DISCLOSURE: I am not a mental health professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider, call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit Online Therapy to call, message, or video chat a certified therapist online. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I may also receive compensation from Online Therapy or other sources if you purchase products or services through the links provided on this page. You can read my full disclaimer.
CONTENT WARNING: This post mentions sexual abuse.
You’re supposed to be able to go to friends and family for guidance. They’re supposed to help you when times are tough and you need a shoulder to lean on.
When you never got that experience in your life, it really messes you up. It creates lasting damage that you’re supposed to be able to hurdle over.
This is part two of my Growing Up with an Emotionally Unavailable Mom series. Please read part one to get more background info.
I never got to bond with my mom. Not in the way most daughters get to bond with their moms.
My mom only ever took herself shopping for clothes and shoes and makeup. She would spend the whole day at the movies, seeing multiple movies at a time, not even bothering to tell us where she was. She took herself to get manicures, pedicures, and massages because she “earned it.”
I never understood what she meant by she earned it. My dad was the one who practically single-handedly raised me and my sisters. Did my mom really earn the right to do all these things just cause she carried me in the womb for nine months?
No, because, in fact, I spent my whole life thinking I was born premature, only to find out she was induced three weeks early because she was hot and didn’t want to be pregnant anymore.
My mom always put herself first. She would even take herself to the doctor 10 times before she would even take me once. If I said I was feeling sick or I thought something was wrong with me, I was automatically called a hypochondriac. At best, she would stare blankly up at me from her book and say, “Hmmm.”
If I only got 4 hours of sleep, she made sure to tell me she had 3.5 hours of sleep. If I had a bad day at school, it was her duty to tell me just how bad her day at work was. Everything was always worse for her. She made sure everyone knew that.
Each and every time Mother’s Day rolled around, I always felt uncomfortable. Indifferent. Everyone always talked about their mom being their best friend, whereas all I felt was obligated to celebrate a holiday that I felt no connection to.
My mom made sure that I never had a birthday party where I got to invite friends over. Actually, the only times any of my friends came over to my house – which was only twice in my entire life – was when they invited themselves over.
Looking back, I spent so much of my life being ashamed of my mom. She always made everyone feel sorry for her. She was so manipulative, but no one could ever see right through her.
It took so freaking much to push through my anxieties to let my boyfriend come over to my house the first time. I felt incredibly vulnerable. I felt so self-conscious, because I had no idea how my mom would act.
Even for about the first year or so of my relationship, my boyfriend fell into her trap and believed that she was the victim. By that time, I had 20 years of emotional abuse under my belt, and I already resented her so much.
When I tried to tell my mom about my anxieties, she made me suck it up and deal with it. When I tried to tell my mom about my depression when I was 14, she brushed me aside. And when I tried to tell her I was sexually abused, she didn’t say a single word. She didn’t even bat an eyelash. She just went back to reading her stupid book.
Time and time again, she proved that I could never go to her for anything.
Everyone who was ever important in my life has always left me in one way or another. I’ve lost so many friendships. I’ve lost family members. And my mom has been in and out of my life for about the past two years now. But I’ll save that for part three…
Even without social anxiety, I would have no idea how to form friendships. I have no idea how to turn an acquaintance into a friendship, because I have a very hard time forming close relationships.
With everything that’s happened in my life, I have reinforced walls all around me. I never talk to anyone about what’s going on in my life, or in my head. Because any time I do, I think it’ll be matched with a “hmmm” and nothing else.
Even when I’m comfortable spilling parts of my life, I keep people at an arm’s length. I never let anyone all the way in.
I always got jealous of people’s relationships with other other people. Seeing how much other people cared for them. Having someone you could go to for anything. I’ve never, ever, ever had that, and I always felt completely and utterly out of place.
I have really bad abandonment issues, and I struggle greatly with separation anxiety from my boyfriend because of it. I can’t imagine forming a deep bond with another person, only to have them not show up when I need them the most.
Besides the connections I make online, I have no real friends. My family members barely know who I even am.
For me, I guess it’s always just been easier this way.
Continue reading with part three here!
1. ONLINE THERAPY
Better Help is the largest online counseling platform worldwide. It makes professional counseling available anytime, anywhere, through a computer, tablet or smartphone.
2. RESILIENT BIG EBOOK BUNDLE
In the Resilient Big Bundle, you’ll get 6 amazing personal development products, such as 30 Day Negativity Detox and Figure Out Your Life. All of these together would cost over $120 if you purchased them separately, but you’ll get a big discount if you get the whole bundle.
3. MENTAL HEALTH JOURNAL GUIDES
Rose Minded created three 52 week Mental Health Journal Guides. You can pick from anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. In the guides, you can find weekly gratitude, emotional intelligence, self-care prompts. Use the code meagan15 to get 15% off.
4. SOCIAL ANXIETY TO SOCIAL SUCCESS
Social Anxiety to Social Success is an eBook Kel from Anxious Lass created. I’ve read countless ways to recover from social anxiety, and I still found new, important information in her book. The best part is it’s written in a warm and relatable way.
5. BLESSING MANIFESTING DIGITAL PRODUCTS
Blessing Manifesting sells a bunch of digital products focusing on self-love and personal development. You can either buy them in a digital version or physical copy.