How do I not allow the negative things that comes out of my mothers mouth to affect me? I’m 35

My “mother” has been belittling me since I can remember. As a child and a teen I would say I was adopted because of comments she made. Now that I have my own child I do not want my child to feel like I have.
Asked by Kiki

When we have grown up with significant negative communication, especially when we are within the ages of 5-10, those words really help in creating our own inner voice that we hear consistently. Those negative words and way of thinking of ourselves becomes as natural to us as breathing. However, it does not mean that we have to continue to have that way of looking at ourselves and thinking of ourselves. We can work to take those thoughts, I refer to them as Automatic Negative Thoughts, and replace them with first more realistic thoughts and the work to get to a place of positivity. 

One of the first things that we do is work to set some healthy boundaries with the person that has triggered us to feel this way. There is a mentality that exists that just because someone is family we have to allow them in our lives no matter how they treat us or leave us feeling and that is both unhealthy and unreasonable. We have the right and ability to create separation with those that bring us down and leave us feeling less than what we really are. It can be a hard thing to create that separation, but in doing so you are creating a healthy environment for both you and your child. 

Second we have to really look at the things that we are thinking and identify them. When we identify the thoughts, such as “I am not good enough” we then have to look at a realistic alternative such as “I am worthy as a person no matter what others say”. Working through the main negative thoughts that we are experiencing, and really working to create that more realistic alternative to each one allows us to start creating a healthier foundation for how we look at ourselves. Once we create this list we have to work each day to focus in on these alternatives and reiterate their truth. It does not happen overnight but the more we put the healthier thoughts into our minds the more true they become. 

During these times, it is also really important to make sure that we have a healthy support network of people that are putting positivity into us if that’s possible. We don’t all have a huge network but one or two people that you can communicate with and that you feel good around and that help uplift you is really healthy and beneficial. 

Overall we have to remember we did not get to this place overnight so it can take time. But putting in the work to transition the lens we look at ourselves through is very healthy and worth it.