The Tiny Way One Mom Made Her Daughter Feel Like She Didn't Matter Growing Up — Without Even Realizing It

Even the small things can make us feel unworthy.

woman with contemplative expression Max / Unsplash 

The ways we’re parented live inside us for long after we’ve grown up and separated from our families of origin.

The staying power of the patterns we were raised with can carry over into our adult lives in ways that make it hard to define who we are for ourselves.

A woman shared the tiny way her mom made her feel like she didn’t matter growing up, without even realizing it.

In a TikTok video, the woman described her family dynamics and the way her mom’s actions affected her sense of self, even into adulthood, saying, “One way my mom made me feel like I didn’t matter growing up was that everyone else seemed to deserve sympathy but I didn’t, like innately."




She gave an example, saying, “My cousin stole clothes from me, probably like, $300 of clothes. A pair of boots, a dress, a hat, multiple shirts, a bra, and my mom’s response to me was, ‘Oh, well, she doesn’t have her dad in her life, so, it’s okay.’”


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“To this day, my mom still won’t say that what she did was wrong,” she shared. “It really frustrated me back then, because this is just one example of [how] my mom could never, ever, ever, see me as someone who is allowed to have feelings.”

“My messaging that I got was that I don’t matter,” she said. “It’s okay that someone stole from me, it’s okay because they have less than you, so it’s okay that she did that to you.”

The Tiny Way One Mom Made Her Daughter Feel Like She Didn’t Matter Growing UpPhoto: Zhivko Minkov / Unsplash 


“This repeated so many times in my life that I genuinely thought I did not matter, by the time I was a young adult,” she said. “I really had gotten that subconscious programming.”

Once she learned to name the trauma of feeling discarded as a child, she was able to start healing.

“Part of not feeling that way anymore is recognizing what made me feel that way in the first place,” she said. “This type of stuff, I carry very deeply. Because I didn’t really care about the clothes. It was more her reaction that I wasn’t allowed to be upset.”

Not having our emotions validated by the people we love reinforces the message that the way we feel doesn’t actually matter.

The woman made another post detailing how her family dynamic harmed her, saying, “My sister got to have bad days and lash out, but if I even just defended myself, I got yelled at.”




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“My younger sister, who’s five years younger than me and is the middle child, could scream, yell, hit me, say atrocious things to me, all throughout our entire life, through teen years, through young adult years,” she explained. “It doesn’t matter what she said to me, I couldn’t defend myself.”

“If I defended myself, I was automatically the bad person,” she continued. “It got so bad… that I just sat there, quiet, and took the berating, and took someone yelling and screaming at me, and if I just sat there quietly, my sister would say, ‘Oh, you’re so passive-aggressive.’ I could just sit there quietly and do nothing and I was somehow doing something.”


She described her mother’s lack of support for her in those tense situations, saying, “My mom wouldn’t say anything about what my sister did.”

The Tiny Way One Mom Made Her Daughter Feel Like She Didn’t Matter Growing UpPhoto: Fa Barboza / Unsplash 

The message she received was that her emotions didn't matter, while her sister's did.

“And you wonder how people pleasers are groomed,” she continued. “That’s what I think happens: I think we’re groomed to be people pleasers. I think we’re primed to be pushovers; we’re primed to take abuse from other people.”


In expressing her story, the woman was working to validate her own experience in the ways her mother denied her.

Licensed therapist Jeff Geunther shared an important message for people whose lived experiences have been devalued by the people around them, exclaiming, “Your emotional experience matters.”



“It’s important that you surround yourself with people who can validate your feelings,” he continued, before imparting a call to action for people who feel invalidated.

“Stop gaslighting yourself,” he said. “Stop brushing off real emotions that you’re having. Stop dismissing how you feel because you think you’re too sensitive … Let it out and be compassionate with yourself.”


Ultimately, having compassion for ourselves as people who feel all our feelings is an inherent part of taking up space and saying that we matter and that we deserve to exist. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers mental health, pop culture analysis, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.