Does anyone hate their mother? If so, why?

Lately I've been recalling a lot of repressed memories about my mother. As a child, I always told myself I had the best mum in the world (because we never struggled for money, she'd let me stay up late, watch horror movies, have friends round etc etc)... But now I'm an adult and understand that so much of her behaviour was actually very negative.

I'm curious about other people's experiences. Has your opinion of your mother changed for the worse over time?


As a sort of, therapy, here's a list of things that stick with me...
- She frequently made fun of me in front of her friends (for bad spelling, mispronouncing things, not understanding..) This made me increasingly shy in high school, and reluctant to ask questions.
- Strangely, she used to punish me for using my eraser when doing homework, getting mad any time I changed an answer. Which made me petrified of making mistakes.
- If I ever got nervous or upset about challenges (like learning piano or sport), she'd pull me out, and tell me something like "Maybe it's not for you" or "Maybe you're not cut out for X". So I grew up always doubting whether I was good enough to do things whenever it got hard. This was reinforced again when I told her I wanted to be an architect... and all she could say was "That's a little too tough I think" and "I don't think you'd like to be in university that long"
- She would put important decisions on me without explaining anything. A benign example: Asking if I wanted braces when I was 10. I said no, since my friends had them and it caused them pain. But she didn't explain the benefit at all, and I wish she had just forced me like all the other mums. She also asked if I wanted a sibling. I didn't really think about it, so said "not really". I later found out that she broke up with my step dad as a result, because he wanted a kid. I hate that she put that on me. The sad truth is, I would have loved one, I just didn't know any better as a kid.
- Every time she drank, she'd turn into a completely different person. She'd slur her words, talk nonsense and say hurtful things. Whenever I confronted her she'd just say sorry and deny saying them. It made me really distrustful of her true feelings and thoughts.
- That mistrust was compounded by her constant lying. She'd lie about everything, from stupid stuff (like whether or not her bread was homemade) to serious things (like how her business was doing)
- She was extremely passive aggressive, exclusively commuting her feelings through angry jabs. It took a long time for me to learn how to communicate like an adult, because I was so used to having to read between the lines and guess what was wanted based on actions instead of words.

All my life, I've blamed myself for being too reserved, too cold, too quiet, too defeatist, too pessimistic. And of course, I'm an adult now, so it's on me to overcome those things and change myself.. but I see so clearly where those shortcomings came from, and it makes me really resent my mother.

She complains a lot that we're not as close as we used to be. But the truth is, I just don't like her as a person, like I used to.

Sep 20, 2020

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  • You sound ungrateful to be honest. The poor woman tried her best for you, she realised that her decisions impacted your life (eg with the sibling thing) and took your feelings into consideration, and now you are having a go at her for it? So many children have their lives decided FOR them; your mum included you in her decision making process and you resent that?! Cut her some slack.

    Maybe your piano or sports coaches had a quiet word with her and told her that you weren’t cut out for that particular activity, and she chose to spare your feelings by not telling you this. We were advised by my son’s rugby coach to remove him from the team, as he didn’t have what it takes, and frankly was a liability. We knew that would break him, and so chose to lie instead - does protecting his feelings make us bad parents?!

    The examples of lying are also ridiculous; she wants to impress you and/or feel like a nurturing mother, so she lies about hand making some bread, and you see it as a reason to hate her?! As for lying about how her business is going: clearly she didn’t want you to worry. What parent would? These cash flow issues may be another explanation for pulling you from expensive sports or music lessons too.


    The orthodontist let you down over the braces, not your mother. It is their job to explain the benefits of braces, not hers. She was respecting you and treating you like a grown up by involving you in the decision making process, and you have thrown it back in her face. I bet if she had forced you to get braces you would see that as a reason to hate her too. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t as a parent.

    As regard the university issue - who hasn’t watched terrible singers on tv talent shows and wondered why their parents didn’t tell them that they can’t sing and they have to get a new dream career?! Maybe it was the same in your case. Architecture is incredibly difficult and maybe your mum was gently letting you down.

    As for the eraser thing, you are just guessing at her reasoning. Maybe she didn’t want little bits of rubber on the carpet, maybe she didn’t want a dirty mark on your jotter, maybe she wanted you to have the confidence to stick to your original answer - you are not a mind reader, so don’t blame her for how you have interpreted her actions.

    It sounds like you have woken up and realised (as we all have at some point) that you have not achieved everything you want to in life. Rather than take responsibility for your own shortcomings or taking action to improve your life or simply accepting what you DO have, you have taken the trite and easy option of blaming your poor mother for all your own problems. You need to grow up and take responsibility. Make your mother proud, and maybe then you’ll realise just how easy you’ve had it. Thank her for all she has done for you

  • It’s very clear that your reply here is made off the back of your own subjective experiences and (strong) emotions instead of an objective, empathetic look at someone else’s situation. It’s just a list of random, hypothetical excuses for less-than-ideal parenting, punctuated with a vague ‘just be grateful she had you’ sentiment. You even go so far as to mock the poster for blaming their mom for not achieving what they want, despite zero mention of this or context in the post, and tell them to take responsibility for their own shortcomings, despite the poster literally acknowledging doing this in the OP. Calm down.
    I personally love my mom and am grateful for her, but still acknowledge some pretty terrible things she did when I was a kid. I can relate to elements of the OP, especially about their mom saying nasty stuff when drunk — my mom drank a lot when I was growing up and would verbally abuse me on a near daily basis for years (esp when drunk). Due to that and other things, I cried myself to sleep as a child for a long time, I went through periods of depression and even ran away from home. She’s better now, but I resent that she looks back on those memories and laughs, without any concern (or acknowledgement at least) as to how that affected me.

    I agree that as a kid you need to understand that parenting isn’t easy and our parents go through tough times like anyone that shouldn’t define them. But it’s also really unhealthy to look at your parents at infallible and blame yourself for the depression or anxiety you develop as a result of abuse or bad parenting. Acknowledge where they went wrong with you, change yourself for the better, and try not to let it destroy your relationship with them. Everyone makes mistakes.

  • I can't say I 'hate' my mother, but I will never love her. Some people shouldn't have children, and she was one of them.
    The thing you have to ask yourself - What did your mother have to overcome? Did she make an effort to do better than how she was raised?
    She's obviously far from perfect, but how much of that is truly unforgivable?

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