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Author Topic: At a loss for words  (Read 3043 times)

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rainshadow

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At a loss for words
« on: August 05, 2012, 10:46:30 AM »

My mom has started this new thing the last couple days where she'll get off the phone and after she says, "I love you and miss you", she'll say, "God Bless You"... now to some people that's fairly harmless, and I know she means no ill will, but I know the stand point she's coming from and it's her "way" of bringing up the fact that I'm a pagan and she doesn't agree with it. It makes me highly uncomfortable and I don't know what to say to her because she always has to get the last word in and she says it smack dab at the end of our convos. I also don't know how to tell her that it makes me uncomfortable because I don't want to hurt her feelings. Even my in-laws aren't this pushing and they are VERY strict Christians (my mother is Catholic). Any advice?
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dragonspring

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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2012, 11:22:21 AM »

I guess I have to ask why it makes you so uncomfortable.  My mom and sister sometimes say things that indicate their disagreement with my path but I just take it as an expression of their caring for me.  Loving someone does not equate to agreeing with them on everything.
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FairyQueen

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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 11:24:22 AM »

I agree with DS. Good luck in whatever you do.
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Tirya

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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2012, 12:15:15 PM »

My first gut reaction is "Let her have her passive-aggressive dig and just reply 'Love you too, Mom' and hang up."

If you know that she doesn't mean any ill will and you know that she always has to get the last word in, then it sounds like arguing about it isn't going to help at all. If she really wants to talk to you about it, then it's her responsibility to be able to do so in an adult manner.

My $0.02 is to not let it bother you and let it go - it's her issue to deal with, not yours.

You may want to do some introspection into why it makes you uncomfortable. Do you feel you need her approval to follow your path? Do you feel like you've let her down or are a disappointment to her? Why does her saying that really bother you? Those are questions that only you can answer, and if you try to be honest about why her saying that makes you uncomfortable, you may find some insight into how to address it.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 12:20:55 PM by Tirya »
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rainshadow

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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2012, 12:42:28 PM »

I honestly don't know why it makes me so uncomfortable, other than I've shied away from that path and went my own way, but there are times when I still struggle with letting go of old beliefs (which I've posted about before), and I think it's just makes me feel... weird... I guess... when she says it.

There is a very strong abuse history between my mother and I, and we haven't had much of a great relationship until the last few years when I finally moved away from my home town... growing up though, I was never good enough, never did this or that, wasn't "girly" enough, I was always compared to my little sister, among other things and we've worked to rebuild our relationship, which we are still in the process of doing. I'm in therapy for what I went through as a kid, so I don't know if it's really an approval thing or not, but I do know I've felt like a disappointment my entire life. My mother flipped back and forth between telling me how proud she was of me for my accomplishments and telling me I was the worst daughter ever, and looking back on it, I really think it depended on her stress level and her sobriety when it came to how she felt about me on any given day. She wasn't really this way with my brothers or sister, possibly because they weren't blood related and I was her only biological daughter (that's how I've always felt anyways)... an example would be when I became a cop... on a good day, she was so proud of me for being a police officer and helping people, on a bad day, I was a coward who hid behind my badge and just did it because I was bullied in high school... things like that are how back and forth she is.

When she first asked me about being pagan, I was open with her and she said she wouldn't judge me and would love me all the same, but every time I spoke to her after that, it was, "You need to put down the tarot cards and pick up a bible" or something similar... then she stopped for a while and she started up with this a few days ago. So it's new territory and I'm not really sure how to handle it, it just makes me feel uncomfortable and I really don't want to hurt her feelings by saying something to her about it.
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Tirya

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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2012, 12:48:08 PM »

 ()

If she has a history of being that back-and-forth about things, maybe just ignoring it and treating it like "a phase" would be the best plan for now?

Everything that you posted still says to me that it's not about you, it's about her. It's not something you have done wrong, and it is not your job to make her happy about your choices.
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rainshadow

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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2012, 12:51:05 PM »

I'm trying to ignore it, I just really am having a hard time of coming to terms with it and don't understand why I'm really uncomfortable. I mean, a little old lady (one of my patients) said it to me last week and it didn't bother me one bit, but coming from my mother is a whole different ball game.

And to add... she's had friends who were of different faiths... one of her best friends was Cherokee that practiced Native American spirituality and another of her friends was a Wiccan. She's also had friends that were gay (I'm bisexual), and she still hung out with them... but knowing that I practice paganism and am bisexual really doesn't sit with her... maybe she had different expectations of me because I'm her daughter, but I don't believe in judging people based on their beliefs/sexuality/etc., especially when your friends with people that are in the same "group" so to speak of the people you are judging (I don't think it's fair to judge me the way that she has, yet she is accepting of her friends doing the same). Again, maybe she just had different expectations of me, but it doesn't really feel fair at all.
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Nicodemus

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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2012, 03:36:24 PM »

Hi Jenxd
Could you say "God bless in return"? A bit like when we say "happy birthday" although it isn't our birthday it is just a way to wish them well.
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BronwynWolf

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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2012, 04:04:27 PM »

Jen, for what it is worth:

I get the feeling you're uncomfortable with it coming from your mother because of all the BS you had dealt with before...you admit you are still working through it, and it has to be in your mind that she may pull the same again. It may be hard, but in the long run, if you can teach yourself to ignore it, you'll be happier for it. Is she judging you differently? Yeah, sounds like. Sometimes parents do. It's like "Things like that don't happen around here" and "Not in my back yard". Live your life the best you can, learn to let her little tics roll off, and get on with healing.
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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2012, 04:27:40 PM »

I agree with Bron and Tir ... if it doesn't bother you when others say "God bless you" then it's an issue with your mother only.  Remember, we all interpret things said to us based on our experiences, and it sounds like your experiences with your mother have taught you to question her motives (and rightly so from what you've posted).

If you can change your view of your mother to one of feeling compassionate toward her because of her issues, it would go a long way toward being able to ignore the motive behind her statements or actions.  :squeezes:
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rainshadow

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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2012, 07:06:45 PM »

Hi Jenxd
Could you say "God bless in return"? A bit like when we say "happy birthday" although it isn't our birthday it is just a way to wish them well.

Hi Nico, and if I did that, she would tell me I would be doing it wrong. The only reason I say that is because there was a time where she was going through bankruptcy and foreclosure on their home that they built when I was a kid... she was super stressed, cried every time we were on the phone together, and she goes, "Please pray for me" (which the word "pray" in itself is many things to different people, I planned on lighting a candle on my altar for her and sending good energies)... When I said, "I will" (didn't tell her how I was going to do it, I just told her I would), she goes, "I didn't mean pray to your crazy Wiccan gods, pray to the good, loving god you are supposed to, stop doing the devil's work" When she said that, I was taken aback and pretty speechless. I mean, telling me to put down the tarot cards and picking up a bible is one thing, but she just totally bashed my belief system with misconceptions. So I wouldn't feel right saying it back, and I also would believe knowing how my mother is, if I were to say it back, I would get some sort of response from her laced in her not being able to believe that I actually mean "God Bless You" because I don't practice her faith... know what I mean?
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rainshadow

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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2012, 07:10:50 PM »

I agree with Bron and Tir ... if it doesn't bother you when others say "God bless you" then it's an issue with your mother only.  Remember, we all interpret things said to us based on our experiences, and it sounds like your experiences with your mother have taught you to question her motives (and rightly so from what you've posted).

If you can change your view of your mother to one of feeling compassionate toward her because of her issues, it would go a long way toward being able to ignore the motive behind her statements or actions.  :squeezes:

I am trying to feel compassionate, but that being said, it's hard to feel compassion towards someone who abused you for so long. I'm trying because I know a lot of her issues (she's also got some mental health issues, whether or not that was caused by the drugs or alcohol, I don't know) and she still admits to some of her addictions (pills mostly), but she was a mess when I was a kid... given all of that though, it doesn't excuse what she did to us, and it's very hard to look at it compassionately. I love her to death, I really do, we've had some great times together, but most of my memories of her aren't really good ones. Ya know?
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rainshadow

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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2012, 07:16:01 PM »

I also wanted to add... when someone says, "God Bless You", I think of it as them sending me a positive blessing/positive energy (just in their own way)... they don't know that I practice a different faith (well, most don't know), but if that's how they spread good energy, then kudos to 'em. I think it's kind of like saying "God Damn It"... I had a friend once who said no matter your faith system, you are asking the deity to damn something, or otherwise sending out negative energy... so I try to keep that in mind when I speak (not wanting to send out negative energy). I mean, I know it would offend some of my family and friends if I went, "Oh hey, Goddess Bless!" Ya know? But since I believe in a God and a Goddess, someone saying "God Bless You" doesn't really bother me (again, except for my mother) because that's there way of sending me a blessing.
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I cannot wait for a saviour, my angel is long gone
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Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
-Helen Keller

Crystal Dragon

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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2012, 08:09:21 PM »

I am trying to feel compassionate, but that being said, it's hard to feel compassion towards someone who abused you for so long. I'm trying because I know a lot of her issues (she's also got some mental health issues, whether or not that was caused by the drugs or alcohol, I don't know) and she still admits to some of her addictions (pills mostly), but she was a mess when I was a kid... given all of that though, it doesn't excuse what she did to us, and it's very hard to look at it compassionately. I love her to death, I really do, we've had some great times together, but most of my memories of her aren't really good ones. Ya know?

I do know ... probably better than most.  My mother hasn't spoken to me in over 10 years because I explained to her (calmly, and without drama) that I no longer wanted to play the games she plays.  It took a long time to get over the hurt and anger of a parent basically disowning me for speaking the truth calmly.

I sense a lot of anger and betrayal in your posts about your mother.  I'm sure she's picking up on that in an energetic sense and is either responding to it, or "feeding" off it.  I know it's really tough to step back and deal with a parent just as a messed up adult, but if you can, your behavior and reactions may cause some change in her.  Just food for thought.  :squeezes:
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dragonspring

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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2012, 08:47:51 PM »

I also am seeing quite a bit of repressed anger here too and I don't think it is being helped at all by the need not to hurt your mother's feelings.  It might be good to recognize that you have a right to that anger if your mother was abusive and to either express it constructively or let it go.  ""Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." - Siddhartha Buddha
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rainshadow

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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2012, 11:08:54 PM »

Thanks DS and CD. And I do feel like I'm holding onto some anger... which is one reason I'm going to therapy, to muddle through this mess and try to undo my life's negative emotional programming. I don't hate her, but there are times when I resent her because she'll never fess up. She's apologized immensely to my little sister (my brothers really aren't in the picture) and told her that she could have been a better mother, but I haven't heard a word of it, and it hurts. A lot. I'm the only person out of my siblings and I that really made something of myself/applied myself, and I'm not saying that to compare, I'm saying it because I'm her one kid that didn't screw up, so maybe she feels like she doesn't need to apologize for hurting me the way that she has because I turned out okay?

I think I'm just not going to call her for a few days... give my mind time to process this and see how I'm going to deal with it. I didn't know this would put such anxiety on me really, over three simple words, that my mother said. I usually talk to her every morning after work just to say hey and I love you. So I'm gonna give it a break and see what happens.
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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2012, 03:09:44 AM »

 :squeezes:

If I may?  My guess is that your mother "apologizing" is a means of exerting control over your siblings.  But if she senses (unconsciously) that you won't respond in a manner beneficial to her there would be no point in doing so with you. 

My mother spends so much time and energy manipulating others to make herself feel better it's baffling ... if she were to spend that much effort attempting to actually get along with everyone she could do amazing things.  And I simply do not have the capacity to understand how a mother can choose to ignore a child instead of working on repairing the relationship.

So I eventually realized that I cannot change who she is, and had to accept that she is as flawed (or perhaps moreso) as the rest of us.  Forgiveness can be hard when the other party is unwilling to discuss the hurts, but forgiving our parents for being flawed and unable to see it is something I've found essential in my own growth.
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BronwynWolf

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Re: At a loss for words
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2012, 03:30:22 PM »

:squeezes:

If I may?  My guess is that your mother "apologizing" is a means of exerting control over your siblings.  But if she senses (unconsciously) that you won't respond in a manner beneficial to her there would be no point in doing so with you. 

My mother spends so much time and energy manipulating others to make herself feel better it's baffling ... if she were to spend that much effort attempting to actually get along with everyone she could do amazing things.  And I simply do not have the capacity to understand how a mother can choose to ignore a child instead of working on repairing the relationship.

So I eventually realized that I cannot change who she is, and had to accept that she is as flawed (or perhaps moreso) as the rest of us.  Forgiveness can be hard when the other party is unwilling to discuss the hurts, but forgiving our parents for being flawed and unable to see it is something I've found essential in my own growth.
BINGO!

I know how blessed I am that I did NOT have to deal with that from my parents. I had my own issues with a few relatives growing up, and I had to make the choice to STOP letting them affect me. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have the life I have now, and I'd be one totally screwed up mess.
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