Growing up with a competitive mother, you may have felt like you were constantly in a competition where winning her approval was the ultimate prize. 

This can foster feelings of inadequacy and anxiety, as you strive to outperform your own family members to gain her favor.

Healing requires an understanding that strong families are not formed based on rivalry.

You can escape the cycle of rivalry by establishing limits and concentrating on your own development and pleasure rather than seeking her favor.

Rebuilding your self-worth and self-esteem requires surrounding yourself with positive people who applaud your accomplishments rather than seeing them as a threat.


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11. Enmeshment


A mother’s excessive involvement in her child’s life, known as enmeshment, causes the boundaries between their identities to become muddled. 

For emotional support, to confide in them as peers, or to see them as extensions of themselves, toxic moms may turn to their kids. 

Your ability to establish a strong sense of self and independence may be hampered by this entanglement.

Growing up in an enmeshed relationship, you may have struggled to establish your own identity separate from your mother’s. 

Your boundaries may have been blurred, making it challenging to assert your individuality or make decisions without her influence.

Setting up sound limits and becoming more self-aware will help you escape entanglement.

Therapy can help you navigate this process by assisting you in identifying the boundary between your mother’s influence and your own identity. 

It’s critical to realize that you should be allowed to live by yourself, free from your mother’s demands.

12. Unreasonable Expectations

Unreasonable Expectations

Toxic mothers often have unrealistic expectations for their children’s achievements and behavior. 

They may push you relentlessly to excel academically, professionally, or in other areas of your life, without regard for your individual interests or talents. 

These unreasonable expectations can create immense pressure and anxiety.

Growing up with these expectations, you may have felt like you were never good enough, no matter how hard you tried to meet them. 

This constant pressure to perform at an exceptionally high level can lead to perfectionism, anxiety, and a fear of failure.

A critical first step in recovery is realizing that your value is unrelated to accomplishments outside of yourself. 

You can work through your mother’s excessive expectations in therapy and have a better understanding of success and failure. 

Your mental and emotional health depends on you learning to define your own priorities and stop continuously trying to live up to other people’s standards.


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13. Lack of Empathy

Lack of Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person, but toxic mothers may lack this crucial trait. 

They may be dismissive of your pain or suffering, leaving you feeling unheard and invalidated.

Your emotional experiences may have been minimized or ignored, making it difficult to express your feelings or seek comfort during difficult times.

Growing up without empathy can lead to a sense of isolation and emotional loneliness.

You may have developed a belief that your feelings don’t matter or that expressing vulnerability is a sign of weakness.

Learning to accept your own emotions and looking for help from people who can give you the empathy you didn’t have as a child are both necessary steps in recovering from a lack of empathy. 

You may benefit much from therapy if you want to comprehend and deal with the emotional neglect you endured and develop better connections that value empathy and understanding.

14. Scapegoating


In some families with a toxic mother, one child may be singled out as the family scapegoat.

This child is unfairly blamed for everything that goes wrong within the family, regardless of whether they are responsible. 

The scapegoat often bears the brunt of the mother’s anger and resentment, leading to feelings of isolation, shame, and low self-esteem.

Being made the scapegoat when you’re young can be really distressing.

Even though you were unrelated to the family’s problems, you might have felt responsible for them all. 

The frequent blaming and condemning may lead to a deep sense of humiliation and self-doubt.

Healing requires that you admit that you were unfairly used as a scapegoat.

To heal the emotional scars this dynamic has left behind, seek help from therapists or support groups. 

One of the most important steps toward regaining your self-esteem and self-worth is realizing that the scapegoating was a result of your mother’s problems rather than a true reflection of your character.


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15. Emotional Neglect

Emotional Neglect

Perhaps one of the most damaging signs of a toxic mother is emotional neglect.

Emotional neglect occurs when your emotional needs are consistently unmet during childhood. 

You may have been left to fend for yourself emotionally, with no one to provide comfort, support, or validation for your feelings and experiences.

Lack of emotional support as a child might result in feelings of emptiness and difficulty making supportive relationships as an adult. 

It could be difficult for you to communicate your feelings, form meaningful connections with others, or simply acknowledge and deal with your own emotions.

Finding support from therapists or support groups, learning to recognize and express your emotions, and deepening your level of self-awareness and self-compassion are all necessary steps in the healing process from emotional neglect. 

Understanding that you deserve affection and emotional validation as well as that you can learn to give them to yourself and look for them in healthy relationships is crucial.

This is a podcast for those who suffered from a toxic mother:


Growing up with a toxic mother might have long-term consequences for your emotional well-being. 

However, you may overcome the harmful effects of such an upbringing by identifying the signals, seeking treatment, and making positive adjustments in your life. 

Remember that you deserve to be loved, and respected and to thrive in a healthy, loving atmosphere. 

You have the ability to overcome the obstacles presented by a poisonous upbringing and create a happier, healthier future for yourself.

Written by Saeed Ahmadi

Who am I? A blogger, mindset mentor, personal development coach, content creator, SEO Specialist, digital marketer, entrepreneur, reader by night, and writer by day.

Mindsetopia, my brainchild, is more than a platform, its my vision of a world where everyone has access to the tools and knowledge necessary for personal growth and self-growing.

What really makes me excited is helping people to unlock their true potential. So,I am here to give you the kick you need to change your mind and then your life :)

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