I’ll never understand why my mother feels the need to belittle people around her when she is feeling inadequate. This is something that she has done since I was a child, and, unfortunately, it was something that I had learned from her (as well as a host of other socially unfortunate behavior).
I think I never understood the adverse effects
teasing could have on people –
until I did —
Once I understood that this behavior was hurtful, I made the conscious decision to stop. I never ment any harm by it, and I did it just as often to myself. For a laugh, I was just as likely to poke fun at myself as I was at others. Because I don’t think we should take ourselves too seriously. But sometimes it’s just not nice.
It’s a method to deflect attention off of how you’re feeling about yourself. Maybe it’s because she thinks that people will notice her flaws if they are not kept busy obsessing over their own imperfections. Maybe it’s more personal than that, and she wants a distraction from something she is upset about.
Unfortunately, she seems to do it most amongst groups of people. Maybe it’s attention seeking or maybe it’s just for a laugh. But it really is hurtful as a daughter to have your mother belittle you (whether the statement is true or not) amongst acquaintances. Sure, it might go in one ear and out the other, people might not give the statement any weight – or maybe they do. Either way, it sucks for a daughter to have a mother talk about private matters in public; it sucks for a mother to paint you out to be something you’re not in the eyes of others.
On the other hand, if you are so brazen as to give it right back to her, she immediately becomes a victim. Immediately, you have offended her, you have hurt her, you don’t care about her or her feelings, you don’t love her. I wonder how, if this is how it makes her feel, she cannot understand that it makes me feel the same way.
Much of my instability,
inability to cope
is a gift
from my mother —
However, I am observant enough to recognize my flaws and to see how they are affecting those around me. I see my mother in myself (the bad), and I take steps to make sure I change. My mother is not at all a bad person, and I love her very much; she does so much for me that I feel bad even complaining. There are many wonderful things that she has passed on to me as well. But I feel the hurt that she has inadvertently caused me and those close to us, and I try my hardest to stop myself from going down the same path.
But I am only 25
and she is double that –
why do I take responsibility
while she remains the same?
It doesn’t make sense to me. With double my years, how is it possible that she has never recognized her flaws? I know I am flawed. I know I can be awful. But I am sorry for it. I do what I can to better myself and my treatment of others. She does not see it – maybe because she doesn’t want to. And she is not sorry.
She is a beautiful, wonderful person. She can be so caring and so giving. I understand that we all have moments of weakness in which we might slight other’s needs. But it is not fair to belittle and blame others for our own unhappiness.
I often jokingly recount how my mother can send me 2-3 text messages and, before I’ve even seen them or had the chance to respond, have an entire argument with herself resulting in her not speaking to me for weeks at a time. And, while humorous, it is not a joke. I understand going up against feelings of abandonment and how devastating that can be. But how can I abandon or disrespect you if I don’t even know you’re reaching out to me?
So, I guess my question is:
Were we born
or made to be
And at what point is