My mother called last night. For a variety of reasons, it depresses me to talk to her these days. One of the things she said to me was, “I should have had three children, then maybe I’d have had a normal one.” WTF! She always has something hurtful to say like that. She always has to get a dig in, though she acts like she’s joking, but she never actually says it in a joking tone.
Then, she started in on “that idiot Biden.” I told her I’d voted for Biden because he was a good Christian who went to church every Sunday, while she voted for Trump who never attends church. The problem is that Biden attending church regularly means nothing to her because she doesn’t believe Catholics are real Christians. She’s not the only ignorant Protestant that believes that. She also sees Biden as godless because he’s a Democrat, so she can’t allow herself to believe he’s a Christian and deludes herself that Trump is a good Christian even though I have no idea how that delusion exists.
I reminded her that she’ll vote for anyone and everyone with a (R) behind their name even if they are a rapist or someone who tried to overthrow the government (Trump) or a child molester (Roy Moore) or any number of complete idiots (ex. Tommy Tuberville). Her response was, “Yes, I will. Do you go to church every Sunday?” I said I don’t because I can’t find a church up here that I like, but I study my Bible every Sunday. I would love to tell her that I have people from all over the world of many faiths who read my devotionals every Sunday and often write to me to tell me what an inspiration they find my writing. She would just get mad and not understand. She can barely use the internet, so it would do no good.
She just pisses me off so much! And, she wonders why I don’t call her. I will probably go home at Christmas, but it’s more to see friends of mine than to see my family. I know I’ll be depressed and made to feel like crap while I’m home. The only enjoyment I get from being with my parents these days is doing all of the cooking while I’m home. I can immerse myself into that and disregard the rest, at least for a little while. I don’t think she understands just how much my mental health and physical health (except for the headaches) have improved over the past couple of years that I haven’t been home because of the pandemic.
July 22nd, 2022 at 6:50 am
Emotional abuse/blackmail is why I divorced my family. Toxic relationships – even from family – has to be let go or one will never have a really independent life without that sense of “guilt” – and resulting anger – from arising. “I suppose you are blaming me?” and “what did i do wrong?” are some of the top playlists. My final Christmas was enough. Everyone pretending everything was “normal”. And that is the point, there is no “normal” as long as long as one is attached like a molding twig on the family tree. I made an extended family of my own and am much happier now.
July 22nd, 2022 at 1:45 pm
I know it is difficult, particularly for those who’ve been raised in a deeply religious community, to break away from the prejudices that are embodied in that experience. I have seen the painful consequences of that for gay people especially living here in the South. Family and tradition demand much respect but tradition can also be a “reason” for avoiding change and emotional ties can be opportunities for blackmail against those who deviate from what mom and dad and community find threatening. It seems that your relationship with your mother has elements of toxicity. It is not affirming and you indicate that it causes you pain. It is a difficult situation to deal with. One can cut off entirely, or limit visits and times, or request that certain topics not be discussed. However, I sense that even if the latter two were honored the undercurrents would still be there. I have been following your blog for some time and I’ve hated that you suffer so much from migraines and other ailments. Could some of your physical pain be the result of your relationship with your mother?
July 22nd, 2022 at 1:49 pm
Michael, I know stress adds to my migraines, and my family is a major component of the cause of my depression, which also adds to my migraines. It’s going to come to a head at some point, and I plan to give my mother an ultimatum: either accept me or leave me alone completely. At the current time, her only contribution to my life is stress.
July 22nd, 2022 at 2:03 pm
I don’t blame you for not calling her. I face similar issues with my 90 year old father.
July 22nd, 2022 at 4:50 pm
Joe, this year give a Christmas present to yourself and go to Montreal in December. Use the money that you would otherwise spend traveling between Vermont and Alabama, never an easy trip, and now that the airlines are in disintegration, probably a nightmare. Amazon will fulfill delivery of the obligatory gifts to the putative “loved ones” without your having to incur the sour stomach those trips “home” usually give you. I think it is entirely possible for you to follow the Fifth Commandment from afar.