Sunday, July 15, 2007

Guilt via text.

I recently got a new cell phone with a texting plan. My parents, brother and cousins text each other all the time and I wanted in on that; it seemed like fun.

I should have known that my mom would use texting as yet another way to apply the guilt.

It doesn't matter that I'm forty-one years old, married for over 17 years and have managed to raise a child who is happy and thriving. No, she still needs to tell me what to do because, in her mind, I'm clueless and in desperate need of guidance.

And, this is the kicker: my other brother has been homeless, jobless, living in his car, arrested (more than once), sent to jail (more than once), broken various laws, accumulated numerous misdemeanors and maybe a felony or two, is a deadbeat dad, doesn't report all his income, can't pay his rent or phone bill - my mom REWARDS his behavior by sending him money any time he asks.

But me, I'm law-abiding, independent with a roof over my head, clothes on my back. I'm in a stable relationship, take care of my child and haven't asked for money from my parents in over twenty years. What do I get? All the guilt! I wish the woman could see the double-standards she sets!

My doormat tendencies? The ones that got me in deep with The Spider? Those stem from my relationship with my mother - she's always been hardest on me, even though I've rarely been the one who's given her worry.

In light of my impending status as a full-time working mom, I've been consumed by my own guilt and transition issues, mostly concerning my time with my daughter. So my mom compounds that guilt by heaping on her own concerns, her text messages implying I can't manage and I'll be screwing up my kid's life.

Maybe if I text her back to say I am leaving my husband and trading my daughter for crack, she'll send me a check.


sue said...

As a mom, I try hard NOT to do that to my kids... but I can certainly understand. Seems to be the program my MIL is on. She is on my husband all the time with guilt-trips, yet he is the most stable one of his family and helps out his mom every single day - yet his little brother and sister both can whine just a bit and mom sends a check. It drives me NUTs, I tell ya, NUTS. (Hope you don't mind, now you've inspired me to blog about this very issue...)

Jenica said...

You should TOTALLY tell her that. Create a whole second life in which you vie with your brother for Deadbeat Status. You'll be feeding your need for a creative outlet at the same time as you deal with a lifelong demon. Plus, the funny. How can you beat that?

Anonymous said...

That is so unfair. How frustrating!

teahouse said...

My great grandmother had a wonderful daughter (my grandmother), whom she ignored, took for granted and verbally berated. And a deadbeat son who caused her nothing but misery. And when he died suddenly in his 40s, my great grandmother got seriously depressed, deteriorated quickly afterward and soon died as well.

My dad's theory was that her son had just needed so much attention from childhood, that she'd been conditioned to give it - and was blind to the wonderful daughter she had. I think it's just human nature.

But it sounds like you've got wonderful people in your life - spouse, daughter, who appreciate you for who you are. Best to focus on that. Mothers are just mothers.

Someday I'll tell you about my crazy mother who has basically ignored me since birth. Sometimes I think I'd love to have a mother who took the time to heap guilt on me - any attention.

Sigh. We're all messed up in our own way...sorry this comment is so long. Not sure what i'm trying to say. Just sending a hug.

Rising Rainbow said...

So your mom's a classic enabler! That would account for her telling you how to live your life. She's riddles by her own insecurities and thinks she can't be OK unless you live up to the standards she thinks are important. The good news is, it's only your problem if you let it be.

While that may be easier said than done, practice makes perfect and can be oh so freeing.

CaliGirl said...

I will tell you then since she doesnt....

"you are a great mom!...dont you ever forget that!"

big hugs to you sally. i know how ared it is when mothers do that. mine does it to me (thank God) only a couple times a year. she is due for one soon btw...*insert sarcasm here* ...cant wait!