Archive | September, 2012

Misery Defined: Toxic Mom Toolkit’s Top Five Tips for Surviving Seeing Your Mother after 20 Years of No Contact

19 Sep

If you are planning an oft-delayed trip to see your mother after a long no contact period, remember – it’s never what you worry about.

If you have had little or no contact with your Toxic Mother for five, ten, fifteen or twenty years, keep it simple. Just expect to be surprised.

Are you the same person you were last time you saw your mother? Probably not. So, expect your mom to be changed in some ways too. She may still be an irrational hater, an under-miner, a conspirator focused on annoying or hurting you, but her skills will have become rusty without you around to practice on.  In fact, she may no longer be able to upset you as she has in the past.

What would happen if you arrived at this dreaded meeting a whole, calm, optimistic and ready-to-laugh adult? What if this time she didn’t see the child-based fear in your eyes? What if at the first hint of old hurtful patterns you said to her, “You know what? I’ve got other things I’d rather do than go over ancient history” and you left her there with her mouth open to enjoy a matinée movie instead? So what if you flew two thousand miles to see your mother one last time and when she turned impossible you switched gears and turned the vacation into an antiquing trip instead?

Would anyone really blame you?

Here are my Top Five Tips for surviving a long-delayed Toxic Mom visit:

  1. Bring or enlist an old friend to be at your side. Toxic Mother’s hate outsiders, also known as “witnesses.”
  2. Plan to do something your mother loves even if you loathe it. Then pat yourself on the back and reward yourself with a massage, or some other treat, when you get home.
  3. Have a short list of other people or places nearby to visit.
  4. Have a short list of pleasant activities to transition to should you need to cut your visit short.
  5. Plan all mother/daughter meetings and activities in public spaces. Cops swear by it.

I hope this is helpful to you. If you have a specific challenge feel free to post questions at Toxic Mom Toolkit on Facebook. But please post carefully on this “open” forum. If you don’t want everyone knowing your TM business feel free to create an alter persona or e-mail me directly at I answer every email.

Curl Up with a Toxic Mom Toolkit Recommended Book this Fall

11 Sep

Because you ARE good enough and the right book can get us through just about anything, I have compiled a short list of Toxic Mom Toolkit recommended books. Request them now from your library so you can curl up in a corner this fall and read until your eyes turn to raisins – LIKE MINE.

Many of these titles are available on Kindle for very low prices starting at .99 cents.

Stories heal. Read some.

This list will always be changing and growing. If you have a book that helped you please let me know at Toxic Mom Toolkit on Facebook or at

Horrible Mothers: Breach of a Sacred Trust by Alice Thie Viera Phd.  PLEASE READ THIS BOOK!

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Karyl McBride

Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Susan Forward and Craig Buck

Memoir: “House Rules” by Rachel Sontag

Daughter of the Queen of Sheba: A Memoir by Jacki Lyden

When you and Your Mother Can’t Be Friends: Resolving the Most Complicated Relationship of Your Life by Victoria Secunda

Mean Mothers: Overcoming the Legacy of Hurt by Peg Streep

Mama Drama: Making Peace with the One Woman Who Can Push Your Buttons, Make You Cry, and Drive You Crazy by Denise McGregor

Mothers Who Drive Their Daughters Crazy: Ten Types of Impossible Moms and How to Deal with Them by Susan Simon Cohen and Edward M. Cohen

The Mother I Carry: A Memoir of Healing from Emotional Abuse by Louise M. Wisechild

The New Don’t Blame Mother: Mending the Mother-Daughter Relationship by Paula Caplan

Leaving Home: The Art of Separating From Your Difficult Family by David P. Celani

Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You by Susan Forward

Secret Daughter: A Mixed Race Daughter and the Mother Who Gave Her Away by June Cross

The Girl Nobody Wants by Lily O’Brien

Climbing the Broken Stairs: A Memoir by Frieda Annette Adkins

The New Orphan: When Parents Abandon their Adult Children by Judith Clyde

Mother, Stranger by Cris Beam

Why Me? By Sarah Burleton

Ten Reasons Adult Daughters Stay Connected to Toxic Mothers

4 Sep

Some adult daughters…

  • Feel that limiting contact or cutting off contact with their Toxic Mothers will somehow reflect badly on them. They worry that others will wonder what’s wrong with them if they can’t even maintain a relationship with their own mothers.
  • Hold onto the hope that their Toxic Mothers could “get better” or suddenly become more loving towards them.
  • Fear retaliation from their mothers for limiting or cutting off contact that could include being barred from family activities and holidays.
  • Figure that even a negative relationship is better than no relationship at all.
  • Maintain contact in order to monitor younger siblings and intervene when necessary.
  • See their bad relationship with their Toxic Mothers as the only conduit to a father they still love dearly.
  • Can’t let go of a shared history, even if it’s mostly negative.
  • Hope that their Toxic Mothers might miraculously make wonderful grandmothers.
  • Wonder deep down if their Toxic Mother’s aren’t right about them.
  • Can’t see their Toxic Mothers simply as other adults. They can’t see their Toxic Mothers as people. And because they can’t judge their Toxic Mothers as they would any other adult they stay connected.