Yorba Linda Counseling, Irvine Psychologist, Anaheim Therapist in Yorba Linda, CA, California - Dr. Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D.
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Toxic Mother

There is nothing more confusing or painful than growing up under a toxic mother. This is a woman who will overcontrol your life, never accept you for who you are, criticize you to no end in tandem to taking some form of credit for you and your accomplishments. She has to, at all times, be the center of attention to the point that it becomes embarrassing. She will act out in any way she can to get attention from consistently talking about her fictitious illnesses, complaining about who bullies her, who is mean to her, who ignores her and who abuses her. If she’s nice, there is usually an agenda. If she helps you financially, there are never ending emotional strings of guilt and punishment attached. Anything that is given is also threatened if you don’t do as she wishes. She is consistently talking terribly about her friends, your friends, the parents of your friends, your love interests, her family members and anyone else that is in range. Any time she’s confronted you will be accused of being mean, too sensitive or she’ll say she “just can’t do or say anything right” and burst into tears. You are always left feeling crazy, abandoned and like you’re the problem. Just know this, there is nothing you can do to make her happy because there is no such thing as good enough. The only way to attach to her is to be below her, to take on all her demands and neediness and to do exactly what she says. These type of mothers are selfish. She will talk and never listen, give advice but never take any, and make sure to be critical of everything about you from your hair, your body, your lifestyle, your parenting, the way you decorate and anything else she feels may hurt you, and you have to take it… because she’s your mother. She pits her kids against each other by favoring one and abusing the other, then complains that her kids aren’t close. The bad kid will never get out of this role and the good kid usually ends up as toxic as her. The only way to heal in this type of dynamic is to take as much space as possible from her and in worst case scenarios, cut ties. There is no amount of therapy that fixes this, and there aren’t enough changes you can make in yourself that will ever please her. Let go and see her for who she is, not for who you want her to be. Commit to being a person you can love and respect and learn to dismiss her opinion.

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Dr. Sherrie Campbell is a licensed counselor, psychologist, and marriage and family therapist in Yorba Linda, CA,
providing counseling and psychotherapy services to residents of Yorba Linda, Irvine, Anaheim, Fullerton and Brea, California.

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