Five Effects of Separating From a Toxic Mother

Sometimes, relationships with parents create suffering. In addition, there are fathers or mothers who aren't psychologically well which can have harmful effects on their children. Today we talk about five of the effects (or consequences) of separating from a toxic mother.
Five Effects of Separating From a Toxic Mother

Last update: 21 October, 2021

Parent-child relationships are not always what you might expect or imagine, or even how society claims they are. Indeed, there are no perfect or idyllic lives, even though sometimes you might find it hard to believe. In actual fact, there are many cases where one parent behaves in such a way that causes suffering and harm. Furthermore, sometimes children find themselves eventually making the tough decision of getting away from the parent in question. In this article, we talk about the effects of separating from a toxic mother.

How would this kind of decision affect you emotionally? What are the effects of separating from a mother with whom you have a toxic relationship or who exhibits a series of behaviors that are detrimental to your autonomy and well-being? Let’s find out.

Effects of separating from a toxic mother

What are the effects of separating from a toxic mother? Are they all negative or are there also some positives? This article is based on real testimonies from people who’ve experienced this kind of situation.

Above all, we’ll focus on what you might feel both emotionally and socially if you ever find yourself having to make a decision as tough as this.

Woman with doubts without knowing how to feel

Isolation and misunderstanding

Separating from a toxic mother may at first involve experiencing feelings of isolation and misunderstanding. This is because, socially and culturally, it’s not really accepted to distance or separate yourself from the person who gave you life.

As a matter of fact, these may be one of the first effects you experience. Fortunately, however, they can be worked on and your feelings will change over time. Nevertheless, don’t hesitate to ask for professional help if you feel you need it.

Guilt and shame

Another immediate consequence of separating from a toxic mother is the emergence of feelings of guilt and shame. This, to some extent, is “normal”, although it shouldn’t be. As with the previous point, they’re feelings that arise from the fact of having rejected your own mother, for your own unique and intensely personal reasons. Nevertheless, you may feel guilt because you think that you haven’t behaved very well.

However, in the case of shame, this might be more on a  “social” level. That’s because you’re bothered about what others may say or think. Indeed, unfortunately, it’s a sad fact that we’re all far too influenced by what others think about us.


Fortunately, not all the effects of separating from a toxic mother are negative. After all, remember that you’ve made the decision because you believe that it’ll ultimately be good for you.

For this reason, liberation is another of the feelings that can arise as a result of your decision. In fact, you’re freeing yourself from the negative consequences of maintaining the toxic relationship with your mother. From the suffering, the anguish… and all the negative aspects that the relationship generated in you.

We should mention that liberation usually appears after a period where you’ve worked hard to accept the new situation. That’s because it’s an extremely complex and painful reality.

However, the positive effects of separating from a toxic mother go beyond feelings of liberation. They also mean peace of mind and the cessation of suffering.

Feelings of ambivalence

The decision to separate from a toxic mother is always a difficult one. Therefore, once taken, it’s perfectly normal for you to feel ambivalent.

On the one hand, you feel liberated, calm, and at peace. However, on the other, you’re afraid that you might’ve made a mistake and have lost someone important. You have doubts. This is completely logical. In fact, this stage is part of the grieving process.


Feelings of uncertainty often ensue as a result of a decision that’s as complicated as moving away or breaking up with your own mother.

Uncertainty means you lack certainty about specific things. It’s the concern that arises as a result of not knowing what’s going to happen. Faced with an uncertain future, it’s perfectly normal for these types of feelings to arise. To work on them, you need to focus on the present moment.

“In the face of uncertainty, there is nothing wrong with hope.”

-Carl Simonton-

Boy thinking about the effects of separating from a toxic mother


In this article, we’ve described just a few of the effects of separating from a toxic mother. However, each individual’s reality is unique and not all people will follow the same process. What’s abundantly clear is that such a decision will shake your life in every way. Therefore, it’s logical that intense feelings of guilt, remorse, melancholy, and sadness will appear.

However, fortunately, positive and liberating feelings also occur, especially if you work on the situation by going to a professional and undergoing therapy. The positive feelings occur because you’ve ended a situation that caused you suffering and now you’ve taken control of your life once and for all.

Whatever you decide, make sure you reflect and recognize that your decision isn’t necessarily irrevocable. For example, you could distance yourself from your mother for a time and resume contact later, when things have calmed down. Alternatively, you could start family therapy with her.

You’re building your path of life and you must always make your decisions based on what you consider will do you good.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • James, J.W. & Friedman, R. (2001) Manual para superar las pérdidas emocionales. Los libros del comienzo. Madrid.
  • Rojas-Marcos, L. (2014). La familia: De relaciones tóxicas a relaciones sanas. Editorial Grijalbo.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.