The journey is not an easy one, and it’s different for every woman that goes through it. It’s messy, but it’s worth it to be able to work through the emotional damage that’s been done and be ready to move forward with the right view of themselves. However, if a daughter is willing to submit to the process, then she can find healing and freedom on the other side.
In most cases, something that makes it more difficult for a woman to go it through the process is that they have a hard time sticking with it. They have cut their mother out of their life as they should, but keep letting her back in, because they keep longing for that love that they missed out on, and they keep believing that she will change. In the end, these daughters always end up hurt once again and become trapped in a cycle rather than walking the road to recovery.
The best way for a daughter to grieve the loss of a mother’s love is by following the five stages of grief. She should keep in mind, however, that these scenes are not steps to follow. Not everyone is going to go through all of them, and they’re not necessarily going to go in order. In fact, many times women will bounce between stages and can go back through the same phase multiple times or even be in more than one stage at a time. Since everybody’s process is different, this is normal.
Here are the five stages of grief and how they relate to a woman on her way to recovery after an unloving childhood.
This is a stage that most women are in for years or even decades. Some part of their mind is aware that there is a problem, but because they also recognize that the severity of the problem is more than they can handle, their brain shuts it out and refuses to acknowledge the issue as a way to avoid letting in more pain than can be controlled. For an unloved daughter, she doesn’t see how badly her mother has wounded her and denies her pain, often until her mother dies.
Typically, anger is the way raw pain is expressed, so even though the daughter may be more hurt and sad than angry; it comes out in anger. She could be mad at any number of targets, including her mother, her father, siblings that she believes were loved when she wasn’t, herself, God, or even life itself. Because this anger is covering other emotions, it is often irrational or illogical in its targets and intensity.
In many cases, the only way to get through this stage and to overcome the overwhelming amount of anger a daughter is experiencing is to forgive whoever or whatever she is angry with. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what that person did was ok, but it releases the hold that person has over the daughter and it allows the daughter to let go of the bitterness towards others that’s wounding her.
For unloved daughters, this stage is another one that could last for many years much like denial. She believes that if she can accomplish certain things or act a certain way that she will eventually get the love and support from her mother that she desperately wants. However, no amount of work will gain the appreciation of an unloving mother, leaving the daughter helpless to make any changes. She has to be willing to stop bargaining to move forward.
This stage is when the feelings of pain and loss are finally felt as they were meant to be explored, and it’s a critical stage to be in for as long as it takes. Society likes to tell people to “snap out of it” or to “stop being sad,” but it doesn’t work that way. To make it through this stage and get to the other side, these daughters need to cry and feel the loss for as long as it takes for them to be able to leave it behind.
This doesn’t mean that they accept everything that has been done to them as ok or that everything is fine. What recognition says is that a daughter has acknowledged that there has been a loss and accepts that this loss has negatively changed her life. It also means that she is ready to learn to live without her mother’s love and truly begin to recover by forging new relationships.