No Alibi (April 20, 2010)

My mommy says mean things. And does some, too.


When Ma was feeling that we were moving forward on the plan with Lee & Dorothy, she started vocalizing her disapproval more strongly. I’m okay with that if it was because she didn’t feel that she was being heard. The thing is, what set her off was when I was recounting how due diligence was performed on every point she had brought up. No chance that she felt I wasn’t hearing what she said.

Which means that she felt that I wasn’t hearing what she meant, or that she didn’t care if I heard as long as I didn’t do what she didn’t want me to do. What she meant wasn’t “there’s a problem with x and y and q.” What she meant was “I have expressed disapproval; your role is now to tuck your tail down and roll over, peeing yourself and the floor.”

When that didn’t happen she escalated again. It went from “I think you are both out of your minds or dam fouls.[sic]” to “This cult bitch has been able to come between us.” and “I do have to deal with your impaired judgment and how it affects me.”

Ad hominem attacks in prejudiced tone. Lovely.

My mother is a manipulative person. So am I, but I don’t insist that people do what I say; I just try to get them to do what I believe will make them happier. She just wanted me to do what she wanted me to do.

Maybe not. Maybe she had my interests at heart.

But she is a person who will attack others in prejudiced tone. She did not bring me up to think that it was all right to call someone a nigger, nor to separate the Jews and the Christians. Apparently it is okay to separate out the Pagans and the hippies, though.

Prejudice is prejudice. I can’t tell the difference. She might as well have called Dorothy a nigger.

Since I was in my teens, I’ve always known that Ma and I could turn to each other for counsel, for trusted support. Right now what I know is that my mother is severely limited and can do hurtful things when she doesn’t get her way. What I know is that I can’t trust her to be objective, and to behave well toward other people.

I can’t trust my mother not to hate and spit bile and judgement.

I’ve been mourning for a few days now. We will still be close, and I still love her, but I am very pointedly aware of her shortcomings, and that there are things in my life that I simply should not share with her. That’s a horrible change.

I keep trying to remember that she is the same person she was last week, and a decade and four decades ago. That isn’t helping. It just calls into question everything during that time…and everything I call into question, I find is explained by the newly observed behaviors.

6 thoughts on “No Alibi (April 20, 2010)”

  1. *hugs* At least I have the advantage that I’ve always known my mother is prejudiced and deeply invested in having a son that fits her opinion of what a good son is. A happy son is better than an unhappy one, but only in the context of making her feel like a more successful mother and not out of any strong interest in my own opinions or happiness, and it can be overridden by a lot of things.

    It sucks. I can’t imagine how much worse it would be to have the rug pulled out from under me.

    But at least you have good, strong friends that you can trust.

    1. *wallows in the hug*

      In fact, that is exactly the case — the bit about friends. Chosen family is the best sort.

  2. What she meant wasn’t “there’s a problem with x and y and q.” What she meant was “I have expressed disapproval; your role is now to tuck your tail down and roll over, peeing yourself and the floor.”

    This isn’t comparable in scale, but reminds me of when I told my mother I was going vegetarian— her response was “no you aren’t.” I also remember when I first realized that my parents’ idea of “my best interest” didn’t match mine (when they insisted that I stay at Mormon college despite me being completely miserable). It sucked and I was resentful of their blindness for quite some time. And now I live halfway across the world and don’t let it bother me.

    1. It’s comparable in scale, I think. It’s just as Kirby noted, above; that a facade of helpfulness had been painted over what was there, and I had accepted the facade.

      And, in fact, as next post should demonstrate, I have metaphorically moved halfway across the world and it no longer bothers me.

  3. On a quick note, some distrust of pagans does not seem too strange to me. In theory, Christianity has a particular set of ethics to which its followers are supposed to adhere, and the same for Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, etc. However, when someone says they are a pagan, that says very little about their particular beliefs – groups ranging from wiccans to asatruir to satanists to Dionysians to even weirder groups call themselves pagan.

    Now in practice, it’s certainly true that saying you’re a Christian doesn’t mean you subscribe to the same ethics as another Christian (or even agree on what Christian ethics are). But while Catholics and Baptists and Gnostics are all supposed to have similar ideas about what is right (whether or not they actually do), an OTO style satanist, a Dionysean, a skin-head asatruir, an Eris-cultist, and a worshipper of the Goddess and the Horned God likely have very fundamental disagreements about the proper way to interact with others.

    Note that this doesn’t excuse being manipulative, or being biased, or generally being a jerk. It’s more a thought that occurred to me

    1. The thought is a fair one, but… I dunno. I keep coming around to “that ain’t how I was raised up.”

      Then I remember that she was the one who raised me, and the confusion reigns. Maybe I just missed it when she was trying to tell me that the atheists and hippies were excluded from the whole tolerance thing. I can sometimes be sort of dense.

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