Nature v Nurture: and Socially Unfortunate Behavior —

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,

inadequacy,

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

this way?

And at what point is

‘that’s just 

the way

I am’

no longer

an acceptable

excuse?

xLoJu

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2 thoughts on “Nature v Nurture: and Socially Unfortunate Behavior —

  1. Being ‘just the way I am’, I think, is never enough of an excuse for hurting any human being on this planet, let alone those we love. At the same time, your mother is who she is because of her own experiences and who knows what pain and confusion lies in her past. Still…I wish there were more like you…and me…who question ourselves and consider our impact on the people around us. If everyone was accountable for their actions and reactions, we’d live in a much more loving world. You’re the same age as one of my daughters…the other is a little older. We’re very close…and they’re both very strong. If ever I was to hurt them, they’d soon sort me out. 🙂 And I’d want them too. It works both ways. I wish you well with your lovely mum, and hope that as you go through the years you aren’t destined to suffer any more emotional abuse (and I’m sorry to say that’s what it is – in a mild form) from your relationships with men. As for me, I repeated the pattern and ended up with horrific abusers. I’m just now turning my life around and feeling strong. Love and light.

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    1. I mean, that’s really what it boils down to – of course I love my mother and appreciate her absurdity. I am also unapologetically -me- (though -sensitively- and considerate of other people’s needs/feelings/BOUNDARIES[ha, I’m just remembering the concept!]).

      However, I don’t appreciate being sucked into her emotional turmoil (I have enough of my own!). I am aware that her personality is a product of her experiences – but mine is too. So, there’s no reason I (at my age) should recognize and regulate myself (i.e. feeling a certain way but recognizing its insignificance/irrationality, therefore not burdening my mother/others with it) , but certain others, no (as in my mother who has entire arguments without my input then feels, somehow, I’ve hurt her)…

      And as for men, I know exactly what it is — (unfortunately?)

      I thank you for having taken the time to leave a message =)
      xLoJu

      Like

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