Mother's Day Conundrum...

  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    May 07, 2009 11:30 PM GMT
    This time of year is always difficult for me. Any time I turn on the TV, walk into a store, etc..., I am inundated with something to do with Mother's Day.

    I have a very tenuous relationship with her these days-- and that's describing it positively. My mother is very religious, and took my sexuality very harshly. She felt I was choosing to reject my religion, community, family, and everything they had planned for me... needless to say, I was a very depressed teenager growing up who dealt with the abuse of this on a daily basis.

    The odd thing is, I never felt my mother stopped loving me or stopped being proud of me. In fact, it was because of those things that I sometimes felt she was acting out. Despite the abuse I endured privately, in a public light, she'd always be the one at the back of the room or the highest bleacher softly cheering for me when she thought I could not see it.

    When I started college, I was so filled with anger and hurt that I decided to cut off all connection with my family. I didn't go home for vacations and never even called. I put myself through college and did not need my family-- or so I thought.

    At some point, my family got the message, and came around. It no longer mattered whom I dated; I was at last viewed as their son again and they were sorry. I tried to be a big person and forge a new relationship, but I seem to be failing these last few years...

    Anytime I am in the same room as my mother or even on the phone, the part of me that was tormented and remembers what occurred emerges from the repressed state of mind I conduct on a daily basis. She could just call to say hello, and I'll be vicious unrightfully, hanging up the phone wondering whom exactly that was saying those things because it's not who I am or whom I want to be.

    On my most recent visit home, I saw my mother for the first time in nine months. She was enthusiastic to see me, and I, like always, treated her poorly. But in my visit, I really could see age take its toll on her. She has been in poor health ever since a cardiac arrest episode, and every day she just seems closer and closer to her end.

    I have been living my life as if my mother will live forever, and when the time comes I can make my amends, but I know this is not the case. And in fact, I do really love her, and wish I could let go of whatever grudge is buried in me.

    I know I have every right to be angry and cut off contact to this day, but I don't want to be consumed by this. I feel like an awful son a lot of the time and am really disappointed by my actions icon_redface.gif

    I probably rambled too much, but it's something that's been on my mind. I know I can't be the only one out there with mother issues, and I was wondering if any of you guys with more experience, more age than I have, could offer any insight and wisdom to my situation. Thanks.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 08, 2009 12:38 AM GMT
    grow up you are acting like a petulant child. your family came around and though it took time they did the right thing. now you have to do the same.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 08, 2009 12:41 AM GMT
    Well I think Chungo may have oversimplified, but reach out to her. Christians don´t have the final word on forgiveness If you don´t forgive then YOU end up being eaten by it.

  • DukeAtreides

    Posts: 64

    May 08, 2009 12:58 AM GMT
    Sorry Chungo, but I have to disagree. His feelings are natural and likely justified. If emotions were easy to deal with, life would be much simpler.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't try and forgive them and put it behind you, calibro, but from reading what you wrote, you already want to do that. I wish I could tell you how to move past this, but I'm not exactly experienced in these matters. You could try and start with an apology, even a written one, so that you can say exactly what's on your mind to them - including the fact that you want to stop holding a grudge but can't quite manage to yet.

    Good luck and be strong.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 08, 2009 1:00 AM GMT
    I have no useful solutions, either -- because I'm dealing with the same family issues -- but wanted to wish you luck!
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    May 08, 2009 1:13 AM GMT
    A mother's duty is to drive her children crazy. Or so it seems from my observations.

    The older you get the worse they get.

    I'm as old as my grandparents were when I became aware that I was a human being. Meaning I'm old (over 25.)

    My mother still criticizes what I'm wearing. She still tells me to take out the garbage instead of asking me to take out the garbage. She thinks I have a shitty job, even though she told someone that Eileen's daughter has a "really good job" which is exactly the same as my job.

    This is normal mother behaviour.

    It's also normal, I think, to be a bit neurotic when you're gay. It's why str8 people take us on as pets and invite us to their parties.

    We're wacky and fun to be with. Your mother will realize that too if you just be yourself, and book a table at her favourite fast food restaurant.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 08, 2009 1:37 AM GMT
    The mother relationship is is the closest relationship you can possibly have with another human being. She carried you for 9 months, gave birth to you, and probably knows you better than anyone else ever will.
    For that you can put up with, and forgive, a great deal. Don't wait too long to work on your relationship. Do it while there are still things that you can enjoy doing together, and before it becomes obvious that you are attempting to reconcile only because you know time is running out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 08, 2009 1:50 AM GMT
    I don't know how openly you have discussed your feelings with your family in the past. Is your mother aware how you feel about her and why? If the answers are 'no', have you ever thought of writing a letter to your mom, about what you just told us?

    If you have a hard time being with her on the phone or in the same room, this might help you stay focused and get everything out that YOU want to bring up. The nice part is, that you will not be there when she reads the letter. She can think of how to reply and you don't have to see her initial reaction.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    May 08, 2009 1:54 AM GMT
    There comes a time in your life where you will have to forgive her and yourself for the way your relationship has been and decide to make it better. Nothing has to be said for this to happen.

    My relationship with my mother was strained for quite awhile, not due to my sexuality. I have made peace with what happened, and even though it still does affect me, I have forgiven her and accepted she's only human.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 08, 2009 1:57 AM GMT
    I'm sorry you are in this conundrum. I've faced similiar feelings with my own mother. She pretty much ran off after my father died from cancer, leaving me to deal with it on my own. At the same time, Going to catholic elementary, middle, and high school gay really messed me up.

    I was REALLY angry with her when I went to college and avoided her also. I also treated her poorly. And her health has also declined. She never rejected me due to my homosexuality, but I was angry over feeling rejected and being subjected to harsh religious views because of her.

    I think I reached the same point that you're at about a year ago. I was tired of treating her harshly over things that she had clearly come around at. I just realized one day that it wasn't worth it to be angry. Of course I had to go to therapy for months at the end of 2008 to really be able to move on, but I did. It's not easy, but forging a relationship with your parents, and facing those feelings are the only way you will ever begin to be happy about the situation.

    It's just not worth the emotional drama to be angry anymore, especially if she's come around. The only thing holding you back now is, well, you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 08, 2009 2:02 AM GMT
    I think you just have to live in the moment and let go of the past. If she's not attacking you, there's no need to play defense which seems to be the roll you're describing. Holding grudges because of the past is going to get you nowhere in your relationship with your mother or the rest of your family. Families are one of those things that teach you to appreciate what you've got because you cannot change your family of origin and move on to a new one. That's just not the way it works.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 08, 2009 2:04 AM GMT
    calibro -- I wish you much luck in dealing with this man. I hope you can take some comfort in the fact that your not alone in that situation.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 08, 2009 2:07 AM GMT
    I'm speaking from experience here when I say forgive her and develop as good a relationship with her as you can because she'll be gone all too soon. And whether or not you like to admit it, her being an ever-loving bitch to you has helped to make and mold you into the person you are. My mother never came to accept my homosexuality (although on the upside my father is coming around) and she was an out and out bitch to all the guys I ever dated and to me when they were around.She died from an autoimmune disease six months before I received my PhD. Throughout that entire ceremony, all I could do was sit and cry because she wasn't there to see my biggest accomplishment. I realized, however, during that ceremony that it was because of her that I was sitting there. It was because of her I had the balls to move across the country to a place where I knew no one and get that education. It was because of her and how she raised me that I had the strength of character to come to terms with my sexuality and be okay with it and not hide. Ironically, it was because of her that I was out in front of her and didn't try and "act straight" in her presence. It really was because of her that I am the strong person that I am today and I wouldn't have it any differently -- except for her to still be alive and be able to spend Mother's Day with her again. So go buy your mom a big ol' bouquet of flowers and a cheesy card and start developing a relationship with her.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 08, 2009 2:59 AM GMT
    Calibro, I understand exactly where you are coming from. I have disowned my mom many times in my life and it was always my sister who managed to bring us back together.

    Yesterday my mom called and I knew I didn't want to answer the phone but I did and she pissed me off so much I hung up on her and am thinking very seriously on disowning her again. This time for good. Why did I get so pissed off? Because she can't understand why people like us try to fight homophobia. That woman has been nothing but unsupportive to me that I'm convinced my life would be better by leaps and bounds if I didn't have to deal with her negativity and very crappy advice. I almost called my sister to tell her that I would not be there on Sunday but I figured I would wait until tomorrow or Saturday and see if I calmed down. I haven't calmed down yet.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 12, 2012 9:10 PM GMT
    I hate to necro a 3 year thread, but I'm glad I found that I'm not alone with these feelings toward my mother. The OP and the poster above me describe the same situation I have.

    What really pisses me off is when she would find the best gift to her on Mother's Day is for me to go to church with her.

    I hold very strong feelings of hatred toward the church for fucking my life up (was raised United Methodist and went to Catholic school). I don't trust that there is a god anymore, and if there were, the people who worship have it all fucked up. I don't want to be around that, and my dad bribes to come home so I can be there for this riff raff. (dad said he'd pay for my car repairs, which was vandalized last week for no good reason other than I live in a college neighborhood and drunk people are fuckers)

    I don't know whether I should be assertive, yet again, that I don't want to go to church and explain why, or if I should acquiesce to go to church just because it would make her happy.

    I don't want to have to be there more than a day, but they always guilt trip me into staying longer than I want while I'm completely miserable at home with nothing to do at all.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    May 12, 2012 9:52 PM GMT
    My mother never came around to accepting my being gay.
    She used to send letters, printing big block letters, screaming at me to "GET RIGHT WITH GOD !!!!!!"
    Roll my eyes.
    But, that was the least of it.
    She was impossible to get along with, anyway.
    When she died, last Fall, I didn't feel much of anything.
    No regrets.

    As for you, you can't change the past.
    It sounds like your mother was handling an unfamiliar situation the best way she knew how.
    And, when she realized that she was wrong, she behaved differently.

    You seem to want to be close to her, yet you are hanging onto, and obsessing over, her past mistakes.

    You've gotta make up your mind which is more important to you: forgiving your mother for her past mistakes (and being closer to her), or punishing her for the rest of her life.

    Don't wait until she dies, to make up your mind.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 12, 2012 10:35 PM GMT
    I am sorry you are going through this - other have said good advise already.

    In my instance I have a rocky relationship with my mother as well because of her mental illness. There been times in my life that I had not advocate and as many RJs can relate I have been able to survive, adapt, and move on. My Mother has the independent spirit that I inherited from her. Yet, on times of clarity from her illness, she has been my biggest advocate, but in her worst moments I have had not contact and yet I worried about her. I am still debating advising her of that I am gay. She a devout Catholic and set in her ways. Deep down I think she knows - but she is from a generation and set in her thinking. We also sometimes tend to think that our parents childhood or way they were taught were ideal - far from it.

    In terms of forgiveness - I want to say that is a process is not an instant thing. You will have to advocate this constantly - this has helped me. Forgiveness does not negate certain boundaries that you set toward your Mom. In a sense, we become the adults to our parents - example - certain topics may be of limits that will trigger your anger. In my instance their have certain issues of my sister that gets me boiling, when my Mom starts to talk about how great she is I say..'Mom this is making very angry, I really can not talk to you on the phone at the moment of that issue and I really do not want to discuss it - when you are ready to discuss in a more adult manner, give me a call. I then hang up. This has worked for me - just some suggestion in essence - you know your trigger points, your anger level - do not let anyone get you to that state and loose control.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 12, 2012 10:41 PM GMT
    Just another bullshit made up holiday. Pass on this one, same as valentines, easter, xmas and well, all the others. It's the way the big box stores get the morons to spend money on people they normally do not spend money on. This time it's mommy.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    May 12, 2012 11:13 PM GMT
    Smack dab in front of me when I think of your eloquent post is:

    "The odd thing is, I never felt my mother stopped loving me or stopped being proud of me. In fact, it was because of those things that I sometimes felt she was acting out. Despite the abuse I endured privately, in a public light, she'd always be the one at the back of the room or the highest bleacher softly cheering for me when she thought I could not see it."

    Yes, you were condemned, rejected and abused, then later accepted, if not completely, at least in a way that says you are an important part of a family.

    I have and have had every one of the emotions you reference, but I think you have it pretty good overall. You do feel guilty and your feelings are hell to deal with. That will just take a LOT of time.

    Nevertheless, try reading yourself quoted above and then picking up the phone tomorrow to say "Mom, I Love You." I think you can do it.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 12, 2012 11:35 PM GMT
    Did she ever apologize to you? If not, you might be hanging on to all of this because she has not recognized how much she has put you through.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 13, 2012 1:56 AM GMT
    LJay said...
    Nevertheless, try reading yourself quoted above and then picking up the phone tomorrow to say "Mom, I Love You." I think you can do it.




    OP:
    And do it soon. There may be a time when you no longer can do it.

    Don't just do this on Mother's Day either. Do it out of the blue when you feel it in your heart.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 13, 2012 1:58 AM GMT
    GAMRican said
    LJay said...
    Nevertheless, try reading yourself quoted above and then picking up the phone tomorrow to say "Mom, I Love You." I think you can do it.




    OP:
    And do it soon. There may be a time when you no longer can do it.

    Don't just do this on Mother's Day either. Do it out of the blue when you feel it in your heart.



    FYI for those who didn't read the thread, I necroed it from 3 years ago. The OP probably has moved on.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 13, 2012 2:38 AM GMT
    bluey2223 said
    GAMRican said
    LJay said...
    Nevertheless, try reading yourself quoted above and then picking up the phone tomorrow to say "Mom, I Love You." I think you can do it.




    OP:
    And do it soon. There may be a time when you no longer can do it.

    Don't just do this on Mother's Day either. Do it out of the blue when you feel it in your heart.



    FYI for those who didn't read the thread, I necroed it from 3 years ago. The OP probably has moved on.


    However, my message is timeless to any person who still has family members in their life. No matter how good or bad those family members may treat us, we can still tell them that we love them (if we sincerely do love them). It doesn't matter if they respond with vitriol, hate, or even no response at all. Because one day that family member or I am going to be dead. And, if they go first, then I know I did the right thing no matter how they chose to respond. And, when I'm dead, at least they will know that I loved them. They will have to deal with their own choices after that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 13, 2012 3:05 AM GMT
    No wonder I'm so smart... simple things like a mother-child connection I'll never understand.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 13, 2012 3:13 AM GMT
    I wish he'd come on and give us an update..... that was 3 years ago, how are things going now?