I know you think you’re helping her, but in reality, your constant criticism is doing more damage to your daughter than you could even imagine. You’re her mom, her hero, but right now your daughter can hardly breathe when she’s around you. She’s frozen by fear that she’ll do something wrong and you’ll crucify her for the millionth time.
Can’t you hear her heart drop when you tell her she shouldn’t be wearing that crop top, she shouldn’t laugh so loud, and she needs to find better friends? I know you think if only she’d “take your advice instead of rolling her eyes and ignoring you” she’d be so much better off, but there’s so much more going on that you’re blind to.
What you don’t see is how much pain and heartache there is behind her eye roll, she’s not shrugging you off, she’s fighting back the tears that come with your criticism. You genuinely think she’d be better off doing the exact opposite of everything she is doing, and that’s tearing her apart.
I hope you realize soon that every time you ask her what she ate, you’re making her hate food. It’s these little comments that add together in her mind, associating food with stress. She’ll make the subconscious decision to stop snacking and only eat salads if that’s what it takes to gain your approval. And little by little, those salads will become smaller and sooner or later, she won’t eat anything at all. She’ll become a shadow of the person she used to be, spiraling out because you stole every sense of control from her.
I hope you soon realize that the more you tell her who she should hang out with, the more likely she is to end up with the wrong crowd. Somehow, you have something to say about every single friend she brings home. You tell her to “watch out for that one” and to “keep your guard up because that girl is trouble,” when they’re actually great girls. You’re pushing her away from the people who could do some actual good in her life. She doesn’t know what it’s like to think for herself, to form her own opinion on someone without you whispering what she should think in her ear.
I hope one day soon, you realize how damaging it is for her to hear ‘no’ from you all the time. What you don’t seem to realize is that when you try and control every aspect of her life, every decision she makes, you’re teaching her that she doesn’t have a voice. You’re making her think her thoughts and opinions are useless and she shouldn’t trust her gut. And you know what happens when you steal someone’s right to make their own decisions? They lose their sense of self and fuck up, big time. She doesn’t understand the power of her actions, she doesn’t know how impactful one minor decision can be. And when she does learn that, it’s going to be the hard way because you wouldn’t allow her to learn the easy way, the way every other little girl got to.
Without even realizing it, you’ve raised your daughter to hate herself. She can’t trust her gut or other people for that matter. Every day she wakes up overwhelmed by self-doubt, unsure how she is going to be able to handle everything life throws at her. Your daughter’s chest fills with anxiety when she comes home after a night out with her friends, terrified of what you’ll say to her. She doesn’t feel comfortable going to you with her problems, but no matter what the situation, you’re going to find a way to make her feel worse about it.
I hope you realize this before it’s too late because you still have time to save her. I know it might be hard to see right now, but your manipulation and controlling behaviors are starting to really take a toll on her. A daughter needs a strong motherly figure in her life, not someone who will tell her what to do and when to do at all times. She deserves better than that, better than how you’ve been treating her. So, I hope you decide to be there for your daughter like she deserves before she cuts you out of her life like you never existed.
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