1. My toxic mother won’t kill me. If she could, she would have already.
2. Any guilt I feel regarding my toxic mother was planted, watered and tended by my mother.
3. If my toxic mother were a co-worker or neighbor and I moved away, I’d never visit her again.
4. Family secrets instill guilt and shame. Are you being paid to keep family secrets? It’s not my job to keep family secrets.
5. If I hear my mother’s voice in my head belittling me, tell her out loud she’s wrong. It’s okay.
6. Any mother who could be cruel to a child is not going to apologize to that child when they’ve grown up.
7. I will take everything negative about my mother and flip it in my life: I will create a welcoming and warm home life; I will express love and encourage others daily; I will extend myself to those in need and I will remember: a life well-lived is the best revenge.
8. Five ways to say no to my toxic mother: No, I won’t be doing that. No, don’t count on my being there. No, I’m done subjecting myself to your drama. No, I choose not to accept the stress. No, I have more positive things to do.
9. I can tell my toxic mother that as I’ve grown into a woman (or man) I’ve developed a better understanding of the choices she made. (That should shut her up for a few moments).
10. My toxic mother can only intimidate me if I let her. While she’s busy trying to bully the child me, the adult me can reject her, ignore her, correct her, or report her to authorities.
11. I will amuse myself to avoid getting sucked in to her games. I will keep an egg timer, a pad and paper by the phone. I will tally the lies, the guilt trips and the demands she can make in 3 minutes. Then I will hang up.
12. I will never fight crazy with crazy. Crazy is my toxic mother’s “hood.”
13. Repeat after me: My toxic mother does not live in my head. She lives in her head.
14. When relatives and friends say they can’t understand how I can treat my mother the way I do, I’ll consider telling them the truth.
15. I know that a toxic mother is an unnatural disaster.
16. I can laugh or I can cry. I will laugh. It’ll annoy the hell out of my toxic mother.
17. I will never hand my toxic “mom bomb” the match.
18. On Mother’s Day and other family holidays I will focus on the positive women (and men) in my life. I will thank them for their caring, kindness and encouragement.
19. The cruel rule of RSVP is that the one person you hope will decline always comes. I promise to never actually extend an invitation to an event at which I’d hate to see my toxic mother.
20.Mother-daughter time is precious only if it’s positive.
21. I will give my toxic mother the one gift she never gave me: the truth.
22. I will not let my toxic mother rob me of rich friendships with women who on the surface remind me of her. (What are the odds your mother had an even more evil twin?)
23. Remember what my dad said: nobody can resist a joyous woman. I chose to remain joyous in spite of my mother.
24. I am open to consider that my toxic mother may have been treated even more badly as a child than I was. (This thought could keep you from throwing something).
25. I know there is no dishonor in retreat. I know that refusing to join in battle is a small victory when it comes to toxic mothers.
26. Keeping my children away from my toxic mother is a no-brainer. I choose to introduce them to kind, responsible elders instead. (Don’t know any? Consider visiting or volunteering with your child at a senior center or veterans home for an hour a week.)
27. Honor thy mother and father? I can choose to honor them by respecting myself first.
28. I will stare down my toxic mom fears until they fear me more.
29. That which is most personal is most universal. I know people will understand if I simply say, “My mother is not a nice person, but I am.”
30. Whose little girl am I? I can be my own little girl. I can care for and nurture her myself.