There is only one way to avoid criticism:
do nothing,
say nothing,
and be nothing.
Honestly, having my dreams dashed by my mother wasn’t the only reason why I’d lost my focus on art.  Yes, it is true.  Words mess with your psyche.  It certainly messed with mine.  When you combine who says it with what they say it truly makes a huge difference.
If a stranger on the street criticizes you, it may take a few hours to shrug off the comments and you move on with your life.  When your mother says them, how do you walk away unscathed?
I’m a huge proponent of therapy.  I tried therapy a few years ago.  It felt good to cry and share some of the anguish I’d experienced to a licensed professional.  Honestly, my hour was all about how I was never enough for my mother.  But back then, therapy was so hush hush.  I never told anyone about my first attempt at therapy.  It had the aura of a dirty deed like paying for sex or bingeing on powdered donuts.
My mother was always so highly critical of my decisions.  I feel as if her criticism of me has made my life less happy and less successful than I could’ve been had I had a more supportive parent.
I’d like to think that I’ve developed a thick skin because she was so critical of me.  Like she’d blistered me to a point where I no longer feel.  Like I’m numb to all sensation.